The untold truth of the Drew Peterson case

Police sergeant Drew Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, was found dead in 2004, just two weeks before their divorced was to be finalized. At the time, it was believed that she died of an accidental drowning in her bathtub after falling and hitting her head.

Four years later, Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared without a trace. Drew insisted that Stacy left him, and she's never been found. However, after Stacy was reported missing, authorities exhumed Savio's body and discovered signs of struggle. Savio's death was ruled a homicide, and Drew was found guilty and sentenced to 38 years behind bars for her murder.

That's what the world knows. Here's what most people never learned about this case and its aftermath.

He was a serial cheater

Drew liked to be married, but apparently not to the same woman for too long. 

According to Crime Watch Daily, he cheated on his first wife, Carol, who divorced him after two kids and six years of marriage. His second wife, Vicki, requested a divorce after ten years of marriage when she caught him cheating on her with Savio, who became his third wife. Savio filed for divorce after 11 years of marriage when she caught him cheating with a 16-year-old named Stacy Cales, who eventually became the new Mrs. Peterson. Drew's fifth bride-to-be, Christina Raines, told Today that she met him while he was married to Cales. 

Stacy wanted to leave him

Stacy's aunt, Candace Aikin, told Fox News that she thinks Stacy was either planning on leaving Drew for good or planning to cheat on him then leave.

"The last few months before she disappeared she was talking about a divorce," Aikin said. "She was saying that she wasn't happy anymore. She didn't want to be with Drew anymore. So I knew she was unhappy."

Aikin told Fox News that Stacy became close with an Army emergency room nurse named Scott Rosetto before she went missing. "I didn't think it was good [at the time] because she was married," Aikin said. "Stacy did tell me she had told Drew she was talking with Scott and so, I just let it be. You know, she was making her own decisions. It just seemed awkward that she would be talking to another man during her marriage."

Savio told her sister Drew was going to kill her

Savio's sister, Susan Savio Doman, told Crime Watch Daily that her sister feared for her own life. "The Friday before she passed away, I called her and she said to me, 'I am not going to make it,' Doman recalled. "She said, 'Drew is going to kill me, and it's going to be an accident and no one is going to find out about it.'"

Stacy told her pastor that Drew killed Kathleen

Stacy's pastor, Rev. Neil Schori, told Crime Watch Daily that she told him Drew murdered Savio.

"At first, [Stacy] just told me more things about her life and her marriage, how hard it was, and the jealousy, and then she looked at me and I just had this sense that she was going to say something profound," said Schori, "and I said whatever you want to tell me, you're free to do it. She sort of stared at me, and she said, 'He did it.'"

"I said 'He did what?' And she said 'Drew killed Kathleen Savio, Drew killed his third wife,'" Schori recalled. "I said to her, 'What do you want me to do with this information?' And she said I don't want you to do anything, I just want you to know.'"

His case inspired a new law

Hearsay is when a witness reports information that isn't based on the witness' direct knowledge, but on something the witness read or heard secondhand. Because hearsay can't be challenged, it usually is forbidden in court, especially in criminal cases—but it was allowed in Drew's murder trial.

"Drew's Law" was passed in Illinois in 2008 to specifically assist in making some hearsay testimony and evidence admissible in court, reported CBS News. Because it was believed that Drew may have murdered Savio to prevent her from testifying in court, statements Savio reportedly made to friends and family members, as well as recalled conversations Stacy had with her pastor and a divorce attorney before her disappearance were permitted in court. 

He was accused of coaching Stacy to lie to cops

Rev. Schori claimed on the stand during Drew's trial that Stacy told him her husband ordered her to lie to police about Savio's death.

"He told her that soon the police would be wanting to sit down to interview her, and he told her what to say to the police," Schori said in court (via the Chicago Tribune.) "It took hours [of coaching]… She said that she lied on Drew's behalf to the police. She continued to cry. She was very scared."

One of the jurors was on the fence

Ron Supalo, the last juror to declare Drew guilty of Savio's murder, told The New York Times he "barely slept" during the deliberations because he was uncomfortable with the hearsay law.

"I needed time to think it through… We weren't the U.S. Supreme Court. Right or wrong, this was the hearsay law, and we had to use it in this case," he said. "When it was the 11 for guilty and just me holding out, I told them, 'You all believe Schori's testimony is gospel because he is a man of God.' They said, 'It is.' I said, 'No, it's not!'" 

Supalo added, "I'm uncomfortable with the Illinois law that allowed hearsay. They made the law just for Drew Peterson—applied it to him retroactively. If there was no hearsay in this case, Drew Peterson goes free."

He may have dismembered Stacy

Crime expert Michael Baden (pictured above) believes Drew could have dismembered Stacy, which may be why she's still missing today. 

