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Drew Peterson Charged with Murder of Third Wife
Aired May 8, 2009 - 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. The mystery surrounding 23-year-old mom Stacy Peterson vanishing, upscale Chicago suburbs, husband/cop Drew Peterson the prime suspect in his fourth wife`s disappearance. The suspicious bathtub drowning of wife number three officially ruled a homicide.
Bombshell tonight. Former cop Drew Peterson arrested -- that`s right, busted -- at this hour, behind bars. Cops stop Peterson in traffic so his four children wouldn`t have to witness Daddy handcuffed on murder one. But court watchers ask, Murder one? Which murder?
After months of investigation, a secret grand jury charges Drew Peterson in the 2004 drowning death of wife three, Kathleen Savio, found dead, covered in bruises in a bone-dry bathtub. For nearly two years now, Peterson boasting he`d never be arrested, even planning wedding number five and starring in a reality TV show.
But hold on, Peterson. Not so fast. In the last hours, Peterson in front of a judge for formal charges. At issue tonight, drowned wife number three speaks from beyond the grave in a damning letter implicating Peterson in foul play, written in her own hand before she`s found dead. Also contested, did wife four, 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, tell her priest before she disappeared Peterson confessed to Savio`s murder?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former police sergeant Drew Peterson has been indicted in the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Murder charges against former Illinois cop Drew Peterson. He is Accused of killing his third wife.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drew Peterson has been now indicted, we`re told, on murder charges, murder charges relating to his third wife. That, of course, is Kathleen Savio.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drew Peterson in jail this morning, formally charged with killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news. Drew Peterson has just been arrested for murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They arrested him easily at a traffic stop. Illinois State Police took former cop Drew Peterson in custody for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did have an emergency restraining order against him from Kathleen.
DREW PETERSON, CHARGED IN MURDER OF THIRD WIFE: Kathy and I for some reason were always fighting about money. And we had money, but if I gave any money to Eric and Steve, it was like I was taking food out of her kids` mouths. They were going to starve.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kathleen and Drew had been divorcing three years earlier when she drowned in her bathtub, originally ruled an accident. But a second autopsy revealed bruises and a gash on the back of her head, and the coroner called it a homicide.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Savio case is a fairly circumstantial case, which is tough for the prosecution in the first place. It has problematic forensic evidence.
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Problematic evidence? I don`t think so. I`ve got wife number three`s autopsy right here in my hand. She is covered in bruises before she`s found drowned in a bone-dry bathtub. That`s not problematic for the prosecution.
Good evening, I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Former cop Drew Peterson arrested, at this hour behind bars. After months of investigation, a secret grand jury charges him in the 2004 drowning death of wife three, Kathleen Savio, found dead covered in bruises in a bone-dry bathtub.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drew Peterson, age 55, of 6 Pheasant Chase Court in Bolingbrook, Illinois, was arrested by the Illinois State Police for the 2004 murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do know one thing. If there was enough evidence to arrest you, I know that they would have.
PETERSON: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Without question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was processed and he was later transported to the Will County adult detention facility in Joliet and transferred into the custody of the Will County sheriff`s office.
GRACE: Number one, on the scalp, the left scalp, there is a one inch in diameter blunt laceration. Translation, a blow to the head.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which is right, or a fall -- or as the -- as the...
GRACE: Well, this says the left...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... from a fall in the bathtub and hitting her head.
GRACE: Right. This says the left parietal occipital scalp.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
GRACE: Wouldn`t that be on to of the head, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
GRACE: OK. So how do you fall on top of your head?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A second autopsy was conducted by Dr. Larry Blum and concluded the death of Kathleen Savio was caused by drowning and the manner of death homicide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Straight out to CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen standing there in Joliet, outside the jailhouse. Susan, what happened?
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boy, after, you know, talking to reporters so many times, Drew Peterson got about 20 more minutes in the limelight here today, Nancy. This former police sergeant now a defendant, locked up on a $20 million bond behind me. But he had to make an appearance in court. And boy, what an appearance.
You know, Nancy, you`ve seen these perp walks before. The paddy wagon could have pulled right up to the door of the courthouse and he could have just snuck in. But instead, it stopped about 10 yards away. And we watched Drew Peterson sort of hesitate a little as he walked down the steps of the paddy wagon, of the deputy`s fan here.
