Has Stephen Peterson come to accept that his father is a murderer?

Yesterday the Lifetime Movie Network aired the season 2 premiere of their show, Monster in My Family, with Drew Peterson as the subject.

The somewhat exploitative show features the family members of convicted murderers telling of the struggles they face due to the nefarious actions of their loved ones and meeting with the families of victims to ask for forgiveness.

Kathleen Savio’s sister, Sue Doman (Savio), appeared in this episode as did Drew Peterson’s adult son Stephen Peterson.

It was surprising to see Stephen Peterson taking part in the show since he has eschewed interviews during the nine years or so since Stacy Peterson disappeared and his father became a household name.

It was more surprising, yet, that LMN promoted the show by saying that Stephen has now accepted that his father is a killer and that he had sat down with Kathleen’s sister in an attempt at reconciliation between the two estranged families.

Surprising, because Stephen has been taking care of Drew Peterson’s children since his father was arrested for murder in 2009, and lost his job on the Oak Brook police force when it was determined that he had interfered with an investigation when accepting guns and money from Drew in the days after Stacy’s disappearance.

Although Stephen has shied away from the publicity that his father eagerly courted and never publicly stated his stance, it has long been assumed that he supported Drew and was at best ignorant of his father’s crimes – at worst aided and abbetted them.

For years Stacy’s sister, Cassandra Cales, has stated publicly that she is not allowed to visit with her young niece and nephew because Drew has told Stephen not to allow it.

cass-facebook-kids

I watched the show with some interest but came away with more questions than answers about Stephen Peterson and his relationship to his father, and to the Savio and Cales families.

The show’s host, Melissa Moore, daughter of Keith Hunter Jesperson, known in the media as the “Happy Face Killer”, first interviewed Stephen asking, “Do you think your dad killed Kathleen?”

“I’d probably say so…That’s probably the first time I ever said out loud that I think he probably did it.” He replied. He expressed disappointment in his father that he says grew over time. “I don’t think he realizes what he’s done to Stacy’s family, Kathy’s family, our friends the kids – everybody.”

stephenlmn

He said he didn’t agree with Stacy adopting Tom and Kris after Kathleen’s death because it erased Kathy from her sons’ birth certificates, but Drew did it anyway. Stephen thought it was done as a ploy to keep Stacy from leaving.

As for agreeing to meet with Sue Doman in a sort of Catfish type of set up, Stephen said he was willing to do it so that she and everyone else would see that he is not his father. “I would love some sort of closure for her or the kids but you know it won’t come from him (Drew).”

At the meeting Sue told Stephen that she hated Drew and had hated Stephen as well, believing him to possibly have been involved in her sister’s death. He told her that he was not and that he had thought Drew was innocent at the time of the murder.

sue-stephen

There was discussion about the rift between the two families and the fact that the Savios had been cut out of the lives of Kathleen’s sons. Stephen said he hoped that would change.

This part of the discussion struck me as odd since Thomas and Kris are now adults and living independently. They are free to now see whoever they wish and I know that Sue and Tom have been in contact on Facebook, so this isn’t really an issue that Stephen has any control over.

On the other hand Stacy’s children are still minors and living with Stephen at Drew’s home, yet there was no mention of attempting to reconcile with the Cales family or grant Cassandra the visitation that she has long been asking for.

If Stephen has truly had a change of heart and wants to do right by his father’s victims, why on earth wasn’t this addressed during the show?

I try not to be cynical but I am fearful that Stephen Peterson isn’t sincere about the change to his attitude and beliefs.

I find it interesting that the turnabout has come only after another 40-year sentence has been tacked on to Drew’s prison time, essentially convicting him for life, and after Drew finally lost his pension – the pension that Stephen was receiving to help raise Stacy’s two children.

Somehow, I can’t help but believe that this late game change of heart has come about either at the behest of or with the blessings of Drew Peterson, in hopes that public opinion of Stephen Peterson will be swayed and with it, the return of Drew’s pension.

I do think it’s wrong to punish the child for the crimes of the father but I’ll have an easier time believing in Stephen Peterson when his transformation is complete and publicly includes both the Savio and the Cales families.

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9 thoughts on “Has Stephen Peterson come to accept that his father is a murderer?

  1. Nice points in your article. I finally watched the show and I’m not sure Stephen’s edit served it’s total purpose. I did not find myself feeling much sympathy on his part, mostly because of his participation in Drew’s antics when Stacy disappeared. Usually when family members are “embarrassed” by the father’s behavior, the family members pull away, as did Stephen’s brother. Did we ever see evidence of this? I don’t think so, but I’m open to examples if my memory is poor. With that being said, I hope this was a honest and sincere step forward on Stephen’s part. He DOES SOUND and Speak like Drew Peterson. YIKES! He also is a man who needs to figure out his future career. Drew’s gravy train is drying up and he needs to figure out a way to stand on his own two feet again. Who is willing to hire Drew Peterson’s adult son, who may eventually face another highly media covered trial for Stacy?

