Drew Peterson trial – day five. Death scene investigators, deputy coroner take the stand

UPDATE 05:00:

Joel Brodsky continues to peck at discrepancies in various reports regarding exact wording and location. Coughlin stands his ground.
Brodsky: You didn’t think Peterson was serious when he said that? Coughlin: “No, I didn’t”
Prosecution objects to the presentation of two court orders. Sidebar.
Defense shows court orders which indicate that Peterson did not attend a hearing that month.
Cross resumes. Questions again about whether Drew was leaving a courtroom or a side room. Evidently, this took place at a court date for Peterson’s divorce and the two men with him were lawyers.
Prosecution does brief redirect with Coughlin.
Reiteration about the elevators and belief that Peterson was there because of divorce.
Defense wants to strike Coughlin’s testimony due to him saying part of the FBI report was false back in 2007.
Court ends for the day.

UPDATE 04:42:

Time constraints bump the testimony of Patrick Collins to Wednesday.
The prosecution calls its next witness: Lieutenant James Coughlin.
He is a lieutenant with the Bolingbrook Police Department.
Peterson approached Coughlin at an elevator in Will County Courthouse in February 2004 and said “my life would be easier if she [Savio] would just die”
Patton: What caused you to recall this conversation? Coughlin: “Because a few weeks later Kathleen turned up dead.”
End of direct examination. Sidebar
Joel Brodsky starts cross and picks at Coughlin’s testimony which differs from what he told grand jury as to which floor they were on and if it occurred on an elevator or whether Drew entered from side door.

UPDATE 04:15:

Jurors are removed while attorney discuss possible introduction of hearsay testimony by Patrick Collins re: false alibi.
Attorneys argue about the eighteen 911 calls
Judge: “The phone calls regarding the transportation of the children will be admissible. The phone calls regarding the name calling will not be admissible.”
Judge: “The State has to demonstrate whether this was a homicide, regardless of whether Mr. Peterson committed the homicide. So these phone calls are going to be admitted for that.”
Argument about Stacy Peterson providing an alibi for Drew and whether that can come in. State says that her alibi mirrors Drew’s word for word and as he was sitting next to her and coaching her to lie that her answer is relevant since if she were to become available to testify and her testimony differed it would be important. (something like that. It’s confusing)
Judge: “we’re working at a glacial pace right now.”
Jury is entering court

UPDATE 04:08:

Attorney Patton gets Deel to cede that the diagram isn’t an accurate portrayal of the death scene and although Dr. Mitchell saw the diagram, he never saw the photos of the scene.
Defense starts re-cross.
Deel says that he knows the difference between wound blood and purged blood and that the blood in the tub was purged.
Deel: Bathtub falls are the most common cause of household injury.
Defense: Mitchell said Savio death should have been undetermined? “Yes.” But did not say was homicide? “Yes.”
Bob Deel steps down.
Patrick Collins is up next.

UPDATE 03:50:

Peterson judge blocks any questions about prosecutors writing complaint about Deel to his superiors. No letter produced in court.
Deel back on stand and Attorney Patton conducts re-direct.
He admits that he is not a trained medical professional and so could not determine how Kathleen had died or where the blood in the tub was coming from although he assumed it was purge due to natural decomposition. Deel didn’t see an issue with the position of Savio’s body. He says he noted that her contacts case was open and upside down and that he did not see contact lenses in the tub but also didn’t know if they were in Savio’s eyes.
Defense objects to questions about whether Deel could determine if blood had been wiped up.
Deel says Dr.Mitchell told him at a later date that he thought the case should have been determined as an undetermined death rather than accidental.
Patton shows Deel a diagram that was created later to show Kathleen in the tub. He admits that it does not accurately show the size or shape of the tub, which appears rectangular in the diagram. He defends himself saying that his measurements were accurate and that someone else created the diagram. Seems to be a bit frustrated.
Patton tries to ask about certain types of head wounds but Defense objections are sustained three times.

UPDATE 03:26:

Court still in recess. Defense attorneys and others milling about in the hallway. Prosecution nowhere to be seen.

UPDATE 02:55:

Trial on break. Defense wants Deel to testify about an alleged complaint filed by State’s Attorney’s office about him.
Judge asks Glasgow who wrote the letter about Deel. “I have no idea,” Glasgow said
Judge: “I want to see the letter.”

UPDATE 02:20:

Deel says he never met Peterson before. He didn’t see signs of struggle.
Deel goes on to describe what he saw at the scene, including the glass of orange juice, and nothing “unusual”.
“There was no indication that the body had been moved or anything along those lines.
Deel says the scene looked like “nothing even close to” someone fighting for their life.
You process all death scenes the same way? “Yes.”
So in your mind, there’s no such thing as a suspicious death protocol, they’re all the same? “I’ve never even heard of a suspicious death protocol.”
Deel talking about bruise on left buttocks: “I see it as just a bruise”
Deel says he was told at autopsy by pathologist Bryan Mitchell (now deceased) that Savio’s death was not a murder.
Patton tries to ask Deel about certain kinds of head wounds. Defense objections are sustained each time.