He was shackled both hands and feet. He was wearing a two-piece red inmate outfit. And as he got out, the reporters shouted at him, Hey, you know, how do you feel? What`s going on, Drew. And he said -- get this, Nancy. He said, Feel fine. Can`t complain, three square meals a day, a spiffy outfit. And then he held up his hands that were shackled to his feet, Nancy, with the chain in between, and he said, And I`ve got the bling, smiling, went right on into court.
And I was in the courtroom, where in this state, cameras are not allowed. Sketch artists there, mostly reporters there. Drew Peterson chewed gum through the entire event. Some reporters tried to get him, Nancy, to say something as he walked right in. He started to say something, started to smile with the reporters, and then the deputy tapped him on the shoulder, said, Knock it off, which he did. He sat straight ahead after that. And then he was polite and cordial with the judge, and the questions in a clear voice, and everything from there was smooth sailing.
But again, that was his 20 minutes in the limelight. Still now back, locked up again on that $20 million bond.
GRACE: With me, Susan Roesgen there in Joliet, outside the jailhouse. Right now joining me, Michael Lisak. That is wife number three, Kathleen Savio`s, nephew. Mr. Lisak, thank you for being with us. When you hear Peterson bragging and boasting, how does that strike you, since he has just been indicted and arrested in the murder of Kathleen Savio?
MICHAEL LISAK, KATHLEEN SAVIO`S NEPHEW (via telephone): It`s really no surprise to me. This is basically the type of behavior he`s been, you know, portraying himself for the last year-and-a-half. He thinks it`s one big joke, one big media circus. And you know, I still don`t believe it`s sunk in his head that he has been charged for murder. And to him, it`s just keeping the circus going.
GRACE: You know, it just puts my teeth on edge, as a crime victim, to hear him joking about the murder of Kathleen Savio. It`s just so wrong. This after his fourth wife has been missing now for many, many months, the mother of two, a beautiful 23-year-old, Stacy Peterson.
Back out to Susan Roesgen, standing there outside the jail. Explain to me how the arrest went down, Susan.
ROESGEN: Well, they got a warrant -- a search warrant, Nancy, and an arrest warrant from a judge in the case because yesterday was the last day that the grand jury could meet on the specific issues involving Kathleen Savio`s death. So they got a warrant. The grand jury came back with this murder indictment, two counts of first degree murder in the Kathleen Savio case, and the State Police went out and got him. And as you said earlier, we have heard that they got him in his car to spare his children the embarrassment at the house.
GRACE: Joining me right now, Glenn Selig. He is Drew Peterson`s publicist. He is the founder of The Publicity Agency. He`s joining us out of Tampa, Florida. Mr. Selig, thank you for being with us. What is your response to the events in the last 24 hours?
GLENN SELIG, DREW PETERSON`S PUBLICIST: Well, Drew is in jail and now begins a new process. Now it`s time for him to have to defend himself in the court of law.
GRACE: Mr. Selig, you are a PR guru. You are the expert. Do you really believe that bragging about your bling, your handcuffs, and boasting that you`ll never be arrested, trashing some of the victims the way he has done -- do you think that`s helping him PR-wise?
SELIG: First of all, I never heard him trash any of the victims. But as far as...
GRACE: Well, we just played it in the intro to the show. When he had a chance to speak about Kathy Savio, what he did was not say she was a great mom, she was a fine wife, no. Instead, he described how she was almost vindictive when he would give children money. That`s certainly not a compliment.
SELIG: No, and I understand that. And I`m certainly not condoning any types of behavior when people say things that are certainly inappropriate. But I will say this. This isn`t about bragging. I think a lot of this has to do with coping. People cope in different ways. And while you and I may not do it the same way and may find it inappropriate, he copes in other ways. What would have been appropriate for him to do to walk in? If he would have walked in with a straight face and was serious, then everybody would say, Oh, he finally realizes what did wrong. No matter what way he would have walked in, somebody would have had a fault in.
GRACE: Mr. Selig -- with me, Glenn Selig. He`s a PR guru out of Tampa, Florida. Mr. Selig, I`m not just referring to his perp walk. What about the fact that after one dead wife and one missing wife, leaving behind all their children to be raised without a mother, he plans wedding number five, and to star in a reality show out of a whorehouse? There`s really no nice way to put it.
SELIG: No, and I understand what you`re saying. And you`ve got to realize that Drew has maintained that he had nothing to do with the disappearance of his fourth wife or the death of third wife. And he was simply moving on with his life in planning for a marriage with wife number five.
GRACE: Who is who? Who is wife number five?
SELIG: No, this is the person he was engaged to. He was preparing to marry another person.
