The case of police sergeant Drew Peterson from Bolingbrook, Illinois became recognized nationwide as the scandal continued to grow. In 2004, neighbors found Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio, dead in a bathtub after multiple phone calls to the police over the years. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning, and many believed that this really was the case for many years. When Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy, mysteriously disappeared 3 years later, people began to question whether Drew Peterson had something to do with the death of Savio and the disappearance of his current wife.
Peterson and Savio were married in 1992 after having an affair during Peterson’s second marriage to Vicki Connolly. In 2001, Savio and Peterson were married for almost 10 years before she was told that Peterson was once again having an affair, this time with 17-year-old Stacy. Peterson filed for divorce and continued to see Stacy while the steps towards divorce proceeded slowly. As time passed, the relationship between Savio and Peterson worsened, and the police were called to intervene in their relationship 18 times before 2003 (1). Savio’s sister, Sue Doman, even recalled Kathleen saying, “He's gonna kill me and it's gonna look like an accident" (2). The following year, on March 1, 2004, Savio was found dead in the master bathtub. “The tub was dry, but her hair was wet, and there was a gash on her head and blood in the bottom of the tub” (2). While her death was originally ruled an accidental drowning in 2004, her body was exhumed and re-examined in 2007 due to suspicions that arose from Stacy’s disappearance. The autopsy on Kathleen’s exhumed body was performed by former New York City chief medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden, and he determined that her death was a homicide (1) (see video below(4)). There was a one-inch gash on the back of her head, and multiple bruises that demonstrated signs of a struggle before her death. Drew Peterson was then arrested in 2009 with two counts of murder in the death of his third wife. Stacy Peterson’s body is still yet to be discovered.
While there is not much physical evidence leading Peterson to the murder of Savio, there were plenty of conversations and situations that Savio had with others where her life was clearly in danger. Savio continued to say that the police in Bolingbrook were not taking her seriously, and she began to believe that Peterson was manipulating them to do so (2). Many family members of Savio have been called to testify in court regarding, “how she was afraid for her life, she said she was afraid of Drew” (3). Another witness, co-worker Isaam Karam said, “that Drew Peterson threw Savio to the floor one night in 2003, grabbed her throat and told her he "could kill her there and then."” (3). Not only does this information make you question Peterson, but in 2007 Reverend Neil Schori from Plainfield said that while he was counseling Peterson’s fourth wife Stacy, she said that Peterson admitted in August to killing Savio (1). These testimonies could be crucial in convicting Peterson, but are they allowed to be used in court? All of this information is considered to be hearsay in Illinois, and right now the Illinois Supreme Court is ordering, “the appellate court to reconsider whether eight (out of fourteen) barred hearsay statements should be allowed in Drew Peterson’s trial for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio” (1). I think it is clear by the number of people that say negative things about Drew that he is not a good person, but is that enough to send him to prison? Although there is a lot more information and detail involved in this case, I believe that the information presented is enough to convict Drew Peterson.
I really wanted to write this blog because I wanted to hear what everyone believes. Do you think Drew Peterson is responsible for the death of Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson? Do you think hearsay should be allowed in this case?