UPDATE 01:53:

Jurors enter back into courtroom, testimony continues.
Deel on how Kathleen’s body was removed: “It’s not a graceful or pretty sight – but we had to get her out of there”
Patton: You are now looking at a photograph of the orange juice in the kitchen. Did you take any fingerprints from any items on that counter? “No.”
Cross-examination by Defense.
Defense asks Deel about training, experience: 27 years in law enforcement; evidence tech training; etc.
Defense team questioning to establish Deel’s long history and many years of experience as a crime scene technician.
You’ve processed over 500 crime scenes? “Yes, Sir.”
You’re trained to looked for people who have tried to cover their tracks? “That’s part of it, yes.”
You’re trained to try to pick out the signs that somebody tried to cover their tracks? “Yes, Sir.”
Deel describes a crime scene where it originally looked like a homicide, but it turned out to be a suicide (as rigor mortis set in, the corpse’s tightening muscles actually fired another round). This is not something for amateurs? “No.”

UPDATE 01:43:

Jurors removed from courtroom. Defense objects to line of questioning re: what investigators did not do to gather evidence.
Defense: “They are trying to create this inference that a poor investigation was done and there’s no reason for the prosecution to try to put before a jury that the investigation was poorly done, no legal basis for them to ask these questions, because there’s no legal or factual inference that can be drawn that helps the prosecution. It’s just totally improper. it’s not evidence. It’s the absence of any evidence. And the prosecution can’t do that.”
Judge reiterates that he won’t allow the state to ask the jury to speculate and doesn’t see how line of questioning is prejudicial to Peterson.
Judge: State can ask what was/wasn’t done, and why. “If they want to say this is the worst investigator in the world, I can’t stop them.”

UPDATE 01:27:

Court is back in session
Kathy Patton resumes her direct examination of Illinois State Police officer Robert Deel.
The witness is now shown another photograph. Is that one of the autopsy photos that you took? “It is. It’s a close-up photograph that was taken of the back of the witness’ head.”
Did you see any injuries to her head? “When we took her out of the tub, we knew that she was bleeding from the head, because we got blood all over our gloves. But I did not do an examination to see what kind of injury she had. That’s beyond the scope of what I’m supposed to do.”
Another autopsy photo is identified. Did you see that injury that night? “I don’t particularly recall but I did note that she had various bruises and injuries about the body.”
Were those injuries important to you? “Not at that time, no.”

UPDATE 12:02:

Court takes a break. Will resume at 1:15pm

UPDATE 11:31:

Judge allowing ISP trooper Robert Deel to take the stand. Jury re-entering the courtroom.
Attorney Pattton is again doing the direct examination.
“I’m a state police officer, with the Illinois State Police. Seven years this December.” He briefly goes over his training and experience in law enforcement.
Did you observe the escape windows leading to the basement? “I remember walking around to see if there were windows there; they were closed.”
You didn’t check to see if they were locked or unlocked? “I don’t believe so, no. My main focus inside the house was the area where she was found.”
Did you go through all the rooms? “No.”
The witness is shown a photograph, and notes a can of something in the bedroom that can be seen in it (Spot Shot carpet stain remover).
Did you see that can? “Yes.”
Feel it was of any evidentiary value? “No.”
Did you process it? “No, I did not.”
What conclusions did you come to after observing the scene? “That there was a dead person in the tub.”
Witness looks at photos. Can you see what appears to be a redness or mark on her left buttocks? “Yes.”
Do you recall seeing it that day? “Not particularly. But it’s in the photo.”
Did you process the tub for fingerprints? “I did not, no. It was unclear as to what had happened to her, whether she’d fallen in the tub, had committed suicide, so I made the decision that the best cause of action was to remove the body.”
Deel says that he took no evidence from the bathroom. Only photographs.
When asked if an investigator asked him to looks at evidence from the bathroom there is an objection.
Judge Burmila asks attorneys to approach the bench.

UPDATE 11:21:

