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Drew Peterson Murder Trial Opens

Aired July 31, 2012 - 20:00:00   ET


RITA COSBY, GUEST HOST: And breaking news tonight. Drew Peterson, the man who claimed he`d be found innocent of killing his wife, finally faces the music, Peterson forced to have his day in court. He is accused of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio. You remember she was drowned in a dry bathtub. Peterson`s fourth wife, Stacy, also vanishes. She`s still missing. Peterson`s defense maintains she ran away, but she`s on Peterson`s witness list.

Tonight, despite Peterson changing his appearance, is this the beginning of the end for Drew Peterson?


DREW PETERSON, CHARGED WITH MURDER: I`m a suspect (INAUDIBLE) was a suspect from the beginning.

I can look right in your eye and say I had nothing to do with either of those incidents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Authorities think Peterson knows exactly where Stacy is. They say he may have killed her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kathleen Savio was found dead in her bathtub.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a (INAUDIBLE) accident, period. And that`s what happens, a household accident.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you there? No.

PETERSON: All this is happening to me for something I wasn`t responsible for or nothing that I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there a confession?


PETERSON: It`s just something I`m going to have to live with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was Peterson`s third wife.

PETERSON: I have no idea what (INAUDIBLE) like that.

I`m going to come camp (ph) myself (INAUDIBLE) your house and see if you like it.

We`ll go out and search. They`ve already been through my house a few times, so it`s, like, it`s not here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Allowing the victim of a violent crime to do is to testify from the grave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just days away from divorce, Savio was found dead in her bathtub.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Found in her bathtub.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told her he could kill her.

PETERSON: I have neighbors going through the house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And make it look like an accident.


PETERSON: Please go home. Please leave me alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they found her dead in the bathtub.

PETERSON: Please don`t get involved in my world.



COSBY: And that was from NBC`s "Today" show. Good evening, everybody. I`m Rita Cosby, in for Nancy Grace. Thank you so much for being with us.

Many thought this day would never come, but tonight, Drew Peterson finally facing Lady Justice. For more, let`s go straight to Jean Casarez. She is the legal correspondent for "In Session." She is right outside the courthouse for the latest.

And Jean, sort of take us to how this moment came about for Drew Peterson finally after all these years, Jean.

JEAN CASAREZ, "IN SESSION": (INAUDIBLE) take it from the beginning. Well, this all began when Drew Peterson was married to Kathy Savio. They, according to opening statements, had an uneventful life until Stacy Peterson came into view. And that came before the jury today, that he started seeing another woman while still married to Kathy Savio.

But then they got a divorce and then it became contentious between the two of them. But then it settled down. And in 2004, Drew Peterson went back to the house to pick up his kids to take them back, and she wasn`t there and he didn`t understand why. He let a couple days pass, and finally, a locksmith went into the home. He with some neighbors went upstairs, and there she was in the bathtub.

Prosecutors said it took an investigator about an hour to determine it was an accident. In other words, it was a rash decision, and prosecutors said this is a man that staged the scene to look like an accident, but Drew Peterson is the killer.

COSBY: Michael Christian, senior field producer of "In Session" -- you know, Michael, again, it comes out to this conclusion that it`s an accident, but then several years go by, and what happens?

MICHAEL CHRISTIAN, SR. FIELD PRODUCER, "IN SESSION" (via telephone): Well, Stacy Peterson disappears. That`s the big thing. His new wife disappears. And all of a sudden, people are looking at Drew Peterson who hadn`t paid any attention to him before, and they realize, you know, he`s not only got this missing wife, but there`s a previous wife who died. I wonder what that`s all about?

So Kathleen Savio Peterson`s body was exhumed. There was a second autopsy, and the result of the second autopsy, according to the state of Illinois, is no longer accidental death but homicide. So the state of Illinois says it was a mistake to originally say that Kathleen Savio`s death was an accident, that she was murdered and she was murdered by Drew Peterson.