GRACE: OK, I assume you are referring to the daughter of Ernest Raines. It`s my understanding she moved out. She cleared out.
SELIG: Yes, but they`re still engaged. They are still engaged.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drew! Drew!
PETERSON: Look at this spiffy outfit! Look at this bling! Three squares a day and this spiffy outfit, how could I be mad?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ex-cop Drew Peterson arrested and charged with first degree murder in the death of Kathleen Savio.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`ll be arraigned on first degree murder charges in the death of Kathleen Savio.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Savio case is a fairly circumstantial case. It`s going to be a prosecution without a crime scene. It`s going to be a very tough case for the prosecution.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Savio was Drew Peterson`s third wife. Her 2004 death was originally ruled an accidental drowning, but authorities reopened the case after Drew was named a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My and my family always felt that this was foul play.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some pretty grim allegations domestic abuse from that third wife against Drew Peterson during the time of their marriage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many a time, she told family, friends, anybody she could tell, I`m scared to death of him. He`s going to kill me. It`s going to look like an accident, and he`s going to get away with it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m almost in tears here. It`s so been hard for our family. Hopefully, we`ll get the justice that we`ve always been waiting for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drew! Drew!
PETERSON: Look at this spiffy outfit! Look at this bling! Three squares a day and this spiffy outfit, how could I be mad?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Oh, thank you, Lord, for catching that on video so it can be played at trial. Drew Peterson under arrest for murder one. When many court watchers heard the news, they said, Another murder? This is an arrest in the 2004 death of wife number three.
I want to go straight back out to Glenn Selig, Drew Peterson`s publicist, the founder of The Publicity Agency. He`s joining us out of Tampa, Florida. Mr. Selig, you didn`t get to fully answer the question regarding your client`s behavior. I`m not just talking about that classy perp walk we just showed, I`m talking about his behavior regarding starting a reality show -- starring in a reality show from a brothel, a whorehouse.
SELIG: Look, you know, Drew is Drew, and he`s got a quirky personality. He has his...
SELIG: ... social deficiencies. But a quirky personality, quirky behavior does not mean guilty. I mean, it just simply doesn`t. It just means you might think he`s a strange guy. He acts inappropriately sometimes. But that doesn`t mean anything beyond that.
GRACE: Well, when you add that up with one wife who`s been murdered and one wife whose body has never been found, it takes on a more serious tone, Mr. Selig.
Let`s unleash the lawyers, former prosecutor Holly Hughes out of Atlanta, Bradford Cohen, a defense attorney out of New York, Doug Burns, defense attorney out of New York, as well.
First to you, Holly. Weigh in.
HOLLY HUGHES, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Nancy, this man is an absolute disgrace. He is a disgrace to law enforcement. He is a disgrace to the justice system. And he`s a disgrace to decent men everywhere. This is a former police officer. He knows that this is a serious, serious charge. He knows he cannot behave like this and mug for the camera. This is absolutely despicable, Nancy.
GRACE: To Doug Burns. You`re a veteran trial lawyer. You`ve defended a lot of criminal cases successfully. When I spoke on many occasions with the attorney for Drew Peterson, he assured me that wife number three`s death was not a murder at all, but this autopsy report says something different. I`ve combed it, Doug Burns. I see blunt lacerations to the top of the skull -- you don`t fall on the top of your head -- on the left buttocks abrasions, lower abdomen bruises, left thigh bruises, both shins mid-shin bruises, right wrist abrasions, red linear abrasions, dorsum, fingers bruised, abrasions, left elbow abrasions, where, clearly, she had fallen. What about it, Burns?
DOUG BURNS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, what was absolutely amazing was that after an inquiry, it was determined that that was an accident. And what happened was one of the jurors in that inquest, Nancy, was a law enforcement person who was friends with Peterson and argued to the rest of the panel that he`s a good guy and couldn`t have done this. That was mind- boggling.
The only reason this has now come up again, fortunately, from the standpoint of the prosecutors, is because of the disappearance of his fourth wife. The way I break down the legal case, however, is, look, the case itself, if there were nothing more than the bathtub case alone, maybe. But with his behavior as you`ve described it and lurking around the courtroom the other, fourth wife, I think it`s a tough case for the defense.
GRACE: Bradford Cohen out of New York, what about the autopsy? It speaks for itself.
BRADFORD COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it speaks for itself in terms of whether or not there was a homicide. Don`t forget this was originally ruled not a homicide, that it was an accidental death. The defense attorneys are going absolutely to attack that, and that`s what`s going to be the main focus. The fact that now it`s ruled a homicide is really one of the things that they`re going to attack.
