Four years since Drew Peterson’s arrest for murder. What has changed?

another new mugLast Tuesday marked four years since Drew Peterson was arrested and charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. So, what has transpired since then?

Trial Status

Today: Jury selection for Drew Peterson’s trial began on July 23, 2012. Opening statements began on July 31st and the first witness was also called that day. Testimony continued through August 30. Closing arguments were heard on September 4 and jury deliberations began. On September 6, after two days and 14 hours of deliberations, the jury found Drew Peterson guilty in the first degree of murdering Kathleen Savio. On February 21st Drew Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison, minus the four years he spent in jail awaiting trial. Peterson was moved from the Will County Adult Detention Center, where he had been living since his arrest, to Stateville Prison and then was transferred shortly thereafter to Pontiac Prison and then Menard Correctional Facility. The City of Bolingbrook is reviewing the status of Peterson’s $79,000/year pension to see if it can be revoked.

Legal Representation

Today: Immediately after Peterson’s murder conviction, his defense team began to publicly point fingers and blame each other for losing the case. Paving the way for an appeal based on ineffective assistance of counsel, Joel Brodsky first got in Drew’s ear and was able to get Steven Greenberg fired from the defense team. But by October, Greenberg had spoken to Drew and was back on the team. Soon after, a team of three attorneys who had not represented Peterson in the murder trial filed a motion of ineffective assistance against Joel Brodsky. After much public and private name calling, letter writing, and motion filingJoel Brodsky withdrew from Peterson’s defense. He then filed a defamation suit against Steve Greenberg, two media outlets and specific reporters. Attorney David Peilet of Clarendon Hills and John Heiderscheidt joined the defense team. At a post-sentencing hearing, Judge Edward Burmila said that he was “shocked” at comments Brodsky had made on TV regarding his representation of Drew Peterson and had a transcript of the hearing sent to the ARDC. In March of 2013, the rest of Peterson’s defense team announced that they were stepping aside and turning over the appellate phase of Peterson’s defense to the state public defender’s office.

One year ago: In September, Attorney Walter Maksym was asked to “step aside” from the legal team after he was criticized by the federal appeals court for filing “unintelligible” court papers that were “riddled with errors”. As the case neared trial, it was announced that Atty Joe Lopez would be presenting closing arguments.

Two years ago: After months of rumors of arguing and even a physical incident, Reem Odeh left the partnership and withdrew from the Peterson defense team in September 2010. In February of 2011, Lisa Lopez, wife of Joe Lopez, assisted with the oral arguments regarding the hearsay decision before the Appellate court, which were presented by Steven Greenberg.

Three years ago: Andrew Abood and George Lenard withdrew from the case in April of 2010, citing irreconcilable differences with Joel Brodsky. John Paul Carroll had a complaint filed against him in September and appears to have left the case. Attorneys from Brodsky & Odeh, Steven A. Greenberg and Associates, Law Offices of Meczyk Goldberg, Joseph R. Lopez, P.C., and Walter P. Maksym Jr. then made up the “Seven Samurai” representing Peterson in court.

Four years ago: Brodsky & Odeh, Abood Law, and John Paul Carroll represented Drew Peterson. George D. Lenard joined the case in December of 2009.

Media Exposure

Today: Drew Peterson was able to address the court and the public with a statement at his sentencing hearing. Rather than expressing remorse, he shouted out “I did not kill Kathleen” and then issued a long self-pitying rant.

One year ago: The Sun-Times continued to shill for Peterson. On April 17 they featured a sympathetic story and cover photo of Drew Peterson after the state won their appeal to get more evidence admitted to his trial for murder.

Two years ago: Despite the gag order prohibiting interviews, Peterson spent 2011 writing letters and statements that were provided to the media, in particular to gossip columnist for the Chicago Sun Times, Michael Sneed.

Three years ago: Drew was prohibited from giving interviews to the press.

Four years ago: Drew’s last interview was given over the phone to a WLS radio show host, Eric Mancow Muller, from jail on May 27, 2009. He also gave one other in-jail phone interview on May 15, to Matt Lauer of the Today show.

Judges

Today: Judge Burmila presided over Peterson’s trial and sentencing.

One year ago: On May 4, 2012, Judge Edward Burmilla was assigned to the case.

Two years ago: Judge Stephen White retired in October 2010.

Three years ago: Judge Stephen White presided over the case.

Four years ago: Judge Richard Schoenstedt was first assigned to the case; then Judge Carla Alessio-Policandriotes and finally Judge Stephen White. Will County Chief Judge Gerald Kinney made the new appointments. Judge Daniel J. Rozak set Peterson’s bond.