COSBY: And Jean Casarez, legal correspondent with "In Session," again, there at the courthouse -- there were so many delays up until that moment. He gets, of course, arrested. He has been behind bars for a long time. But now there`s been all these hurdles until this moment, correct?

CASAREZ: There have been all these hurdles because there were all these hearsay statements, statements from Stacy Peterson, statements that allegedly Kathy Savio made. They`re not here to be cross-examined.

And so the defense mounted a vicious fight because they said that it was prejudicial to Drew Peterson to allow them in. But it went from court to court, and the prosecution is actually the one that appealed the trial judge`s decision to disallow these statements. And the prosecution gained a victory from the appellate court that it was admissible hearsay.

But the defense is still fighting to keep some of them out, if not all of them. And they may be victorious because the prosecution really only included one hearsay statement in their opening statement, and that was that Drew Peterson took his wife in the home, a knife to her throat, saying, You know what? I can kill you and nobody will ever know.

COSBY: Let`s go to Charles Doman. He is a nephew of Kathleen Savio. He`s joining us here on the show. Charles, first of all, I`m sure, in many ways, it`s wonderful, you feel, that maybe now justice will be served. On the other hand, I`m sure it`s difficult for you to relive this moment. Again, Drew Peterson still says he is not guilty in this case.

What`s your reaction as now the trial`s moving forward?

CHARLES DOMAN, KATHLEEN SAVIO`S NEPHEW: Well, we`ve always thought he was guilty. And my family`s made plenty of calls to the authorities or whatnot before all this happened, and nobody really wanted to listen to any of us, until it took Stacy to go missing, which is very unfortunate. She was a nice young lady.

But we think that the state has a great case, they wouldn`t be having him there, and we think they`re going to find him guilty. There`s 12 people sitting there right now who are looking at everything now meticulously.

COSBY: You know, Charles, walk us through, if you could, a little bit about what was going on in 2004 from the family`s perspective. She`s found dead in the bathtub. And of course, again, it was immediately ruled that it was an accident. Did the family buy that at that time?

DOMAN: No, not at all, not for one second. Not for one second. My mom called me. It was early, early in the morning, like, the middle of the night, and she said that she got a call from Drew that my aunt was gone.

And she said automatically, I think he did it because my aunt -- I don`t know if you guys have seen all the paperwork and documentation that my aunt was taking during the whole time. But she wrote notes. She took meticulous, you know, notes in her own handwriting on these documents, saying what was going on, what he said, what he did.

And I mean, it -- there was no evidence because they didn`t look at no evidence. They didn`t even think twice. You know, he was there at the crime scene when it happened.

COSBY: Did you just feel it was just a quick rush to judgment, let`s just -- it looks like an accident, that`s what -- and they didn`t kind of give it a once over?

DOMAN: Definitely. Definitely. Everybody thought that. Even at the coroner`s inquest, I believe my Aunt Sue stood up and said that there`s no way that it happened like this. And just because that there were these people there, they said, Well, that`s what they ruled, and that`s the way it is. Too bad.

COSBY: Let`s go to the callers. Let`s go to Nancy from Pennsylvania, who`s on the line. Nancy, what`s your question tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I`m glad I got through to you, Rita. How are you?

COSBY: I`m doing great. What`s your question on this case that now is finally going into the courtroom -- amazing, Nancy, after all these years?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Well, the question I had (INAUDIBLE) things that he told people that would be entered into evidence. But I have another question. Are they looking into the possibility that other policemen at that time, since he had been a former policeman, if they had anything to do with the cover-up or they were just kind of taking care of their own and they looked the other way?

COSBY: That`s a great question. Let me go in to Michael Christian, senior field producer with "In Session." Michael, what about other people helping him at that time? I don`t remember any reports on cops, but I do remember there was this brother-in-law who came forward with some interesting information.

Tell us about the cops and the brother-in-law and the answer to Nancy`s question.