GRACE: Very quickly, to Kathy Chaney with "The Chicago Defender," joining us out of Chicago. Kathy, what has been the response to this arrest? Many people thought there would never be an arrest because it has taken so long.
KATHY CHANEY, "CHICAGO DEFENDER": You know what, Nancy? To sum it all up, just pure jubilation. Kind of bittersweet, but like you said, it`s been a year-and-a-half since everything was reopened, since Stacy disappeared, and then they started looking into Kathleen`s death. And they`re just relieved. They`re saying that he`s finally behind bars and everything will just start to fall into place now.
GRACE: Back to Susan Roesgen, standing there in Joliet, outside the jailhouse walls. What finally tipped the scales, Susan? What do we know? Why now, all this time later, do they finally make an arrest? Is it because of the letter that Savio wrote basically damning him from beyond the grave?
ROESGEN: That could be part of it, Nancy. We do know that this grand jury has been meeting for more than a year and the grand jury`s last day to come back with something in the Savio case was yesterday. And they did indeed come back with that murder indictment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In November 2007, the remains of Kathleen Savio were exhumed. A second autopsy concluded the death of Kathleen Savio was caused by drowning and the manner of death, homicide.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drew Peterson refused to comment about the second autopsy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you care to give us a thought on this?
PETERSON: No comments. I`m not going to be making any comments about the results.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We believe that Drew was involved with this, the death of my sister. We always believed that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Straight out to the spokesperson for Stacy Peterson`s family, Pam Bosco. Pam, what`s the family`s reaction?
PAM BOSCO, STACY PETERSON FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: We`re very thrilled at this moment. We were relieved when we had heard it and that he`s behind bars. And I talked to Cassandra just a little while ago at the courthouse, and she`s just -- feelings beyond belief right now for her to see him actually shackled up like that.
GRACE: For all of the bravado that we have been hearing now for nearly two years -- the bragging, the reality show plans, the wedding plans -- when Drew Peterson appeared in front of a judge hours ago, he suddenly clammed up. What happened, Susan, not so brave anymore when he heard those charges? Oh, right. That`s right. His lawyers didn`t show up. They had to postpone.
ROESGEN: He maintained the courthouse decorum. The prosecutor in this case, Jim Glasgow, said that he had spoken to Drew`s lawyer, Joel Brodsky, and that he and Brodsky had agreed that, yes,they would ask the judge to delay the actual arraignment until May 18, 10 days from now. And basically, Drew Peterson went along with it, said, I have no objection. Yes, sir.
GRACE: With me now, a special guest joining us out of Chicago, Ernest Raines. He is the father of Drew Peterson`s current girlfriend. Mr. Raines, it`s nice to talk to you again. We spoke over the air some time ago on Dr. Phil regarding your daughter shacking up with Drew Peterson. I thought she moved out.
ERNEST RAINES, FATHER OF PETERSON`S CURRENT GIRLFRIEND (via telephone): She did, and then she moved back in because he worked his magic again, his charm.
GRACE: You know, Mr. Raines...
RAINES: (INAUDIBLE) his charm.
GRACE: Mr. Raines, you`ve always been able to see straight through Drew Peterson. What`s your response to him finally being arrested on at least one murder?
RAINES: Oh, I`m glad. I`m glad. He can`t hurt nobody else.
GRACE: Well, you know, Mr. Raines, this may be the only way your daughter`s life has been saved.
RAINES: Well, I wouldn`t say that because I`m there, too. And believe me, if he`d have done anything to my daughter (INAUDIBLE) worry about nobody else getting him. I would have got him.
GRACE: Well, Mr. Raines, if he had done anything to your daughter, wouldn`t it be too late to do anything? I mean, these other women had families that loved them, too, and it didn`t mean anything.
RAINES: Yes, but see, that`s why you got to show force and that`s why I was there. I was always showing up, calling her and I was always there, and he knew it. And don`t forget, you got Sharon Bychowski living next door to him, (INAUDIBLE) call on every move that he makes and he was being watched. So you know...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEREK ARMSTRONG, AUTHOR, "DREW PETERSON EXPOSED": I assumed you recall you went to the neighbors?
DREW PETERSON, HUSBAND OF STACY PETERSON: I went to the neighbors the next day.
ARMSTRONG: On the next day. On the Monday.
PETERSON: The Monday. And I says (sic) to her friend -- I was working, I went to work Monday night, and I still had the kids. And I told the neighbor this isn`t like her, you know, this is a little off the wall because normally she`s -- do you know her boyfriend`s phone number? And can you get a hold of him and see if he knows where she`s at?
