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.

New Drew Peterson documentary

For the last month or so CNN has been working on a new documentary about the Drew Peterson trial, his new conspiracy charges and the lives of Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson.

For weeks they were doing research here on the blog and I was contacted by a producer named Max Newfield for help with source materials.

Sue Savio, sister of Peterson’s third wife, was interviewed for the special report and went to Facebook with her hope that her interview will help in her fight against domestic violence.

sue-doc

Pastor Neil Schori, who was the confidant of Stacy Peterson, had a positive experience with the production as well, stating that correspondent Jean Casarez was “great” and that she gave him “a chance to talk about how we can help victims” of domestic violence.

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Even Joel Brodsky, Peterson’s controversial lawyer,  seemed to have enjoyed his involvement.

joel-doc

But not everyone was thrilled to see the cameras. When Drew’s son, Stephen, spotted them in front of his father’s Bolingbrook house, he referred to the crew from CNN as “F’ing vultures” and bemoaned that “it never ends.”

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From the ad on CNN’s site, it looks as if Stacy’s Aunt Candace Aikin was interviewed as was Joe Hosey, author of the book Fatal Vows: The Tragic Wives of Sergeant Drew Peterson which was adapted for the Lifetime Movie, Drew Peterson:Untouchable.

CNN Special Report, Married to a murderer: The Drew Peterson Story, airs on Tuesday, June 30 at 9:00 Eastern and Pacific time. Check your local listings for channel.

UPDATE JULY 7: Peterson’s trial for the solicitation of murder (of State’s Attorney, James Glasgow) has been rescheduled for November 13. His lawyer wants to hire an expert witness and give them time to research, etc.

06/18/2015 Motion to Continue on file. Petition to Approve Expert Witnes Retention and Funding on file.

07/07/2015 Parties appear; motion hearings continued to 9-1-15, 9am; case set for jury trial selection on 11-13-15, 9am; jury trial set 11-16-15, 9am. Agreed Case Management Order on file. *copies given to all parties.

Stephen Peterson loses yet another attempt to get his job back

stephenIf you’ve been following the Drew Peterson case, then you’ll recall that his police officer son, Stephen Peterson, was fired from the Oak Brook police department in 2011 after it was revealed that he had accepted guns from his father in order to avoid their being confiscated during the investigation of the disappearance of Stacy Peterson.

Ever since that decision, Peterson, 34, has been fighting the loss of his position, appealing first to the Police and Fire Commission, then filing a $10 million Federal law suit which was tossed out. In March of last year another suit was rejected by the circuit court.

Now, in a unanimous decision written by Justice Ann Jorgensen, the Illinois Second Appellate District has upheld the decision of the circuit court.

“No one disputes that Stephen was, at least in some respects, cooperative (with the early investigation),” Jorgensen wrote. “He answered questions when asked, disclosed information about the last-minute will, and testified for the State in the grand jury proceedings. However, no amount of cooperation can overcome the poor judgment Stephen demonstrated in accepting the weapons and money from Drew, in failing to disclose the acceptance of those items until asked, and in continuing to insist that he did nothing wrong.

Maybe it’s time to look for some other form of employment.

Meanwhile, we are still awaiting the appeal of Drew Peterson’s 2012 conviction in the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Back in July, Peterson’s attorneys indicated that an appeal was to be filed within thirty days.

drews-advice

Apparently, Peterson is passing the time by playing life coach and handing out relationship advice to his female pen pals via prison correspondence.

Read more at the Tribune.
Read the Appellate Court’s decision.
Listen to the oral arguments of the appeal (December 2, 20132).

Firing of Stephen Peterson is upheld by circuit court – read the Judge’s decision

Stephen Peterson

Stephen Peterson

Today, Judge Terence M. Sheen rejected an appeal by Stephen Peterson and decided to uphold the Police and Fire Commission’s decision to fire him from the Oak Brook Police Department.

Peterson was fired in 2010 after he testified at Grand Jury about receiving guns and money from his father, Drew Peterson, shortly after Stacy Peterson went missing, effectively interfering with an ongoing investigation.

The younger Peterson argued that guns were often lent between police officers and that he was unaware of an investigation at the time that he accepted the guns from Drew Peterson.

But, in truth the story of Stacy Peterson’s disappearance was already on the news when the gun hand off happened on October 30, 2007, and even Stephen testified that he had accepted the guns because they were his father’s “favorites” and that Sergeant Peterson didn’t want them to be damaged when they were seized, which indicated that they were both aware of an ongoing investigation.

Judge Sheen’s decision concludes that:

“In this case, it was in no way arbitrary or unreasonable for the Board to conclude that Officer Peterson exhibited conduct incompatible with continued service as a police officer. Therefore, this Court finds that Officer Peterson’s conduct, when viewed in its entirety, warrants the sanction of discharge.”

Peterson had already appealed the decision of the commission but it was denied. He also filed a federal law suit which was dismissed in November of 2012.

Today’s decision:

Peterson has indicated that he will appeal this decision.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune

Stephen Peterson loses his $10 million federal lawsuit

Today marks another court loss for the Drew Peterson family. The wrongful termination suit filed in July 2011 by Drew Peterson’s son, Stephen Peterson, was thrown out of court when a federal judge sided with the Village of Oak Brook who fired him for interfering with an investigation.

Stephen Peterson was fired from the force in February of 2011, after his testimony at Grand Jury revealed that he had voluntarily accepted guns from his father in order to avoid their being confiscated during the investigation of the disappearance of Stacy Peterson.

Both Stephen and his father Drew Peterson have claimed that the officer was unfairly targeted because of his relationship to the murder defendant (now convicted of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio), although the younger Peterson’s complaint stated that Sheahan’s animosity towards Peterson began even before Stacy’s disappearance. No explanation is offered for the alleged dislike.

Here’s the Judge’s opinion:

Peterson’s complaint:

The charges against Stephen Peterson that ultimately led to his firing:

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Stephen Peterson’s complaint against former police chief Thomas Sheahan, et al

Stephen Peterson


Ahead of a pending court date in Circuit Court for a judicial review of the decision that cost him his job, Drew Peterson’s son filed a multimillion-dollar federal lawsuit accusing Oak Brook’s former police chief of conspiring with another official to boot him from the Oak Brook police force.

Stephen Peterson was fired from the force in February of 2011, after his testimony at Grand Jury revealed that he had voluntarily accepted guns from his father in order to avoid their being confiscated during the investigation of the disappearance of Stacy Peterson.

Both Stephen and his father Drew Peterson have claimed that the officer was unfairly targeted because of his relationship to the murder defendant, although the complaint states that Sheahan’s animosity towards Peterson began even before Stacy’s disappearance. No explanation is offered for the alleged dislike.

You can read the new complaint below:

If you need a refresher, here are the charges against Stephen Peterson that ultimately led to his firing:

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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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