CHRISTIAN: Well, let me start with the brother-in-law. He attempted suicide, apparently, shortly after Stacy disappeared. And he has said that he helped Drew move a blue barrel from Drew Peterson`s bedroom, and that he came to conclude that that blue barrel contained the body of Stacy Peterson.

Now, that has never been proven. That blue barrel has never been found. But there`s a lot of people who...

COSBY: And Michael, weren`t there questions, too, about this brother- in-law`s character, too? Weren`t there some questions about drugs or maybe his mental state, whether he was a credible witness or not, if I recall?

CHRISTIAN: That`s exactly right, and that`s -- you know, that`s partly perhaps why this blue barrel has never been found. So we don`t know that Stacy Peterson was, indeed, in that barrel, but a lot of people think that she was.

Now as far as the cops go, it`s very interesting because he had been a police officer in Bolingbrook, Illinois, for almost 30 years, and there are a lot of people who believe that the Bolingbrook cops -- and this is not to disparage the department, but that a lot of the cops that he worked with maybe turned a blind eye to this, didn`t really want to believe that one of their own would do something like this.

Very quickly in this investigation, it was basically taken away from Bolingbrook and given to the Illinois State Police simply because of the fact that Drew Peterson was a cop and they didn`t want the appearance of a conflict of interest.

And I think a lot of Bolingbrook police officers (INAUDIBLE) were thrilled that actually it wasn`t their concern anymore. I think that they just would just prefer to believe that none of this happened. They don`t want to deal with it, and they just would like people to forget that Drew Peterson ever was a Bolingbrook police officer.

COSBY: And joining us now on the show is Steve Greenberg. He is the attorney for the accused killer, Drew Peterson, who`s now charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

Mr. Greenberg, first of all, thank you for being with us. I know you`re in the middle of the trial, so thank you so much. I know, and I said this at the top, you know, Drew has always maintained his innocence. What is his mood now as it`s finally going to trial? And what`s your sense of where this case is headed?

STEVE GREENBERG, DREW PETERSON`S ATTORNEY: Well, his mood is fine because he`s been locked up for three-plus years waiting for this day. And just as the family, the Doman family and the Savio family, want this day, so does he because he has been locked up for what was an accident. The original coroner`s jury found it was an accident. The medical examiner found it was an accident. It is an accident. The evidence is it`s an accident. And so his mood is fine because he sees the light at the end of the tunnel, finally, after all this time.

COSBY: Mr. Greenberg, what does he make of the fact that these other medical examiners came back years later and they exhumed the body, gave it maybe, you know, as far as a lot of people are saying, a thorough look, a more thorough look than before, and then they said, Well, wait a minute, you know, this now looks like a homicide, this looks like X, and some of the things that came up from the prosecution today, too, in terms of some - - where the bruises were, the position of the feet.

Are you saying that sort of these medical examiners were bunk?

GREENBERG: Well, I`m not going to get into the specifics of the evidence because that will be played out in the courtroom. But I can tell you that they exhumed this body, and they learned basically nothing from exhuming the body.

The people who are going to testify primarily looked at photos from the original autopsy because by the time they exhumed the body, there were issues with the integrity of the body and some water in the casket, and so forth, and so they couldn`t really draw a conclusion from it -- and decomposition. But they looked back at the original photos.

Now the reason that there are so many medical examiners is because they get different opinions.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You forget that I know you`re not the kind of girl that lets a marriage stop (INAUDIBLE). You forget that I know what kind of whore you are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God! Don`t ever hold me down again! You can`t do this anymore!


COSBY: And that is from the Lifetime television movie "Drew Peterson: Untouchable" starring Rob Lowe. It was a huge story, of course, when it happened. And we`re talking about -- there was also a disappearance of a fourth wife, but he`s on trial now for the murder of his third wife, who was found dead in a dry bathtub.

We are taking your calls, everybody. Let`s go to Crystal from Iowa. And everybody, we also want to take all your messages on Facebook, Twitter, so be sure to get ahold of us any which way you would like.

