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Kathleen Savio`s Death Ruled a Homicide
Aired February 21, 2008 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight in the case of missing 23- year-old mom Stacy Peterson, vanishing from upscale Chicago suburbs, husband/cop Drew Peterson the prime suspect in his fourth wife`s disappearance. Tonight, bombshell in the suspicious dry bathtub drowning of his third wife. Tonight, that drowning officially ruled homicide. Repeat, wife number three ruled homicide, With multiple bruising, abrasions, contusions to her body, plus death by drowning, Kathleen Savio`s murder set to blow the Peterson case wide open. And just tell me, how could one alleged fall in a bathtub cause such massive bruising across her body? Right now, a secret grand jury meets behind closed doors.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, a stunning development in the Drew Peterson case. A pathologist says the death of Peterson`s third wife, Kathleen Savio, is now listed as homicide. The second autopsy on Savio`s body concluded she drowned. Savio found dead in her bathtub 2004 shortly before her divorce with Peterson was finalized. Peterson has not yet been named a suspect.
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GRACE: And tonight, devoted husband and father disappears without a trace. Twenty-eight-year-old Seattle dad Nicholas Francisco (ph) leaves work at a local ad agency, headed home to his pregnant wife and two toddlers, then vanishes into thin air. Only clue, a red Toyota found abandoned at a Seattle condominium complex. Tonight, where is Nicholas Francisco?
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s now been four days since Nicholas`s wife, Christine (ph), heard from him. Leads have been few, and reportedly no activity from his bank account.
ARNALL: Everybody can speculate, but I know my husband better than anybody, better than his own mother, and my husband would not do that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Armed with enough flyers to cover an entire neighborhood in Federal Way (ph)...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Someone had a map.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... more than 50 friends and family searched for Nicholas Francisco near where his red Toyota Passeo (ph) was last seen. It is the freshest clue for detectives. Nicholas`s bank accounts, e-mail and credit cards have not been used. The reward for information is now up to $5,000.
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GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want thank you for being with us. Breaking news in the case of cop turned suspect Drew Peterson. Fourth wife, 23-year-old Stacy, missing for months, and in the last hour, the dry bathtub drowning of his third wife ruled homicide.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news tonight in the Drew Peterson saga. A pathologist declares Drew Peterson`s third wife, Kathleen Savio`s, death was a homicide, Savio`s body exhumed in November for a second autopsy. The forensic pathologist said the cause of death was drowning and the manner of death homicide. Kathleen Savio was found dead in her bathtub in 2004 shortly before her divorce settlement with Drew Peterson was finalized. Her death was first ruled accidental.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never felt that it was an accident. She always told us that -- whether it was a premonition or not, she always said that it would be an accident and to take care of her children, he was going to kill her. We believe that Drew was involved with this -- the death of my sister. We always believed that.
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GRACE: Major bombshell in the Drew Peterson case. As you know, his fourth wife, Stacy, has been missing for months, and now third wife Kathleen Savio, found by Peterson under very unusual circumstance -- she has been exhumed, now ruled homicide years later.
Let`s go straight out to Mary Frances Bragiel with WBBM Newsradio 780. Mary Frances, bring us up to date.
MARY FRANCES BRAGIEL, WBBM NEWSRADIO 780: Well, I think it`s fair to say that the -- this forensic pathologist has confirmed what most people believed since this all began, that she was, in fact, murdered. And I do want to point out to your viewers out there, since her body was exhumed late last year, this is the second autopsy that concluded that she was, in fact, murdered. The first autopsy, they were -- this Dr. Michael Baden, who was hired by another media outlet, concluded the same thing, that she was, in fact, murdered.
Now, the Will County state`s attorney did not issue or did not speak publicly, but he did issue a press release. I want to read you a quick quote. He said, quote, "We`ve been investigating this as a murder since reopening this case in November of last year. We now have a scientific basis to formally and publicly classify it as such" -- Nancy.
GRACE: Let`s go out to a special guest. Joining us tonight is Drew Peterson`s, the cop turned suspect, defense lawyer. You know, I`ve got in my hands right here the autopsy. With me, Joel Brodsky. And I don`t know how this could ever, ever have been ruled accident to start with. I mean, she`s covered in bruises, Joel. What is the response from your client?
JOEL BRODSKY, DREW PETERSON`S ATTORNEY: You`re looking at the first autopsy, correct?
BRODSKY: Well, I mean, if you`re looking at the same autopsy I am, we`re looking about faint bruises, ones that are less -- circular bruises that are less than three quarters of an inch in circular shape. You`re not talking about a badly bruised body, you`re talking about a body with...
GRACE: OK. Let`s go through them.
BRODSKY: ... a number of small bruises and abrasions.
