Tom Peterson still named in wrongful death suit

Thomas Peterson

After a short appearance in court today, Martin Glink, the attorney representing the Savio family in a wrongful death suit against Drew Peterson, seems confident that the case will go forward.

Glink also told reporters that Thomas Peterson, son of Drew Peterson, is still named in the case, despite a letter that was sent to the Sun-Times stating that he was going to remove himself from the civil suit because he believed “1000%” that his father did not kill Kathleen Savio. He also filed a document to be released from the case.

Glink says that it will take more than a release to remove Thomas Peterson’s name from the civil suit, since the youth may have been influenced by others and pressured into filing the document.

Joel Brodsky did not show up in court today. Peterson was represented by Edmund Peter Boland of Carey Filter White & Boland.

The next status hearing date is scheduled for May 19.

Read more at Shorewood Patch
Letter written by Tom Peterson about his intent to remove his name from the suit
Wrongful Death Suit

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35 thoughts on “Tom Peterson still named in wrongful death suit

  1. Some good quotes from Hosey’s story:

    “I question seriously if that was due to some undue influence, unfortunately,” Glink said of the letter Thomas supposedly wrote releasing his father from any financial responsibility resulting from the lawsuit brought by his mother’s family.

    “He might think that was his idea but that seems to be part of Mr. Peterson’s repertoire,” Glink said, echoing allegations made by prosecutors that Peterson is a master manipulator who, among others, pulled the strings of his much younger fourth wife, Stacy, a woman 30 years his junior.

  2. Didn’t want to leave these recent comments back on the old thread.

    Estee says:
    January 27, 2011 at 11:42 am (Edit)
    Thomas will probably say exactly what Drew has brainwashed him to say….I’ve heard it only takes saying something 21 times to make it a memory…Of course he will state that now since he’s an adult…blah, blah, blah…..he’s entitled to have his say in things respected….

    sureyouwill says:
    January 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm (Edit)
    What I find interesting is, if Thomas is concerned that the law suit against his father is silly because, “do the math…” what difference does it really make — if the suit against his father stays Thomas and his brother get the money; if Thomas drops from the case, then I guess his brother gets the money AND Thomas would get the money anyway. What difference does it make…Thomas can support his father with the money if that’s what he’s concerned about. It’s NOT taking food out of anyone’s mouth, it just allocating it to its rightful owner. Boy they have that kid brainwashed…so sad!!! The comment in his article to sneed about him being sad that his brother and sister are missing out on being raised by their dad so they can turn out just like him (being Thomas) — “smart” and “achieving more than anyone else dreams of…” is a blessing! That comment from Thomas alone has narcissitic tendency. Looks like the apple isn’t falling too far. Very sad!

  3. Well of course it’s another name!!! They wouldn’t want it to appear that Brodsky and team is behind Thomas’ decision…he has to have his own individual INDEPENDENT thinking lawyer…you know, one that Thomas himself hired, now that he is an adult and can make his own decisions…

  4. Does anyone know what 1000% moral certainty stands for in someones defense ?

    What is a “moral certainty” amyway ?

  5. This is what moral certainty does stand for, but how does that relate to Thomas’s 1000% moral certainty about his fathers innocence ???

    Moral certainty is a concept of intuitive probability. It means a very high degree of probability, sufficient for action, but short of absolute or mathematical certainty.

    The concept stems from a statement in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics that one must be content with the kind of certainty appropriate to different subject matters, so that in practical decisions one cannot expect the certainty of mathematics. The Latin phrase moralis certitudo was used in this sense by the French philosopher Jean Gerson about 1400. The Oxford English Dictionary mentions occurrences in English from 1637. In law, it has been associated with verdicts based on certainty beyond a reasonable doubt.

  6. Hi JAH, I think Tom was throwing the term out there to mean that he ‘knows” his father didn’t kill his mother. Of course, that assertion leads one to questions how he could possibly be so certain of this. I mean, was he there at the scene of his mother’s death and witness the fact that his father was not in the room? Did he keep waking vigil in the bedroom of Drew and Stacy on the night his mother was killed? To actually know that his father wasn’t guilty of this murder leads one to assume that he would have to know a lot more about the circumstances of her death than we have been told before.

    IMO, what he really means to say is that he believes very strongly that his father is innocent…which of course isn’t very useful testimony.