Hearsay Evidence

Today: The defense continued to file motions to bar as  much of the hearsay evidence as possible leading up to Peterson’s trial. They were also able to challenge each piece of hearsay evidence as it was introduced at trial and were able to keep out more in that way. At trial Kathleen Savio’s sisters and some friends were allowed to testify to statements she had made to them about fearing Drew Peterson would kill her. Pastor Neil Schori was only allowed to testify to what Stacy had told him alone. The discussions he had with Drew and Stacy in their home were deemed inadmissible. Scott Rossetto’s testimony was also deemed unreliable after the prosecution made some errors with the dates and he didn’t get to take the stand. Although the defense had fought to keep out the testimony of Attorney Harry Smith, whom Stacy Peterson had called with questions about a possible divorce, eventually it was Joel Brodsky who called him to the stand in an attempt to impeach Stacy’s words to Neil Schori. Smith testified that Stacy had asked if she could get more money out of Drew if she threatened to tell “how” he had killed Kathleen Savio. Many believe this to be the evidence that cinched the conviction. A final breakdown of witnesses shows that more than 85% of the evidence presented at Drew Peterson’s trial was physical, forensic and circumstantial. Less than 15% was hearsay. Although media reports were quick to cite “Drew’s Law” as being a factor in the introduction of hearsay to Peterson’s trial, those reports were erroneous as the state had earlier asked the appellate court to reconsider Judge White’s hearsay rulings under the common law rules of forfeiture and they agreed.

One year ago: After the appellate court did not reconsider the barred hearsay statements due to a missed deadline, the State appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court which decided that the appellate court should consider the evidence on its merits. In April the appellate court reversed Judge White’s decision and decided that the hearsay statements were reliable and admissible in court. Peterson’s defense announced that they would not appeal and wanted instead to go to trial.

Two years ago: The judge’s decision regarding the hearsay statements was leaked in July 2010, revealing that possibly fewer than five of the 15 statements being considered were to be allowed. This decision was appealed by the prosecution. During February oral arguments before the appellate justices, States Attorney Jim Glasgow was asked what he now wanted to “hang” his argument on. Glasgow said that he chose “804 (b)” or, in other words the common law doctrine that is part of the Illinois Rules of Evidence (rather than the so-called “Hearsay Law”).

Three years ago: In October 2009, Peterson’s defense lost a motion to declare the act unconstitutional. Hearsay evidence and witnesses were heard during hearings in January 2010.

Four years ago: The Hearsay Statue (Drew;s Law) was passed into legislation November, 2008

Peterson Family

Today: In November 2007, a Federal judge threw out Stephen Peterson’s lawsuit against the Village of Oakbrook and Thomas Sheahan. Peterson then went back to Illinois Circuit court to try to get back his job, but lost that complaint in March of 2013.
Kathleen Savio’s two sons, Thomas and Kristopher are in college. Thomas Peterson testified on his father’s behalf towards the end of his trial.

One year ago: Stephen Peterson was appealing his dismissal and filed a Federal lawsuit in July 2011.

Two years ago: In August 2009, Stephen Peterson was suspended for accepting and hiding weapons for his father, shortly after the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. In February 2010, Peterson was fired from Oak Brook Police Force and appealed his dismissal.  Thomas Peterson wrote a letter and made a filing asking to be removed from the Savio family’s civil suit against Drew Peterson. This has not been granted yet. Tom Peterson was chosen as valedictorian of his graduating class.

Four years ago: Drew’s four youngest children were left in the care of their step-brother, Oak Brook Police Officer, Stephen Peterson.

Savio Family

Today: Sue Savio has continued to make appearances to speak out about her sister and against domestic violence. Anna Savio Doman and Henry Savio are still pursuing a wrongful death suit against Drew Peterson.

Cales Family

Today: Cassandra Cales continues to search for her sister.

Drew’s Love Life

Today: Drew Peterson continues to enjoy correspondence with numerous pen pals.

One year ago: Gossip columnist Michael Sneed reported that Peterson had over 20 pen pals (male and female), at least four of whom contributed to his funds at the commissary so that he could enjoy snacks while he awaited trial.

Two years ago: In August 2010 we heard that Christina Raines was engaged to a new man. In February 2011 we obtained a photo of Chrissy with her fiancé. In April 2011, an old acquaintance of Drew’s, Diana Grandel, released some letters from Drew in which he made sexual comments to her and offered Stacy’s clothing to her.

Three years ago: In January Raines posted a status update on her Facebook page stating, “I met someone who i fell in love with and very happy with. I think i just about gave up on drew with all his lies i dont even really visit him anymore.” and then, “But his kids i love dearly and still visit with them they are good kids”

Four years ago: Christina Raines was at the house that Drew and Stacy Peterson shared at the time or his arrest and was also taken into custody. She removed her belongings from his home shortly afterwards. Raines is on the list to visit Drew in jail.

Stunts

Today: All quiet on the part of Drew Peterson. His legal team seems to have picked up the torch as far as media shenanigans. Restaurateur Jeff Ruby attended Drew Peterson’s trial and was charged with contempt when he reportedly mouthed “Fuck you” at Peterson. Ruby went on to offer a $100,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of Stacy Peterson’s remains.

One year ago: Besides frequent mundane snippets in the gossip columns about Peterson’s life in prison, all has been quiet.