GRACE: Since you and I disagree, let`s discuss it. Number one. On the scalp, the left scalp, there`s one-inch in diameter blunt laceration. Translation, a blow to the head.
BRODSKY: Which is right, or a fall or as...
GRACE: Well, this says the left...
BRODSKY: ... from a fall -- from a fall in the bathtub hitting her head.
GRACE: Right. This says the left periuto (ph) occipital scalp.
GRACE: Wouldn`t that be on top of the head, sir?
GRACE: OK. So how do you fall on top of your head?
BRODSKY: Well, if you fall in a bathtub...
GRACE: How do you fall directly...
BRODSKY: ... which has -- which has a slanted...
GRACE: ... on the top of your head?
BRODSKY: You fall -- you have a -- as -- you have a slanted side of the bathtub and strike -- as you fall over, you strike the top of your head against the side of the bathtub.
GRACE: Or you take a blow to the top of the head. OK.
BRODSKY: Well, that`s another way of getting it, but they`re consistent.
GRACE: OK. Let`s take a look at number two. On the left buttocks, another abrasion, three inches by one inch.
BRODSKY: Right. That`s abrasion.
GRACE: Another three-inch abrasion.
BRODSKY: An abrasion. Not a bruise, an abrasion.
GRACE: Left buttocks. So you`ve -- on the top of the head, you`ve got a blunt laceration, basically, a blow to the head. On the left buttock, you have another laceration. On the lower left abdomen, there are three purple contusions.
BRODSKY: Oval-shaped (INAUDIBLE) contusions from one to two inch...
BRODSKY: ... of the greatest dimension. So those are pretty small...
GRACE: Two inches? If you call a two-inch bruise small -- I mean, I don`t. Number four...
BRODSKY: No, in dimension. So that`s the diameter of it.
GRACE: Yes. I understand that.
BRODSKY: Right. So that`s a relatively small contusion.
GRACE: You know, maybe a jury might disagree with you. Let`s go to number four, left anterior thigh...
BRODSKY: ... says faint, faint one-inch by three-quarter-inch...
GRACE: Yes. Purple contusion.
BRODSKY: ... purple contusion.
GRACE: On the mid-shins, another contusion, on either shin...
BRODSKY: Right. Three-inch -- three-quarter-inch circular-shaped purple contusion...
BRODSKY: ... on the mid-shins.
GRACE: On the outer wrist, the outer right wrist...
GRACE: ... which is consistent when you`re taking a blow, to hold your wrists up in a defensive mode -- there are red abrasions on the...
BRODSKY: No. It`s a consistency with stopping a blow would be on the inner wrist, not the outer wrist.
BRODSKY: Someone would hold their hand up...
GRACE: I disagree.
GRACE: Very -- clearly, I`m showing here, if you hold your hand up like that, you get it on the outer wrist.
BRODSKY: Right. With your palm towards your face, which would be not be defensive. It would be palm away from face which would be defensive.
GRACE: Well, I disagree with you. We`d have to leave that up to a jury, I guess.
GRACE: Number seven. On the first finger on the right hand, there is another abrasion, and also on the left elbow, another red abrasion. That`s quite a bit. That`s quite a bit of bruising.
BRODSKY: Well, you know, also, you have to remember, Kathy was a very athletic person. She would work out on a daily basis. This -- you know, if you run, lift weights, ride bicycles...
GRACE: I`m glad you said that, Joel.
BRODSKY: ... I mean, you get these type of minor bruises...
GRACE: I`m glad you said that because if she`s so athletic and she`s so coordinated, then how did she basically kill herself in the bathtub?
BRODSKY: Well, go -- go to page four of the...
GRACE: Got it.
BRODSKY: ... of the autopsy before you. Diagnosis. Number two. Moderate pulmonary edema. And number six...
GRACE: Well, sir, I had that myself, and you can see I`m alive and well.
BRODSKY: And number six, mild mitral valve thickening.
GRACE: Sir, pulmonary edema is simply fluid in the lungs.
GRACE: And that is very, very common.
BRODSKY: Number six...
GRACE: That just...
BRODSKY: ... mild mitral valve thickening, which is a heart defect.
GRACE: But sir...
BRODSKY: Which can cause an accident.
GRACE: ... that`s not what -- I`m glad you`re pointing that out, but that is not the cause of death. The cause of death is drowning, homicide.
BRODSKY: No, the cause of death -- well, the first cause of death was accidental. How did she become unconscious...
GRACE: Accidental. It still said drowning.
BRODSKY: Right, accidental drowning, so the bathtub...
GRACE: There`s a difference between cause of death and manner of death.
BRODSKY: ... is full of water. She has -- from her mitral valve thickening, she has a mild heart infarction. She becomes unconscious, hits her head and drowns in the water.
