Wives' Words to Haunt Drew Peterson After Appellate Court OKs Hearsay

Prosecutors will be able to use a mountain of hearsay evidence, after the Appellate Court decided 14 statements from Drew Peterson’s last two wives can be considered in his murder trial.

The 14 statements supposedly spoken by Drew Peterson's dead third wife and missing fourth wife can be used against him at his murder trial.

The Third District Appellate Court in Ottawa handed down its decision on the Peterson case Thursday.

The matter has been under appeal since the day before Peterson’s murder trial was to start in July 2010. The appellate court declined to decide the matter, prompting Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow to take the case to the Illinois Supreme Court.

In November, the supreme court sent the case back to the appellate court and charged them with settling it.

Prosecutors sought to use 11 statements attributed to Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio, and three said to have been made by his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. Savio was found drowned in a dry bathtub in March 2004. Stacy Peterson mysteriously vanished in October 2007 and remains missing.

Drew Peterson, a 58-year-old former Bolingbrook cop, was arrested and charged with murdering Savio in May 2009. The state police also say he is the sole suspect in the investigation of Stacy Peterson’s disappearance, a case they have termed a “potential homicide.”

Stacy Peterson, the mother of two of Drew Peterson’s six children, was 23 when she vanished.

In the period between Stacy Peterson’s disappearance and Drew Peterson’s arrest, Glasgow worked to pass a new state law to allow hearsay evidence.

Following Drew Peterson’s arrest, a landmark, month-long hearing was convened in January 2010 to determine what statements could be used against Drew Peterson. Will County Judge Stephen White ruled that only six of the 14 statements would be permitted at trial.

Charles B. Pelkie, the spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office, applauded the appellate court’s decision.

“The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office argued from the beginning that all of the statements it presented from Stacy Peterson and Kathleen Savio should be admitted as evidence at trial in the case of People v. Drew Peterson,” Pelkie said, pegging the start of the trial for late spring or early summer.

Whenever the trial does start, Joseph “Shark” Lopez, one member of the shifting team of lawyers defending Drew Peterson in the nearly three years since he was charged with murder, doesn’t think it will be greatly affected by the hearsay statements.

“So what? It still doesn’t mean anything,” Lopez said.

The statements that can be used against Drew Peterson were testified to by a range of witnesses including a minister, Savio’s sisters, her divorce attorney and a male nurse from Stacy Peterson’s past.

The various witnesses testified to Savio fearing for her life, telling how Drew Peterson threatened her at knife-point, and of Stacy Peterson relating how Drew Peterson coached her to give a cover story to police after Savio’s body was found.

Drew Peterson’s longest serving lawyer, self-proclaimed “lead attorney” Joel Brodsky, failed to return calls for comment on what impact this evidence might have on the case. But Lopez was dismissive of what difference it will make.

“If they prosecuted every person who said they wanted something bad to happen to their ex-spouse, there would be such a backlog it would be incredible,” Lopez said. “They still don’t have any evidence.”