Attorney Kathleen Patton begins re-direct
The witness says he felt Savio’s death appeared suspicious.
What made you feel that way? “The fact that there were no obvious signs of a fall in the bathroom. I don’t know how she would have drowned otherwise.
Is there anything else that caused you to be suspicious? “The way the body was positioned in the tub. It was a fairly small tub, and it seemed as if a person would have fell I don’t believe they would have came to rest that way.”
State wants to call State Trooper Robert Deel to the stand, jury steps out, defense has a problem with this witness.
Attorney Steve Greenberg: “This gets into areas I think the State should not be allowed to get into. My understanding with Sgt. Deel and also Investigator Collins is that they want to get into the investigation was possibly not done probably The problem I have with this argument is the State doing almost what the defense is supposed to do–raising reasonable doubt, trying to raise questions about the investigation. I don’t think the State can do that. The inference the State wants to draw is, ‘Had they done more, there might be evidence.’ The problem with that is they didn’t do more, and it’s totally irrelevant that they didn’t do things. Their failure to do anything doesn’t lead to any conclusion that makes it more likely than not that a crime was committed, or that Mr. Peterson committed a crime. It’s burden-shifting. It’s very troubling to me. So we’re asking that you restrict them from getting into that.”
Judge Burmila: “I can’t tell the State what to argue. As far as the officer’s role in the investigation, he’s entitled to tell what he did in this particular case, and I believe he’s entitled to tell what he would ordinarily do. But I don’t believe any of those questions would lead to burden-shifting. The State is not going to be allowed to infer that there were fingerprints or blood and they missed it, and if they had only found it would have proved the defendant was there. They can’t ask the jury to speculate as to what they would have found if they’d done more.”

UPDATE 11:08:

I want to know if you recall Trooper Deel arriving at the home at 1:45 am on March 2? “I do.”
That’s when those pictures were taken by Trooper Deel? “I observed him take pictures, yes.”
And that’s when you took your picture, right? “No.”
Well, that’s when you told the State Police, that you took them together. “I took the picture when I got there, with my Polaroid camera, when I went up with Officer Sutton(?).”
Sidebar when defense asks if VanOver ever attempted to correct Dr. Mitchell after the autopsy and tell him “Hey you got it wrong!”
Judge says that defense has tried twice now to introduce coroner’s inquest into this cross-examination.
Patton: “This witness was not there; it’s not appropriate for this witness.”
Cross-examination resumes with re-worded question and then ends.

UPDATE 11:00:

Do you recognize that as an official report from the Will County Coroner’s Office? “Yes.”
Does that refresh your recollection about when a conversation occurred with Anna Doman? “No, it does not.”
So you have no recollection of speaking to Anna Doman on March 2, 2004? “No, I don’t.”
However, the witness recalls speaking to Doman at one time.
She never told you that Drew told her she’d never make it to the divorce settlement? “I don’t remember the conversation.”
You’d remember if she told that to you, correct? “Correct.”
She never told you that Drew was going to murder her, and make it look like an accident? “I don’t recall that conversation.”
You’d remember that, wouldn’t you? “Yes, I would.”

UPDATE 10:52:

Miss Patton asked you questions about soap scum. That was unusual to you, that there was no soap scum in the tub, and you thought that was suspicious? “Right.”
You didn’t tell Trooper Deel that you thought this was a homicide? “No, I did not.”
You didn’t voice any objection when Trooper Deel told you this was an accident? “No, I did not.”
You asked Trooper Deel if there was any reason to believe this was a suspicious death, and they said no. you didn’t put in your report that you disagreed with that in any way? “No, I did not.”
You put in your report that there were no signs of foul play? “Yes.”
You also put in that report that there were no signs of any trauma or struggle in the bathroom area? “I did.”
No signs of trauma on the body? “That’s correct.”
Question about what VanOver told Sue Doman in 2004, but there is an objection – sustained.

UPDATE 10:27:

Court is back in session.
Defense maintains black and white photos were not a part of discovery. Ready to move forward.
The judge finds no discovery violation (because the photo is so similar to others) and sends for the jurors and the witness.
Cross-examination of VanOver by Attorney Darryl Goldberg.
Defense noting differences in VanOver’s testimony from Feb. 9th, 2010 and today, mainly in regards to removal of the body.
VanOver testified in 2012 he didn’t know who helped him remove Savio’s body. Today he said one of the troopers helped him.
Defense questioning implies that VanOver’s report may not have been accurate.
The three-page report is then shown to the witness. There’s not one word whatsoever about you taking any photographs in this case? “Not in that report.”
Not in any report? “That’s correct.”
So there’s nothing about when you would have taken a photograph?
(Sounds like attempt to add muddle blue towel-gate)

UPDATE 09:59:

Trial on break. Waiting for prosecutors to track down a set of black and white Polaroids.
Defense asks for more time to review coroner black/white photos. On a short recess.
(Former Peterson defense team member, Atty George Lenard is spotted in the overflow room.)

UPDATE 09:46:

I was told by the Bolingbrook officer that the Illinois State Police were going to be investigating this, so I stood down until they arrived.”
What is your function at a death investigation? “To gather demographic information about the decedent, to gather any medication, to speak to family members.”
Did you do any of that before the state police arrived? “No, I did not.
The state police arrived “in excess of an hour,” and this witness met with Trooper Robert Deel. “We went and looked at the decedent, and Trooper Deel took some photos. We looked for medication bottles, and we went down to the kitchen area, where we did find some medication bottles. Then we went back up to the bathroom area, and prepared the body for transport.
We removed the body from the bathtub, turned the body over in the tub so the extremities could be reached, so the body could be picked up and put in a body bag. Trooper Deel put paper bags over the hands. I picked up the lower end of the body. It goes into a body bag, on the floor next to the tub.”
You didn’t see any stabbings or gunshots wounds, did you? “I did not.”
He did not cause cut to Savio’s left hand. He wore gloves the entire time of body removal.
VanOver admits to not following the suspicious death protocol that was supposed to be in place the night Savio was found.
Objection and sidebar.