  7. moral certainty

    n. in a criminal trial, the reasonable belief (but falling short of absolute certainty) of the trier of the fact (jury or judge sitting without a jury) that the evidence shows the defendant is guilty. Moral certainty is another way of saying “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Since there is no exact measure of certainty it is always somewhat subjective and based on “reasonable” opinions of judge and/or jury.

    See also: beyond a reasonable doubt verdict

    Tom might be a smarty pants with his GPA and all, but is this really a term he would use? moral certainty is a law term from what I am reading??

  8. Yes, Tommy’s 1000% moral certainty means a concept of 1000% intuitive probability, which is just that, an intuitive probability.

    His intuition tells him his father is innocent !

  9. Contrary to what Mr. Brodsky may have thought, this isn’t going to be a slam dunk issue. I just hope Drew’s other son isn’t going to be caught in the middle of a mess now.

    Did Peterson pressure son on financial decision?

    JOLIET — Lawyer Martin Glink fears accused wife killer Drew Peterson may have put “undue influence” on his son, Thomas, 18, who recently released his father from all financial claims.

  10. From the Herald News story:

    “You try to influence an 18-year-old on the phone. Come on, (Drew) is in jail and the kid is going to do what he wants to do,” he said.

    Aren’t manipulative phone calls right up Drew’s alley? If I recall correctly, Drew Peterson placed a phone call to Tom Morphey shortly after his suicide attempt instructing him to keep him mouth shut. Luckily, Morphey had already talked to the ISP and the call was intercepted, recorded and played in court during the hearsay hearings.

    During the hearing, Glasgow played a telephone conversation between Peterson and Morphey that was taped by the state police. On the tape, Peterson orders Morphey not to talk to the press or the police, and warns him about discussing things on the phone.

  11. Hahahaha.

    “When Drew eventually passes away as a free man many, many years from now, everything he has is going to go to his kids,” he said. “The kids are going to get it anyway. The whole thing is ridiculous.”

    What’s with all this death talk lately. First Drew Peterson is having himself pressed into diamonds for his children after his death, and now Brodsky is referring to one dead Drew. Things getting a little tough?

    As far as the kids getting everything, the way Drew whores around, getting engaged to 23 year olds, come on, who knows what he’s capable of doing. He makes up wills on a whim, it looks like, so I wouldn’t go around gloating that his kids are going to get it anyway. Why doesn’t Brodsky just shut up and do what he needs to do. He didn’t even think this worthy enough to show up in Court, and apparently thinks he’s got things wrapped up. What, the other side isn’t going to think for themselves and file motions? They’re going to buckle under the spell of Brodsky. Pfffft.

  12. Exactly, young Thomas must have either been reading up on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics himself or a lawyer pushed this big word under his nose.

    Either way it is not correctly used in this context and Thomas is doing himself a terrible injustice with this letter, something the lawyers should have been aware of and never let him send it IF this were his own idea.

    Next the bleating about not having contact with the relatives (his Aunt/ Grandfather etc).

    Children don’t keeps tabs or records of when a Grandfather or Aunt visits, let alone the dates or duration of a visit (!!), neither do they keeps records of what relative sends them a Christmas or Birthday card every year.

    The only people to make an issue of such things are vindictive parents or other adults.

  13. JAH – In that regard, about the issue of keeping records of what relative sends cards, etc., and vindictive parents or other adults, that could work the other way too. What if the teen’s family did attempt to send a card or letter? That’s easy enough to document, and if anything, wouldn’t the family even try doing this through their lawyers, as a way to ease the transition? Kathleen’s family, unfortunately, has no legal rights to see those children. There are no laws that would fall in their favor. A grandparent would have to hire a lawyer and go through the court to get visitation rights, as happened in the Lisa Stebic case, where he tried the same crap.

    It never comes out positive for the victim’s family in this matter. Hell, would we expect Drew or his lawyer to admit the family made attempts to see the boys and admit visits were never going to happen? Of course not. For Tom to say he’s not heard from his mom’s family may be absolutely correct, but not because no attempts were made to do so. People just aren’t going to fall under the bs spell Peterson and Brodsky keep thinking they will. The lawyers for the other side can and will use every possible counter attack available to them, not be crushed by this constant babble that comes out. In court, where it belongs.

  14. That’s exactly right rescue, Thomas cannot possibly know from his own experience that his grandfather/aunt/uncle/cousins didn’t want any contact with him.