Let`s go to Crystal. What`s your question tonight, Crystal?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I have a question. (INAUDIBLE) Drew Peterson was an ex-cop. Do you think he`d know exactly how to make somebody disappear?

COSBY: Well, that is one of the allegations from the prosecutor. In fact, let`s go to Jean Casarez, legal correspondent, of course, with "In Session." Jean, that was one of the things that prosecutors sort of went right for, basically saying, This guy`s an expert, he knows how to kind of cover his tracks. He`s a cop. He investigates these kind of scenes. And he`s been a cop for decades, right, Jean?

CASAREZ: Thirty years. And in the defense opening today, Joel Brodsky really tried to give the life history of Drew Peterson, and he was stopped with numerous objections, so he didn`t get it all out. But he got some of it out.

But one of the hearsay statements that may be allowed in has to do with Drew Peterson saying, I can kill you and stage it to look like an accident. That`s going to be important to prosecutors to bring in because that will show why a coroner`s jury then determined it was an accident, that Drew Peterson was very good at what he did.

COSBY: Let`s go to Rosalia from Georgia, who`s on the line. Rosalia, what`s your question?

Let`s go to Crystal from Iowa -- actually, Rosalia from Georgia. Are you on the line, Rosalia?

Let`s go to Phyllis from New Mexico. Phyllis, are you on the line?


COSBY: Got a lot of callers tonight. Phyllis, thank you. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have two. I want to know how he can be so egotistical and laugh about killing two women. And who`s got his six children?

COSBY: All great questions. Let`s go to Michael Christian, senior field producer of "In Session." Give us a sense of his demeanor because in the past, as she`s pointing out -- and I thought it was a very interesting observation, Phyllis -- you know, he came, did all these interviews. We saw him all over the place kind of mocking the press and having a good time and laughing and even saying his wife who`s missing -- Well, maybe she`s out dancing.

Wasn`t that one of the things he said, Michael?

CHRISTIAN: Yes. And you know, the defense says -- he`s a very jovial guy. I mean, I`ve spoken to him. He`s a very jovial guy. And people who even are disinclined to like him, I think, sometimes after meeting him or talking to him, kind of get swayed a little bit. He`s very charismatic.

The defense says that that is just part of who Drew Peterson is, Rita, that that`s his persona, that he doesn`t take things seriously on the surface, that he does -- he does make jokes, and that doesn`t make him a killer. That just makes him a guy who`s got a sense of humor that some people maybe don`t tap into, but that, you know, again, the defense...

COSBY: Michael, you also...


CHRISTIAN: That`s just Drew Peterson.

COSBY: And you spoke to him, Michael, too. I want to have you sort of talk because you actually talked to him recently in the courtroom, right? Give us a sense of your sort of one-on-one perception of him.

CHRISTIAN: I did. It was a very strange little situation. It was during one of the pretrial hearings. And I was in the courtroom. I had come back from a lunch break, and I just happened to be the first one in the courtroom. There was nobody there yet. And all of a sudden, these two bailiffs, two court deputies, bring in Drew Peterson. So the four of us were in the room together, himself, me, and these two deputies.

And he was talking to the deputies, and again, laughing, being Drew Peterson, and -- you know, but there are only three, four people in the room. So at one point, he turns and looks at me and said, Now, where do I know you from? And I reminded him who I was and that maybe he had seen me at a previous hearing.

And as soon as he heard that I was from "In Session," the first thing he wanted to know was, Are you guys going to be able to televise this trial because I want this trial televised. I want everyone to know what a joke the prosecution`s case against me is.

And then after that, for roughly 10 minutes, we just had this very nice, pleasant conversation. Sometimes the deputies were involved. Sometimes it was just Drew and myself.

And I kept thinking, where is everybody else? Why isn`t anybody else in on this? I couldn`t believe my good fortune that I got to talk to him for 10 minutes. But it just -- it just...