John Moreli April 14, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Lie? The pathologist findings on the first autopsy was an accidental drowning and the corners inquest concurred!
Watchful Eye April 14, 2012 at 03:31 PM
I believe, if you do some research, you'd find that Dr. Bryan Mitchell said Kathleen Savio died by drowning. In fact, all of the doctors agree. It was the coroner's panel that ruled her death accidental, after a loaded panel (a cop who knew Peterson was on it), a LE official who testified to "facts" with no actual first-hand knowledge of any of them, since he was not at the original death scene. Tell me where you see here: "OPINION: In consideration of the circumstances surrounding her death, the available medical history, and autopsy findings, the death of this 40-year-old, white female, Kathleen Savio, is ascribed to Drowning. Comment: the laceration to posterior scalp may have been related to a fall in which she struck her head. _____________________ Bryan Mitchell, M.D. Forensic Pathologist IL #036-089797 ________3/20/2004________ Date Signed"
Watchful Eye April 14, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Mr. Moreli, I believe you are misinformed about Dr. Bryan Mitchell's autopsy, by wrongly stating that he said Kathleen Savio died by accident. He said she died by drowning. Why is that difficult to get across here? There's no conflict. Once again, it was the coroner's panel that said it was an accident, which panel, we later found out, was fed and given b.s. to make their determination. They should have been given the opportunity to find her death as being undetermined, since some of the panel members did not believe her death was accidental. There's a lot of info out in the public, but, unfortunately, Peterson's attorney, Joel Brodsky, has spread a lot of crap as being true when, in fact, it's his defense attorney side of it. Just sayin....
Joseph Hosey (Editor) April 14, 2012 at 03:39 PM
No, it wasn't. In fact, the word "accidental" does not appear in the pathologist's report at all. So do you not know what you're talking about or are you — for whatever reason — lying? Either way, please stop. It's not conducive to a healthy discussion.
Watchful Eye April 14, 2012 at 03:43 PM
It's difficult to argue a valid point when those who disagree wear blinders and refuse to acknowledge what the actual facts are. The hearsay evidence is admissible under the present Rules of Evidence, and the omitted statements have been deemed admissible by the Appellate Court. The trial court is not being told to admit all of the hearsay; the trial court now has the matter back to decide what will be admitted. In other words, the Appellate Court is leaving it up to the trial court, but has told the trial court the hearsay is admissible within the Rules of Evidence. Why is that so difficult to comprehend? Nothing new here. The autopsy by Dr. Brian Mitchell does not say he ruled her death accidental. His conclusion was she died by drowning. Geesh.
Watchful Eye April 14, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I think Brodsky had a greater effect on many than I'd like to think. That's too bad. Good for him, but bad for the victim's family and friends as they look for justice. If the jury believes, like many here, that Peterson killed Kathleen, but refuse to accept all of the evidence and aren't convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, then he'll get out of jail and be a free man. There's no doubt that the jury will have to be those that will listen to what they hear in court, not what has been spewed across the Internet. They just need to evaluate the facts, not the inaccurate blog reports. You know, like the first coroner said she died by accident, but the following two said homicide. WRONG!!!!!! :-)
John Moreli April 14, 2012 at 03:51 PM
The first autopsy will still put doubt in some jurors minds. It works for me too.
John Moreli April 14, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Next, state police officer Herbert Hardy represented the state police's opinion that the death was an accident. He wasn't the lead investigator in the case and had not visited the crime scene. But he said Drew Peterson had an alibi, corroborated by his wife, Stacy. "His current wife was interviewed, his job was interviewed, all those neighbors around in his area were—were talked to," Hardy testified. "We have no reason to believe at this time that . . . he was not where he said he was." After just two witnesses and O'Neil's presentation of the pathology and toxicology reports, the jury took less than an hour (as one juror told Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren) to determine that Kathy's death was accidental.
Watchful Eye April 14, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Mr. Moreli - what, in fact, is in the first autopsy that disturbs you? You blog as though you are well informed about it. The autopsy is on the Internet. What specifically is troubling for you. I think I've done enough to show that Dr. Mitchell didn't say the death was accidental. He said she died by drowning. In other words, do you think she slipped, fell, hit her head, and lost consciousness to the point that she couldn't even breathe spontaneously, thus died by accidental drowning? Is that your opinion?
Watchful Eye April 14, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Yeah, he said they had no reason to believe he wasn't where he said he was. It was also said that they were waiting for the phone records. That is a lie, that is untrue, that is false, that is inaccurate. Those records were never even ordered. Those records would have shown that Peterson's wife was using her cell phone to call his when he was supposed to be in bed with her. That doesn't show me he was where he was supposed to be. So, your point is???? If you want this guy out and about, that's your opinion. Fine. But don't continue to spread lies. I agree with Mr. Hosey that it is not contributing to a healthy discussion. It reminds me of one that is just lacking anything better to do but to stir the pot of controversy for the hell of it. I'm sorry that you don't want to contribute to a valid discussion.
Mark April 14, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Personally, I think Mr. Tom Selleck just changed a few names on the blog.
MidwestGal April 14, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Ultimatley, God will take care of Peterson. His behavior in prison, with the media, everything about him screams guilty. If he were truly innocent, his behavior would be that of a greiving husband who is trying desperatley to locate the mother of his children. He also would've been mourning the death of Kathleen for longer than he did before he got remarried. Stacey figured out what happened to Kathleen and she paid dearly for that discovery. My heart goes out to the children and family members who will forever have to live with what this rotten peice of #$@! did. Pray it's not an innocent verdict like the Casey Anthony & OJ Simpson cases....but it is possible.
John Moreli April 15, 2012 at 04:45 PM
To be truthful Bolungbrook Police never had full time uniformed partners ride together in patrol!
Watchful Eye April 15, 2012 at 04:53 PM
