The name of Stacy Peterson has scarcely been heard during Drew Peterson’s trial for murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Jurors may know that she was his fourth wife but will almost certainly not hear anything about her going missing in 2007, and will certainly hear nothing about her being assumed dead and possibly murdered by Peterson.
But there’s something else that is having a hard time finding its way into this trial, and its something that haunts the proceedings perhaps more intimately than even another wife. It’s Kathleen Savio’s estate. The estate that Drew Peterson was awarded in April of 2005.
If you listen to the defense tell it, after Kathleen’s death the marital aspects were actually split as if Kathleen was a living person and her half went to her estate. End of story.
Of course, the story didn’t end there. Drew produced the hand-written joint will from 1997 (“Hahaha, tell your sister, Anna, she’s not getting anything!”) which was accepted as her own, and 100% of her inheritance went to her ex-husband. The executor of the will was Drew’s Uncle, James Carroll (whose first action was to fire Savio’s lawyer, Harry Smith). But although Savio’s family successfully reopened Kathleen’s estate and won their appeal to become executors in 2009, there is still a pending probate suit and nothing has gone through the courts to prove that Peterson got anything more than he deserved.
This is the part that isn’t coming in to trial because as Peterson defense attorney Greenberg says, it would constitute a trial within a trial.
Yet if it doesn’t come in, how is this justice for Kathleen since it seems that Peterson’s sole motivation to kill her was monetary gain through grabbing all of the marital assets?