A decade after Drew Peterson went to prison, he’s talking about his time behind bars and the cases against him.
Peterson said he sees similarities between the case against him and the current prosecution of R. Kelly, saying both were fueled by the media and years of innuendo. The men share more as well: they use the same attorney, and maintain their innocence.
He said 10 years behind bars haven’t changed his interests of sense of humor, and he’ll be the same guy if he ever gets out of prison.
“I get love letters from women – a couple a week – and I try to write every one back,” Peterson said.
Back in 2007, the Bolingbrook cop burst onto the national stage after his fourth wife, Stacy, went missing and her family strongly suspected foul play. Stacy was – or is – 30 years younger than Drew. The two met when she was a teenager, married, and had four kids.
“I think she became overloaded and just left. I spoiled her and gave her everything but that’s what happened,” Peterson said.
While police strongly suspect murder, Stacy’s body has never been found. But the attention from the search caused investigators to take another look at the case of a previous Peterson wife, Kathleen Savio. Her death in a bathtub was initially ruled an accident, but a new autopsy showed signs of a struggle.
The cop became a convict and was sentenced to 38 years in prison.
“I married these women and tried to compare them to my mom and my aunt who were all very good housekeepers, great people, honest in their marriages. When these women failed in that I became disappointed in my marriages and they fell apart,” Peterson said.
Cassandra Cales has never stopped looking for Stacy, convinced Drew killed her and dumped her body in a canal.
She tells WGN: “Drew is narcissistic and probably believes his own lies. Not only did he kill his wives; but because of him, his kids don’t have mothers.”
To this day, despite the death of one wife and suspected murder of a second, Peterson maintains his innocence. He says he simply doesn’t have luck with the ladies.
“World’s worst. Yeah, I believe that. It’s like I’m unlucky in love. And I’m not lucky in cards either. So it is what it is,” he said.
Peterson had extra time tacked onto his sentence when he was convicted of trying to hire a hit man from behind bars to kill Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow. Two years ago, Peterson was moved from state prison in southern Illinois to a federal high security lock-up in Terre Haute.
The transfer is another source of torment for Kathleen Savio’s family.
Her sister tells WGN: “I’m very happy he’s in prison so he cannot hurt anyone else but I’d prefer him to go to a tough jail… I don’t feel he’s getting punished enough.”
The Bureau of Prisons denied a request for an in-person on-camera interview last month claiming it could, “jeopardize security and disrupt the orderly operation of the institution.”
Peterson says he’s something of a celebrity behind bars.
“I’ve only been attacked in here once. I get death threats but that’s because I was a policeman. When I first got here I was hit in the head. I didn’t even fight back. The guy hit like a girl,” he said.
Peterson said he has two choices in prison: keep laughing or die, but relatives of his two wives see no humor in him— only pain and suffering.
While Peterson will likely never get out of prison, both families say they’re hopeful Stacy’s body will be found, and Peterson will face justice for her death.
Six Flags Great America released the following statement regarding the shooting:
Six Flags dedicates our greatest amount of time, talent and resources to safety and security.
Layers of preventative measures both inside and outside the park are in place for the protection of guests and team members. We continue to review and enhance our protocol on a daily basis to ensure we are providing the highest level of safety.
Cameras placed in the parking lot and inside the park, uniformed and plain clothes patrols throughout the property, and advanced screening technology allow us to react quickly and provide important information. The park security team is joined by the Gurnee Police Department, who operates a substation at the park.
This evening, we are incredibly grateful to our team members who reacted in a professional manner to take care of our guests, and for the Gurnee Police Department for their on-going presence and commitment to Six Flags Great America.