GRACE: But there`s no evidence of a heart infarction. There is none whatsoever.
BRODSKY: Well, that wouldn`t show up in an autopsy, but...
GRACE: Yes, it would.
BRODSKY: Mitral valve thickening did show up in the autopsy.
GRACE: If someone has an infarction of the heart, a heart attack, that shows up in an autopsy. Clearly, that is not the cause of death.
GRACE: No, it does!
BRODSKY: That wasn`t the cause of death...
GRACE: It does show up!
BRODSKY: ... but it could cause unconsciousness.
GRACE: Sir -- OK, I see where the defense is going here.
Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us, Eric Chase and Penny Douglas Furr. Eric Chase, what`s the best shot here for the defense?
ERIC CHASE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, certainly, I don`t envy Mr. Brodsky. It`s going to be a very difficult case. But what you have to remember is that the first coroner who looked at this came to a very different conclusion. I mean, one of the things we have to look at is how old are these bruises? Certainly, the first doctor who looked at it was better in a position to tell.
GRACE: Well, you know what`s interesting, Eric? You keep saying that they`re are conclusions, but they`re not. The first autopsy says drowning by accident. The second one says drowning by homicide.
Very quickly, we are just being joined by Dr. Michael Arnall. He is a board-certified forensic pathologist joining us out of Denver. Doctor, thank you for being with us. There are quite a host of bruises to this young lady`s body. The cause of death, homicide by drowning. It`s a bombshell in the Drew Peterson case.
How is it, Doctor, that someone could get a blow to the very top of their head and then their body be covered in bruises from a simple fall in a bathtub? Doctor? I think I`ve got Dr. Michael Arnall with me. Elizabeth, is he hooked up? Dr. Arnall, can you hear me? OK. When we get his mike back on his person, let me know.
Mike Brooks, weigh in.
MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Nancy, from looking at this, is that -- former detective and investigator, looking at this, you know, Mr. Brodsky`s saying that these are defensive marks on - - you know -- no. These aren`t -- no. No way.
And the other thing that really bothers me, Nancy, if we look back to the first autopsy and when they had the coroner`s court, who testified in that? It was an investigator with the Illinois State Police. He had not been to the scene. He had not been there at the autopsy, and he`s testifying to all this evidence. The Illinois State Police is still now investigating this. I just hope that detective, that investigator is not working this particular case.
But Nancy, unless she jumped up on the side of the tub and took a dive into the tub and hit her top of her head, as this autopsy reports -- you know, I don`t know how it was ruled accidental in the first place. After reading this detailed report, no way.
GRACE: OK. I`m going to go out on a limb here and try the doctor again. Dr. Michael Arnall, can you hear me?
DR. MICHAEL ARNALL, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Hi, Nancy. How are you?
GRACE: Great. It`s great to have you with us, Doctor. Have you seen this autopsy report, sir?
ARNALL: Yes. I`ve seen the first autopsy report and the report on the second.
GRACE: What do you make of the number of bruises on wife number three`s body? How could that possibly result from a single fall in a bathtub?
ARNALL: You know, I think it`s likely that both pathologists were very uncomfortable with the bruises, and in particular, the bruises are present on different aspects of the body. It`s likely that the second pathologist has concluded that this is multi-directional trauma -- multi- directional trauma meaning that it`s unlikely that all these bruises resulted from a single fall onto a single surface.
GRACE: What do you mean by multi-directional bruising?
ARNALL: When an individual falls onto a flat surface -- for instance, if this person fell backward, it is likely that they might get a laceration on the back of the head and perhaps even the bruises on the buttocks. But that doesn`t explain the bruises that are present on the anterior or the front aspect of the body, and in particular, those bruises on the abdomen and the bruises on the wrists. And that`s probably what raised the concerns of both pathologists and compelled the second pathologist to diagnose homicide.
GRACE: With me is defense attorney Joel Brodsky, a veteran defense attorney there in that jurisdiction there in Chicago. Joel, you are representing Drew Peterson, suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife. Now his third wife, exhumed, is a victim of homicide. What`s your response to Dr. Arnall?
BRODSKY: Well, Doctor, what`s the age of these bruises? I mean, these bruises could have been there for days prior to Kathy`s death. So...
GRACE: No, Joel. Let him answer!
BRODSKY: ... at the type of -- at where the bruises are, but the age of the bruises.
GRACE: Go ahead, Doctor.
ARNALL: And indeed, there`s no report -- there`s no report in the autopsy examination on any microscopic examination of the bruises. They are described as purple. And while the color of bruises is not the best way of dating a bruise, they certainly appear to be contemporaneous with the time of death, although, understandably, there`s no way to specifically date a contusion, even with a microscopic examination.