And I guess she did -- he didn`t know nothing about where she was at (INAUDIBLE), so I said OK, tomorrow if still isn`t here for about tomorrow morning, we`ll get a locksmith to go in the house. And she was OK.
So I left there and I get a phone call from her shortly thereafter, she goes, this isn`t like her. Let`s go get a locksmith and do it now. So we went and got a locksmith, they had a locksmith meet us at the house and myself, Mary Pontarelli, the neighbor, and other neighbors, Steve Carcerano, went, had locksmiths open the door and they went in and found her in the bathtub.
I stayed out of the house and I says I don`t want to go in the house because Kathy will accuse me of stealing something. That was just how the relationship was. And then I heard the screaming and I ran in and we found her dead in the bathtub.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this spiffy outfit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this bling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three squares a day and this spiffy outfit, how could it be mad?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Straight back out to Susan Roesgen, standing there at the jail in Joliet. What are his living conditions? I understand he`s in a special cell, he`s not in GP, general population.
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN NEWSROOM, ON LOCATION FROM DREW PETERSON JAIL: Yes, Nancy, that`s what we`ve been told by the PIO, the public affairs person out here from the sheriff`s department, that he`s in protective custody.
And generally, you know, you assume that`s because he is a former member of law enforcement. And those people sometimes are at a greater risk of being attacked by other inmates. So that was explicitly said to us but we were told that he is protective custody in that jail, alone in a cell.
GRACE: To Mike Brooks, former fed with the FBI. Mike, why now? What do you think tipped the scales?
MIKE BROOKS, FMR. DC POLICE DETECTIVE SERVED ON FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: You know, Nancy, I think, together with all the statements during the grand jury and with the new autopsy back in November of last year -- 2000. I think that they have enough now to go ahead for trial.
I mean they wouldn`t have indicted him if they didn`t. And you know, the takedown, the way that all went, Nancy, that was picture perfect. You didn`t want to go to his house. You want to get it out of the media`s spotlight. You didn`t want get in because -- you know, he still has guns in his house.
Plus the main thing was the kids. You didn`t want to have the kids involved in that. So I think the Illinois state police did the right thing of taking him down outside of his house.
GRACE: Well, when you say all of the witnesses that appeared in front of the grand jury, who are you referring to?
BROOKS: Nancy, they have spoken with, you know, his son. They`ve spoken with his friends, associated. 18 months, meeting every Thursday with the special grand jury. And Nancy, they were not only looking at the Kathleen Savio case, but they`re also -- they were looking into the Stacy Peterson case.
So do a lot of these statements kind of overlap about his behavior and everything else? You know is this just circumstantial? We have a body in the Kathleen Savio case, but there is not one in the Stacy Peterson case. So with the cause and manner of death being changed after that second autopsy where she was exhumed, I think that they do have enough now.
GRACE: To Holly Hughes, why does everybody say just a circumstantial case? Most cases are circumstantial. A direct evidence case, Holly, is when there is an eyewitness or there is a direct link to the defendant. That`s extremely rare.
HOLLY HUGHES, PROSECUTOR: Yes, it is, Nancy. And I used to have a professor who said circumstantial evidence is just that. It`s evidence. And that`s what we look at in 90 percent of our cases. Murder is not a spectator sport, Nancy. You don`t go out there and advertise, I`m about to kill my wife, you all want to come in off the street and watch?
Circumstantial evidence is as good as anything and a lot of times it`s better because sometimes an eye witness might make a mistake, Nancy. When you give a jury circumstantial evidence and you line it up and you say, one, two, three, four, five and they get to make the decision for themselves and the conclusion is guilty, sometimes that is so much stronger than a witness who they may have trouble believing, Nancy.
GRACE: Holly Hughes, you said one, two, three, four, five. Don`t stop there because in this case, there`s a six, seven, eight, nine, and ten.
Out to Dr. Jeff Gardere, psychologist and author. Dr. Gardere, do you have any way in your expertise to explain his bravado? His behavior? After the disappearance of his fourth wife, after the murder of his third wife, and now while he knows cops are watching him.
JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR OF "LOVE PRESCRIPTION": Well, the PR person you have who represents him was right in a particular way that this is a coping mechanism. A defense mechanism. But what he didn`t go on and tell you that this is a coping or defensive mechanism of a person who`s a sociopath, a person who doesn`t have any guilt.