COSBY: And I`m Rita Cosby, in for Nancy Grace. Well, it has been eight years since his wife was found dead in a dry bathtub, and now Drew Peterson is facing two counts of murder, facing justice. The trial has begun, the very anticipated trial.

And one of the things we were hearing -- of course, along the way, we saw all these big interviews that he did over the years, you know, kind of mucking it up with the press. But today, a little bit of a different tone for Drew Peterson in court.

Let`s go to Jean Casarez, legal correspondent with "In Session." And Jean, when he was out there today, what I understand -- he shaved sort of the famous mustache, looked a lot more sort of serious, a lot more somber before the jury, is that right?

CASAREZ: I just wish you could see him! He`s totally different, not only different in looks, but different in demeanor. He is stoic. He is serious. He is demure. He talks with his lawyers, definitely aids the discrimination. But I saw no hand waving or big smile or any gestures at all that we saw for it seemed like years on the television camera -- totally different demeanor.

COSBY: Steve Greenberg, attorney for Drew Peterson, did you give your client some instructions, Hey, look, no mucking it up, you got to be more serious, you got to put on the best face to the jury?

GREENBERG: He`s a 30-year police officer. He knows what a jury trial is all about. But let me correct something that you keep saying and everyone keeps saying, that she drowned in a dry bathtub. A drowning means that you`ve got water in your lungs. There was water in that bathtub...

COSBY: Actually, Steve -- Steve, what we said was...


COSBY: We said she found -- we said she was found in a dry bathtub, and that is correct that she was found...


COSBY: ... and that`s one of the questions, and you know that.

GREENBERG: Right, she was -- she was found in a dry bathtub, but there`s no doubt that there was water in there at some point, and there`s no doubt that she drowned. And they keep saying staged. I`ll address that, too.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drew Peterson, a former police sergeant, is on trial, charged with murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drew, you looking forward to your day in court?

PETERSON: (INAUDIBLE) three squares a day!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You would think that he would be more concerned about his missing wife and the children.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s on your witness list.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re hoping she shows up.


COSBY: And I`m Rita Cosby, in for Nancy Grace.

Well, that much anticipated trial is now underway for the Chicago area cop, Drew Peterson. Remember, his fourth wife goes missing and is still missing to this day. And meanwhile his third wife is found in a dry bathtub, she is dead. The defense says it`s an accident, prosecution says, huh-uh, they say it is murder.

Let`s go Michael Christian, senior field producer with "In Session."

Michael, bring us up to speed again real quick. What took us to get to this moment? When you think about it, eight years in the making, she is found in 2004, here it is, it`s 2012, and now he`s finally on trial.

MICHAEL CHRISTIAN, SENIOR FIELD PRODUCER, "IN SESSION": That`s right, Rita. And the thing that triggered all of it is Stacy Peterson`s disappearance. Kathleen Savio Pete`son`s death was first ruled an accident. That was the end of it. She was buried. In the meantime, Drew Peterson`s second wife Stacy goes missing and all of a sudden people are saying, hey, wait a minute, what happened with his previous wife? Wasn`t there some story there?

Kathleen Savio was exhumed. A second autopsy was performed. And there was all second autopsy according to that pathologist was that it was a homicide, not an accident. So that`s what`s brought us here as you say eight years later to this trial.

COSBY: Beth Karas, legal correspondent with "In Session." You`re there at the courthouse as you always are. Beth, through all these trial. Beth, give us a sense of -- first of all the witness today, the first one who comes up after opening, you know, statements for both sides, then comes up the neighbor and she`s key as to what she sees when she walks into the house, correct?

BETH KARAS, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, IN SESSION: Yes, indeed. Mary Pontarelli is her name and she was Kathleen Savio`s friend for several years. She is one of the first people to enter the house. She wasn`t the first one, though, to enter the bathroom. Another neighbor still to testify, Steve Caserano (ph), saw Kathleen in the bathtub. Yelled for Mary Pontarelli. She went in there. She said that -- she ran out of the bathroom, fell to the floor and she was screaming. And it was her scream that Drew Peterson heard, he was outside the house and then he ran inside and all the events unfolded from there.

