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Monday, July 21, 2008

[IL] A voice for missing Stacy, a new book's released, Drew's folding gun & his vacation with the kids

..."It's a good Stacy day today,"
said her close friend Sharon Bychowski. "Now Stacy's life has more meaning than it did." Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi (D- Joliet) sponsored a measure—which was pushed by Will County State's Atty. James Glasgow... it might be the difference between 60 years in prison and [Drew Peterson] getting away with murder...

Stacy Peterson allies buoyed by bill on hearsay testimony
Bill to ease limits on hearsay testimony sent to Blagojevich

Chicago Tribune
By Erika Slife eslife@tribune.com
July 10, 2008
[Excerpts] Friends and family of missing Bolingbrook woman Stacy Peterson rejoiced after state lawmakers Thursday sent to the governor's desk legislation that could affect the possible prosecution of the chief suspect in her disappearance, her husband, Drew. "It's a good Stacy day today," said her close friend Sharon Bychowski. "Now Stacy's life has more meaning than it did." Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi (D- Joliet) sponsored a measure—which was pushed by Will County State's Atty. James Glasgow — that would allow a judge to decide at a pretrial hearing whether hearsay testimony could be admitted into court. The prosecution would have to prove to the judge that the witness who made the statements could not testify because the defendant murdered the witness. The Senate passed the legislation during a special session called by Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The measure awaits the governor's approval. A spokesman for his office said it is under review... Stacy Peterson was 23 when she vanished Oct. 28. Before she disappeared, she had reportedly told her loved ones she wanted a divorce and she felt threatened by her husband. Her case led authorities to reinvestigate the 2004 death of Drew Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, 40, who was found drowned in an empty bathtub in her home. Her death, initially ruled an accident, was classified a homicide in February. Savio had also reportedly told others Peterson threatened her and she feared for her life. Peterson, 54, a former Bolingbrook police sergeant, has not been charged in either case and has denied any wrongdoing... [Full article here]

Proposed Law May Make Peterson Prosecution Easier
Judge To Rule On Drew Peterson Gun Charge July 30
Jul 14, 2008
[Excerpts] ...Meanwhile, on the governor's desk is a piece of legislation that could aid any prosecution of Peterson. Now anything [Kathleen] Savio told others about fearing for her life may end up being admissible in court, if a bill sponsored by Joliet Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi is signed into law. "If she were to have made statements prior to her death that said to a third person she feels she's going to get murdered, and those statements pass the reliability threshold, those statements will come into court," Wilhelmi said. It's called hearsay testimony and it's important because statements that SAVIO AND STACY Peterson allegedly made to family members, friends, clergy members and others about Drew Peterson and his alleged threats currently aren't admissible in court. But if the law passes, what Stacy Peterson told her pastor about her husband's whereabouts the day before Savio was found dead could possibly be used against him. Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow helped craft the legislation and said it might be the difference between 60 years in prison and getting away with murder. He wouldn't say anything about the Savio or Peterson investigations but said he hopes this law will lead to cold case breakthroughs. "We urge all our local police departments to go through their cases and see if there might be one that's been sitting on the shelf that might be reinitiated based on this additional evidence that might be brought into court," Glasgow said. The law was passed by the general assembly almost unanimously. If signed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, it will go into effect immediately. Glasgow said if that happens, it would amount to one of the most momentous changes to the law he has seen in his decades-long law enforcement career... [Full article here]