UPDATE 09:36:

Over the defense objection, the photograph is projected for the jurors. The witness says he took the photograph
There was purge coming from the nose and mouth. The blood has stopped circulating in the body, and so it takes the path of least resistance, and would come out the nose or the mouth.
The tub was clean, except for a trail of purge.
The witness is now shown another photograph.
Did not notice laceration on Savio’s head the night he examined body in tub. Her hair was “thick, matted”
You didn’t examine her head that night, to see if there were any injuries to it? “I did not.”
“I specifically recall their being an abrasion on her left buttocks”
VanOver describing abrasion: “It wasn’t in the scabbing form – it appeared to be just drying up”

UPDATE 09:16:

Court is in session
Judge Burmila has just taken the bench. “I received some motions last night (on re Dr. Michael Baden). When are we going to address those?”
It is decided that the Court will take at least one witness today, and then perhaps the motions will be argued.
Jury is entering the courtroom
State calls Michael VanOver, Deputy Coroner to the stand.
He is examined by Atty Kathleen Patton.

He goes over the training and experience that qualifies him for that position. He was working in that position on March 1, 2004, and was dispatched to the Savio home, arriving at approximately 11:14 am.
“There was a deceased individual that was the ex-wife of a Bolingbrook police sergeant… I went upstairs into the residence and was shown where the decedent was.” “What part of the second floor?” “In a bathroom, off of a bedroom…I seen a Caucasian female, lying in a bathtub.”
The witness identifies a Polaroid photograph he took that morning. “It is a photograph of the decedent lying in the bathtub.”
VanOver noticed slight rigor mortis, pooling of blood, abrasions. The tub that Savio was in had no water in it and the drain was closed.
Defense objects to photo being shown in court. Sidebar

Drew Peterson’s trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio continues today. On Friday, Kathleen Savio’s older sister, Anna Doman, testified about her sister telling her that she was afraid she would be killed by Peterson and never make it to the division of assets in their bifurcated divorce. She told about a suitcase full of documents that her sister was keeping in her SUV, and how Kathleen told her to collect it in the event that anything happened to her. Doman also talked about the days after Kathleen’s death, of Peterson coming to Savio’s house and his “frantic” search for certain items. Under cross-examination, she stated that she had tried to tell authorities about Kathleen’s fears but that no one listened to her until 2007, when she met Greta VanSusteren at Sharon Bychowski’s house and was told that FOX news might help her to get a new autopsy for her sister.

Deputy Coroner, Mike VanOver, Evidence technician Robert Deel; investigator Patrick Collins, Will County Coroner, Patrick O’Neil and Bolingbrook police officer, James Coughlin, are on the prosecution witness list for today.

Kristopher Peterson turns eighteen this week and is expected to attempt to have his name withdrawn from a wrongful death civil suit against Peterson filed by his grandfather and aunt. His brother, Thomas, did the same when he turned eighteen two years ago. At that time he also wrote a letter in support of his father.

As always, we’ll have our eyes and ears open and will be posting updates. Check back throughout the day for the latest news and don’t forget to check the comment thread.

We’re following:
Jon Seidel
Adam Grimm
In Session
Glenn Marshall
Diane Pathieu
Kara Oko
Beth Karas

~By commenting you agree to be bound by the rules of this blog. You can contact admins directly by sending an email to petersonstory@gmail.com.~


50 thoughts on “Drew Peterson trial – day five. Death scene investigators, deputy coroner take the stand

  1. Could be. .IIRC, Peterson started rounding people up about 7-9. Locksmith called, locksmith arrived, lock picked, people went up, discovered body. Drew called for help. EMTs came, EMTs did their work and left. There was a wait for investigators to arrive. Conceivabley it could have been that long.

    My guess is he’s going from records of what transpired, so it’s probably correct.

    Does seem late tho, doesn’t it?

  2. Why did the defense object to the mention of an empty tub and a closed drain? Was it overruled or sustained?

  3. I was wondering because it sais 11:14 a.m. but then they kept saying night. If I recall, the EMT said he arrived on the scene at 10:25, which I thought was rather late, but I’m sure they have it all timestamped out on their records. He hasn’t said whether Drew was present or not.

    I am supposed to be working, so many thanks for posting what is happending!

  4. From a Suburban-life story no longer online:

    State police Master Sgt. Bryan Falat worked the Savio death investigation when he was a trooper on loan to the agency’s investigation division. He testified on the 12th day of the hearsay hearing that he repeatedly urged Collins, the lead agent on the investigation, to approach the case as if something more sinister than a slip-and-fall accident had occurred in Savio’s bathtub.