John Moreli @ 11:45. What? What has that comment got to do with anything? Why is it that you start trouble here with your lies and false information, ignore people when they point out to you that you are, in fact, incorrect, then go on to post about something that has absolutely nothing to do with the conversation at hand? Are you Tom Selleck, back to start trouble? Pffft, talk to youself! BTW, it's BOLINGBROOK, not Bolungbrook. I can see you are bored again.
Tawanda The Avenger April 15, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Good. At least we know where Drew is and that's not out skulking around Bolingbrook dressed as a ninja or prowling around looking for young girls to satisfy his fetish.
Tawanda The Avenger April 15, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Supposedly, the state's attorney Glasgow has 40 boxes of evidence. The statements made are likely only a small part of what will be presented at the trial.
Tawanda The Avenger April 15, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Let's wait and see what evidence besides statements made by the deceased are presented at the trial before you conclude that our legal system has been destroyed.
Tawanda The Avenger April 15, 2012 at 05:27 PM
You are completely wrong, John Moreli. This entire case has stunk to high heaven from the day KS's was found " drowned " in a bathtub. You should research before you post such inaccuracies.
Tawanda The Avenger April 15, 2012 at 05:33 PM
If I recall, Hardy knew Peterson but failed to disclose this relationship...and then there was the matter of the phone records which were never subpoened, though HH testified that they were waiting on the records. This was a coverup from day one and now justice will be served.
Jim Smith April 15, 2012 at 06:38 PM
"If he were truly innocent, his behavior would be that of a greiving husband " IMNHO, we can infer neither guilt nor innocence from the behavior of an accused who is imprisoned. Consider that a truly guilty person may feign grief.
Tawanda The Avenger April 15, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Anyone recall the " Win A Date With Drew Peterson " contest, sponsored by none other than the greiving widower and now accused ?
Tawanda The Avenger April 15, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Brodsky's words in front of a mic or camera (paraphrased) all those hellcats, harpies and sharpies tainting the jury pool... Brodsky's actions: trying his best (IMHO) to taint the jury pool with outrageous claims and fake blog posters.
Jim Smith April 15, 2012 at 08:01 PM
The contest was conceived of and sponsored by a radio station: "Chicago's WJMK-FM, had planned to offer listeners the chance to "Win a Date With Drew Peterson" on Thursday on the "Steve Dahl Morning Show." Peterson accepted the invitation to participate." http://tinyurl.com/WJMKFM
Sheila m April 16, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Tawanda, you keep referring to Drew Petersen as a widower, and the evidence as words from the deceased. Do you know something that, legally, the rest of us do not? Stacy Petersen is missing, not dead. Drew Petersen is NOT a widower, legally, so to say he isn't "grieving" means what? Why would he grieve someone who, as he claims, left him cold? Not to mention that assuming one should grieve in a certain way or they are a murderer is ludicrous. You can hate somebody and wish them death by mauling. It doesn't make you a murderer any more than evidence of "she said he said" does. If the prosecution really needs to rely on flimsy "she said, he said", from a missing person they can't even prove is dead, they have a weak case.
Freddie Kissell April 17, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Ken, the word is "do."
Freddie Kissell April 17, 2012 at 07:54 PM
So because Lopez says there's no evidence, that means there's no evidence? This, coming from a man who enjoys being referred to as "Shark."
Freddie Kissell April 17, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Moreli, you need to study up before you start making comments willy nilly. Read "Fatal Vows."
Lorie Taylor April 29, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Sheila, When his own step brother comes forward and says, Drew asked him to rent a storage unit, asks him to remove a blue barrel from the upstairs bedroom, don't you find that odd? Why would a blue barrel of that size be in an upstairs bedroom? Especially that at one time might of had chemicals in it to ruin floors, carpeting etc? What could he have possibly had in there up in the master bedroom? Why would he ask his step brother to sit at a park with his cell phone, and don't answer it if Stacy calls? Don't you think he would want to know where she is? Keep her on the phone so they could track her location? Where did Drew go? And why did he ask his brother to keep his phone? All of this, and numerous other odd behaviors of Drew before and after Stacy went missing doesn't lead you to believe he was involving his step brother to establish an alibi, and cover up yet another murder? Oh then he says Stacy called him at 9 to say she is leaving with another man, and the car is at the airport. Ok ......so then while doing an interview he is asked why he was down at the canal due to cell phone pings from one of the towers, which was way later then the 9 o'clock phone call. Drew's answer?He says he was down in the area by the canal looking for Stacy somewhere he thought she might be, and looking for his car. Hmmm, looking for his car!! Thought it was at the airport! Grieving? What's to grieve when you rid of your wife so she couldn't turn you in for the previous wife!
Watchful Eye April 29, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Excellent observations, and recounting of the FACTS. Unfortunately, I think too many ignore the reality of what he said during relevant times of the investigations, and how his story changed. Too many are caught up with thinking this jerk's rights are being trampled on when, in reality, it's he who trampled on others' rights. The right to breathe and live!
Lorie Taylor May 01, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Amen to that Watchful Eye! They also fail to remember how he had his buddy come over with a cell phone for him to use so that the police couldn't listen to his phone calls, and was writing notes and shredding them in a shredder so the police couldn't get them out of the garbage. Why would a grieving, pissed off, even worried husband do this, if he had nothing to hide? A guy who tracked his wives, and girlfriends everywhere they went, showed up where they were, had his buddies following them around, doesn't know where his wife is at? Yeah right! Ran off with some mystery man, that nobody knows about, or heard about. Oh yea she is just missing! Poof! Been gone since Oct 2007 with no trace of her anywhere. No money trails, no sightings, no nothing! Funny she went to the Pastor, which Drew knew she was with him, and even called the Pastor afterward to let him know she was there. She went to see an atty about a divorce, which I am sure he knew about, then she just poof! Disappears! oh yeah ran off with some mystery man! Oh wait he led them to believe it was her friend from Shorewood, that she had lunch with! Ooops he knew about that too!! He even showed up there, because he GPS tracked her to the local Denny's there in town! For someone who knew where she was every waking minute, even coming home while on duty, and on break, why didn't he know where she was then? He knows where she is!! He knows what happened to her! They need to read up on the whole case, and get the facts!


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