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NANCY GRACE

Drew Peterson "Shocked" by Savio Death Verdict

Aired February 22, 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: Tonight, fast-breaking developments 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, bombshell in the highly unusual dry bathtub drowning of his third wife. Tonight that drowning officially ruled homicide.
The defense gears up by publicly claiming wife number three died of a heart problem. But with multiple bruising, abrasions, contusions to her body, her hair matted in blood from a head laceration, death by drowning is the official cause of death. And tonight, Kathleen Savio`s murder set to blow the Peterson case wide open. How could one alleged fall in a bathtub cause such massive bruising across her entire body? Well, right now, a secret grand jury meeting behind closed doors on not just 23-year-old Stacy Peterson`s disappearance but the murder of wife number three, Kathleen Savio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) Stacy Peterson case. All along, we`ve been wondering, what has happened to her? She`s been missing for almost four months now. First question: Who`s responsible? First person we look at, that guy, Her husband, Drew. He`s a suspect. And we are zoning in on him even harder than ever. Peterson`s third wife, Kathleen Savio -- she died four years ago. It was originally rule an accident. She slipped in the bathtub. But now it is being ruled a homicide. Does that mean this former cop is now a suspect in that case, as well?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It leaves one an eerie feeling of dread. We realize that Kathleen and Stacy had one common denominator, and that was Drew Peterson.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drew Peterson this morning refused to comment about the second autopsy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you care to give us a thought on this?

DREW PETERSON: No. No comments. I`m not going to be making any comments about the results.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: And tonight, upscale mall Boca Raton, Florida, apparently stalked by a serial killer targeting moms and pricy SUVs, three attacks within four months of each other, each in broad daylight, all in mall parking lots. Victims, three moms already attacked, their children with them. Grainy surveillance video emerges, and police chase the leads. Also tonight, a composite sketch of the killer is finally released as police study the Boca mall predator`s MO.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the video just released by detectives of murder victims Nancy Bochicchio and her daughter, Joey, walking through Boca Town Center Mall the fateful afternoon before they were found tied up and shot to death in the mall parking garage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nancy must have felt so helpless as the gunman bound her little girl with zip ties.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say Nancy`s wrists were bound with handcuffs. He zip tied her neck to the headrest and placed swimming goggles with blacked-out lenses over her eyes. Driven by adrenaline or the sheer will of a mother trying to save her child, Nancy somehow used extraordinary strength to break her handcuffs. Two shots, just like that, Nancy and Joey were murdered, shot at point-blank range, each taking a bullet to the head.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to 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 tonight, Chicago police hone in on the dry bathtub drowning of his third wife, now ruled homicide.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One wife missing, another murdered. The death of Drew Peterson`s third wife -- we first thought it was an accident, now it`s being ruled a homicide. Does that mean this former cop is now a suspect in that case, as well?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a healthy young woman. She has no drugs, no alcohol, no natural disease that would explain why she would drown in a bathtub -- without water, by the way. And she has injuries all over her body. This is either incompetence on the part of the coroner or some political, you know, conniving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Savio family came to us when Stacy Peterson went missing. They said that Kathleen Savio gave them a briefcase of documents back when she was found in the bathtub. And this briefcase of documents said in Kathleen`s own words, He`s going to make it look like an accident. But if anything ever happens to me, he is to blame. It is that he will have killed me. I mean, this is what this family has longed for justice, Kathleen`s death, indeed, ruled a homicide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drew Peterson this morning refused to comment about the second autopsy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you care to give us a thought on this?

PETERSON: No. No comments. I`m not going to be making any comments about the results.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bottom line now is this. We need to find Stacy because we don`t know where she is, and we need to find out who killed Kathleen Savio.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Bombshell in the Stacy Peterson case, wife number three`s death now officially ruled a homicide, her body covered in bruises. Out to Jon Leiberman with "America`s Most Wanted." Jon, what`s the latest?

JON LEIBERMAN, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": Well, Nancy, the latest is, as you mentioned, this autopsy now is this death has been ruled a homicide. This is a moment that the Savio family has been waiting for since 2004. And you know what? It took Stacy Peterson to go missing for this family to have their loved one exhumed and for two additional autopsies to be done on their loved one. And now it does appear, of course, that Drew`s third wife was, indeed, murdered.

GRACE: Joining us tonight, a very special guest. Drew Peterson`s defense attorney, Joel Brodsky, is joining us. Brodsky is a veteran trial lawyer in the Chicago area and has been hired by Drew Peterson. Mr. Brodsky, I thought your client was going to give a public statement last night. Why did he chicken out?