Two years ago: While Drew’s bids for attention were mostly curtailed due to his detention, his lawyer and PR people continued to pepper the news with updates and letters from him detailing everything from his life in jail to his opinions about the legal decisions regarding his children. Kathleen’s oldest son, Tom, was the subject of news stories and wrote his own letters to the press in support of his father.

Three years ago: Soon after Drew’s arrest he attempted to have his motorcycle auctioned off on eBay. He was asking for $50,000 and offered to apply a decal with his signature on the bike. eBay removed the auction for violation of its “murderabilia” rules.

Four years ago: At the time Drew was arrested, he was preparing to fly out to the Bunny Ranch Brothel in Reno, Nevada, to see if he would be a good fit as head of security there.

Stacy Peterson

Today: Areas of Hammel Woods in Shorewood were searched for five days in November 2012, utilizing the FBI and cadaver dogs. Some officials stated that it was a training mission, while others told the press that they were indeed looking for the remains of Stacy Peterson. Nothing was found.

One year ago: Airings of the movie, “Drew Peterson: Untouchable” brought about some new tips and offers of assistance in regards to the search for Stacy Peterson.

Two years ago: In August 2010, based on a tip, searches for Stacy’s remains took place near Peoria. No evidence was found.

Three years ago: Still missing with no sightings or communication from her.

Four years ago: Missing. No communication from her since October 28, 2007. Searches were ongoing.

Drew Peterson says his sons lied under oath. Bye-bye alibi…

At Drew Peterson’s latest hearing Judge Burmila ruled that Kathleen Savio waived her attorney-client privilege when she asked her divorce lawyer, Harry Smith, to speak out in the event that anything happened to her. He is now free to testify that Savio spoke and wrote to him about her fears that her husband would kill her and make it look like an accident–fears that he had dismissed as “paranoia” until she was found dead in the bathtub of the home she had shared with Drew Peterson.

Judge Burmila did cede in part to the defense by deciding that in waiving the privilege, Smith would need to testify as to anything that Kathleen had told him in confidence, including any statements that might be inclulpatory. Specifically, the defense is eager to have Smith testify that Savio may have lied under oath during a battery case involving a 2002 incident wherein Kathleen attempted to grab a camcorder from Stacy Peterson.

Defense attorney, Steve Greenberg is so excited at the prospect of smearing the reputation of the dead woman that he couldn’t help but crow to the press that the State might decide to not have Harry Smith testify at all, but “if they don’t, we might.”

Joel Brodsky excitedly posted about the far-reaching implications of a possible Savio perjury exposure on his Facebook page:

…Indications are that Kathy Savio took the stand and denied her guilt, and if that is the case, then she lied under oath in the battery case. If that is shown to be true then nothing Kathy Savio said can be believed or taken as reliable evidence in a court of law.

That’s a very interesting statement. Interesting because it appears that Kathleen Savio was not the only person who may have lied under oath about the incident of May 26, 2002.

In a recent interview with the Sun-Time’s Michael Sneed, Drew Peterson described how it came about that his ex-wife was acquitted of the battery charge. “She punched Stacy once in the face in front of the kids and was arrested. But she was found not guilty because the kids said she didn’t do it,” he is quoted as saying. So, not only did Kathleen Savio lie under oath about striking Stacy Peterson, but so did Tom and Kris Peterson?

Drew Peterson is saying that his sons Tom and Kris lied under oath to protect their mother. According to Joel Brodsky that means that nothing they said can be believed or taken as reliable evidence in a court of law.

This is bad news for Drew Peterson since those two boys are his only alibi for his whereabouts on the weekend of February 28-29, 2004.

Since his arrest in 2009 Peterson’s attorneys have been trotting out Drew’s kids to vouch for him, calling them his “lock-tight alibi”. Thomas Peterson even appeared on TV with is dad to state his belief that his dad is innocent, claiming “I highly do not believe that my dad had murdered my mom because, first off, he wasn’t there. He was with us during that period of time.”

In no way do I mean to accuse those boys of being bad people, or of being in any way involved in the murder of their mother. But I don’t think anyone would argue with the fact that children will go to great lengths to please a parent and to fight to keep what family they have intact.

However, if those kids lied under oath once before to protect a parent, what would keep them from doing it again? If it’s true that Savio lied about striking Stacy Peterson then it must also be true that Tom and Kris lied as well, and wouldn’t that destroy their credibility as witnesses for the defense?

By the way, I believe that the Will County Adult Detention Facility records all inmate conversations with visitors. Is it too late for the State to subpoena the recordings of Peterson’s conversation with Sneed?

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What gag order? Drew Peterson gives an interview to the press and invites you to his pity party

Once again Drew Peterson is sending out invitations to his pity party via the Chicago Sun-Times gossip columnist, Michael Sneed.