Previous blog entries:
Judge Allows Drew Peterson to Leave Illinois on Vacation While Considering Motion to Dismiss Weapons Charge
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
[Excerpts] A Will County judge modified Drew Peterson's bond Monday, allowing him to leave Illinois on vacation with his children while the judge mulls a defense motion to dismiss felony weapons charges. A grand jury indicted the former Bolingbrook police sergeant Thursday on two felonies related to a semiautomatic rifle seized by authorities investigating the disappearance of his wife, Stacy. The new charges, filed Friday, supersede a single felony weapons charge filed May 21, alleging Peterson possessed an assault rifle with a barrel shorter than allowed by law. The new indictment alleges Peterson possessed a modified assault rifle and that he unlawfully transferred the rifle to his son, Stephen. Police seized the rifle and 10 other guns during a Nov. 1 search at Peterson's house for clues after Stacy Peterson disappeared. Peterson has been named a suspect in his wife's disappearance but hasn't been charged. Investigators have also exhumed the body of Peterson's third wife Kathleen. Her death was ruled a homicide. During the two-hour hearing Monday, Peterson's lawyer, Joel Brodsky, argued his client was immune from prosecution for the gun charges because he was still a police officer when authorities seized the weapon... [Full article here]
Phoenix Books Announces New True Crime/Mystery Title, Fatal Vows: The Tragic Wives of Sergeant Drew Peterson, Detailing the as yet Unsolved Mystery That Continues to Intrigue the Nation
July 16, 2008
[Excerpts] Phoenix Books is proud to announce the September release of the first-ever book to detail the disturbing Drew Peterson case. Fatal Vows: The Tragic Wives of Sergeant Drew Peterson is the true story of the Bolingbrook, Illinois, Police Sergeant, whose third wife was found dead in a dry bathtub, and whose fourth wife -- thirty years his junior -- vanished seemingly into thin air in the fall of 2007... Drawing upon exclusive interviews with the families of both Stacy Peterson and Kathleen Savio, Joseph Hosey investigates the real Drew Peterson and the tragic story of his wives' questionable ends. Finally, Hosey poses the question all of America is asking: WHERE IS STACY? Joseph Hosey has been a reporter for the Chicago area's Herald News since 1999 and has been on the cusp of every major development in the Drew Peterson case. He is the only member of the media to cover Kathleen Savio's inquest, having broken the stories of her death and, later, the disappearance of Stacy Peterson... [Full article here]

Drew Peterson's lawyers end effort to block wrongful-death suit in Savio case
Drew Peterson's lawyers withdraw motion to halt case

Chicago Tribune
By Erika Slife eslife@tribune.com
July 17, 2008
[Excerpts] Lawyers representing the estate of Drew Peterson's third wife are now free to file a wrongful-death lawsuit against Peterson after his attorneys withdrew a motion Thursday that sought to block them. But attorneys for Kathleen Savio's estate said that a wrongful-death lawsuit against the former Bolingbrook police sergeant likely won't be initiated until after the grand jury investigating Savio's death was discharged. "That's something we'll have to look at," said John Q. Kelly, a New York attorney representing the Savio family. Kelly was the lawyer for Nicole Brown Simpson's family in a successful civil suit against O.J. Simpson... The special grand jury in Will County is investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding Savio's death in 2004, as well as the Oct. 28 disappearance of Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, then 23. Savio, 40, was found dead in an empty bathtub in her Bolingbrook home. Her divorce to Peterson was only weeks away from being finalized... [Full article here]
...It was "basically just a way for the State Police to break our balls because we're friends with Drew," [Peterson's friend Len] Wawczak said...

Pals: Drew gave us his 'secret' gun
Couple say police missed weapon during search

Chicago Sun Times
July 16, 2008
[Excerpts] Friends of Drew Peterson say he gave them a secret folding gun that he said the Illinois State Police missed when they searched his home three days after his wife was reported missing. Peterson's attorney, Joel Brodsky, has denied there was such a gun. Brodsky mocked Ric Mims, a former friend of Peterson's, in March on CNN's "Nancy Grace" show after Mims said that Peterson showed him the gun, saying, "Hey [the police] didn't find this one." Mims said Peterson was "chuckling" when he showed him the gun... But other friends of Peterson, Len Wawczak and his wife, Paula Stark, of Bolingbrook, say that Peterson signed the folding gun -- a North American Arms .22-caliber revolver -- over to Paula Stark the day after the State Police pulled Peterson's firearm owner's identification card in February. "It was the same gun Ric Mims identified," Stark said. Stark has a handwritten contract for the "Transpher [sic] of 1 North American Arms Corp. S.S. .22 cal revolver" from Drew Peterson to Paula Stark dated Feb. 28, right after he returned from New York City, where he appeared on the "Today" show. Stark and Wawczak watched Peterson's children while he was in New York. Wawczak said Peterson wrote out the transfer for Stark while sitting at the desk in his home office. "It was written before me, her, Drew and Kris," Peterson's teenage son, Wawczak said. Stark and Wawczak said they took the gun home. Less than a month later, State Police took the gun when they came to their home to seize Stark's Ruger .357 Magnum revolver after her FOID card was suspended because it listed an inaccurate date of birth and outdated address. The State Police also found the .22, which folds into its own handle, and pegged it as Peterson's, Wawczak said. It was "basically just a way for the State Police to break our balls because we're friends with Drew," Wawczak said... [Full article here]

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