JOEL BRODSKY, DREW PETERSON`S ATTORNEY: I don`t know that he chickened out. Maybe he`s finally following my advice and keeping quiet, so...

GRACE: So he will...

BRODSKY: From my point of view, it`s a good thing.

GRACE: Well, you may be right from a defense angle. So he will call in to a dating game on the radio, but he will not address the fact that his third wife`s death is now ruled a homicide?

BRODSKY: Well, that`s an old story about the dating game and what was going on there. But no, he`s not going to comment on anything involving either Kathleen or Stacy, at this point.

GRACE: Why? If he has nothing to hide, why won`t he comment?

BRODSKY: Well, you were an attorney. You know the answer to that question.

GRACE: Yes. Why don`t you tell me?

BRODSKY: The answer is, is that when you`re under investigation, you`re a suspect, you don`t make any statements.

GRACE: Mr. Brodsky, some people would disagree with you. Some people would suggest that if you are innocent and you have nothing to hide, you would want to be helping police find the killer of your third wife. Last night, it was stated that members of Savio`s family suggest that he would gain about $3 million by her death. Was he, in fact, the beneficiary on some life insurance policy belonging to her?

BRODSKY: No. Absolutely not. Those life insurance policies benefited Kathy`s children. And in fact, that money is in a court- supervised trust account, so it can only be spent on the children`s benefit, by court order. So there`s no truth to that at all.

GRACE: What about the businesses they owned together?

BRODSKY: Well, those -- that money was all liquidated and was in the house that was sold.

GRACE: Oh, who got the proceeds of the house?

BRODSKY: Right. And that cash was all the cash there was, and that cash was already liquidated and about to be split up in the divorce case. And you know, they pretty -- as I was talking to Drew, it was pretty clear that everybody knew what was going to happen in the divorce. At that point, when Kathy passed away, everything was pretty much on the plate. Nobody -- there were going to be no great surprises, and everybody was fairly satisfied with the direction it was going.

GRACE: Well, Mr. Brodsky, you said the money from the businesses they owned together went into the house, and that was about to be liquidated when she was murdered. Since she was murdered before it was liquidated, to whom did all the money from the house go?

BRODSKY: Well, like I say -- you`re using the loaded word "murdered," but before she -- after she died...

GRACE: Well, they have ruled it a homicide.

BRODSKY: Well, that was the second time, they ruled it a homicide. The first time, they ruled it an accident. But in any event, the money was -- the divorce was finished, even after Kathy had died, so a judge ruled on where the money went. Kathy`s estate was one beneficiary. Her insurance policies, obviously, were taken into consideration, that that went to the children and the estate. And Drew got the bulk of the money. It was signed off on by a judge after hearing evidence, so it wasn`t as if...

GRACE: Drew got the bulk of the money?

BRODSKY: Not the money from the insurance company, but the bulk of the money from the liquidation of the house, yes.

GRACE: With us is Joel Brodsky, Drew Peterson`s attorney. The cop/suspect has hired Mr. Brodsky. Joel Brodsky another question. Are any of Savio`s, Kathleen Savio`s, children living with your client, Mr. Peterson?

BRODSKY: Yes, the two teenage boys.

GRACE: And how has he explained this turn of events? Their mom is a victim of homicide. How has he explained that to them?

BRODSKY: Well, Drew believes that the first autopsy report is the correct one. The first coroner`s finding is the correct one. So he hasn`t explained to the boys anything about that. The boys believe and they know their mother died in a tragic accident, and there`s no reason to discuss this new finding with them, especially since the coroner has refused to release the report for critical review.

GRACE: So he has not brought this up with his boys, even though it`s being covered on television and in the newspapers?

GRACE: No. There`d be no reason to.

GRACE: OK. Do the other children, the children belonging to Stacy Peterson -- is he still telling them Mommy is on a vacation?

BRODSKY: I believe he is.

GRACE: Why?

BRODSKY: Because he`s trying to shield his children.

GRACE: Out to the lines. To Leeann in Alabama. Hi, Leeann.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations on your two new angels.

GRACE: Thank you. Thank you very much. What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, with this new autopsy evidence, will he be charged possibly in the murder, and I say that definitely now, of his third wife? And if so, was he ever made to take a lie-detector test in that case, or has he taken one in the present case of Stacy?

GRACE: Let`s go to the source. With us is Drew Peterson`s defense attorney, Joel Brodsky there in the Chicago area. Mr. Brodsky, did he take a lie-detector test in the first -- well, not necessarily the first. I would say the third wife`s untimely death?

BRODSKY: No. In fact, he was never requested to and...