A person who manipulates everyone around themselves as Drew Peterson has done for years and years. And that`s why you have that false bravado.
GRACE: To Dr. Joshua Perper, renowned medical examiner, the chief medical examiner in Broward County, author of "When to Call the Doctor."
Dr. Perper, I know you have reviewed the autopsy of third wife Kathleen Savio. What do you make of it?
DR. JOSHUA PERPER, MEDICAL EXAMINER, AUTHOR OF "WHEN TO CALL THE DOCTOR": Well, the -- I reviewed the first autopsy report. And obviously, the autopsy is deficient. It`s deficient in two major fields. Number one, some of the bruises in the front which shouldn`t be consistent with the fall are described as being purple.
There`s basically no description if those wounds are fresh or they are older than several days. And this is a crucial finding. Therefore, they should have been taken the samples of tissue from those area, a biopsy. The autopsy doesn`t have any microscopic examination of the various tissues.
That`s another thing which might be attacked and I hope that the other two autopsies did the proper thing and took tissue for microscopy and they took tissue particularly from the area of the bruises from the front of the body.
Initially, the pathologist believed that the victim basically fell on her left side mostly and this caused the laceration on the left, top and side of the head. And the other left injury. But the injury on the front of the body are not explicable by a fall. And therefore those would be very important marks of some kind of assault.
So as I didn`t see the other autopsy, I don`t know if there was paid sufficient attention to those findings.
GRACE: Exactly. Dr. Perper, thank you.
To Michael Lisak, Kathleen Savio`s nephew who is joining us. Do you believe, Michael, that your aunt, Kathleen Savio, was a victim of domestic abuse during her marriage to Drew Peterson?
(ON THE PHONE)
MICHAEL LISAK, KATHLEEN SAVIO`S NEPHEW: Definitely. I have seen it firsthand. There would be times where she would come over to our house or we would visit her and she`d have a black eye. There was a picture I took with her and my mom and my other aunt where she had a black eye and everybody questioned her, you know, what happened, what happened.
And you know, I guess, she just didn`t want to say. She`s like, you know, I fell, I fell. But my mom was pretty persistent and got it out of her that Drew did it.
GRACE: Why do you believe, Michael, that she stayed with him as long as she did?
LISAK: I think major reason would be because of her children. Those were the most important things in her life. And a stable family was that can only be something she would be very -- that she definitely want for her kids. And even if it was with Drew.
He was a good provider in a sense, as far as financially goes. But emotionally, I think it just got to the point where she couldn`t take it for herself and for her own children. But she did want to keep him as a father at least for her children.
GRACE: Tonight, we are seeking justice for wife number three, Kathleen Savio. Drew Peterson behind bars, finally. After months and months of bragging an arrest would never happen, justice, Lady Justice has proved him long.
We`ll be right back. But to tonight`s "Case Alert," major developments in the kidnapping of a 3-year-old baby boy in San Bernardino, California. Police released this grainy surveillance video of the two suspects and their get away car.
Please look. It`s a green Ford Bronco. The gunmen blasting into the home, forcing the mom and children on the floor, binding, threatening them, taking 3-year-old, Briant Rodriguez.
The suspects captured on video at three locations including buying tape used to tie up the family. Then just driving two blocks to the family`s home before the mom`s frantic 911 call. There was a $50,000 reward. Please, help us. Call 866-346-7632. If you have information.
An Atlanta woman facing 15 counts on a deadly hit and run Easter. Now the suspect`s mother also charged. Amy Michael, picking a cake and ice cream April 12 on her BMW slams into another car causing a reaction that killed five, instantly, including a 2-month-old baby boy, a 6 and 9-year-old.
Despite pleas from the victim`s family, Michael granted $150,000 bond. Her mom, Sheila, an elementary schoolteacher, accused of pandering her daughter`s arrest, tampering with evidence. Her mother walking out of jail on a $50,000 bond.
Lady Justice, where are you?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETERSON: We`re always fighting about money. Basically, Stacy and I were seeing each other, secretly because I was still married legally to Kathleen. Kathleen got wind of my relationship with Stacy. And when she found out for sure, she threw me out of the house.
So, one day, she came downstairs, I was living in my basement. Pushed me, went running upstairs, got on the phone and says Drew Peterson beat me again, called 911. And the police showed up. And they said it would be better that I would move out or leave for the time and cool down.
I didn`t leave Kathleen to be with Stacy. I left Kathleen because I didn`t want to be with Kathleen anymore.
ARMSTRONG: You had already left Kathleen.