GRACE: Doctor, when bruises begin to fade, isn`t that a suggestion that they are older?
ARNALL: And indeed, everyone understands that, initially, a purple bruise will turn yellowish green and finally turn red before it fades to brown and goes away. So everyone would likely say these are bruises of a recent vintage, but determining the exact hour that these bruises occurred is not going to be possible.
GRACE: And Doctor, the defense attorney had pointed out something that he found interesting. Having suffered pulmonary edema myself when I gave birth, pulmonary edema is not the cause of death in this case, Doctor, is it?
ARNALL: No. The pulmonary edema, the swelling of the brain and the foamy, frothy material in the mouth are diagnostic criteria, the diagnostic criteria that both pathologists have used to diagnosis drowning. I think the diagnosis of drowning in this case is not difficult.
The difficulty arises in interpreting the other contusions, and in particular the abrasions on the wrist. When one sees linear abrasions on the wrist as are described in this autopsy, one immediately expresses a concern for the possible use of ligatures, or at least pressure applied to the wrists so great as to exceed the amount of pressure that any individual experiences in an innocent physical interaction.
GRACE: With us tonight is a renowned pathologist, Dr. Michael Arnall. Dr. Arnall, especially troubling to me on page two of this autopsy report is the left periuto occipital scalp blunt laceration. Would you show us, would you direct us on camera where that would be on her scalp?
ARNALL: Well, the occipital region is the back. So this is a little bit above the back. It`s on the left side. There are -- there are potentially ways of determining whether a moving head was struck by a fixed object, as in a fall, or a moving object, like a baseball bat, hit a stationary head. That could be done in other cases based on the location of contusions within the brain. But in this case, there are no contusions on the surface of the brain. So the use of coup and contracoup contusions can`t be done in this case to determine whether the head was struck by a moving object or a moving head struck a stationary object, like the ground or the bathtub.
Out to the lines. Martha in Tennessee. Hi, Martha.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Love your show. And your babies are beautiful.
GRACE: Thank you, dear. What`s your question, Martha?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First of all, I`d like to say that I`ve always thought it was homicide. But my question is, how are they able to determine homicide after she`s been deceased this long?
GRACE: To Ed Miller, joining us tonight, with "America`s Most Wanted." What do you have to go through to exhume a body, Ed?
ED MILLER, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": Well, a whole lot you have to go through. But you know, there are other people that are saying, What took them so long? Because they started this way back in November. And let`s clarify. There are now three autopsies. Autopsy number two and autopsy number three both say that it was murder. So that sort of trumps the very first autopsy that now people are beginning to think that maybe there was a rush to judgment.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The wound, being a head wound, would have created profuse bleeding. The (INAUDIBLE) in the tub area is not consistent with the water leaking slowly out of the tub and leaving a residue. The abrasions that are seen on her left buttock and on her elbow are not the type of injuries that would occur on a slick surface as those that were in the tub area.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We never felt that it was an accident. She always told us that -- whether it was a premonition or not, she always said that it would be an accident and to take care of her children, he was going to kill her. We believe that Drew was involved with this, the death of my sister. We always believed that.
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GRACE: A bombshell in the Drew Peterson case. His third wife`s death has now been ruled a homicide within the last couple of hours, cracking the case wide open in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.
To Joel Brodsky, Drew Peterson`s defense attorney, with us tonight. It`s amazing how your client keeps happening upon dead and missing women. It`s quite coincidence, isn`t it.
BRODSKY: Well, I mean, it`s one dead and one missing. That`s a coincidence.
GRACE: Yes. That`s more than most people have in a lifetime.
BRODSKY: Yes, well, it`s unusual. I`ll tell you that. The -- what I`d like -- Nancy, and I really commend you on going into the details here of the autopsy report, which everybody else seems to gloss over. I have to go prepare for a closing argument I have in court tomorrow...
GRACE: OK. You`ve got a question for the doctor.
BRODSKY: Could you ask the doctor about what he believes about the mitral valve thickening in the report, what he believes that means?
GRACE: Sure. Sure. To Dr. Arnall, there`s a mild mitral valve thickening on page four of the autopsy. Is that in any way linked to the death by drowning?
ARNALL: No, it`s not. Twenty percent of the population has a condition called mitral valve prolapse. Mild thickening of the mitral valve is not associated, to my knowledge, with any incidents of sudden death. And in addition to the fact it`s not associated with sudden death, there are compelling findings, and that`s the foamy, frothy material in her airway, the cerebral humerus (ph) swelling of the brain, as well as the fluid in her lungs.