GRACE: Oh, really? Is he open to that?

BRODSKY: No, he`s not. I`ve been very clear on this all along, that in this type of context, outside of a, you know, full and complete interrogation, which he`s not going to subject himself to. A lie-detector test really isn`t statistically accurate, so there is no reason for him to submit himself to that.

GRACE: So when you say nobody asked him to, the reality is, is that he wouldn`t take it, even if asked.

BRODSKY: Yes, at this point, no, he wouldn`t take it, even if asked. Absolutely.

GRACE: To Kathleen in New York. Hi, Kathleen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Kathleen -- or Nancy. How are you today?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, is how long had Kathleen been dead when her body was found? And isn`t it usually the way the person directs the attention from themselves is by having someone else find body that they know is there?

GRACE: Let`s go back over those facts. She`s absolutely correct. Kathleen in New York, thank you. Let`s take it back a step. To Jon Leiberman with "America`s Most Wanted." Let`s go through what we know about the death, now ruled a homicide, of Peterson`s third wife, Kathleen Savio.

LEIBERMAN: Well, the interesting thing is...

GRACE: Where was he that day? What was the time of day? What were the circumstances, and so forth?

LEIBERMAN: Apparently, what happened was that Drew actually went to the house under the guise of visiting Kathleen. It was locked. He was worried about Kathleen. He actually brought a locksmith in over to the house to undo the locks so that he could then get up into the house. And Drew and a friend of his, Steve Carcerano, then find Kathleen`s body upstairs in the bathtub.

What`s interesting is this. One of Drew`s friends told me that Drew`s alibi for when he found Kathleen in the bathtub was actually Stacy, that he told police that he had been with Stacy the two days leading up to finding Kathleen`s body in the bathtub, so his whereabouts were accounted for. Obviously, now Stacy is nowhere to be found, so we don`t know about his alibi at this point.

GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyer. In addition to Joel Brodsky, joining us tonight, prosecutor Eleanor Dixon of the Atlanta jurisdiction, Anne Bremner out of Seattle, Richard Herman out of New York.

You know, Richard, it`s just a very intriguing coincidence that this guy keeps coming home, and one wife is missing, one wife is dead.

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, listen, Stacy...

GRACE: Who`d have thunk it?

HERMAN: Nancy, Stacy Peterson`s mother took off and disappeared for years. We don`t know where she is. And then she all of a sudden appeared...

GRACE: What does that have to do with anything?

HERMAN: Well, that takes care of her. On the Savio matter...

GRACE: No, that takes care of nothing.

HERMAN: There`s no evidence of a crime~!

GRACE: I don`t even know why you said that.

HERMAN: There`s no evidence he had anything to do with Peterson or Savio. None.

GRACE: You know what`s...

HERMAN: There isn`t!

GRACE: What`s interesting, Anne Bremer, is that -- let me ask you this, Anne. When you go to somebody`s house and you ring the doorbell and you knock and they don`t come, do you call the locksmith, or do you just leave like a normal person?

ANNE BREMNER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I`m a normal person, Nancy, as you know, so I just leave.

GRACE: Now, OK, I`m not going to comment on that.

(LAUGHTER)

GRACE: Do you find it, Eleanor Dixon, a little unusual? Let`s look at the behavioral evidence. When you go to somebody`s house and you -- and they don`t come, you suddenly decide to have a locksmith break in so the neighbor can then find the dead body?

ELEANOR DIXON, PROSECUTOR: I know. Isn`t it convenient, Nancy? And as a prosecution, I would use all those little steps on what Drew Peterson did to say, Hey, he`s bringing a locksmith he just happened to know? You know, the door would be locked and he just happened to have his friend there so he could say, Oh, look what we discovered, somebody`s dead in the bathtub. What a shock.

GRACE: You know, Joel, why didn`t your client just leave? Why did he feel he had to break into the home with a witness?

BRODSKY: Well, we have to -- there`s (INAUDIBLE) to the alibi. Drew had the children all that week and he had visitation.

GRACE: Right.

BRODSKY: So he was -- tried to return the children Friday night. I mean, sorry, Sunday night. There was no answer. He kept them Sunday night over, and then the next day, the next morning, he still couldn`t get ahold of her. He was concerned. He brought -- went to the house. There was no answer. He decided that he to enter. He called a locksmith and some witnesses. So I think that Drew acted appropriately.

GRACE: Let`s go back out to the lines. Sam in Pennsylvania. Hi, Sam.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Nancy. Very nice to talk to you this evening.

GRACE: Likewise. What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got a question. Are they going to question the medical examiner who did the original autopsy on the third wife?