    He can only go by what he’s been told, which is what he is relating now.

    Now that he’s 18, has he verified with his Aunt/Grandfather etc they didn’t ever want to see him before he put that in a letter as an indictment.

    I bet you he didn’t ……….

  15. Excellent point, JAH. I doubt he made an attempt to contact his mom’s family to clear up any questions he may have had. Maybe he doesn’t care one way or the other about his mom’s family, and is merely going by what he knows to be fact – he has not had contact with them in the years since his mom’s death. I don’t think there’s any question, from pictures we’ve all seen when Kathleen was alive, her siblings were in her life. So were other relatives of Kathleen’s. Mysteriously, they just ceased contact with their dead sister’s children because they had no use for them anymore? That doesn’t seem logical, does it?

    Now, smart or not, it doesn’t take a leap to even consider the possibility that his mom’s family was kept from having contact with him or his brother. Isn’t it obvious to him that his stepmother’s sister has no access to her nephew and niece? Isn’t that telling in and of itself?

    Maybe Tom is in more of a trick bag than we know. Either way, its a crappy situation to be in. He is the son of a major control freak, and that control freak’s reputation is well known, so me thinks Tom Peterson may have a clue as to what’s going on, but it’s out of his hands for the moment.

    Actually, it sucks to be the child of Drew Peterson. The rule is, hop to it. And you will like it.

  16. Well, IF Tom does get into the college of his choice, I wonder what it will actually be like for him. (Seriously, if I grew up in his household I’d have the best grades possible so I can get the hell out of town too.) That said, I have to wonder if the others in his school will feel so comfortable with him around.
    Not to mention, I’m certain the media will follow him.
    Plus, those other students may not agree with his take on what happened to his mother and Stacy. As a mother, I’d be worried about his safety.
    On the other hand… what if he gets a taste of the real life as so many college kids do and starts to think *dare I say it* for himself!

  17. Now this is funny!! Snipped from a commenter after yesterday’s story regarding the wrongful death hearing:

    Q: How can you tell Peterson is lying?
    A: Brodsky’s lips are moving.

  18. Maybe one day we’ll get to hear what Thomas is really thinking (!!)

    Meanwhile one can only wonder where he got a pompous word like “moral certainty” from.

    Other than that, that letter is really tragic.

    Just as tragic as the television interview.

  19. Interesting story regarding Will County officials.

    By Kristen Schorsch, Tribune reporter

    January 30, 2011
    Will County lauded for self-critical look into botched Riley Fox case
    Experts say law enforcement agencies nationwide should study Riley Fox report to prevent coerced confessions


    Experts on police interrogations and false confessions are applauding Will County sheriff’s police for taking the unusual step of hiring an outside agency to review a bungled case.

    “I think it’s an extremely thorough and well-written autopsy of what went wrong,” said Steven Drizin, legal director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. “It has some important prescriptions for how to prevent this from happening in future cases.”

    Experts said it’s rare for a police department to hire an outside agency to review a botched case, particularly one involving a false confession. If the task is done at all, it’s usually by an independent commission or a prosecutor’s office, experts said.

    Patrick O’Connor, president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and chief of the Moraine Valley Community College’s Police Department, said the report likely was sobering for the sheriff’s department.

    “That shows great strength to have someone look inside your organization,” O’Connor said. “I think you’re going to find that people are going to be very aware of this report.”

    Read complete story at Chicago Tribune

  20. When I first read Thomas Peterson’s letter, I wonder if those that know him would say that the letter “sounded” like him.

    But I was being snarky because I believe Drew said something similar about an e-mail a friend received from Stacy.

  21. Of course, writing a letter to a newspaper, he might believe it would be published, and that would influence how he wrote.

  22. I have no doubt that there was something (or should I say someone) that influenced the way Tom wrote that letter, but I don’t think it had anything to do with where it was being sent. 😉

  23. It is sad. I don’t know if he’ll ever think for himself-surely not as long as his father thinks for him. And thank all GODS that I don’t have a daughter than may get into his radar. Can you imagine?
    Rescue, that snipped comment was hilarious!
    OK-so I’ve got Feb 16th marked on my calendar. I’ll bring the popcorn and some razzer-horns.

  24. Joe Hosey writes about the disappearances of Rachel Mellon and Stacy Peterson

    Teen Rachel Mellon Now Missing 15 Years

    Rachel Mellon’s missing person case is two years older than she was when she disappeared.

