Friday, December 7, 2007
Inspector Clouseau Needed: The Bizarre Drew Peterson Story
Where is Inspector Clouseau when you need him?
Clouseau and the Pink Panther could add a lot to the ever-stranger Drew Peterson saga. You know, the former cop with a missing fourth wife, and a third wife found drowned in her dry bathtub, leaving him rich.
As this story inches forward day by day, the "clews" are becoming ever more curious. The Illinois State Police have retracted the alert on the trucker who claims Peterson and another man approached him wanting off-the-record transport. Seems the guy was in Louisiana at the time.
But wait! There's more! Supposedly there's another trucker who'd reported an earlier contact whose cellphone records check out. Or -- maybe.
Meanwhile, Peterson contains to whine about media interest in this story. So what does he do? Once again, he runs to--the media. The Chicago Tribune has a sob sister story with Peterson whining that his former cop buddies are shunning him.
Now investigators are saying that chemicals may have been used to decompose fourth wife Stacy Peterson's body faster. What *is* decomposing faster: the trail left by investigators, who somehow gave Peterson several days to ramble around, possibly leave the area, and clean up his house.
Cook County and its general area-this case is taking place in Chicago's 'burbs--have always been known for dirty politics, a political machine, vote-rigging, and all too often, dirty cops. Right now, investigators have a case that has far larger implications than just one missing wife.
At question: the handling of Kathleen Savio's death, which forensic expert Dr. Michael Baden said was a homicide. Peterson, who called it in, was allowed to clean up the bathtub and area. A cop who knew and liked Peterson was allowed on the coroner's jury looking at the case.
A couple of decades back, Peterson was fired for numerous causes, including ratting out another undercover cop to a known killer in the narcotics trade. The management of Bolingbrook made the police department take him back.
New Police Chief Ray McGury has a tough job on his hands--this mess fell into his lap, and it appears that the town management again wants to thwart police department management. He didn't want Peterson to be allowed his full penalty. The town management handed the pension over after Peterson, fearing a police department internal investigation for infractions before Stacy went missing, rushed into retirement.
It goes on and on. This is a story about a bully with a badge, and the implications are far-reaching. There are at least two other mysterious deaths/missing persons linked to Peterson.
Peterson, though, has his priorities focused. He told one reporter that he wouldn't "get a date" again. When he asked another female reporter to tour his home, he told her that he was a "good kisser." He told other reporters, in scoffing at the investigation "I'm waiting for my 7th grade prom date to say that I was a bad kisser."
However, Peterson scotched rumors that he's posing for a spread in Playgirl. Whew. Meanwhile, apparently-former-friend Ric Mims, who posed for a randy self-photo on his MySpace page, has sold his story to the National Enquirer. Mims is appearing in this saga as the Peterson version of Kato Kaelin.
The Peterson saga will be featured on today's Dr. Phil show. Dr. Phil, who previously has said that Peterson's behavior is not normal, will take a look at this case and the subject of domestic abuse. Peterson had 18 complaints at his home with Savio, whose head he bammed against a table while knocking her around, according to a hospital report--while he was a police officer.
Three of Peterson's four wives reported being afraid of him. Reports are that he told them he could kill them and make it look like an accident. All this went on while he was a cop. Although Chief McGury was apparently ready to bring the hammer down on Peterson, for decades Peterson apparently did what he wanted and got away with it.
And that means that this case goes far beyond one dead wife and one missing wife. Bolingbrook town management and the former police chief have some explaining to do.
As the imcomparable Peter Sellers said as Inspector Clouseau: "It won't be easy, that is why I have always failed where others have succeeded."
Photo courtesy of the Inspector Clouseau site, which I highly recommend for a visit.