GRACE: Oh, man!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, if somewhere -- somewhere he...

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: That`s a can of worm. Man!~ You are so right about that. Let`s go to Jon Leiberman. What about the first medical examiner? The woman is covered in bruises and he says her hair is soaked in blood. He says accident.

LEIBERMAN: Not to mention the laceration to the scalp, the fact there was no water in the bathtub, her bloody hair. I mean, the whole thing was ridiculous. A layperson can look at this autopsy and see that it wasn`t an accidental death. It`s a great question.

They have changed the system. See, a coroner`s jury, a jury of six people, laypeople, made the final determination that this was an accident. On that coroner`s jury was actually somebody who had worked with Drew Peterson, as well, who spoke to Drew`s character, said Drew was good guy, et cetera, et cetera. So certainly, that medical examiner and every member of that coroner`s jury needs to be spoken to.

GRACE: Let`s go to Dr. William Morrone, Dr. Morrone joining us tonight out of Madison Heights, Michigan. And Elizabeth, if you could put up the graphic that Dr. Morrone has been so kind to research and prepare for us? Let`s take a look and analyze the actual injuries to Kathleen Savio. What is your opinion, Dr. Morrone?

DR. WILLIAM MORRONE, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, MEDICAL EXAMINER: My first opinion is that with wounds and lesions of the skin on different sides of the body -- I`ll repeat the word multi-directional trauma that another person used -- is evident. That...

GRACE: What are we seeing right now, Doctor? What are we seeing?

MORRONE: That`s a mock-up of an autopsy sheet. It`s an anatomical figure of the front and the back of the person.

GRACE: That shows all of her injuries. The points that you have listed are all of her injuries.

MORRONE: And there`s almost a dozen of them. Almost a dozen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drew Peterson this morning refused to comment about the second autopsy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you care to give us a thought on this?

PETERSON: No. No comments. I`m not going to be making any comments about the results.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s really hard to swallow. I think we`re happy that it`s finally confirmed that it`s a homicide, and we just have to hope (INAUDIBLE) will be brought to justice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you care to give us a thought on this?

PETERSON: No. No comments.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All`s quiet inside the Peterson home just minutes after learning that Drew Peterson`s wife died is a result of a homicide. Dr. Larry Blum with the Will County coroner`s office released his findings saying the cause of death of Kathleen S. Savio was drowning, and further, that the manner of death was homicide. To date, Peterson has never been charged in connection to his fourth wife`s disappearance or the death of his third wife.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: So the video you just saw was the exhumation of the body of Peterson`s third wife, Kathleen Savio. Where is his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson?

Let`s go out to a guest joining us, Susan Roesgen, CNN correspondent joining us there in Chicago. Susan, it`s great to see you again. You have tried to get a comment from Drew Peterson. Any luck?

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, like a lot of reporters, Nancy, I went and rang the doorbell. He came. He opened the door I`d say about four inches, just enough to say, I`m not going to talk to anybody. You can talk to my lawyer.

But I have to tell you, Nancy, that I was listening to Joel Brodsky, Drew`s lawyer, talk about the estate. The family, the Savio family, denies just about everything he told you. The family told me tonight that there was a bitter fight. This thing, this settlement, was not nearly resolved yet, a bitter fight, and that because Kathleen and Drew had been married more than 10 years, in the state of Illinois, she was entitled to half of everything, not just her insurance policy for her two teenage sons, but half of all the estate. An

And now the family is, in fact, petitioning a court to try to become caretakers of the estate, to try to wrestle her 50 percent away from Drew because they say that if she had known she was going to die, she would want all of her 50 percent to go to her boys. And they say that`s what they`re fighting for right now.

GRACE: To Susan Roesgen, CNN correspondent. What do the Savios think of the fact that Peterson has not discussed at all this new report saying their mom was murdered with the children?

ROESGEN: You know, Nancy, they say that they don`t know what Drew has told the children because they say he has only allowed them to see them one time. And they think that they`re getting everything from television, and they`re really worried that they`re getting a warped view of what happened.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her family always thought that she had been murdered and they always suspected Drew in that murder. But a coroner`s inquest initially ruled it was an accident. And it wasn`t until Stacy Peterson disappeared last October that the local state`s county district attorney here decided to reopen the case and exhumed Kathleen Savio`s body. Now a forensic pathologist says, yes, she was murdered in that bathtub.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: A bombshell in the investigation of Stacy Peterson`s disappearance, the fourth wife of Drew Peterson. Now the death of his third wife has been ruled a homicide four years later.

