Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The Blue Barrel: Popping the Lid on Drew Peterson, Kathleen Savio & Stacy Peterson?
The blogosphere is electric with reports that police may be ready to name who helped former Bolingbrook cop Drew Peterson move a large blue plastic barrel out of his house right after fourth wife Stacy Peterson disappeared. Chips off that barrel, large enough to contain Stacy's body, were discovered in Peterson's SUV.
The Chicago Fox affiliate broke the news . The blue barrel, reportedly about a 55 gallon drum size, was moved from the Peterson bedroom to parts unknown.
More strange news from the Peterson bedroom (other than having a blue pool chemicals barrel as part of the decor): Stacy's nightstand is reported to be missing. Stacy, Peterson's fourth wife, is also missing, not that Peterson seems to be too upset about that.
Peterson is, however, really upset about media coverage of Stacy's disappearance, and everything else that keeps surfacing. Yes, this is the same guy who posed for the cover of People Magazine and who's been yapping away at media for weeks now. He's already said he's misunderstood, that Stacy ran away due to PMS, and that he's a "good guy."
But when it came to the grand jury investigating Stacy's disappearance and the death of third wife Kathleen Savio, Peterson got lockjaw. He "took the fifth," citing his Fifth Amendment rights to not make self-incriminating statements.
Among the grand jury witnesses, one from beyond the grave: third wife Kathleen Savio, whose body was exhumed for more autopsies. She's the wife who mysteriously drowned in a dry bathtub, leaving Peterson free of child support payments and richer by more than a million dollars in life insurance and co-owned property.
She'd filed 18 abuse reports, had pleaded for help, and warned anyone who would listen that Peterson had bragged that he could kill her and make it look like an accident. Among the documents in the Savio case: an emergency room report from a head injury when Peterson knocked her against a table.
Mix together: missing child bride Stacy, who was afraid and wanted a divorce, a controlling and abusive husband, a fight between the two, the disappearing nightstand and then, appearing center stage: that blue barrel carried into and out of the bedroom. Stacy, too, had warned that she thought Peterson would kill her.
Noted forensic expert Dr. Michael Baden, who performed a post-exhumation autopsy for Savio's family, said Stavio's death was a homicide. There seems to be a lot of suffering, abuse, blood, and even death around Peterson.
New reports that put Peterson at the scene of the deaths of two men who had angered him are also on the radar. In fact, Peterson found one that was allegedly a suicide. What linked them together? Women Peterson was dating or had dumped. In one case, a brother who warned his sister to avoid Peterson; the other a man who'd dated his second ex-wife, Viki Connell.
Bolingbrook Police Chief Chief Ray McGury is the man who inherited the Peterson mess--and he's furious. Peterson raced to grab his $72,000 a year retirement, knowing that he was under internal investigation for police misconduct in addition to having a missing wife and a mysteriously dead former wife. McGury had suspended Peterson in September, wanted him fired, and hopes to have him arrested on charges that would nullify his pension.
This isn't the first time around for Peterson and internal investigations, either. At one point, he was fired for betraying an undercover officer to a known killer, and for reportedly taking drugs and possibly money for inside information on police investigations. But Peterson managed to get his job back.
Peterson, who ran bars in his off-duty hours, also managed to attract women. A former fiancee, Kyle Piry, said that he stalked her after she heeded her instincts and broke things off. She also said that he mis-used his power as a cop to harass her, even arresting her once at work for unpaid parking tickets. Peterson says he can't remember Piry. Piry said that she thinks he's capable of murder.
The tentacles in this monster of a case keep sprouting. Peterson reportedly was hanging out with fired Oak Brook cop Randy Mucha around the time of Stacy's disappearance. Mucha got the ax for lying, misconduct including harassing civilians, and oh yes--costing the town $2 million in lawsuits. Mucha, borrowing a leaf from Peterson's old book, is suing to get his job back.
Speaking of the courtroom, Peterson's attorney Joel Brodsky is busy tarring Stacy's reputation (never mind her kids' feelings) and re-framing Peterson as a victim of a "witch hunt." Brodsky himself isn't too clean: he briefly lost his law license for financial irregularities in signing checks for a dead client. There's also a domestic abuse report filed on a Joel Brodsky of the same age, and his own failed lawsuit in which he tried to declare bankruptcy to avoid paying lawyers who'd worked for his children during Brodsky's divorce.
In the middle of all the decades of dramas and pain: six children, two of whom are now adults. Still in the Peterson home: the two children of Kathleen Savio, and the two children of Stacy Peterson.
With the FBI now involved, along with dozens of Illinois State Police investigators, the Peterson case is casting very long shadows. Lurking in them, a key question: how did Peterson wear a badge for so long?
Seeking answers: Greta Van Susteren, who's followed the Peterson case determinedly. She also has a confidential tip line that's getting plenty of action. Stay tuned to Greta for new developments.