Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Drew Dumpster: 0 for 2; One Judge Nixes Guns Returns; Another Ayes Kathleen Savio Estate Changes

The odor from the Drew Dumpster just got a brief blast of air freshener as former Bolingbrook cop Drew Peterson didn't get his guns back from one judge, but did get a big money change from another--and finally, he faces liability for lawsuits from the family of third wife Kathleen Savio.

Peterson, you may recall, seems to have what he calls "bad luck" with women. Savio, who Peterson dumped after he impregnated a teenager he met on the job, wound up dead, and Peterson wound up with a seven-figure profit. Fourth wife Stacy Peterson, who confessed to a minister that Peterson killed Savio, has been missing for months.

Savio was repeatedly ignored by local authorities even though she had filed multiple abuse reports against Peterson. Despite a plea for help to a prosecutor, and her prediction that Peterson would kill her and get away with it, no one helped Savio, even though Peterson reportedly broke into her home and terrorized her.

A bruised Savior wound up "drowned" in a dry bathtub. Her death scene was one of several that Peterson, swinging his nightstick as a cop, took over when people who had displeased him wound up dead.

In November, 2007, as part of a series on this bizarre case, we told you how easy it is to kill someone and fake drowning. Out of respect to Dr. Baden's work, we held off on publishing that article, and the entire series, including this list of questions that should have been asked about Savio's death, but weren't asked despite her mysterious death.

Not, of course, that Peterson has been charged with anything, even though Stacy Peterson has been missing since November, 2007. Her family has led a sustained effort to find her. Eerily, Stacy, echoing Savio, had warned her family Peterson told her he could kill her and get away with it, because, as a cop, he knew how. His second wife, Vicki Connolly, said the same thing--and that she's still afraid of him.

Thanks to Fox News and expert Dr. Michael Baden, Savio was exhumed and two new autopsies, one by Baden, proved that her death was not an accidental drowning. Earlier this year, Savio's death was ruled a "wrongful homicide." This week, a judge appointed legal guardians for Savio's children, a move that's been long overdue, and changed the executors of the estate to Savio family members.

Really, it's hard to keep up with all the twists and turns in this dirty tangle. A former fiancee told of Peterson stalking and threatening her, using his badge to do so. Peterson was once fired as a cop for, among other things, outing an undercover cop to a known killer.

He was under investigation again for alleged improper conduct when he hastily resigned. Now represented by hoping-for-a-TV-movie mouthpiece Joel Brodsky, Peterson has been playing peep show teaser with the media. He's a regular on media circuits, talking about his "Mr. Mom" duties and oh yea, the women who are hot, hot, hot for this baggy-eyed, paunchy, Lothario of loathing.

However, he won't answer relevant questions about the fate of his wives. Most recently, he and Brodsky, in yet another Charlie McCarthy performance, finally went back to the Greta Van Susteren show--with of course, "no talk" rules.

Peterson bluntly said he'd take the Fifth Amendment if he's called to court in any civil action from Savio's family. Coyly, he giggled and said that he would do and say whatever Brodsky told him to say. Then Peterson, good buddy of media stars, reminded Greta that she's overdue for a tea party with Stacy's daughter.

At least he's still got one weapon: his mouth. But that's all he has, other than his Charlie McCarthy sidekick Brodsky. Peterson has again been blocked from getting his guns back.

Earlier this year, Brodsky asked the court to return Peterson's guns, and place them in the custody of Peterson's Oak Brook cop son. Judge Richard Schoenstedt agreed, if Peterson had a valid Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Card. Authorities immediately revoked Peterson's firearms card.

This time around,Brodsky asked that the weapons be returned to Peterson's adult son Stephen Peterson, an Oak Brook police officer. This dance-around idea, another entry in the growing pile of Brodsky-Peterson weirdness, made no sense. If Peterson needed *a* (not nine) guns for self-defense, then how would they be useful at Stephen his son's house? If he wanted them back because of their monetary value and he wanted them to be safe, why did he and Brodsky believe that police custody was an unsafe place for them to be?

This time, Schoenstedt ruled that the guns were evidence in an ongoing investigation of "possible criminal conduct," The Peanut crew wonders if the discovery of an illegal, hidden weapon at Drew Peterson's home may have swayed the judge about Peterson's reliability.

Not that the public is buying what Peterson is selling. A MediaCurves study of audience responses to Peterson's first interview with Today Show's Matt Lauer on TV showed that the audience believed only one thing Peterson said.

When Lauer asked Peterson if he could present anything that would clear him in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, or or the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, Peterson said "no." For the record, Peterson has continously said that Stacy ran off with another man--leaving her two children behind with no communication.

The search for Stacy Peterson goes on. Ditto the search for truth and justice for Kathleen Savio, Stacy Peterson, their children, and families.

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