Joining us tonight, a special guest, Michael Lisak, Kathleen Savio`s nephew. Michael, thank you for being with us. What`s the family`s reaction?

MICHAEL LISAK, KATHLEEN SAVIO`S NEPHEW: It`s, basically, you know, what we always thought, but now we can really say it and there`s a lot more meaning behind it.

GRACE: When you hear Drew Peterson`s attorney, Joel Brodsky, explain the way the money was to be divided, what`s your response?

LISAK: I don`t believe him at all. I mean, as far as Mr. Brodsky and Drew, they must be the only two people in the world that are shocked by the results of this. And as far as the money goes, you know, it`s obvious who has it. I mean, my cousin, my aunt`s two, you know, boys, as far as them receiving anything -- I`m sure they`re very well (INAUDIBLE) boys, but...

GRACE: Why won`t Peterson let the Savios see the boys, Michael?

LISAK: Because according to him, it`s not in their best interests. They think that we`re just money-hungry people, and all we want is justice.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dr. Larry Gloom, the independent forensic pathologist who conducted the latest autopsy on Savio, looked at photos taken from the scene. He reviewed the initial reports from the investigation and examined the bathtub where her body was found.

In his report, he writes, quote, "Compelling evidence exists to support the conclusion that the cause of death of Kathleen Savio was drowning and further, that the manner of death was homicide."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drew Peterson refused to comment about the second autopsy.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you give us your thoughts on this?

DREW PETERSON, HUSBAND OF MISSINGS MOM STACY PETERSON: Nope. No comments. I`m not going to be making any comments about the results.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: It`s amazing after all of Drew Peterson`s blabbing over the past few months, since his wife went missing on October 28th, he`s suddenly gone mum. Wife number three Kathleen Savio`s death now ruled a homicide four years after the fact.

Out to the lines. Let`s to go Wendy in Illinois. Hi, Wendy.

WENDY, FROM ILLINOIS: Hey. I love you so much. You are so awesome. And congratulations, your babies are absolutely beautiful. I`m so happy for you.

GRACE: I cannot be luckier. What`s your question, dear?

WENDY: You know, does Drew Peterson -- I thought I heard he had a history of domestic abuse. If that`s so, why does it seem like they don`t take that into consideration from the get-go?

GRACE: Jon Leiberman with "America`s Most Wanted," is there any history of domestic abuse?

JON LEIBERMAN, CORRESPONDENT, AMERICA`S MOST WANTED: Well, absolutely. Yes. I mean Kathleen Savio in 2002 filed an order of protection saying, quote, "She feared Peterson would kill her." She told her family over and over again that if anything happened to her, he would make it look like an accident.

And Nancy, I have to throw in something about the kids because kids do not lie. And the Savio family shared with us a Christmas card, a note to Santa Claus that one of their kids wrote. It said, quote, "All I want for Christmas is for daddy to stop hurting mommy and for daddy to give mommy a divorce."

GRACE: OK. Joel Brodsky is with us, Drew Peterson`s attorney. Any response to the letter to Santa?

JOEL BRODSKY, ATTORNEY FOR DREW PETERSON: Well, that was during the divorce when they had a very contentious divorce early on, when it was going on. And that sounds to me that Kathy was putting the children in the middle of the divorce case which is unfortunate. It`s supposed -- which have not spoken.

GRACE: Yes, it`s all her fault.

BRODSKY: Oh no, but you`re no supposed to (INAUDIBLE) in the children.

GRACE: I wonder what she would have to say about that. Uh-uh, she was murdered, she can`t talk.

BRODSKY: You know that sounds like -- what you`re not supposed to do in a divorce which is involve the children in the conflict between the parents. But one thing about this.

GRACE: Well, there`s no conflict anymore because mommy is dead.

BRODSKY: Well, you`re not supposed -- when there is a divorce case going on, an ongoing divorce case, the children are supposed to be protected from the conflict between the children -- between the parents. But in any event, the whole -- this whole comment that was made that the Savios are somehow being deprived contact with the children.

Henry Savio, Kathy`s father, Nick Savio, Kathy`s brother, have only met that children once, one time since their birth. And that was at Kathleen`s funeral. Not a Christmas cards since the funeral, not a birthday card, not a Christmas present, nothing, not a phone call.

Yet now when they`re filing the divorce, now when they`re thinking about filing a wrongful death case, all of a sudden they become concerned about the children? I think you don`t have to be a rocket scientist to figure what`s going on there.

GRACE: I find that very difficult to believe.

To you, Michael Lisak, Kathleen Savio`s nephew, response? Not a Christmas card, not present, nothing?

