But first, a PSA (no, not a Public Service Announcement, a Peterson Service Announcement): now that Drew Peterson, the hastily-retired former Bolingbrook police sergeant, has lawyered up, we're all supposed to note a few things. First, Joel A. Brodsky wants it made clear that noted expert Dr. Michael Baden did not identify Peterson as the culprit in any homicide of Kathleen Savio.
In one of the most wasted and uncomfortable interviews in this whole mess, Matt Lauer tackled Brodsky and the snickering Peterson. Brodsky, with Peterson literally jammed up shoulder-to-shoulder and arm-to-arm with him, noted that there is no official linking of Peterson to either Savio's death or the fact that Stacy Peterson, wife #4, missing.
OK, so Peterson's been officially named a suspect in Stacy's disappearance, but there's no linkage between him and the questions about the lives and fates of his wives. There's an entire Peterson laundry list of control factors for the world, announced by his lawyer as Peterson clams up, then tweaked by Peterson when he un-clams.
Like this: Peterson says he's distressed about the effect of media coverage on him. Oh, today's People Magazine shoot? He didn't mean that, obviously. Nor did he think that the People shoot would disrupt his family life. It's so hard, you know, being a media phenomenon: you have to tease 'em with "no," then give 'em a little leg and a little "yes, yes."
But in the middle of all this we find: shattered lives. Back to Baden's autopsy of Kathleen Savio, Peterson's third wife (Stacy, #4, is still missing in case you lost that among all the Drew, Drew, Drew promotions). Funny thing: Baden never said that Peterson did it. He specifically said that "who done it" wasn't part of the responsibility of an autopsy. But apparently Brodsky wanted to make it clear that what Baden didn't say wasn't right.
However, Savio's exhumed body stood as mute witness to her death. Baden, acting for the Savio family, said it was definitely a homicide. Initially, the authorities had ruled it an accident by drowning.
Savio's first autopsy had revealed "moderate edema" of the respiratory system. The head laceration and some bruises were also noted.
There are many good references for forensics. For this, I chose Forensics for Dummies simply because it is accessible to the layperson and forthrightly stated.
Here's they key point: "... If you place a corpse in water, and it remains submerged for a period of time after death, the lungs passively fill with water, and the ME's examination can't distinguish this postmortem fluid in the lungs from liquid that resulted in death."
Savio was in the water long enough to have wrinkled fingers, when found in the dry tub. How long was that? And was the "moderate edema" of the respiratory system caused by water entering the lungs before or after death?
Was Savio unconscious, or even dead, when she was placed in water? There are many things, including inconsistent statements from Peterson and witnesses, that need explaining.