PETERSON: That`s already -- was in the work, right, and her Susan broke out, did you kill my sister? And I said, no, I didn`t. I didn`t kill your sister. That`s just ridiculous. I says, an investigation (INAUDIBLE), and I says I didn`t hurt your sister.
MATT LAUER, HOST, THE TODAY SHOW: Do you still feel that you will not be arrested?
PETERSON: I just don`t know.
LAUER: How about you?
JOEL BRODSKY, ATTORNEY FOR DREW PETERSON: I still do not see credible evidence.
LAUER: But are you as confident that he will not be arrested?
BRODSKY?: Yes, I am.
LAUER: Are you prepared to be arrested?
LAUER: Are you prepared that there`s a chance you could spend the rest of your life in jail?
PETERSON: I`m prepared for anything that should come up. My main concern about anything is my children. And once all my ducks are in line for their well being, I`m OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That is Drew Peterson`s lawyer, Joel Brodsky, on NBC`s "Today" show. You know, he went ahead and hanged (ph) it, put a jinx on the whole thing. Both he and his client bragging there would never be an arrest.
In the last 24 hours, former cop Drew Peterson arrested in traffic to spare his children from witnessing daddy being handcuffed on murder one in the death of Kathleen Savio, the third wife.
The disappearance of, a mysterious disappearance of his fourth wife, 23- year-old Stacy Peterson, mother of two of his children, still unsolved.
Back to the lawyers. Holly Hughes, Bradford Cohen and Doug Burns. The death penalty is rearing its head already. We know that a similar transaction will likely come into evidence in the trial of Kathleen Savio`s murder, that being the disappearance of Stacy Peterson.
But in this jurisdiction, one governor, who was later indicted for corruption, Ryan, put a moratorium on it. Then the next governor, this will ring a bell, Blagojevich, who tried to allegedly sell President Obama`s state seat, well, he`s out, too.
Long story short, the two of those governors put a moratorium and kept a moratorium on the death penalty.
I mean, Holly Hughes, the state still seeks the death penalty. And it can`t be implemented when a moratorium is lifted.
HUGHES: Absolutely, Nancy. And I think they probably will. This is one of the most heinous cases. This -- we have one wife still missing, one is dead and at the hands of him, according to the state she`s been murdered. We know also that there was abuse in the prior two marriages, Nancy.
So I think when you`re talking similar transactions, those are also going to come into play. This is heinous. He has left how many children without mothers at this point, Nancy. They can seek it. And I`ll tell you what, they`ll probably get it.
GRACE: Liz, do we still have Ernest Raines? Mr. Raines, the father of Drew Peterson`s current girlfriend, how is she taking the arrest of her lover?
(ON THE PHONE)
ERNEST RAINES, FATHER OF DREW PETERSON`S CURRENT GIRLFRIEND: She`s really broken up and, you know, she`s -- she`s really upset. She felt betrayed.
GRACE: By whom?
RAINES: By Drew.
GRACE: Mr. Raines, doesn`t she have a young child?
RAINES: Pardon me?
GRACE: Doesn`t your daughter have a young child?
RAINES: She has two. She has a boy and a girl.
RAINES: I have a grandson and granddaughter by her.
GRACE: Did they move into the home with Drew Peterson as well?
RAINES: Yes, they did. Yes, they were living there, too.
GRACE: OK, back to the lawyers, Bradford Cohen, Doug Burns, Holly Hughes. Death penalty, Brad Cohen, what about it?
BRADFORD COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I mean, absolutely, they can seek it. and if it gets reinstated by the governor, then at that time, then they can impose it. The thing is, with this case, is that it`s going to be -- you know, listen. There is evidence that certainly it was a homicide. Now they have to link that homicide to Drew Peterson.
He`s saying he didn`t have a key. Saying he had an alibi. Certainly I feel he`s a moron just like everyone else does in his attitude. And that is one piece of the puzzle that is going to sink him, is his attitude in court, his attitude outside of court.
It`s not consistent with someone who is innocent. So I think that it`s going to be a tough case for the state to prove but I think when you start adding up the pieces, you know, this is a case that he shouldn`t be taking lightly.
GRACE: Doug Burns?
DOUG BURNS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: As far as the death penalty, they had a statewide commission. I think I remember, you know, they started it, and then they put a moratorium.
GRACE: I know the DP history there.
GRACE: I`m talking about Drew Peterson.
BURNS: Yes, but what I`m saying is I do not think they`re going to reinstate the death penalty over this case.
GRACE: The death penalty has not been dethroned.