For three years Peterson has been getting around Judge Stephen White’s ruling that the judge must be notified before conducting any interviews from jail by penning self-pitying and finger-pointing letters to the media. Now, with his trial less than two months away, Peterson added a gossip columnist to his visitor’s list and granted an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed. Sneed is rumored to be a pal of Peterson’s lawyer, Joel Brodsky, and has published many Peterson missives in her column over the last few years. Is gossip exempt from the judge’s gag order?

…anyone associated with the case, including Peterson, his defense lawyers and prosecutors, must notify the judge before conducting any media interviews.

We’ll leave it to the State’s Attorney to decide whether this latest “Poor Drew” public appeal breaches the ruling. At Justice Cafe we’ll just ask exactly who it is that Drew Peterson thinks has called him “sinister”? He says he is tired of being labelled as such but danged if we can find a single instance of anyone labeling the man with that particular adjective.

This complaint from Peterson is nothing new. He’s been complaining that the media loves to paint him in a sinister light because “sinister sells” since well before his arrest and long before a fictionalized biopic called “Untouchable” aired on the Lifetime channel. Drew Peterson’s original complaints about his sinister coverage were aimed at news reports that simply laid out the facts of the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, and the mysterious death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

A search of this very web site turns up seven pages of comments in which either Drew Peterson or his defense have complained about his “sinister” portrayal and not one instance of any person or media entity referring to him as sinister. The closest I could find was this use of the word from a Chicago Tribune story from 2008. It asks only if something sinister could have happened to Kathleen Savio:

The investigators and experts re-examining her death as a possible murder are now asking how police could have been so quick to overlook signs that something sinister may have happened to the third wife of Drew Peterson, then a sergeant for the Bolingbrook Police Department.

We’re baffled as to why, when his trial is just about to start, Peterson is again attempting to plead his case to the public. Any good defense lawyer will tell you that the best thing you can do when charged with a crime is to shut your mouth, but then maybe that’s the problem. Peterson’s main defense attorney, Joel Brodsky, has continually trotted out his client like a circus act, counter to common wisdom.

In this latest case, we couldn’t help but notice that Peterson claims that the woman he is charged with murdering was once acquitted of a battery charge because her boys, Tom and Kris, lied for her under questioning. These are the same two boys who were trotted out to support their dad on TV in the face of a civil suit. These are the same two boys who will undoubtedly be called upon in the upcoming trial to supply an alibi for their dad on the night their mom was killed. Did Drew really mean to tell the public that they will lie to protect a parent?

That doesn’t seem too smart.

Peterson is expected back in court Wednesday morning for motions and a hearing in the afternoon.

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Will Drew Peterson’s murder trial be dismissed because of Harry Smith?

Last Friday, Drew Peterson appeared in court for the first time in almost two years. A new Judge was appointed to his trial for murder and his defense team also filed a number of motions which were then impounded.

One of the motions asked that the murder charges be dropped because of the testimony offered by Wheaton attorney, Harry Smith. Smith testified at the Grand Jury which indicted Peterson, and again later at a pre-trail hearing to test the admissibility of fifteen hearsay statements.

Peterson’s team says that by offering up testimony regarding Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson, that Smith violated attorney-client confidentiality and called it the “worst breach of attorney ethics”. They feel the breach is so grievous that not only should Smith not be allowed to testify at Drew’s trial, but that Peterson’s entire case should be thrown out of court.

Since Smith was Savio’s attorney, we can only presume that she is the client in question here, and there is no doubt that Smith represented Kathleen during her divorce from Drew Peterson, but their relationship ended abruptly with her death in the 2004, and he was officially dropped when the executor of Kathleen’s will (Peterson’s Uncle, James Carroll) informed him that his services were no longer needed.

Seeing as Kathleen had asked Smith to go to police in the event that she died and to tell them that Drew had killed her, it would seem that by talking, he is only fulfilling his obligations to his client, rather than breaching any confidentiality.

Of course it’s easy to see why Peterson’s defense would try to keep Harry Smith from testifying. He has a good deal of compelling testimony to deliver on the stand. He will testify that Stacy Peterson (not a client of his) spoke with him twice in the week before her disappearance. She told him that she wanted to divorce Drew Peterson and asked if she could get more money from the divorce if she threatened to tell the police what she knew about Peterson killing his third wife. She told him that “Drew was pissed because he thinks I told (his son) Tom that he killed Kathy”. Peterson told the media that he was “shocked” to learn that Stacy had had discussions with Attorney Smith.

Smith may also testify that at the time of Kathleen’s death, things were not going well for Drew Peterson in the later stages of his contentious divorce from Savio, and that Peterson was aware of it and angry. Smith testified at the pre-trial hearing that shortly before Savio was found dead, a judge had told him and Peterson’s attorney that she was about to recommend that Savio be allowed to keep the couple’s Bolingbrook home, receive a share of his police pension, child support and some money from the sale of a bar the couple had owned.

In march of 2008, Harry Smith gave a lengthy interview to Roe Conn on WLS-AM 890 in Chicago. At that time he could not mention what Stacy had told him about Drew killing Kathleen, but he gave a full account of his dealings with both Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson. It’s a good listen.