MICHAEL LISAK, KATHLEEN SAVIO`S NEPHEW: No. You know what? Mr. Brodsky, that`s true about my grandfather and her brother, but I was there for more than 10 years. I knew -- I visited my aunt for many, many years before she even knew Drew.

I love my aunt. My aunt was very special in my life. She was taken away by somebody. We`re going to find out who. And like I said, you and your client are shocked. You`re the only two people that are shocked.

GRACE: Let`s go.

LISAK: I mean, even if he didn`t do it, Mr. Brodsky, somebody did.

GRACE: You know, it`s interesting, Pat Brown, the way this is unfolding and that it took four years to be determined a homicide.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER, AUTHOR OF "KILLING FOR SPORT": Yes, Nancy. And that`s four years too long, I`ll guarantee you, because at the time, it was -- the diagnosis was drowning. And that is kind of difficult to make because sometimes you can actually drown and not have any water in your lungs. So it is a diagnosis of exclusion.

You can`t figure out why else they died so it`s drowning because of the circumstances. So it`s really an opinion. But with all the circumstances around it, with the blunt trauma to her body and how the fact that almost no adult dies from a fall in the bathtub unless they have epilepsy. If she had no seizures in her past, that would be a ridiculous thought to have.

So they had a good reason to call this manner of death homicide at the time. Then they could have gone after Drew Peterson for all the circumstances and gotten into his life and gotten all the witnesses and all possibly evidence. Now, four years too late. They`re not going to be able to go back and get anything.

GRACE: Back to the lawyers, Eleanor Dixon, Ann Bremner, Richard Herman, in addition to Peterson`s defense lawyer, Joel Brodsky.

To you, Eleanor Dixon, rule number one when you start an investigation, look at who was with the victim last and who discovered the body. That`s where you start.

ELEANOR DIXON, PROSECUTOR: That`s true. And you always look to the people closest to the victim as well. And everything in this case seems to point to Drew Peterson. And I think Pat brought up a very important point. You have all these injuries along with the drowning which means she was breathing when the water entered her lungs. That`s a very horrific way to die. And it does seem that Drew Peterson has a pattern of behavior with wives going missing.

GRACE: To Ann Bremner, if this does go to trial, will these -- both these similar transaction for the other -- for instance, if he went to trial on Stacy`s disappearance.

ANN BREMNER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right.

GRACE: .would this case come in that trial?

BREMNER: Well, the prosecutor, of course, is going to argue that, Nancy. And as you know, the similar transaction evidence can be really powerful. But I keep thinking to myself listening to everybody, do these two autopsy findings cancel each other out? That`s the defense. One says accidental. One says it`s a homicide, intention in some way through a man`s act. Drowning, drowning. Both findings.

This is a tough case. There is no other evidence against him save the fact of a new finding. And maybe.

GRACE: Richard?

BREMNER: Maybe he wasn`t a normal person at the front door, Nancy, call for a locksmith. That`s just not enough.

GRACE: Richard?

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, Nancy, Pat Brown paged Drew Peterson and even she tells you there is no evidence of his involvement with Savio. They`re never going to be able to convict him on that death.

GRACE: You know, it`s interesting the way you phrased that, Richard Herman. You say they`re never going to be able to convict him. I find that interesting that choice of words as opposed to there is no evidence he did this. He didn`t do this. You say they`ll never be able to convict.

Out to Dr. Lillian Glass, psychologist and author of "I Know What You`re Thinking."

Lillian, it`s great to see you. What do you make of Peterson telling the kids, Stacy Peterson, mommy is on a vacation, and then not discussing the fact that their mom was murdered with the Savio kids?

LILLIAN GLASS, PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR OF "I KNOW WHAT YOU`RE THINKING": Well, he obviously has something to hide. And what he`s doing to Stacy`s children is unconscionable, because these children have expectations. They`re hoping that mommy comes home. This is wrong, this is very wrong. And to not tell his other children what has happened, the new findings, is unconscionable, because when they find out, they`re going to have such resentment and psychologically, it`s caused so much damage to them.

GRACE: You know, I want to go back to Dr. William Morrone, medical examiner and forensic pathologist, joining us out of Michigan.

MORRONE: Yes.

GRACE: Dr. Morrone, we started going through the autopsy a few moments ago with the visual aid you kindly created for us.

MORRONE: Thank you.

GRACE: Dr. Morrone, how does that work? Everyone is saying one finding cancels the other out. How do you go back and recreate an autopsy four years later? What are your thoughts on this?