Members of Stacy's family told the National Enquirer that a 55-gallon drum of chlorine was found in Drew's garage and that witnesses saw him and another man carrying the drum and a large blue barrel into Drew's SUV the day Stacy went missing. Baden claimed the chlorine drum could have served to both hide Stacy's body and to clean up a crime scene.

"Bathtubs are the most common place for dismemberments, because most of the visible evidence can be washed away," Baden said. "A crime lab technician can use special equipment to find traces of blood, tissue, fingernails, bone fragments, or hair that might have gotten trapped in the home's plumbing system. The chlorine might have been used to flush the water in the bathtub plumbing, and Stacy might have ended up in the empty container."

He thinks he's a stud

Fox News reported that in January 2008, Drew's former attorney, Joel Brodsky (pictured above) called the Steve Dahl Morning Show in Chicago and pitched a dating show called "Win a Date With Drew Peterson." The radio station initially took the bait, and Drew agreed to pick a bachelorette from one of three lucky listeners. "The ladies are coming back around," Drew told the show. 

Fox News later reported that the radio station backed away from any plans to actually go through with the dating show. 

A spokesperson for Stacy's family slammed the idea, noting: "We'll be getting a heads up on his next victim."

He didn't pass a lie detector test

Drew took a polygraph test for a book about the case called Drew Peterson Exposed. According to CBS News, the test results indicated that Peterson was deceptive when asked about the last time he saw Stacy, about her whereabouts, and about a phone call from Stacy saying she was leaving him. 

"I answered the questions truthfully, and why it showed up as deceptive, I have no idea," Drew told CBS News. "I have no idea [where she is]."

Most responses to the test reportedly implied that Drew was not involved in her disappearance.

He wanted to murder a prosecutor in the case

In June 2016, Drew was found guilty of plotting to have the prosecutor in Savio's murder case killed.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the conviction came after hours of recorded conversations between Drew and fellow inmate Antonio "Beast" Smith were played for a jury. In the recordings, Drew reportedly described how Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow (pictured above) ruined his life and how he'd celebrate if and when Glasgow died. Drew said he'd pay Smith a cool $10,000 to do it. 

For his attempt to get Glasgow whacked, Drew was sentenced to an additional 40 years in prison—to be served after the 38 years for which he was sentenced for Savio's murder.

"The word 'kill' wasn't used, but the implication of 'kill' was there," Glasgow said post-verdict. "Based on 36 years of experience in law enforcement, from my listening of the tape, it was clear to me there was going to be my demise."

He thought his Lifetime movie was 'hysterical'

Drew seemed to relish in attention from both women and the media, so it's not surprising that he enjoyed Rob Lowe's over-the-top portrayal of him in the Lifetime movie Drew Peterson: Untouchable.

"He thought it was hysterical," Brodsky told the Chicago Tribune. "He chuckled at all of the inaccuracies and things that never happened. Obviously he is concerned people might be influenced by the movie's inaccuracies, but we agreed that anyone who thinks a Lifetime movie is factual shouldn't be on a jury in the first place."

He really hates prison

Drew isn't faring well behind bars. A source told WBBM that a fellow inmate in federal prison attacked Peterson with a food tray in April 2017, reportedly in an attempt to steal and sell Peterson's belongings on eBay. A month earlier, the Chicago Tribune reported that fellow inmates jumped Peterson in the prison's dining area.

In a letter to his attorney obtained by Radar Online, Drew said, "Prison is all the nightmarish things that one would think. I'm in a cell the size of a broom closet, peeling paint, rusting fixtures, I have no TV or anything and I haven't been out since I got here. The food is terrible and I'm again in solitary confinement."

His own son is convinced he's guilty

Drew's own son thinks he's a murderer. 

"I don't want to come out and say he did it…but I'm sure he did it," Stephen Peterson told the Chicago Tribune. Stephen said he didn't have an "a-ha moment" that led to his belief that his father is guilty, but that, over time, he came to believe what police had told him. 

Stephen also recalled his father cheated on his wives with younger woman and claimed Drew's fights with Savio would get so bad that the "house would be destroyed" in the morning.

Stephen also said he thought Stacy seemed fearful of Drew following the news of Savio's death, but that he didn't put together until later that Stacy may have been scared for her own life. "You kind of look back and think, maybe she did know something, or maybe something did happen, but at the time we never thought twice about it," Stephen said.

He got engaged again

Drew almost had a fifth wife before he went to prison.

According to ABC News, 23-year-old Christina Raines moved into Drew's home in January 2009, much to the dismay of her father. Drew proposed to her after just four months of dating. 

However, Raines reportedly dumped him in late January 2009 after he gave a Nightline interview about the relationship, claiming he used her as a publicity stunt.

Two weeks later, Raines and Drew appeared together for a joint interview on Today. On the show, Raines describes Peterson as "very kind and loving, very nice…he makes me laugh." When Drew was asked what makes Raines different from his first four wives, he replies, "It's a feeling." 

Drew later complained that Raines dumped him two weeks after he went to prison.