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.”

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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.

Video: Oral arguments in appeal of Drew Peterson Murder conviction

Today attorneys for Drew Peterson and the State of Illinois presented their oral arguments to the Supreme Court of the state.

Law professor Harold Krent and long-time Peterson attorney Steve Greenberg argued for Peterson, while assistant attorney general Leah Bendik argued for the state.

Attorneys are hoping for an answer from the court by Spring. Here are the arguments in their entirety.

Tuesday: Illinois Supreme Court to hear arguments in Drew Peterson’s appeal of murder conviction

Drew Peterson arrested

Oral arguments in Drew Peterson’s appeal of his 2012 conviction for the murder of Kathleen Savio are scheduled to be heard tomorrow, November 15, at 9:30 in Springfield.

I expect Steve Greenberg (and possibly law professor Harold Krent) will be arguing for Peterson, while assistant attorneys general Michael Glick and Leah Bendik will most likely be arguing for the state.

If you’ve been following this case since it was first appealed, a lot of it is going to be familiar ground; with hearsay, conflict of interest, ineffective counsel, and attorney-client privileges being some of the points of contention.

If you want to get up to speed on the appeal in advance of tomorrow’s proceedings, then fire up those reading glasses, pop a Tylenol and power through the legal briefs filed by both the appellant and appellee teams:

BTW, Stacy Peterson has now been missing for nine years. Her sister, Cassandra Cales, recently went to Facebook to state that if Stacy’s remains are found she will sue for them. She says she is still denied access to her niece and nephew who are in the custody of their half-brother, Stephen Peterson. Peterson was fired from his position as a law enforcement officer in Oak Park, after it was determined that he accepted guns and money from his father during the investigation of Stacy’s disappearance in 2007.

Read: Drew Peterson’s petition to get his pension returned

On August 2, Drew Peterson’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, filed a petition for an administrative review of the revocation of his police pension which was revoked in June, after his conviction for the solicitation of the murder of States Attorney James Glasgow.

The petition claims that Peterson’s annual $79k was unlawfully revoked because his 2012 murder conviction was not related to and did not arise out of his “service as a police officer”.

In November 2007, after the disappearance of Peterson’s fourth wife Stacy Peterson, the Bolingbrook Chief of Police wanted to fire him but Mayor Claar overruled the decision and let Peterson retire with full pension, which has been being used to raise Stacy Peterson’s two children, Anthony and Lacy.

Recently released covert tapes of Peterson’s conversations with a prison snitch revealed Peterson stating that Bolingbrook Mayor, Roger Claar, “Saved my pension.”

saved-pension

The matter of Peterson’s pension has been under review by the Bolingbrook Police Police Pension Fund board since his 2012 conviction for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. I find it interesting that only after the tapes and transcripts were made public was Peterson’s pension finally revoked.

Exhibit “A” to the petition is the board’s decision and order to strip Peterson of his pension and it outlines the legal reasons and arguments for doing so.

Drew Peterson sentenced to 40 years for arranging hit on prosecutor

UPDATE 2:36: Drew Peterson was sentenced to 40 years.

Per the Chicago Sun-Times:

In a 20-minute address to the judge, Peterson continued his complaints against his attorney. Peterson contended he never truly intended to carry out a plot to kill Glasgow but rather was setting up a scam so his fellow inmate could rat out Peterson and get a reduced sentence. Peterson contended that his attorney failed to call up to 16 fellow inmates at trial who could have testified about the scam.

Peterson also said during his statement to the court that he has been suicidal while behind bars.

On Friday, closing his remarks, Peterson looked over toward Glasgow in the courtroom and said, “I never did try to have you killed. You can think what you want.”

Outside the courtroom, Glasgow said he was not persuaded by the words of a man he called “a patronizing con man.”
“He’s deluded,” Glasgow said.

According to the Chicago Tribune:

On Friday, Peterson said he knew he was being recorded the whole time and his words were all part of a scam to help Smith bring the evidence to authorities to get Smith a reduced sentence.

Clad in a ruffled white button-down shirt, black pants and white Nike basketball shoes, Peterson claimed several other inmates were aware of the plan as well. Peterson said at the time of the recordings, over several weeks during November 2014, he was suicidal and didn’t believe he would live to see the scam come to fruition.

Also,

Peterson showed no reaction as Brown handed down the sentence. As he left the courtroom, Peterson said something quietly to Cassandra Cales, the sister of Peterson’s missing fourth wife, Stacy.