COSBY: Michael Christian, she also talked about this picture, and a couple of things that she saw, sort of the position of the feet, the way the blood was sort of, that there wasn`t sort of this blood ring in the water. Describe some of the evidence, sort of physical evidence that could be very relevant in this case.

CHRISTIAN: Well, she said that she saw blood in the hair, she saw a wound to the back of the head. She saw some bruising. Particularly on the buttocks, I know she mentioned. What`s fascinating from her testimony is how she described Drew acting in all of this. Drew was the one who wanted to get a locksmith and go into the house. Drew sent the rest of them in upstairs, once the door was open, because she said, you know, he didn`t really want to go in, he didn`t want to get into a fight with Kathleen Savio over being in the home or anything.

But she said as soon as she sees Kathleen Savio`s body and screams, he and some others go rushing up the stairs, he`s bringing up the tail end, but he`s a cop, he`s in his cop`s uniform because he`s about to go to work and he doesn`t have his gun drawn, which I think some people would find interesting in a situation like that.

COSBY: Yes, that is interesting. And Michael, the other thing, the position of the feet. I want to get you to describe that, because Kathleen Savio`s feet were sort of in an interesting position that the prosecution`s alleging shows it`s not someone who sort of slipped and fell in the bathtub.

CHRISTIAN: They said they`re kind of bunched up at the end, kind of twisted, trapped a little bit. She didn`t really talk about the feet, though, Mary Pontarelli. We will be hearing more about that, but she didn`t really describe that, she took a quick look at the body, screamed, running out of the room, said she threw herself on the floor, threw herself down and started crying.

She also then said, when she went back in the bathroom, she wanted to cover up the body, because she was embarrassed for her friend to be there and just be so naked and so vulnerable. And she said Drew Peterson was the one who said to her, don`t do that, you should don`t that because in theory that would have contaminated the crime scene. So it`s interesting he told her not to do that.

COSBY: That is an interesting point. Let`s go to Steve Greenberg, attorney for Drew Peterson, who joins us. He`s in the thick of the trial, so again we`re so glad you could be with us, Steve.

When you hear all these things, it is a little interesting he waits outside the day before when he goes over and she doesn`t answer the door and he`s just sort of waits and the next day he comes over again and then that`s when he gets the locksmith, he doesn`t go inside, and some people, the prosecution is saying, and you know this better than anyone, Steve, it`s sort of unusual behavior, he`s a cop, you find sort of -- you know, somebody`s dead, you`re not drawing he gun. You`re waiting outside. How do you explain that behavior?

STEVE GREENBERG, ATTORNEY FOR ACCUSED KILLER DREW PETERSON: Well, he wasn`t there as a cop, he was there as a father and an ex-husband. And so --

COSBY: Right, but --


GREENBERG: We have to look at it in that viewpoint which --

COSBY: At that point wouldn`t you -- wouldn`t you be worried, Steve? Wouldn`t you be worried if you were a cop or an ex-husband, going, a friend saying, wait a minute, this is someone, you know, I was married to, I`m worried about her, there`s something unusual the neighbor`s screaming.

GREENBERG: Right, and the neighbor`s screaming and maybe there was more to the screaming than they let on today. And he goes up, there is -- the fact that he didn`t pull his gun, how people react to situations, we can`t micromanage, but what she did say that was very important which he said he was visibly upset when he went in that bathroom and saw her there. He was visibly upset and he took special care to make sure the crime scene was not contaminated or the accident scene was not contaminated.

COSBY: One of the things that`s interesting, and we just turned also, Steve, the buttocks, the bruises on the buttocks, so there this cut on the head, I was also seeing some bruises on the wrists. Some places that people are saying that`s unusual. And we`re going to get the medical expert in a second.