GRACE: The death penalty has a moratorium from being implemented. The state can still seek the death penalty.
BURNS: They are not going to implement the death penalty in this case.
GRACE: OK, rephrase. Will they seek the death penalty, that`s the question.
BURNS: I don`t have a crystal ball, I don`t know.
GRACE: OK. Back out to Michael Lisak, Kathleen Savio`s nephew, joining us. Mr. Lisak, what does your family want out of the case? What do they want to see? What do they believe is justice?
LISAK: Well, I think we have partial justice now. I mean we always wanted to see him behind bars. And we got that. In the big picture, we want to see conviction. We want someone to blame. We want some actual -- someone behind bars to basically prove.
GRACE: Understand. Mike Brooks, what do you think?
BROOKS: You know, Nancy, I think they could seek the death penalty. But keep in mind, Nancy, this special grand jury is still in session for two more weeks on the disappearance and possible death of Stacy Peterson.
GRACE: Well put. Now, "CNN Heroes."
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ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Heroes.
SHIN FUJIYAMA, YOUNG WONDER: That period in life when you`re, like, 18 to 22 is very transitional. Whatever it is that happens during that time has an amazing ability to really mold your future.
I went and volunteered for Honduras. After my first trip, I wanted to keep helping. I saw such a great need, I knew I had to do something.
My name is Shin Fujiyama, and I mobilize college students to help kids and families in Honduras.
I started to talk to all my friends. It`s a lot of poverty, a lot of kids that sleep in the streets. My little sister Cosmo (ph) joined the cause.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please check it out. Nice to meet you. Thanks again.
FUJIYAMA: Our motto is "Students can make a difference." We have had hundreds of bake sale and car washes. Little things. But they add up. We have about 20 trips that we organize every year and we`ve had about 500 students go to Honduras with us.
A lot of our focus is with children and with education. We`ve raised money to be able to send girls in Honduras through college. We built two schools. We`re also building an entire village for the people.
We have big goals but I know we can do it together.
When I wake up in the morning, with things I brought (ph) in Honduras, I think of all the members that have come to Honduras and the ones that are thinking of going. And that`s what keeps me going.
Some people say that young people like us can`t do anything. We have proven to them over and over that we can do anything that we dreamed of. And so can these kids in Honduras.
ANNOUNCER: CNN Heroes is sponsored by.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: What a week in America`s courtrooms. Take a look at the stories and more important, the people who touched our lives.
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LT. TAMMY UNSER, ORANGE COUNTY CORRECTIONS, WITNESSED TOT MOM`S REACTION IN JAIL: She walked into the medical clinic and immediately looked at the TV which was on Channel 9 broadcasting breaking news and she collapsed into the chair and started to what appeared to be hyperventilating.
She did ask at that point if she could take a shower to make her feel better. She said the sedative helped settle her stomach, she didn`t feel so sick to her stomach anymore.
JOSE BAEZ, ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: Moments ago we filed our motion for change of venue. We initially wanted to keep the location sealed and secret.
GRACE: He attacks all the national media, that`s not going to help him get the trial out of Orlando. That would mean you can`t get a fair trial anywhere.
There is a God, baby Joshua, found alive, beating all the odds, all the naysayers, all those willing to believe something nefarious had taken place.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The race is on to find this little boy, he is 3 years old from California. He is still missing after a kidnapping and home invasion. His name is Bryant Rodriguez.
GRACE: This is home video of Bryant Rodriguez given by his mother to KCAL. This little boy taken from the home at gunpoint, relatively no money taken, flat screen TVs left behind. And according to the mom, they tell her, we`re taking him to Mexico and killing him.
GRACE: Let`s stop and remember Army Staff Sergeant Sean Fisher, 29, Santee, California, killed Iraq. On a second tour, awarded the Bronze Star, lived life to the fullest, loved mechanics, dancing with his mom to Mexican music, dreamed of proposing to his girlfriend and buying a house in Alaska. Leaves behind mom Maria, five siblings, girlfriend Melissa, 6- year-old daughter Bailey.
Sean Fisher, American hero.
Thanks to our guests, but especially to you, and a special good night to Georgia friends of the show, Huck, his mom, our regular, Sheryl McCollum, Laci, Charlene and birthday girl Elouise (ph), aka, little Caroline. She loves Elouise.
And a special good night tonight from the New York control room. Good night, Brett, Liz, Zack, Dick.
Everyone, I`ll see you tomorrow night. 8:00 sharp Eastern, and until then, good night friend.