    For example, Falat suggested re-interviewing the friends and neighbors who found Savio’s body. He advised that allowing Drew Peterson to be questioned in the lunchroom of the Bolingbrook police station, where Peterson had worked as an officer since 1977, might not be the most prudent course of action. And he spoke against allowing Peterson to be present for the interrogation of his much younger, new wife, Stacy Peterson, which was held in the basement of the couple’s house.

    Collins did not heed any of Falat’s objections or recommendations. He apparently was already under the sway of the third member of the investigative team, state police Crime Scene Investigator Robert Deel who — despite the first-degree murder charges now facing Peterson in connection with Savio’s death — still believes she was the victim of nothing more than an accident.

    Collins did not heed any of Falat’s objections or recommendations. He apparently was already under the sway of the third member of the investigative team, state police Crime Scene Investigator Robert Deel who — despite the first-degree murder charges now facing Peterson in connection with Savio’s death — still believes she was the victim of nothing more than an accident.

    ‘I don’t care why …’
    Collins testified at the hearsay hearing that he had never worked a homicide when he was sent to Savio’s home and that he deferred to the judgment of Deel, a 24-year veteran of the state police.

    Deel collected no evidence during his investigation of the Savio death scene. He overlooked a glass of orange juice on her kitchen counter, a mug of water in her microwave and a condom Falat says he told him was in a bathroom wastebasket. Deel denies Falat told him about the condom — which Savio’s boyfriend says he did not put there. Either way, Deel conceded that he did not look in the wastebasket, or any other trash receptacles, during his investigation.

    Deel also failed to check for the clothes Savio was wearing before she took her supposed death bath, or to document whether there were any towels in the bathroom. And he neglected to dust for fingerprints or conduct chemical blood testing.

    When she was found in the tub, Savio had an inch-long bloody gash on the back of her head, which she apparently sustained during the “accidental” fall before she drowned. But Deel did not find it strange that he could find no blood or hair on any of the surfaces around the tub.

    Savio’s body also bore the marks of scratches and extensive bruising, but it was not enough to raise Deel’s investigative radar. As he put it, “The bruises on the body are insignificant to me.”

    The fact that Peterson and Savio, who while legally divorced were still in the midst of a contentious property dispute that was due to wrap up in the coming weeks with Savio claiming hundreds of thousands of dollars in the couple’s assets, including a portion of her husband’s pension, was also lost on Deel. As was Peterson and Savio’s acrimonious and violent history, which was lowlighted by 19 calls to the police and allegations of assault, battery, theft and harassment. Motive, after all, does not come into play when Deel probes a potential murder.

  5. What do you guys think so far about the PROs and def, and the testimony of the peeps, do any of ya think drew will walk or not i say nope ,… and what your thoughts on the win glass stuff

  6. I think the wine glass testimony will be related to testimony of an old GF of Peterson’s. She’s going to testify that Drew told her that Kathleen passed out in the tub after drinking wine and taking pills.

  7. I think that there was some intimidation from some higher ups to hide the true details of the death. I think this Deel guy is in on it. Buddy buddy with Peterson and therefore covers Peterson’s tracks. That’s my amateur armchair detective speaking….

  8. Bear in mind that Drew Peterson does not say nice things about the ISP (although maybe that’s only since his investigaton and arrest).

    IMO, Deel was just lazy and incompetent.

    His investigation of the Christopher Vaughn case has also been questioned and Will County prosecutors asked that Deel never process another crime scene in their county again. He was placed on patrol.

  9. Well…Savio happened before Vaughn, but Stacy disappeared after Vaughn (shortly afterwards).

    I think they started looking at Deel as possibly being incompetent in 2007 after Stacy disappeared 9which would still be after Vaughn).

    Who’s on first!?

  10. “They are trying to create this inference that a poor investigation was done”

    No inference…it was half-assed no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

  11. Is it wrong to find Steve Greenberg’s interview with Beth Karas rather amusing? I mean really Steve, you were one of the biggest mouths declaring how guilty Drew was BEFORE you joined the team. 🙄

  12. Defense is going to use the orange juice to try to establish that Kathleen was starting her morning at the time of her death.

    IMO, since crime tech deal took no fingerprints, there’s no way to establish who touched that glass (could have been more staging by Drew) so the evidence should be tossed.

  13. Deel was there to collect evidence, not form an opinion as to whether or not this was an accidental death. He failed to collect evidence which could have helped investigators and coroner determine how Kathleen Savio died.

  14. BTW, this is what Joel Brodsky said on his FB page about one of the motions filed today:

    There will be a motion filed today (Tuesday August 7, 2012) which asks that Dr. Baden disclose the details of his conversations with former LA Detective Mark Furman where they agreed that Kathy Savio death was a homicide before her body was even exhumed!!! Was an acccident bad for business for Dr. Baden and Mr. Furman? Ever hear the phrase “self fulfilling prophecy”?