But it`s a little unusual for someone who, that, you know, if you say OK, as you guys are alleging that it was an accident that she, you know, slipped and fell in the bathtub. How did she get these kind of unusual bruises, her feet are in a weird position, not sort of an uncomfortable position, or a weird position, than they might be if she fell. How do you describe especially these bruises?

GREENBERG: Well, the pathologists are going to describe the bruising and they`re going to tell you that they can`t date the bruising and some of the bruising comes from some stuff she was doing with her boyfriend. And as far as being in an unusual position --

COSBY: What kind of stuff -- wait, wait, wait. What kind of stuff with her boyfriend? Are you alleging some kinky stuff?


GREENBERG: You`ll have to wait for that evidence to come out. It`s not in dispute, I can tell you that. But as far as the effect of this whole thing --

COSBY: Wait, wait. Steve, Steve, Steve. wait, wait. Let me just get you to answer that. Do you believe that she -- are you trying to say that she like wanted these bruises in some crazy act that, you know, some sort of relationship she was having, that that was part of it and they -- she had the bruises before the bathtub is what you`re going to say?

GREENBERG: Some of the bruising predates that weekend, absolutely. And there is no dispute about that among the pathologists, the state or the defense. But if you`re going to make it, stage it, make it look like an accident, are you going to leave her in that position in the bathtub? You`re going to lay her down like she was taking a bath and fell on her back.

So again, just the evidence there, they can call it whatever they want. The question is, when we`re in the courtroom, are they going to have a witness? Are they going to have evidence? That`s really what it`s all about at this point.



JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Kathy Savio in a bathtub, dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not even a homicide. It`s a freaking accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How is he behaving in court?

CASAREZ: No wild gestures.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See if you like it.

CASAREZ: No big smiles. Just a calm, serious, focused demeanor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m untouchable, bitch.


COSBY: And that`s from the Lifetime Television movie, "Drew Peterson: Untouchable" starring Rob Lowe. And today was day one of the trial with Drew Peterson. He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, which could be 60 years in the state of Illinois.

Let`s go back to Beth Karas, legal correspondent. She`s right there at the courthouse.

And Beth, it`s so interesting, opening arguments start today, and get the shape of where they`re both going, two very different pictures and also the defense was sort of almost leading into sort of blame the victim, trashing, trashing also, from what I understand, you know, the character of, you know, of Kathleen Savio, saying that there was some questions here.

Let`s go to Michael Christian, actually on that one. Michael, give us some background on sort of the two different views, prosecution and defense as they were laying it out today.

CHRISTIAN: Well, you`re right, Rita. They are night and day, the prosecution says this was absolutely a murder, that he planned this, this ugly divorce, he was afraid he was going to lose some of his hard fought assets, his pension, and he wanted her out of the way, he killed her.

And the defense says it was an accident, pure and simple. It was an accident. The original coroner`s inquest got it right when they said that it was an accident.

So, again, just night and day here. And I was a little surprised that the defense took some pot shots at Kathleen Savio. They called her bossy, they called her tough. They painted her as someone who had to be in control and I was a little surprised by that because she`s a victim either way. She`s either a victim of divorce and she`s a victim of drowning. But if it`s an accident, I`m not sure you have to muddy those waters.

COSBY: I agree. I think it`s absolutely distasteful. And I don`t really understand the relevance of doing it. It`s sort of a bizarre way to do it and I just think it`s unseemly in every sense of the word.

Let`s go to the attorneys. Let`s go to Susan Moss, also Pilar Prinz.

Susan Moss, when you hear the story, here it is, opening arguments. The woman is dead, she`s found in the bathtub. You know, of course defense saying it`s an accident, prosecution saying, you know, it`s murder. His other wife is missing during all of this. And then guess what, they don`t go out there and say, here`s how the bathtub was designed, she could have slipped. No, they go out and go after her, Susan.