  2. Again, I’m not attempting to discredit Stephen’s initiative to make amends, but there were a couple of things that bothered me in the interview. Granted, the interview was subject to editing and a viewer doesn’t actually see everything that was actually said and in the order it was said, so Stephen’s words could have been rearranged and spliced together, but it seemed the producer wanted us to feel sorry for him. Yes, Stephen lost his job and marriage over the choices he made in siding with his father, but he could have taken the high road at any time. Yes, he was given guardianship of the kids, but it came with money attached. Isn’t Drew and Stacy’s home paid for? Is this a man who has had to give up golf, hockey, boating, fishing, baseball games, concerts, vacations, etc. in order to escape a jobless life and raise the children? Stephen at one point in the interview compared his loss to that of Sue Savio’s. When he made that comment, my empathy level for him dropped. Tom, Kris, Lacy, and Anthony, have forever lost their mothers to the hands of Drew Peterson. I don’t think such a loss can be compared to your siblings or their respective families. Stephen, you can train for a new career, get married again, raise your daughter, etc. The Savios and the Cales cannot replace their losses. There are family members more than willing to assist with the children. Those kids deserve the best life possible.

  3. SL, I feel exactly the way you did about Stephen’s appearance.

    On the show Stephen was referred to numerous times as Drew’s oldest son, but it’s actually Eric who is the oldest and Eric chose to cut all ties to his father in 2003 after witnessing the domestic violence between Drew and Kathy and seeing his father taking up with a 17-year-old.

    If you remember, Eric testified at the hearsay hearings in 2010.

    Asked whether he still loved his father and whether he thought he had been a good dad, Eric Peterson paused for a long time before twice answering, “no.”

    Meanwhile, Stephen was Drew’s right-hand-man in the days, months and years following Stacy’s disappearance and is only now changing his allegiance and speaking out – now that he has no job and has lost the monthly allowance from his father. It could be coincidental, and I agree that we can’t base our opinions on a TV-edit, but I’m finding it hard to swing 180 degrees after observing the situation for 9 years.

    My sympathies still lie with the Savios, the Cales and with the kids who have been robbed of both a mother and a father, some of them robbed of TWO mothers.

    I do believe Stephen when he says that Drew will never own up to his actions or accept responsibility for them and it’s really rough that the rest of his family have to take on the burden of his actions.

    It’s awful all around. There are no winners.

  4. “Sneed hears convicted wife murderer Drew Peterson has instructed his former attorney, Joel Brodsky, to tear up his will naming his son, Stephen, as executor of his estate.

    Peterson, who is serving time at the Menard Correctional Center for murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and conspiracy to murder Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, told Brodsky he has written a new will.

    Sneed is told Peterson informed Brodsky the will naming his son executor of his estate he made while incarcerated in the Will County Jail awaiting trial should be “destroyed because it was no longer valid.”

    Reached for comment, Brodksy said he couldn’t comment on the specifics of the Peterson letter, which he “received a few months ago — but now the timing makes sense.”

    Brodsky was referring to a Lifetime cable network show that aired in January where Stephen revealed he believed his father “probably” killed Savio and probably killed his father’s missing fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.

    Stephen, who said he still loves his father, lives in his father’s Bolingbrook home where he is acting as guardian of Drew and Stacy’s two young children and until last summer, used his father’s pension payments to support the family. He lost his job in 2011.

    The producers of the Lifetime show titled it: “Monster in My Family.””

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/sneed-exclusive-rauners-chicago-violence-plan-more-state-police/

  5. For the record, I doubt that the change in the will has anything to do with what Stephen says publicly. Stephen is still raising Drew and Stacy’s children and living in Drew’s house. If Drew no longer trusted him would that still be the case?

    Also, why would Drew be contacting Joel Brodsky to do ANYTHING for him? Drew blames Brodsky for losing his murder trial and putting him in prison. He fired Brodsky years ago. Stephen Greenberg is representing Drew in his appeals and also in the murder-for-hire trial (which he lost).

    I suppose it’s possible that Brodsky helped Drew write up his most recent will and that is why he might have contacted him to change it. But, it seems odd.

    In light of the fact that Stephen was paid $10K to appear on “Monster in My Family” it sounds more like the old Drew coming up with schemes to keep his name in then news for profit. A faked family rift isn’t very compelling but what else can he do from behind bars? Oh, I know. confess to what he did with Stacy!

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