MORRONE: The most important thing is that Dr. Bloom this year was given the power to discuss the cause of death and manner of death. And he was the expert who put them together. In 2004, the cause of death and manner of death were separated as two separate functions and one went to a coroner`s jury. And that`s where the problem was, because there was not proper representation to the coroner`s jury.

But when one person was put in charge with all the right information, it`s clear. And everybody that sees it, Dr. Badin, Dr. Bloom and the current coroner, it` homicide.

GRACE: Dr. Morrone, the defense attorney Joel Brodsky, for Drew Peterson is trying to contest the findings of this autopsy, saying that in fact she died of a heart problem and these bruises were all old. Response.

MORRONE: I`ve seen the hearts on people who have had heart attacks. The heart is sliced kind of like a salami or a loaf of bread. And it`s evident. And those are standard operating procedures and there`s no documentation of any infarction of the heart.

GRACE: To Susan Roesgen, what now?

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now we wait for two things, Nancy, for the state police, the Illinois state police to complete their investigation of both the Kathleen Savio murder and the Stacy Peterson disappearance, and the grand jury, a secret grand jury has to do its investigation, too. So we don`t know when a suspect might be named.

GRACE: Everyone, when we come back, upscale mall in Boca Raton, Florida apparently sought by a serial killer, targeting moms with their children in pricey SUVs.

And tonight, APB, all points bulletin for special moms and dads. If you know a parent who`s an inspiration to others, get that camcorder. Go to CNN.com/Nancygrace and click on i-Report. Enter that parent in the "Extraordinary Parent Contest."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can`t help but feel extreme sadness with Kathleen because she did cry out so many times. And it seem like it fell on deaf ears and now that this story -- this information comes out, we can only hope that we find the person that obviously did this horrible

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nancy must have felt so helpless as the gunman bound her little girl with zip ties.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: .round to my side.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say Nancy`s wrists were bound with handcuffs. He zip tied her neck to the headrest and placed swimming goggles with blacked out lenses over her eyes. Driven by adrenaline or the sheer will of a mother trying to save her child, Nancy somehow used extraordinary strength to break her handcuffs.

Two shots just like that, Nancy and Joey were murdered. Shot at pointblank range, each taking a bullet to the head.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: The killer still on the loose and apparently targeting other women in the same pricey mall.

To Jon Leiberman with "America`s`s Most Wanted," what`s happening?

LEIBERMAN: Oh my gosh. This case just absolutely breaks your heart, Nancy. This guy, this sketch is a vicious criminal. We believe that he`s a serial killer down there. There are three cases right now that police do believe are linked.

One, the first one, back in March, a 52-year-old woman last seen walking out to her car in the mall. She, shot in the head, carjacked, dumped in the street as you see there. Then in August, you have a 30-year-old mom and her 2-year-old child. They`re bound. They are driven to an ATM machine and they`re actually let free. And then of course, you have the December with the mom and her daughter.

GRACE: Joining me right now is a very special guest. Adrian Northridge, friend of Nancy Bochicchio, who lost her life along with her 7-year-old Joey.

Thank you for being with us, Adrian.

ADRIAN NORTHRIDGE, FRIEND OF NANCY BOCHICCHIO: You`re welcome.

GRACE: Has the police given the family or friends any progress in the investigation?

NORTHRIDGE: They`re working on it. They -- you know, they don`t really know too much about it. They`re trying, they have a lot of -- they have leads. But, you know, they`re still -- they`re working hard on it. They`re keeping it open.

GRACE: Tell me about Nancy and Joey.

NORTHRIDGE: Nancy was an incredible person. She was a loving mother, a great family member. She was very devoted to her daughter. She did everything with her daughter. She was gracious. She was just a terrific person.

GRACE: This must have been a horrible, horrible shock for her family.

I mean, to Attorney Peter Sosin, the attorney for the Bochicchio family. She and her daughter just had an outing at the mall that day. A very upscale mall. Security, security cameras, the works. Right?

PETER SOSIN, SHINER & SOSIN ATTY FOR BOCHICCHIO FAMILY MURDER VICTIM: Not exactly. Unfortunately, there were a few incidents that occurred prior to this event and unfortunately the mall never took advantage of those incidents to install the proper security measures.

GRACE: In fact, you guys have filed this lawsuit against the mall. What does it claim? What are the allegations?

SOSIN: Well, the allegations in the lawsuit -- let me say first that the lawsuit is secondary. I represent the family. Job number one for the family is catching the killer. And our role has been to keep this in the forefront in the media and we really owe you a tremendous debt by getting this out there, because we really want to see this person brought to justice.

But this lawsuit alleges negligence, security, and wrongful death against the mall because of the two prior incidences that were discussed.