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JAMES GLASGOW, WILL COUNTY STATE`S ATTORNEY: When I became aware that the third wife had passed away in the drowning in the bathtub, I requested all the reports. I read the reports. I read the autopsy protocol. I read the inquest. I looked at the crime scene photographs and I looked at the photographs from the autopsy. And with 29 years of experience, there was no doubt in my mind it wasn`t an accident. That was clear.
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GRACE: That is the Will County state`s attorney, James Glasgow, speaking. Bombshell tonight in the Stacy Peterson investigation. She`s been missing for months, but now her husband cop/suspect has a problem. His third wife`s death has been ruled a homicide. And of course, he was the one that found the body.
Back to Martha in Tennessee`s question to Dr. Arnall. How so many years later, three years later, can you determine cause of death after an exhumation?
ARNALL: When a pathologist certifies to a reasonable medical degree of medical certainty that he`s come to a conclusion, he`s actually said two things, or she has said two things, that the conclusion that he reached is reasonable based on the evidence, and second, that he`s reasonably excluded all the reasonable possibilities.
In this instance, the diagnosis of drowning is not difficult -- the foam cone (ph) around the mouth, the swelling of the brain and the edema in the lungs. What is difficult to understand is the presence of a constellation of contusions both on the back of the body, which might be reasonable to explain from a fall, but also present on the front of the body. There are three contusions on the right (ph) pattern (ph) of the abdomen. Those little oval contusions could be due to either fingertips or knuckles.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She always told us that -- whether it was a premonition or not, she always said that it would be an accident and to take care of her children, he was going to kill her.
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STEVE CARCERANO, FRIEND OF DREW PETERSON`S: He said he was trying to drop off the kids for like the last day and a half and she wasn`t answering the door. And that wasn`t like Kathy not to do. If he was a couple of minutes late, she would, you know, be right on the phone with the police department. He came after her best friend came into the bathroom. I yelled out her name a couple of times. She started screaming. And that`s when Drew came running up the stairs right into the bathroom. Upon looking at her, you know, he did check her pulse and then started screaming out, what am I going to tell my kids?
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GRACE: A bombshell in the Stacy Peterson case. As you know, the young mom has been missing for several months now. Her husband, a cop turned suspect, now has some devastating news to his defense. His third wife`s death has been ruled a homicide after her exhumation. Death by drowning. Her body covered in bruises.
Let`s go out to the lines. Laura in Washington. Hi, Laura.
LAURA, FROM WASHINGTON: Hello. Amazing grace. It is so wonderful to have you back on the air and congratulations on your family.
GRACE: Thank you so much.
LAURA: And we prayed so hard for you and hoped everything would be great and everything has turned out so well.
GRACE: Well, Laura, God heard your prayers and I am blessed. Thank you. What`s your question, dear?
LAURA: Question is always about the children. We`re worried about these kids having to live in this house with this man. And if they arrest him or get more evidence so that they can arrest him on this latest charge that`s come up, will those children be able to be adopted out to the families and get out of that house that he seems to always be in front of with all the cameras?
GRACE: Yes. And you know what`s interesting. Apparently he`s still telling his other children that their mom is on a vacation.
What about it? Let`s go to Susan Roesgen, CNN correspondent, joining us there in Chicago.
Susan, it`s great so have you with us tonight. What is the status of those children by Savio?
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Nancy, I`m really not sure what the status is but as they get older, they cannot be shielded from this forever. You know I spoke to Pam Bosco, the spokeswoman for the Peterson children, and she said -- and for the whole Peterson family, and she said the family always believed that there`s -- wasn`t something right about Kathleen Savio`s death.
In fact, she says that they used to tell Stacy who had married Drew shortly before Savio`s death, look, you can`t believe that. People don`t just die in a tub. But Stacy always defended Drew and said just what he said, which is that she hit her head and drowned.
Now I also talked to Melissa Doman. She is the niece of Kathleen Savio speaking for the Savio family tonight, Nancy, and she pointed out that they feel vindicated because they had believed all along that Savio was murdered. And she also pointed out, Nancy, that Drew Peterson, according to the Savio side, gained $3 million after Savio`s death, if you add up the insurance payments, their joint house, and their business interests together. So how these kids can be spared from all this, I don`t know.
GRACE: $3 million?
ROESGEN: According to the Savio side.
GRACE: That`s the first time I have heard that exact figure. $3 million he gained? And so, tell me -- Susan Roesgen is with us, CNN correspondent joining us from Chicago. Weren`t they on the verge of reaching some type of a financial settlement in their divorce when she was killed?
ROESGEN: Yes, apparently they were. They were getting ready to settle it but I learned tonight from Melissa Doman, again, the niece of Kathleen Savio, that she had five, count them, Nancy, five life insurance policies because of the business, the printing business that she and Drew owned together, the bar that she and Drew owned together, and you know, she`s concerned about the welfare of her children.