Acandyrose has a complete transcript of the above interview.

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Three years since Drew Peterson’s arrest for murder. What has changed?

On Monday it will be three years since Drew Peterson was arrested and charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Since that day he has resided at the Will County Adult Detention Facility in Joliet awaiting trial. So, what has changed since May 7, 2009?

Trial Status

Today: At a pre-trial hearing on May 4, 2012 Peterson’s defense team indicated that they could be ready to go to trial in 60-90 days.

Legal Representation

Today: In September, Attorney Walter Maksym was asked to “step aside” from the legal team after he was criticized by the federal appeals court for filing “unintelligible” court papers that were “riddled with errors”. As the case nears trial, it has been announced that Atty Joe Lopez will present closing arguments.
One Year ago: After months of rumors of arguing and even a physical incident, Reem Odeh left the partnership and withdrew from the Peterson defense team in September 2010. In February of 2011, Lisa Lopez, wife of Joe Lopez, assisted with the oral arguments regarding the hearsay decision before the Appellate court, which were presented by Steven Greenberg.
Two years ago: Andrew Abood and George Lenard withdrew from the case in April of 2010, citing irreconcilable differences with Joel Brodsky. John Paul Carroll had a complaint filed against him in September and appears to have left the case. Attorneys from Brodsky & Odeh, Steven A. Greenberg and Associates, Law Offices of Meczyk Goldberg, Joseph R. Lopez, P.C., and Walter P. Maksym Jr. then made up the “Seven Samurai” representing Peterson in court.
Three years ago: Brodsky & Odeh, Abood Law, and John Paul Carroll represented Drew Peterson. George D. Lenard joined the case in December of 2009.

Media Exposure

Today: The Sun-Times continues to shill for Peterson. On April 17 they featured a sympathetic story and cover photo of Drew Peterson after the state won their appeal to get more evidence admitted to his trial for murder.
One year ago: Despite the gag order prohibiting interviews, Peterson spent 2011 writing letters and statements that were provided to the media, in particular to gossip columnist for the Chicago Sun Times, Michael Sneed.
Two years ago: Drew was prohibited from giving interviews to the press.
Three years ago: Drew’s last interview was given over the phone to a WLS radio show host, Eric Mancow Muller, from jail on May 27, 2009. He also gave one other in-jail phone interview on May 15, to Matt Lauer of the Today show.

Judges

Today: On May 4, 2012, Judge Edward Burmilla was assigned to the case.
One year ago: Judge Stephen White retired in October 2010.
Two years ago: Judge Stephen White presided over the case.
Three years ago: Judge Richard Schoenstedt was first assigned to the case; then Judge Carla Alessio-Policandriotes and finally Judge Stephen White. Will County Chief Judge Gerald Kinney made the new appointments. Judge Daniel J. Rozak set Peterson’s bond.

Hearsay Evidence

Today: After the appellate court did not reconsider the barred hearsay statements due to a missed deadline, the State appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court which decided that the appellate court should consider the evidence on its merits. In April the appellate court reversed Judge White’s decision and decided that the hearsay statements were reliable and admissible in court. Peterson’s defense announced that they would not appeal and wanted instead to go to trial.
One year ago: The judge’s decision regarding the hearsay statements was leaked in July 2010, revealing that possibly fewer than five of the 15 statements being considered were to be allowed. This decision was appealed by the prosecution. During February oral arguments before the appellate justices, States Attorney Jim Glasgow was asked what he now wanted to “hang” his argument on. Glasgow said that he chose “804 (b)” or, in other words the common law doctrine that is part of the Illinois Rules of Evidence (rather than the so-called “Hearsay Law”).
Two years ago: In October 2009, Peterson’s defense lost a motion to declare the act unconstitutional. Hearsay evidence and witnesses were heard during hearings in January 2010.
Three years ago: The Hearsay Statue was passed into legislation November, 2008

Books, Plays and Movies

Today: In June 2011, the Annoyance Theater in Chicago presented a satirical play, Waiting for Drew Peterson, about two sisters obsessed with Drew Peterson. In January of 2012, the Lifetime movie network aired the movie, “Drew Peterson: Untouchable“. Based on Joe Hosey’s book, Fatal Vows, it broke all viewing records for the network. In February of this year, the Raven Theater of Chicago presented, Dating Walter Dante, a play inspired by the love life of Drew Peterson.

Peterson family

Today: Stephen Peterson is still appealing his dismissal. His next court date is scheduled for May 9.
One year ago: In August 2009, Stephen Peterson was suspended for accepting and hiding weapons for his father, shortly after the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. In February 2010, Peterson was fired from Oak Brook Police Force and appealed his dismissal.  Thomas Peterson wrote a letter and made a filing asking to be removed from the Savio family’s civil suit against Drew Peterson. This has not been granted yet. Tom Peterson was chosen as valedictorian of his graduating class.
Three years ago: Drew’s four youngest children were left in the care of their step-brother, Oak Brook Police Officer, Stephen Peterson.

