Drew Peterson Found Guilty of Wife’s Murder
Former Illinois police officer Drew Peterson was found guilty today in the 2004 murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Peterson is also suspected of killing his fourth wife, Stacy Ann Cales.
It took two days for the jury to return a guilty verdict in Savio’s death. Her body was found in a dry bathtub a few months after the couple’s 2003 divorce, but her death was initially ruled an unintentional drowning despite a laceration on her head and the fact that police had responded to 18 domestic disturbance calls at the couple’s house in the last two years of her life.
Peterson married Cales eight days after he divorced Savio. When Cales disappeared in 2007 and Peterson was fingered as a suspect, Savio’s body was exhumed and her death was ruled a homicide. Her former husband was indicted in 2009, and finally put on trial this past July. The guilty verdict carries the possibility of a 60-year prison sentence.
“I knew it,” Savio’s brother-in-law, Mitch Doman, told the Chicago Tribune. “Now I can go out there and say he’s a murdering bastard. You can print that. You can put it in a headline.”
Peterson was briefly engaged to another woman, Christina Raines, in 2008.
During the trial, the jury heard from Rev. Neil Schori, who recounted a confession from Cales about how she had lied to provide an alibi for Peterson for Savio’s death. Schori testified that Cales told him, “she lived with someone who had murdered someone.”
Harry Smith, Savio’s divorce attorney from 2003, also testified. He told the court that Cales had called him to ask if it would help her own case for divorce if it was known that Peterson were involved in Savio’s death.
The disappearance of Stacey Ann Cales remains unsolved. She and Peterson had two children together.