Drew Peterson skyrocketed into the national headlines when he was named a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy.
Stacy was never found and Peterson was never actually charged in that case. However, he is currently serving a 38-year sentence for a different crime after being found guilty for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Earlier this year, the Illinois Attorney General announced that Peterson will be charged with two felonies, for attempting to have Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow killed.
Peterson’s life, and crimes, will be profiled on the latest episode of Murder Made Me Famous on Reelz TV. Here’s what you need to know about Peterson:
1. Peterson Attracted National Attention When His Fourth Wife, Stacy, Disappeared in 2007
Peterson married Stacy Ann Cales on October 18, 2003 and the pair had two children together, a son Anthony and a daughter Lacy. After three years of marriage, Stacy Peterson mysteriously disappeared on October 28, 2007. It was reported to local police authorities on October 29 when Stacy’s sister, Cassandra claimed that she hadn’t heard from her when she expected.
Peterson claimed that Stacy had called him at 9 p.m. on Sunday and told him that she had left him for another man and had left her car at Bolingbrook’s Clow International Airport.
Following Stacy’s disappearance, the Illinois State Police and FBI investigated several leads and four search warrants were issued on Peterson’s property. After the investigation got underway, Peterson announced his plans to retire as a Bolingbrook police sergeant. In November, 2007 the Boilngbrook Police Pension Board voted to allow Peterson to collect his pension as he had not been convicted of a crime.
2. Stacy’s Body Was Never Found & Peterson Was Never Charged
The Peterson case caught national attention, particularly after Rick Mims, a long-time friend, said that he and Peterson bought three blue containers from a cable company where they both worked part-time. Peterson’s stepbrother, Thomas Morphey, added tot he story when he told authorities that he helped Drew carry a large blue container from his home to his SUV. Neighbors reported that they saw Peterson and another man hauling a 55-gallon barrel out of the house shortly after Stacy disappeared.
Throughout the investigation, Peterson appeared on several news programs including an April 2008 appearance on Larry King Live. After his appearance on an area radio station, Will County Judge Stephen White limited Peterson’s acesss to the media.
Stacy Peterson’s body was never found and Drew Peterson was never charged in her disappearance. Stacy’s family announced in 2014 that they would not have her declared legally dead.
3. In May 2009 He Was Arrested For the Murder of His Third Wife, Kathleen Savio
Although he was never charged in the disappearance of Stacy Peterson, Drew was charged in the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
The former police officer was arrested on two counts of first-degree murder in the drowning death of Savio. She had been found dead in a dry bathtub at their home on March 1, 2004. Peterson and Savio first met when they went on a blind date in 2002 and went on to have two sons. Savio received an anonymous letter in 2011 telling her that Peterson was having an affair with then 17-year-old Stacy Cales. The marriage did not last long after that.
Peterson was arrested at his home in 2009, telling onlookers “I guess I should have returned those library books,” as he was being taken into custody.
4. Peterson Was Found Guilt of Premeditated Murder in 2012
After a lengthy hearing, which helped create “Drew’s Law,” allowing prosecutors to enter hearsay statements into evidence, Peterson was found guilty of premeditated murder of Kathleen Savio.
Jeff Pachter was a key witness in the trial, telling the jury that Peterson had offered him $25,000 to hire someone to kill Savio, telling him it would be a secret he would take to his grave.
On February 21, 2013, Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison. Peterson stunned the courtroom when he shouted, just moments before his sentence was read, “I did not kill Kathleen!” He is currently serving his time at Menard Correctional Center.
5. Lifetime Premiered a Movie About Peterson in 2012
In June 2011, Lifetime began filming Drew Peterson: Untouchable, depicting the events surrounding the death of Kathleen Savio and the still unsolved disappearance of Stacy Peterson.
Rob Lowe was cast in the role of Drew Peterson in the film while Kaley Cuoco portrayed his fourth wife Stacy. Peterson himself fought the film, filing a cease-and-desist letter and demanding that production on the movie be halted.
Lifetime debuted the film on January 21, 2012.