Now, why a woman has that many life insurance policies and then winds up dead and her husband -- her widow, you know, winds up -- widower winds up with $3 million according to the Savio family, I don`t know.
GRACE: You know, another thing, Susan, it seems to be that the Savio family in the past week is gearing up to file a wrongful death suit against Drew Peterson.
ROESGEN: That may take place. You know this is the interesting thing in all of this tonight, Nancy. The name that we seem to tiptoe around is Drew Peterson as suspect. There is no doubt in the Peterson family`s minds nor in the Savio family`s minds Drew Peterson was the killer.
I mean -- so we know that this woman was murdered now, according to the county state attorney, but no one on the official side wants to say, and we believe it`s Drew Peterson. That hasn`t happened. Not yet.
GRACE: Back out to the lines. Lisa in New Jersey. Hi, Lisa.
LISA, FROM NEW JERSEY: Hi, Nancy. We love you here in Hamilton. Congratulations on your beautiful babies.
GRACE: Thank you. Thank you.
LISA: I would love to sit next to you in the show because I -- I just don`t understand how she has all these bruises. She ends up in an empty bathtub. There`s no questions asked. You know there`s no water in the bathtub. I`m wondering if he had a history of beating her before. And how does he have time to be playing on MySpace when his -- when Stacy`s missing?
GRACE: To Ed Miller with "America`s Most Wanted." can you address Laura?
ED MILLER, CORRESPONDENT, AMERICA`S MOST WANTED: Well, first of all, people can drown with only a tablespoon of water. So that whole issue of whether or not the bathtub had water in it is really a moot point. But again, two autopsies are now saying murder.
As far as him having time to play on MySpace and all of the outrageous things that he`s been saying in front of the house, you notice how he never mentions ever once anything about his little children being without mother. I think that`s the real issue here.
The other thing is context here. You keep saying why this is a bombshell. This is why it`s a bombshell. It creates a possible motive because a lot of people don`t understand this. He was romancing wife number four while still married to number three. So you can only imagine in your head, kissy kissy but I can`t really marry you yet because I`ve still got wife number three, and all of a sudden she`s -- she is dead. I mean, it just now creates a possible motive. What would his motive be?
GRACE: Ed Miller joining us from "America`s Most Wanted."
Out to Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst and author of "Dealbreakers." What about the fact that he is apparently still telling his children mommy`s on a vacation, and I`m referring to Stacy Peterson and also Savio`s children. What does he say to them?
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST, AUTHOR, "DEALBREAKERS": It is so sad because it`s not just the loss that traumatizes a child, it`s everything that comes after and what they`re told about it, so what comes to mind is the concept of something called cumulative trauma. It`s when a child is hurt in one way and then multiple ways after so they lose Kathleen Savio and then Stacy Peterson goes missing, and then he tells them he`s on a -- that she`s on a vacation.
Then he has cut her off from Stacy`s -- or Stacy`s extended family. That`s yet another trauma. And then we know he`s probably mal-attuned(ph) and sexualizing his relationships with other women and at some point late adolescent, early adulthood, they may come to realize that something is really wrong with daddy when the mask of sanity begins to slip and that`s going to be yet another trauma.
GRACE: Out to the lines, Christy in Indiana. Hi, Christy.
CHRISTY, FROM INDIANA: Hi, Nancy.
GRACE: What`s your question, dear?
CHRISTY: Well, first of all, you, I have to say that you absolutely rock. You are just my idol.
GRACE: You can tell that to the defense bar. Thank you.
CHRISTY: I will.
GRACE: What is your question, love?
CHRISTY: I have two questions. Now my first question is that, since two of the first autopsies have deemed this a homicide, who else is out there who would want her dead other than Drew?
GRACE: Out to the lawyers, Eric Chase, Penny Douglas Furr.
Penny, the reality is, you have to look at who would have motive for murder and I can think of three million motives right now, Penny.
PENNY DOUGLASS FURR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the $3 million is the motive. But, Nancy, we know he did it. We believe he did it. But you`ve got to have the evidence. The problem is you have got to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt with the evidence. The evidence is old. And yes, we know he killed her but we`ve got to go another leap to prove that Drew Peterson killed her and that`s the problem.
Now, the other thing I wanted to say is I don`t understand why Stacy`s family is not in court trying to prove him an unfit parent. I would be trying to get those children out of there, because that`s not the same standard as a criminal case, and I think there`s enough evidence here to prove him an unfit parent.
GRACE: What about it, Eric?
ERIC CHASE, INTERNATIONAL LAW ATTORNEY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, first of all, I want to say that I agree with your comment. There`s a big difference between cause of death and manner of death. I don`t see this new autopsy as bringing us any new evidence.