    By Joseph Hosey

    For a long time Rachel Mellon was Bolingbrook’s most notable missing person.

    She’s not anymore, having lost that honor to Stacy Peterson, the fourth wife of a local cop 30 years her senior, a man who started romancing her when she was at most 17, then claimed she ran out on him six years later to take up with another man.

    The cops don’t buy Peterson’s story, believing instead that his missing wife, who would be 27 now, was the victim of a “potential homicide.” State police Capt. Carl Dobrich named Stacy’s husband, retired Bolingbrook cop Drew Peterson, the lone suspect in an investigation that follows the theory that, more likely than not, he killed her.

    Rachel Mellon is even older than Stacy Peterson, or would be, if either one of them is still alive. Rachel would be 28 now, and today is the 15th anniversary of her disappearance.

    On that day 15 years ago, she stayed home from school with a sore throat and was alone with her unemployed stepfather, Vince Mellon. The first time anyone realized Rachel was not sleeping off her illness in her room was when her mother, Amy Mellon, arrived home from work that evening and went to get her daughter for dinner.

    The stepfather told the police he last saw Rachel about 2:30 p.m., just before he took the family dog out for a walk.

    The dog got loose, he told the law, and ran off after a rabbit. Vince Mellon made an effort to catch the German shepherd but gave up and went home. Later in the day, a real estate appraiser in the area on business stopped by the house and returned the dog, Vince Mellon claimed to the cops.

    All the while, Vince Mellon’s story went, he presumed Rachel was in her room asleep.

    In the first years following Rachel’s disappearance, her mother complained of the way the police handled the case. Amy Mellon claimed it took the cops an hour to show up to her house after she called, and then told her they could take no action for 24 hours after the initial report.

    Even after the police got around to searching the Mellons’ house, officers found no sign of foul play. For a full two days after Rachel’s disappearance, the police considered the matter a missing person or runaway case, despite freezing temperatures and snow on the ground the day she disappeared, and evidence that the teen took nothing with her – if she did leave voluntarily — but slippers, the sweats she had been wearing in bed, and a blue blanket.

    Rachel’s case languished for nearly four years. Then, on Jan. 29, 2000, the cops picked up Vince Mellon from his home on Joliet’s west side, right outside Shorewood, and held him for nine hours at the Bolingbrook police station.

    During that time, they served him with a warrant ordering him to surrender samples of his blood, saliva and hair as part of a first-degree murder investigation.

    Four days later, Vince and Amy Mellon were hauled before a grand jury, and the police revealed they had made “significant developments” in the case through the use of “technical advances.”

    That was two days less than 11 years ago. The police have never revealed what the significant developments were that prompted them to pull the Mellons in front of a grand jury, or what technical advances brought these developments to light. And Rachel Mellon is still missing with no indication she is any closer to being found.

    Since that time, Drew Peterson, the former Bolingbrook cop with his own missing woman, confirmed he played a role in the renewed investigation of Rachel’s disappearance in 2000. He would not go into specifics about his work on her case, other than to say he was involved.

    To speak with Peterson about the Mellon case now, one would have to visit him in the Will County jail, where he has been held since May 2009 on charges he murdered not Stacy, but the wife before her, Kathleen Savio, who was found drowned in a dry bathtub in March 2004.

    Peterson is waiting on the start of his murder trial, which has been held up since the summer by a prosecution appeal of what hearsay evidence can be used against him.

    Vince Mellon has had legal trouble of his own in the years after Rachel’s disappearance. He has been arrested on charges of theft, battery, drunken driving and domestic battery. None of his cases were related to the disappearance of Rachel.

    According to the Will County Sheriff’s Department, Vince Mellon is a wanted man right now. There is an active warrant for his arrest relating to his 2005 driving under the influence case.

    Several years ago, Amy and Vince Mellon left Illinois and moved to Cleveland, TN. It is not known if they remain there or have moved again.

    Rachel’s father, Jeff Skemp, was divorced from Amy and living in Texas when his daughter disappeared. In the past, he has been a vocal critic of the manner in which the Bolingbrook police handled Rachel’s case but could not be reached for comment on the advent of yet another anniversary of her vanishing into thin air.

    Skemp was quoted in a statement recently released by the Website

    “Rachel’s case has never gotten the national exposure that she deserves and now is the time for that to happen,” Skemp said in the statement.

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