  15. Maybe this is why they want to get Baden’s testimony out so bad:

    BADEN: Well, from the beginning we’re talking about from the rigor mortis and the lividity that was present when Kathleen was found in the tub about 11:00 PM would indicate that she died sometime between, say, 2:00 and 6:00 AM Monday morning, I think just the time that Mark has found out that Drew doesn’t really have an alibi. Whatever it is, whoever did it, was done — she died around 4:00 AM, plus or minus two hours, on Sunday morning.

  16. If you want to read back over the day’s proceedings, I saved all the In Session updates here:

  17. Meanwhile Stephen Peterson had a hearing today:

    A judge has ordered Oak Brook officials to review and explain their firing of former police officer Stephen Peterson, who was dismissed after taking possession of three guns belonging to his infamous father, Drew Peterson.

    DuPage County Judge Terence Sheen said in a written opinion Tuesday that the village board of fire and police commissioners “failed to sufficiently explain the basis of its decision” to fire Stephen Peterson. The opinion — issued as Drew Peterson’s murder trial entered its second week in Will County — sends the employment case back to the village for review.

    “We’re pleased because apparently the judge has some questions about whether there was sufficient evidence to explain the termination,” said Fraternal Order of Police attorney Tamara Cummings, who represents Stephen Peterson.


  18. Is this trial a joke?
    Posted by Michael Miner today at 08.12 AM

    "The Shark"
    Joseph "The Shark" Lopez is a lawyer on Drew Peterson's defense team. Having volunteered for the duty, he's also blogging about the trial for the Sun-Times, which carries his "Swimming With the Shark" blog posts in its pages.

    "He approached us," Sun-Times editor in chief Jim Kirk tells me. "Don't know what kind of permission he received from Peterson, but I'm assuming he got it. We debated internally whether there were reasons not to run a blog from him, and at the end of the day we couldn't come up with one. Obviously we read it carefully and would reconsider if we thought he were about to cross any lines."

    I couldn't come up with a reason either, although I have a feeling I just wasn't thinking about it hard enough. The Sun-Times is boasting that Lopez "offers his take on the trial’s daily proceedings and insight into the trial process," but I haven't noticed his take and insight amounting yet to a hill of beans.



  19. I believe it was a good day for the Prosecution? Maybe? But then one never knows how the Jury is perceiving things

  20. ” He says he noted that her contacts case was open and upside down and that he did not see contact lenses in the tub but also didn’t know if they were in Savio’s eyes”

    Why would her contact lenses not be in their case with the case closed if she was taking a bath in the middle of the night/early morning ??

    Is it normal for people to bathe with their contactlenses in – and if not why would you put your contact lenses in their case but leave the case open ?

    I always thought the last thing anyone wants to do is lose their contact lenses ???

    Why would Kathleen have been any different ……

  21. It looks like the prosecution had a good day, along with good witness testimony. Their testimony today was enough to make the jury see it was highly doubtful her position, and the size of the tub that she died from drowning like the defense is claiming.

    Did you guys see Nancy Grace last night? If you did you seen a very frustrated person who wasn’t allowed to distort the facts, or twist them around on tv last night 🙂

  22. It did seem like a good day for the prosecution, didn’t it?

    The defense had been acting as if nothing about the ISP’s bungled investigation would even make it to trial, but Judge Burmila seems to think it’s relevant. I sure do!

    I don’t think it will be much of a blow if Coughlin’s testimony is struck, even. He heard something bad but it may or may not have been a joke. Not the strongest evidence.

  23. Yes it did Facs, I see the state slowly building their case, even with the tough beginning to this trial. The defense is doing all they really can, and that is just to try to shoot everything down. Their continued playmenship to the media really brings home what this is all about for them. This is not about justice for them, but about winning. I guess defense attorneys have to be the bottom of the scum to be able to sleep at night defending the sometimes obviously guilty. This particular team I believe is very despicable, as I think they know DP IS guilty I think it will all add up in the end, and then of course, its up to the jurors

  24. The first date I can find on “Swimming with the Shark” is yesterday. My guess is that this is the replacement for all the twittering that Judge Brumila put a stop to in court last week.
    Spending enough time on the pity pot means sooner or later you’ve got to flush. I think Lopez found the handle with the “Sun-Times”

  25. “Did you notice that the contact lens case was open and upside down?” “Yes.” “Know if there werecontact lenses in her eyes when the autopsy was performed?” “I do not
    know.” “Know if there werecontacts in the tub?” “I wear contacts, and I know what they look like. If I had seen them in the tub, Iwould have noted them.”

    I am still mulling over the contactlenses.

    What this man says doesn’t make any sense.

    He is looking at a woman dead in a bath tub for two days.