GRACE: It`s incredible.

And everyone, what you are seeing is video of the mom and daughter walking to their car after a wonderful day shopping together at the mall.

Jon Leiberman, what`s the M.O.?

LEIBERMAN: Well, they all happened during the day. This guy uses many of the same techniques each time. He uses these plastic flexi cuffs to tie up his victims. He uses duct tape, plastic ties, novelty handcuffs, goggles. I mean -- but John Walsh, our host, has promised these families we will not stop until this killer is behind bars.

GRACE: The tip line 800-458-8477, a $350,000 reward.

Pat Brown, final thoughts?

BROWN: Well, this guy sounds like to me is on the edge of society, someone who`s not connected well with a family or with work. I think that he has total disregard for everybody in the society. Life in general. And I`m going to guess he is possibly Hispanic, coming from Mexico or Central America, because down there, kidnapping has gotten very popular. And they`re suffering from that, and he may have brought that to America.

GRACE: Everyone, let`s pause tonight. "CNN Heroes."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GALEN SAMPSON, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: Baltimore, although has gone through a renaissance, many parts have been completely neglected. And it`s -- there is a lot of despair. There`s no hope. And it is sort of a downward spiral.

TYRONE LEWIS, BALTIMORE NATIVE: I was a heroin addict. And I never held a job because of my (INAUDIBLE) addiction. I was homeless for quite a few years. And after a while, you just feel like you are alone. That made me want to give up. But with Galen, I have another chance to make it.

SAMPSON: I am Galen Sampson, and I am helping people find the tools to rebuild their lives.

The egg sandwich with vegetables.

LEWIS: Galen Sampson is a five-star chef. This cooking -- I guess it speaks for itself.

SAMPSON: In the hotel where I work, with our employees, I saw all of the struggles and difficulties that people are having with addiction, with the criminal justice system. I had always dreamt of having my own restaurant. We decided that part of our restaurant would be a training program.

Show me how you would do that.

The name of the program is Chefs in the Making. It gives our people in transition paid jobs. It also allows us to give them hands-on real-time instruction.

To push down, slicing forward, pull back.

LEWIS: You can learn a lot in this kitchen. But it`s fast-paced. It is hard work. I like what I do.

SAMPSON: If you can do the job and you can perform, you`re going to do well. And that`s what we hope to instill in our apprentices. You know, a lot of people think we`re crazy. We`ve pretty much put, you know, everything that we had into this project. It`s a risk. But see what our apprentices have been able to do here. It`s been very rewarding. We hope to get a good strong tight-knit family and I think we`re setting the foundation for something good.

LEWIS: Ten years from now I see myself owning a home. Maybe owning my own business. I don`t know what the future is going to hold. But I`m looking forward to it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: What a week in America`s court rooms. Take a look at the stories and more important the people who touched our lives.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An autopsy today has determined that the remains of that female discovered in the field are those of 19-year-old Brianna Denison.

GRACE: Were they truly still holding out hope? Did they really believe that she was still alive?

JENNIFER BUSHMAN, DENISON FAMILY`S SPOKESPERSON: There was a lot tough, particularly among the detectives and with the family, if anyone was going to survive, it was going to be Bri.

GRACE: An incredible story out of Missouri. A wealthy couple, the target of two hit-men. The mastermind? The couple`s only son.

Where is a 28-year-old devoted father of two, a husband, his wife expecting a third child?

CHRISTINE FRANCISCO, MISSING DAD NICHOLAS FRANCISCO`S WIFE: 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 is no way, no way in this world he would miss that.

GRACE: A bombshell in the Drew Peterson case. His third wife`s death has now been ruled a homicide within the last couple hours.

So how do you fall on top of your head? How do you fall.

BRODSKY: You fall (INAUDIBLE) which she has a slanted -- you fall and you have -- as you have a slanted side of the bathtub. And you strike -- you fall over, you strike the top of your head against the side of the bathroom.

GRACE: Or you take a blow to the top of the head.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Let`s stop and remember Air Force Staff Sergeant Alejandro Ayala, only 26, Riverside, California. Loved family birthdays, sending cards to his mom, playing pool and family trips. Leaves behind grieving parents Ilda and Faustino, two sisters including a twin, Liset, two brothers, one who served two tours in Iraq, widow Megan and children Alexandra and Matthew.

Alejandro Ayala, American hero.

Thank you to our guests and especially to you for being with us. And a special good night tonight from California, a friend of the show, India. Also, a special good night from the New York control room. Good night, Brett, Liz.

Everybody, I`ll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp, Eastern. And until then, good night, friends.

END

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