Last week the Chicago Tribune reported that during Drew Peterson’s hearsay hearing, forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden testified about a somewhat unorthadox assistant at the autopsy of Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio.
During cross-examination, Michael Baden acknowledged that a producer for Fox News host Greta Van Susteren helped him with the autopsy on Kathleen Savio by taking photos and moving the body. “One always needs an assistant during an autopsy and there was no one else available,” Baden said.
Steph Watts, now a freelance TV reporter and producer refuted this account of his participation on his blog yesterday stating:
It’s been interesting watching the media report the story of my alleged participation in the autopsy of former Bollingbrook police officer Drew Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio.
For all of you who preferred to regurgitate inaccuracies, and didn’t take the time to simply call to check the facts, here they are:
It was through my work on Greta’s show, that we uncovered documents leading us to facts that questioned the original classification of Kathleen Savio’s death as an accident, and exposed egregious errors by the Bollingbrook Police Department, the original coroner and the coroner’s jury. Dr. Michael Baden agreed that the findings indicated Savio’s death was a homicide. After reviewing the same documents, the State Attorney’s office decided to exhume the body of Kathleen Savio and perform a second autopsy. The family of Kathleen Savio, weary of the State Attorney’s office, discussed with me having an additional private autopsy done, but knew they could never afford such an expensive endeavor. I took their interest to Dr. Michael Baden, and he volunteered his time. I was already in Chicago covering the case, and accompanied Dr. Baden on every endeavor while he was in town. I asked permission of the family to be in the room with Dr. Baden while the autopsy was performed, and they agreed. I agreed with the Savio family that I would only film Dr. Baden, and no images of the body would ever be filmed or aired. The family knew Dr. Baden would be reporting his findings, whichever way they concluded. During the autopsy, which lasted approximately 3 hours, I took extensive notes and shot video.
Watts states that he did not help move Kathleen Savio’s remains.
I never had any physical contact with the body of Kathleen Savio, nor participated in “performing” the autopsy in any way. There were a least 6 Illinois State Police troopers in the room at any given time, and the entire experience was handled with the utmost respect to the Savio family, and most importantly to Kathleen.
There is no magic wizard behind the FOX News curtain, pulling strings to influence the findings by one of the country’s finest Forensic Pathologists. In conclusion, if Drew Peterson’s defense attorney is basing his case on the fact that I was in the autopsy room of a woman his client likely murdered, I would suggest he size Peterson up for a few more of those fancy orange jumpsuits he seems to like so much.
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