    Her hair is matted and there is no water in the tub (slowly drained out, whatever), yet he can take one look at the tub and can see there are no contactlenses anywhere in the tub ……

    REALLY …….

  26. They looked like a pair of happy divorce lawyers.

    But Drew Peterson was clearly irritated.

    He complained to a Bolingbrook police colleague that the two men looked happy “because they’re getting all of my money.”

    Then, Peterson turned his ire towards his ex-wife, Kathleen Savio, saying “my life would be easier” if she were dead, Lt. James Coughlin testified Tuesday, recounting what Peterson allegedly told him during a chance meeting at the Will County courthouse in February 2004.

    A few weeks later, Savio drowned in her bathtub and Coughlin said he quickly went to investigators to relay Peterson’s seemingly prescient comment.


  27. I’ve read and re-read what Facsmiley posted from the Suburban Life article on the initial investigation of Kathleen Savios death.

    I can’t figure out how Deel became an investigator as he didn’t really do any sort of investigation or gather evidence as most investigators do. He merely walked through Kathleen’s home and made some observations, but failed miserably when it came to crime scene analysis and evidence collecting.

    The following paragraph is the one that bothers me the most……………….

    Deel collected no evidence during his investigation of the Savio death scene. He overlooked a glass of orange juice on her kitchen counter, a mug of water in her microwave and a condom Falat says he told him was in a bathroom wastebasket. Deel denies Falat told him about the condom — which Savio’s boyfriend says he did not put there. Either way, Deel conceded that he did not look in the wastebasket, or any other trash receptacles, during his investigation.

    If Deel or any competent investigator had collected that glass of orange juice, the mug of water in the microwave, and the condom……..this case may have been solved 8 years ago!

    Finger prints could have been taken from the orange juice glass and mug of water. They may have been Kathleen’s, but what if they weren’t???

    The used condom would have likely yielded DNA evidence. If it wasn’t Kathleen’s boyfriend, Steve, it would confirm his testimony that the condom wasn’t his.

    What I wonder is if Drew raped Kathleen, and in the course of that rape, beat her, which would account for the bruises she had?

    We know what Stacy told her pastor, Neil Schori. She said that Drew came home in the wee hours of the morning and stuffed a bag full of woman’s clothing into the washing machine.

    That clothing likely contained a lot of evidence of the savage attack on Kathleen, yet Deel never even looked for the very obvious clue………..when a woman prepares to take a bath, she removes her clothing, and that clothing should have been evident……..in a pile on the bathroom floor, or in the bedroom, or in a clothes hamper.

    Deel was either incompetent or uninterested in making a determination of the cause of death in this case.

  28. JAH,
    Yeah isn’t that something? He also seen a bottle of spot carpet cleaner, and there is blood visible from a wound but he doesn’t find that suspicious either?. If you see carpet cleaning products out , and she was bleeding from a wound, wouldn’t that make you want to see if there was blood anywhere else? Or an area in the house that might of been cleaned recently? This guy did absolutely nothing!

  29. Facs,
    I agree with you about the ISP’s testimony whatever it may be. The ISP, BPD, and the EMT’s, Coroner, Mary, The Locksmith etc, were all first hand witnesses as to what they saw, and heard at the scene. There wasn’t physical evidence taken, just pictures, an autopsy, and first hand accounts of what was witnessed. Everyone so far is saying the same thing, it didn’t seem right for a drowning, The way she was positioned didn’t fit a fall in the tub. They also seen visible wounds, that looked fresh, and not healed yet.They all seen blood, in the back of her head. So that kind of throws Brodsky’s idea out the window from saying this happened during the autopsy, or from the casket underground with animals, and water lol It happened before anybody touched her when they arrived. So the first, and second autopsy matches with saying there was visible signs of a struggle before her death.

  30. WLS talked to Diana Grandel:

    CHICAGO (WLS) – Drew Peterson wrote “incriminating” jail-house love letters about the death of Kathleen Savio and the disappearance of Stacy Peterson, but those letters were destroyed in a 2010 house fire, the woman he wrote to told ABC News.

    Peterson, 58, is currently on trial for the murder of Savio, his third wife, who was found dead in her bathtub in 2004.

    Savio’s death was initially ruled an accident, but after Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared in 2007, Savio’s body was exhumed as part of the investigation and the cause of her death was changed to homicide. Peterson was then charged with murder.

    Peterson has denied wrongdoing in both of his wife’s cases.

    Diana Grandel, 40, the woman whom Peterson wrote love letters to while in jail, told ABC News that some of Peterson’s letters, including the ones that dealt with details of Savio’s death and Stacy Peterson’s disappearance, burned in a house fire in 2010.

    “Some of the things Drew and I talked about, a lot of the letters that are more incriminating to him, burned in the fire when my house burned down,” Grandel said. “He told me that (Stacy) took nothing with her, and in another interview he said she took bikinis and a purse. But he offered me the bikinis, the purses, the clothes, he offered me all of it. Everything, you name it, he offered it to me.”
    “I don’t. …believe it for a second,” Grandel said about Peterson’s claim of innocence.