The new pathologist has reached a different conclusion than the first one but that`s based on stuff outside the scientific purview. You know, these guys are very good at scientific evidence. When it comes to concluding why it happened, we`re considering lots of other things. For example, what changed here with Savio is what happened with this fourth wife.
GRACE: Weigh in, Mike Brooks.
MIKE BROOKS, FMR. DC POLICE DETECTIVE, SERVED ON FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: Well -- and that`s the whole thing, Nancy, is you always look for motive. What was the motive behind this? And you know, when you look at both of them, it`s -- look at the evidence.
Now, I would be going back as an investigator and taking a look. OK. Where was -- where was Drew Peterson March 1st, 2004? You know, hopefully whoever -- his cell phone company he had at the time will have in their archives exactly what kind of records he had so they can go back and take a look and say, where was he when all this occurred? When do they determine time of death?
GRACE: To Sheeba in Illinois. Hi, Sheeba.
SHEEBA, FROM ILLINOIS: Hi. I`m your favorite person in Illinois.
GRACE: Thank you, love. What`s your question tonight, dear?
SHEEBA: OK. My question is, did anybody else find it strange that she had another man go in with Savio`s house and find her body?
GRACE: Ed Miller, what about it?
MILLER: Well, you know, they`ve looked at all of these things. I mean, again, this has been going on since November. And I think one of the reasons why it`s taken so long to come forward with the results of this autopsy is they were trying to gather evidence against Drew.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Armed with enough flyers to cover an entire neighborhood in federal way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you doing? Someone had a map.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than 50 friends and family search for Nicholas Francisco near where his red Toyota Paseo was last seen. It`s the freshest clue for detectives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The car has been seen here. There`s the car has been reported of being in different parking spots.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators say somebody here most likely knows something about Nicolas. His co-workers are going door to door to find out who has seen him or knows where he is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Where is a 28-year-old devoted father of two? A husband, his wife expecting a third child.
Let`s go straight out to Jennifer Sullivan with "The Seattle Times."
Jennifer, what happened?
JENNIFER SULLIVAN, REPORTER, THE SEATTLE TIMES: Hi, Nancy. Looks like Nicholas Francisco, he disappeared on February 13th, more than a week ago. He talked to his wife that evening. She called him. She asked him to stop by a local Costco store and pick something up for an errand and he was supposed to be home and he just never returned.
GRACE: Joining us tonight is a very special guest. I want to introduce you to Nicholas`s wife, Christine Francisco.
Christine, thank you for being with us.
CHRISTINE FRANCISCO, WIFE OF MISSING DAD NICHOLAS FRANCISCO: Absolutely.
GRACE: Christine, according to my research, your husband has no history whatsoever of disappearing, of going on a walkabout, of getting frustrated or fed up and leaving for even an evening, and not coming back.
FRANCISCO: You`re right. He wouldn`t do this. Even if he was 15 minutes late in traffic, he would call me. He loves us more than anything and would do anything to get home to us and you`re right. He has no history of anything or any behavior, anything that would lead him to just disappear.
GRACE: Everyone, the tip line is 206-296-3311. A $15,000 reward currently standing for information regarding Nicholas Francisco, a graphics designer at a local ad agency. He called his wife Christine before he left. She asked him to go pick up -- was it some sugar, Christine?
FRANCISCO: Yes, that`s right.
GRACE: At the local Costco. Do we know if he ever made it to the Costco, Christine?
FRANCISCO: We don`t believe that he did. The Costco is near our home but it`s off the beaten path of where his car was found so.
GRACE: Well, Christine, what is this I heard about his car being in different parking spots?
FRANCISCO: That`s what has been reported but it`s -- I don`t know.
GRACE: That`s very unusual.
FRANCISCO: It`s very disturbing.
GRACE: To Jennifer Sullivan, tell me about where his car was actually found.
SULLIVAN: His car was found Monday and it was found outside a condominium complex, maybe about 15 minutes, 10, 15 minutes away from his home. Somebody found it. They recognized -- they`d heard about his -- him missing on the news. Detectives have searched his car. They haven`t found anything. They haven`t found any clues. They have searched his bank records. They have searched everything and there is just nothing to indicate what happened and where he`s gone.
GRACE: What about his phone records, Jennifer?
SULLIVAN: T-Mobile provided cell phone records and it appears that his cell phone battery is dead or maybe turned off.
GRACE: Christine Francisco, Nicholas` wife, is with us. Christine, what happened that day? Anything at all out of the ordinary?
FRANCISCO: Nope. Perfectly normal. He got up with the kids like he always does, makes them breakfast and spends time with them before he has to go to work. He came in, he brings me coffee every morning. He`s so sweet and -- he kissed me good-bye. And he left for work. I talked to him through the day and he sounded fine. And then I talked to him for the last time at 6:00.