Drew’s Love Life

Today: Gossip columnist Michael Sneed reports that Peterson has over 20 pen pals (male and female), at least four of whom contribute to his funds at the commissary so that he can enjoy snacks while he awaits trial.
One year ago: In August 2010 we heard that Christina Raines was engaged to a new man. In February 2011 we obtained a photo of Chrissy with her fiancé. In April 2011, an old acquaintance of Drew’s, Diana Grandel, released some letters from Drew in which he made sexual comments to her and offered Stacy’s clothing to her.
Two years ago: In January Raines posted a status update on her Facebook page stating, “I met someone who i fell in love with and very happy with. I think i just about gave up on drew with all his lies i dont even really visit him anymore.” and then, “But his kids i love dearly and still visit with them they are good kids”
Three years ago: Christina Raines was at the house that Drew and Stacy Peterson shared at the time or his arrest and was also taken into custody. She removed her belongings from his home shortly afterwards. Raines is on the list to visit Drew in jail.

Stunts

Today: Besides frequent mundane snippets in the gossip columns about Peterson’s life in prison, all has been quiet.
One year ago: While Drew’s bids for attention have been mostly curtailed due to his detention, his lawyer and PR people continued to pepper the news with updates and letters from him detailing everything from his life in jail to his opinions about the legal decisions regarding his children. Kathleen’s oldest son, Tom, was the subject of news stories and wrote his own letters to the press in support of his father.
Two years ago: Soon after Drew’s arrest he attempted to have his motorcycle auctioned off on eBay. He was asking for $50,000 and offered to apply a decal with his signature on the bike. eBay removed the auction for violation of its “murderabilia” rules.
Three years ago: At the time Drew was arrested, he was preparing to fly out to the Bunny Ranch Brothel in Reno, Nevada, to see if he would be a good fit as head of security there.

Stacy Peterson

Today: Airings of the movie, “Drew Peterson: Untouchable” brought about some new tips and offers of assistance in regards to the search for Stacy Peterson. She is still missing.
One year ago: In August 2010, based on a tip, searches for Stacy’s remains took place near Peoria. No evidence was found.
Two years ago: Still missing with no sightings or communication from her.
Three years ago: Missing. No communication from her since October 28, 2007. Searches were ongoing.

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Stacy’s family, Kathleen’s son and Peterson react after viewing “Drew Peterson: Untouchable”

The family of Stacy Peterson watched the premiere of the Lifetime movie, Drew Peterson:Untouchable, from the Bolingbrook hotel where Stacy was working when she first met Drew Peterson. They later met with the news media and gave their impressions of the film.

Drew and Kathleen’s eldest son, Tom Peterson, made mention of the film with a dry comment on his Facebook feed: “I’d never thought I’d see it: public excitement, anger, and frustration over a new lifetime movie.” He goes on to state that his father was portrayed as a much bigger jerk than he is and that neither he nor his brother ever walked in on their parents having sex.

(Where did they get the idea for that scene? We’ve been asking around and no one will fess up to having told the writers this story.)

Earlier in the day Joel Brodsky brought a DVD screener to Drew Peterson to watch via his lawyer’s laptop, while detained in the Will County Adult Detention Center in Joliet. Peterson’s reaction was predictable. He deemed the movie to be “hysterical” and complained about the way his hairstyle was worn by actor Rob Lowe. Joel Brodsky seemed most concerned with making sure everyone knew that the movie was a fictionalized account of events, despite the fact that the movie has never been marketed as a documentary.

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Hearsay decision going back to appellate court for reconsideration

Today The Illinois Supreme Court ordered a lower court to reconsider whether eight (out of fourteen) hearsay statements should be allowed in Drew Peterson’s trial for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

The prosecution had petitioned the Supreme Court to look at the decision handed down in July, which deemed the state had filed its appeal too late. The state’s position was that a recent decision in the case of People v. Hanson constituted a change in the law which allowed them to appeal beyond the deadline. The state is seeking a decision on the hearsay statements based on common law statutes rather than a more constrictive and recent hearsay statute.

State’s Attorney, James Glasgow says, “I am extraordinarily pleased by Wednesday’s Illinois Supreme Court order in the matter of People v. Peterson. I look forward to receiving an Appellate Court ruling on the merits of our appeal in light of the Illinois Supreme Court’s holdings in People v. Hanson. We anticipate a trial sometime in the spring.”

This will mean a few more months of waiting for the appeal to be reconsidered, and few more months for Drew Peterson to sit in jail.

Gossip columnist Michael Sneed reports that Drew’s teen sons, Kris and Tom, visited him in jail for the first time on Saturday. Tom was home from college for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Watch the video below to see the State’s Attorney’s press conference from July. We’re kind of back there again.