    Grandel exchanged steamy letters with Peterson while he was in prison, rekindling a relationship that had begun when she was a teenager and he a Bolingbrook, Ill., cop 17 years her senior. Grandel would not elaborate on their relationship when she was younger.

    “I lost touch with him when I turned 18 and I got a serious boyfriend. I wasn’t into hanging out with cops anymore, so I lost touch. When I heard he got in trouble my first thought was, you know, I need to support this guy. This just is not him, it couldn’t have happened this way,” she said.
    In the letters obtained by ABC News, Peterson told Grandel he loved her and asked her for detailed descriptions of her body and explained what he would do with her in bed once he was out of jail.

    “My love, no one on the planet has been lied to or used more than I have,” he wrote in one letter. “YOU ARE MY ONE AND ONLY ROMANTIC INTEREST. Sweetie you need to understand that I am a fun loving guy and sometimes I can’t stop the obnoxious things that come out of my mouth.”

    “I have an idea,” he wrote in another letter, dated April 15, 2010. “Don’t ask questions, just answer mine. OK. Where are you staying? How long will you be there? Tell me your sizes, HEIGHT – WEIGHT – BODY MEASUREMENTS – SHOE SIZE – BRA SIZE.”

    The two wrote letters for more than six months, but stopped after Grandel began to suspect that Peterson was not telling the truth about what happened to his wives. In 2010, Grandel’s house caught fire, taking with it some of Peterson’s letters and all of Grandel’s belongings. Peterson then offered Grandel the clothes of his ex-wife Stacy.

    “After he offered to give me Stacy’s clothing when my home burned down, I had a change of heart,” Grandel said.

    After having been moved by her insurance company to a hotel room and then a new apartment, Grandel said she missed her home so badly that she began to believe that Peterson’s story about Stacy taking off from their home without a word in 2007 could not have been true.

    “I thought, there’s no way this girl walked away from everything for no reason. And I thought, this guy killed Stacy, and I thought I didn’t want anything to do with that, so I told him I didn’t want to speak with him anymore because my opinion had changed,” she said.

    Grandel hasn’t spoken to Peterson since August 2011.


  31. “My love, no one on the planet has been lied to or used more than I have,” he wrote in one letter. “YOU ARE MY ONE AND ONLY ROMANTIC INTEREST. Sweetie you need to understand that I am a fun loving guy and sometimes I can’t stop the obnoxious things that come out of my mouth.”

    That’s funny because he was telling Diana that the same time he was writing romantic letters to another young lady and demanding a commitment from her because he was “in love” with her.

    Ah well, no one has ever said that the an isn’t a pig.

  32. From Stacy Peterson Facebook page:

    ACTIVIST SUPPORTERS!! Especially survivors of domestic violence or know somebody who has been affected by domestic violence. Defense has had too much attention. We need to have everyone remember the victims, Kathy & Stacy and the others whose voices can no longer be heard.

    Bring Your Signs And Lets Join Outside The Courthouse! We Will Be The Voices of The Victims!! Lets Let Them Be Heard!!!

  33. His voice quaking slightly as he testified, the former Illinois State Police investigator who prosecutors allege botched the inquiry into Kathleen Savio’s drowning appeared nervous on the witness stand Tuesday as he defended his work.

    Robert Deel told a prosecutor he kept an open mind during the 2004 investigation but now considers Savio’s death a slip-and-fall accident based on what he found in her bathroom the night her body was discovered.

    “I believe that is consistent with someone who could slip, fall and bang her head,” Deel said of her body’s position in the bathtub. He said there was a “consensus” among investigators that night that Savio’s death was likely an accident.

    As the Drew Peterson trial entered its second week, prosecutors were in the unusual position of calling and attacking a former state police investigator who disagrees with the basic premise of their case — that Savio’s death was a homicide. A coroner’s jury working off the original investigation concluded it was an accident.

    On Tuesday, prosecutors tried to pick apart Deel’s policing skills and questioned what he didn’t do during the Savio investigation. Prosecutors also called to the stand an assistant coroner who testified he had suspicions that Savio had been murdered, though he did not voice them for years.

    After Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy, vanished in 2007, authorities exhumed Savio’s body, performed a second autopsy and declared her death a homicide. Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police sergeant, is on trial in Savio’s death. He is the sole suspect in Stacy’s disappearance but has not been charged…

    …Defense attorneys tried to burnish Deel’s reputation Tuesday, asking him about his extensive criminal investigation experience gained from 26 years with the Illinois State Police.

    Deel said he processed more than 500 crime scenes, investigated about 50 drownings while serving on a police marine unit and investigated about 10 murders in his career. But his career took another turn after Stacy Peterson disappeared, and prosecutors asked that he never process another crime scene in Will County.

    He was then reassigned to patrol.


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