GRACE: What did he say?
FRANCISCO: I called him to ask him when he was going to be home, if he was on his way, and he said I just have to sign off on something and then I`ll stop at Costco and I love you, Bella. And that`s the last I heard of my husband. He had plans to make cookies with his 4-year-old little girl and there`s no way, no way in the world he would miss that.
GRACE: Christine, how far away from his place of business was his car found?
FRANCISCO: I don`t know the time distance. From our house it is actually about 30 minutes from our house. And from our house to Seattle it`s -- it depends on traffic. Can be about 30 minutes to his work from our house. So.
GRACE: Let`s go out the lines. Wayne in North Carolina. Hi, Wayne.
WAYNE, FROM NORTH CAROLINA: Hi, Nancy.
GRACE: What`s your question, dear?
WAYNE: Yes, I was just wondering was there anything, any records or anything from his bank card that had maybe been used since he`s been missing and where they can maybe see where it`s been or anything?
GRACE: Christine, any activity on his ATM or credit cards?
FRANCISCO: No. Our bank account, the only thing that`s gone through on the bank accounts are automatic bills that go through every month and no, nothing on his e-mail. Nothing anywhere. At all.
GRACE: Christine, was he parking in a parking garage? Where was his car parked at work?
FRANCISCO: Generally he parks on the street.
GRACE: On the street. And what time did he leave work?
GRACE: Was it already dark at that time?
FRANCISCO: It`s getting dark. It`s not totally dark but it is getting dark at that time.
GRACE: Were there video cameras around that would have seen him leaving?
FRANCISCO: They haven`t found any, no.
GRACE: OK. To Daniel in Washington. Hi, Daniel.
DANIEL, FROM WASHINGTON: Hi, Nancy.
GRACE: What`s your question, dear?
DANIEL: My question is the one that you said. Was -- isn`t there supposed to be a video camera and then on top of that, you know, all the news they haven`t been showing it. So is there any reason, like, why?
GRACE: Why they haven`t been showing what?
DANIEL: Why they haven`t been showing that on the news, like I watched the news like every day.
GRACE: And this is the first you have seen of it?
DANIEL: This is the first I`ve seen it.
GRACE: Christine, why hasn`t it been more publicized? Do you know?
FRANCISCO: It`s all over here. I am thankful it has gone national. I really appreciate that because somebody knows something. I mean, I only have so much control over how far it gets out.
GRACE: You`re right, Christine, and in fact, let`s use these last few moments before we go to break with the tipline. 206-296-3311. You have met Christine Francisco. Please, help bring her husband Nicholas home.
GRACE: We are on the hunt for parents who inspire. Now tonight`s extraordinary parent.
Everyone is searching in their lives for their point or their purpose. Mine was being a mom. I thought, a couple years later when Noah was born, I realized it`s bigger than that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trisha Denison`s second son Noah was born with a rare developmental disorder (INAUDIBLE). His disorder left Noah wheelchair-bound and completely dependent on Trisha and his big brother River. Rather than discouraged by Noah`s condition, Trisha became inspired.
If I didn`t have River with me, it was impossible for me to shop. Noah`s cart was created because I was at the store one day and I just thought, you know, there`s a huge market of parents like me out there who have children with special needs who can`t take their kids shopping anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trisha is now working to make Noah`s cart a grocery cart able to accommodate children like Noah a reality. She hopes to not only help other families but to raise money for a research.
This is all his plan and this is just me carrying out Noah`s plan and now I understand what my point behind being his mother was.
GRACE: Let`s stop to remember Army Sergeant Steven Ganczewski, only 22, Niagara Falls, New York, Iraq. Joining Civil Air Patrol at 12, dreamed of becoming an Army Ranger, on a fifth tour, awarded the service medal, Iraq campaign medal and bronze star. Loves NASCAR, the Bills and the Sabres. Favorite music, classic rock. Leaves behind parents Mark and Maria, brother Christopher, widow Rachel and 2-year-old daughter Makayla.
Steven Ganczewski, American hero.
Thanks to our guests but especially to you for inviting us into your home. A special good night to Leslie, Robert and Ashley from Vista Vocational, a program to address neurological disabilities, helping students to live independently.
And tonight, happy three-year anniversary to everyone at the show. We launched three years ago tonight. Hoping to take a look at crime and justice. Thank you to Ken and Jim, to Elizabeth. Let`s take a look at Liz, who`s in my ear every night, to Brett, our director, and to Dean, who created the show.
All co-workers, all friends. To you, thanks, team. Let`s keep our nose in the wind and our eyes on the horizon. See you tomorrow night and until then, good night, friend.