Read more at:
Shorewood Patch
Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Tribune
Hanson Ruling

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Strapped for news, media resorts to writing Drew Peterson letters in jail

Not really the letter sent from WGN news to Drew Peterson


Here at Justice Café it’s drought season when it comes to news about the Kathleen Savio murder case and the case of missing Stacy Peterson. Since the televised arguments over Judge Stephen White’s hearsay decision back in February Drew Peterson has remained jailed and awaiting an opinion from the appellate justices…and with Drew on hold, the news is on hold.

In place of any news related to the case, gossipy items have taken its place. From time to time we hear about what is going on with some member of Peterson’s family or an ex-girlfriend. More recently we’ve been treated to private letters made public by way of the tabloids, or the occasional letter written by Drew to the media, just to make sure no one has forgotten him. (You know how he loves the media!) Since he was barred from giving phone interviews while in jail, letters have become Drew’s only option for reaching out to the public.

So what is a news outlet to do if they can’t talk to Drew? Why, join the ranks of the “wacky” and “sincere” ladies (to quote Joel Brodsky) who have become Drew Peterson’s pen pals, of course!

Today, WGN ran a story about a letter that their producer, Aline Wessel, wrote to Peterson in jail, and his reply. Foregoing the customary introductory questions that a first time correspondent might ask such as, “What is your favorite color?”, “Who is your favorite group?” or even “Do you like me?”, Ms. Wessel eased into things by establishing a connection between herself and Drew Peterson by letting him know that she had attended the sister high school of his high school. Small world!

Then she got down and dirty with questions like, “How is the food in jail?”, “How are you treated in jail?” and “Do you ever watch the WGN morning news?” I think my favorite question though was, “Are you dating anyone?” Could she really be oblivious to the fact that people detained in solitary confinement are not allowed visit people face-to-face much less go out for dinner and a movie?

OK, not all the questions were quite so insipid although a good 90% of them have been answered before in Drew’s own letters to the media and in his lawyers’ frequent press releases and sound bites. She did ask him if he felt responsible for his cop son, Stephen, losing his job (after accepting guns from his father after the disappearance of Stacy Peterson). Peterson replied that he did not feel responsible.

Peterson as usual, took the opportunity to criticize the State’s Attorneys office, the Illinois State Police and the former head of the Oak Brook police force, while bemoaning the sad state of affairs that keeps him behind bars awaiting trial (not his own actions, of course – he’s being railroaded!). One can’t help but wonder how a Q & A by letter is any different than an interview by phone and is in any way more permissible.

If I were to write a letter to Drew, I’d tell him to thank his lucky stars that he has a six-person defense team of experienced lawyers making sure that he benefits from the full measure of the law. How many other accused murderers could say the same?
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Two years since Drew Peterson’s arrest for murder. What has changed?

Two years ago, Drew Peterson was arrested and charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Since that day he has resided at the the Will County Adult Detention Facility in Joliet awaiting his trial which is on hold indefinately, while we await a decision by the appellate court on whether or not they will overturn Judge White’s decision on what hearsay testimony can be admitted. We’ve continued to follow the case this last year. So, what has changed since May 7, 2009?

Legal Representation

Two years ago: Brodsky & Odeh, Abood Law, and John Paul Carroll represented Drew Peterson. George D. Lenard joined the case in December of 2009.
One year ago: Andrew Abood and George Lenard withdrew from the case in April of this year, citing irreconcilable differences with Joel Brodsky. John Paul Carroll had a complaint filed against him in September and appears to have left the case. Presently, attorneys from Brodsky & Odeh, Steven A. Greenberg and Associates, Law Offices of Meczyk Goldberg, Joseph R. Lopez, P.C., and Walter P. Maksym Jr. made up the “Seven Samurai” representing Peterson in court.
Today: After months of rumors of arguing and even a physical incident at the law offices of Brodsky & Odeh, Reem Odeh left the partnership and withdrew from the Peterson defense team in September. In February of this year, Lisa Lopez, wife of Joe Lopez, assisted with the oral arguments regarding the hearsay decision before the Appellate court, which were presented by Steven Greenberg.

Media Exposure

Two years ago: Drew’s last interview was given over the phone to a WLS radio show host, Eric Mancow Muller, from jail on May 27, 2009. He also gave one other in-jail phone interview on May 15, to Matt Lauer of the Today show.
One year ago: Drew was prohibited from giving interviews to the press.
Today: Despite the gag order prohibiting interviews, Peterson has spent the year writing letters and statements that have been provided to the media, in particular to gossip columnist for the Chicago Sun Times, Michael Sneed.

Judges

Two years ago: Judge Richard Schoenstedt was first assigned to the case; then Judge Carla Alessio-Policandriotes and finally Judge Stephen White. Will County Chief Judge Gerald Kinney made the new appointments. Judge Daniel J. Rozak set Peterson’s bond.
One year ago: Judge Stephen White presided over the case.
Today: Judge Stephen White retired in October 2010. There is presently no judge assigned to the Kathleen Savio murder case.