Cales, who was seated in the gallery, responded to Peterson: “You killed Stacy.”

Reporter Andy Grimm heard the comment a little differently:

“Give up my sister then kill yourself.”

Judge Brown denied a motion for Peterson to get a new attorney, and also denied a motion for a new trial.

State’s Attorney Glasgow Statement on Drew Peterson Sentence

Drew Peterson was convicted in Randolph County earlier this year of the solicitation for hire of my murder. The sentence handed down today by Judge Richard Brown sends a clear message that convicted criminals will be punished severely if they attempt to take revenge on the prosecutors who have placed them behind bars for their crimes.

While I was the target in this case, it is important to note that this crime is not about me. It is about every State’s Attorney and every Assistant State’s Attorney who takes on the important role of prosecuting criminals and protecting our citizens. This was not merely a threat to one prosecutor. It was an attack on our entire criminal justice system by a notorious murderer who always felt he could act outside and above the law. Prosecutors across our state must have assurances that they are safe once these criminal enterprises are uncovered.

Once again I extend my heartfelt thanks to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan for accepting this case for prosecution and to Assistant Attorneys General Steve Nate and Bill Elward who worked alongside Randolph County State’s Attorney Jeremy Walker to secure a guilty verdict and significant sentence. The Illinois Department of Corrections was critical to the execution of the overhears, and the FBI provided the cutting-edge technology that made these recordings possible. Thank you all for protecting the integrity of our criminal justice system.

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At 1:00 today Drew Peterson will be in court to be sentenced for his solicitation of murder conviction.

His intended target, State’s Attorney James Glasgow, will make a victim’s impact statement and Peterson may also speak.

Peterson is already serving a 38 year sentence for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, which would have kept him behind bars until the age of 92.

The new sentence could add at least 35 years to his earlier sentence which he has been serving at Menard Correctional Facility in Chester, Illinois.

Peterson recently wrote a letter to Judge Richard Brown, complaining about this representation by his court-appointed defender, Lucas Liefer.

Last week a motion for leave to withdraw was filed for Peterson’s case so it remains to see who will be sitting next to Peterson in court today.

I will update this post later today with news as I hear it. Randolph county does not allow cameras, lap tops or phones in the courtroom and today there is no overflow room available to reporters, so live tweets will not be available. Please check the comment thread for current updates.

In the meantime, Drew can look forward to a continued lifetime of writing letters to women from behind bars, offering signed photos of himself (but not of his kids or wives) and begging for bikini pics of them and their (female) friends.

Drew Peterson letter and photo

Listen: secretly recorded Drew Peterson prison conversations

Yesterday the secretly recorded conversations between Drew Peterson and prison snitch Antonio Smith were made public.

The hours of recordings were played in court last month during Peterson’s trial for solicitation of murder and helped the jurors decide to convict Peterson of attempting to put out a hit on State’s Attorney James Glasgow.

Glasgow was the lead prosecutor in Drew Peterson’s 2012 trial for the murder of Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Here are some clips.

Drew Peterson’s pension revoked

And I’m sure it has nothing to do with the transcripts of the covert prison recordings from 2014 being released which included this exchange:

saved-pension

Via WJOL:

the Bolingbrook Police Pension board has revoked Drew Peterson’s ($79,000-per-year) pension.

The termination is effective immediately.

All five members voted to revoke the former convicted Bolingbrook police officer’s pension.

Peterson was found guilty this week of trying to hire someone to kill Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow.

The Pension Board met Wednesday night. Drew’s son and daughter were at the meeting along with attorneys.

Peterson is serving 38 years for killing his third wife.

He will be sentenced in July and faces up to 60 years for the murder for hire conviction.

By “Drew’s son and daughter” I assume they are referring to Stacy’s children, Lacy and Anthony, and that Stephen brought them to the proceedings in an attempt to elicit sympathy as he has been using his father’s pension money to support the two of them.

Via The Chicago Sun-Times

Peterson was on-duty and in uniform when he called in a welfare check request to Bolingbrook Police in 2004, and his fellow officers entered Savio’s home and found her body in a bathtub, said Atwell, who reviewed transcripts of Peterson’s month-long 2012 trial.

Peterson’s decades of experience as a police officer helped him cover up the murder, and his ties to the department were crucial to his nearly getting away with the crime…