Hearsay Evidence

Two years ago: The Hearsay Statue was passed into legislation November, 2008
One year ago: In October 2009, Peterson’s defense lost a motion to declare the act unconstitutional. Hearsay evidence and witnesses were heard during hearings in January 2010.
Today: The judge’s decision regarding the hearsay statements was leaked in July 2010, revealing that possibly fewer than five of the 15 statements being considered were to be allowed. This decision was appealed by the prosecution. During February oral arguments before the appellate justices, States Attorney Jim Glasgow was asked what he now wanted to “hang” his argument on. Glasgow said that he chose “804 (b)” or, in other words the common law doctrine that is part of the Illinois Rules of Evidence (rather than the so-called “Hearsay Law”). We are presently waiting on the opinion of the appellate justices.

Peterson family

Two years ago: Drew’s four youngest children were left in the care of their step-brother, Oak Brook Police Officer, Stephen Peterson.
Today : In August 2009, Stephen Peterson was suspended for accepting and hiding weapons for his father, shortly after the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. In February 2010, Peterson was fired from Oak Brook Police Force. He is presently appealing his dismissal. Son, Thomas, wrote a letter and made a filing asking to be removed from the Savio family’s civil suit against Drew Peterson. This has not been granted yet. Tom Peterson was chosen as valedictorian of his graduating class.

Drew’s Love Life

Two years ago: Christina Raines was at the house that Drew and Stacy Peterson shared at the time or his arrest and was also taken into custody. She removed her belongings from his home shortly afterwards. Raines is on the list to visit Drew in jail.
One year ago: In January Raines posted a status update on her Facebook page stating, “I met someone who i fell in love with and very happy with. I think i just about gave up on drew with all his lies i dont even really visit him anymore.” and then, “But his kids i love dearly and still visit with them they are good kids”
Today: In August 2010 we heard that Christina Raines was engaged to a new man. In February 2011 we obtained a photo of Chrissy with her fiancé. In April, an old acquaintance of Drew’s, Diana Grandel, released some letters from Drew in which he made sexual comments to her and offered Stacy’s clothing to her.

Illegal weapons charge

Today: After numerous appeals from both prosecution and the defense, weapons charges against Drew Peterson were dismissed in October 2010.

Stunts

Two years ago:When Drew was arrested, he was preparing to fly out to the Bunny Ranch Brothel in Reno, Nevada, to see if he would be a good fit as head of security there.
One year ago: Soon after Drew’s arrest he attempted to have his motorcycle auctioned off on eBay. He was asking for $50,000 and offered to apply a decal with his signature on the bike. eBay removed the auction for violation of its “murderabilia” rules.
Today: While Drew’s bids for attention have been mostly curtailed due to his detention, his lawyer and PR people continue to pepper the news with updates and letters from him detailing everything from his life in jail to his opinions about the legal decisions regarding his children. More recently Kathleen’s oldest son, Tom, has been the subject of news stories and has written his own letters to the press in support of his father.

Stacy Peterson

Two years ago: Missing. No communication from her since October 28, 2007. Searches were ongoing.
One year ago: Still missing with no sightings or communication from her.
Today: In August 2010, based on a tip, searches for Stacy’s remains took place near Peoria. No evidence was found.

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If Tom Peterson is his own man, why is Joel Brodsky all up in his business?


 
Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune ran a very nice story about Thomas Peterson, Drew Peterson‘s 18-year-old son being named as valedictorian of his high school, despite the death of his mother, the disappearance of his adoptive mother, and his father being charged with the murder of his mom.

Uplifting and balanced  as the Tribune story about Tom Peterson is, I can’t help going back to the fact that Joel and Drew’s PR firm sent out a press release about Tom being valedictorian, and I can’t get beyond the fact that Joel not only used the press release to market himself and his web site, but also to attack the the prosecution’s case, and as it also appears, to try to gain some ground towards getting Tom’s name off the civil suit the Savios have filed against Drew.

If you recall, the Savio’s lawyer, Martin Glink, has commented about that case:

“He’s basically saying, ‘I’m letting my father go regardless of what a jury may find,’ even if his moneys have been misspent,” But filing a release is not enough to make it happen, Glink said. “If someone is unduly influencing him, it’s a different story,” he explained.

So…maybe not too surprising that Joel Brodsky made a point of commenting about the Tribune story (via his facebook walll) with these words:

…He supports his dad Drew Peterson 1000% and as this article shows, Tommy is his own man, and nobody is pulling the wool over his eyes or making him do or say anything.

That’s really what this is all about, isn’t it? Continuing to use whatever means he can to benefit Drew, even the successes of Drew’s children. Why does Drew’s lawyer have any public opinion at all about the accomplishments of his client’s children? Does he host their birthday parties as well?

For heaven’s sake, Joel wants the public to believe that no one is manipulating this teenager, but it wasn’t Tom who sent out the press release, it was Joel Brodsky! His name is plastered all over it.

Lastly, watch the video again and listen for Tom to use Joel’s pet phrase “white noise”. At least Tom uses it correctly… :)