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY & CHILD ADVOCATE: Absolutely, but even O.J. thinks this guy is guilty, I bet. The reason why they did that is because when you look at the facts, one of the key facts in this case is the multi-year campaign of domestic violence that Peterson waged against this woman. There are 18 times that the police had to come to their household. He broke into her house, he threatened to kill her on multiple occasions.

They`re bringing up all of this because they want to say it is her fault, that all these years of domestic violence was waged against her. It`s not going to work, especially when you have the statements that are going to come in, how he threatened to kill her and the statement also by the fourth wife also which makes him look culpable and guilty. When you put all this circumstantial stuff together, that`s how you`re going to get the conviction.

COSBY: You know, and Pilar Prinz, bringing in and trashing the victim, which I just think is so shameful, especially at a time like this, this woman is dead, and it`s an accident by his account, and by the prosecution to this cold-blooded, calculated murder.

Why go out and trash her? If anything, I actually don`t think that helps the defense. First of all I think it`s distasteful and I think it`s terrible and I`m sick of it. But the other thing I also don`t think that helps the defense. It gives maybe a sense of well, maybe he did do it because they were in this horrible relationship.

How does that help in any sense of the word the defense, Pilar?

PILAR PRINZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Rita, I don`t know that it helps, and I`ll come back and answer your question more fully. But I want to bring up something that nobody`s talked about yet. And it acknowledged that the only reason that anybody even looked at Drew Peterson in relation to Kathleen Savio`s death in the first place was the disappearance of Stacy Peterson.

But this judge has already ruled that the jury is not going to hear about Stacy Peterson`s presumed death or that Drew Peterson is believed to have murdered her. So that`s a very key piece. This case is going to be able to Kathleen Savio only. And that`s going to be a case that is built on circumstantial evidence.

Unusually, they actually have to prove that there was a murder in the first place, so they`ve got to get over the original pathology report. And you`ve got secondhand hearsay from witnesses who aren`t going to be there to testify. So there are some real difficulties in their case.


COSBY: And Pilar -- Pilar, I think it`s going to be -- I think it`s going to be a dueling of medical experts. I agree with you. I think it`s going to come down to a lot of that.

PRINZ: And the interesting thing, too, Rita, I have read both the first pathology report, which was in I think one day after her death, and you read the second one which was years later. The first one appears to have not only external, but a full internal examination and the second report is much shorter and even the pathologist acknowledges that the body was in poor condition.


COSBY: And I`m Rita Cosby in for Nancy Grace.

Let`s go to Dr. Bill Manion, New Jersey medical examiner. We were just saying, Doctor, you know, that I believe a lot of this is going to come down to different medical experts. And if we could put up that diagram again, this is sort of where these bruises were on her body. She`s got a gash on her head. This is when the third wife is found in the bathtub.

Now again there`s no water at this point, but you`ve got all these different bruises, you`ve got, you know, bruises on her buttocks, bruises on her wrist, allegations from the defense that it came from, you know, from somewhere else. How do they sort of put all of this together and determine homicide versus accident, Doctor?

DR. BILL MANION, M.D., MEDICAL EXAMINER, BURLINGTON COUNTY, NJ: It is a very difficult case. And I can see the first pathologist being given all the evidence and being told by the police, well, we had an investigation, there wasn`t a robbery here. The house was secure. The house was locked when we got there. And her husband is a policeman.

You know, I can just see how the first medical examiner just believed what was told to him by all the investigators and presumed that the police were there and investigated it. Then it could have been an accident. If this is a homicide, it was a very, very good homicide. Because there are really no significant injuries. I know there are some bruises here and some abrasions and there`s controversy over how old these bruises are.

But the key areas, if he put a sleeper hold on her, I would think there might be some pethechial hemorrhages in the eyes. No pethechial hemorrhages. There`s no injury to the neck. The thyroid, hyoid neck muscles, no injuries. So, it`s possible he could have knocked her out and drowned her but did he a great job if he did it like that. And I could have a very difficult time --

COSBY: Yes, no, I --


COSBY: It is going to be a very hard one, I agree. I would agree.

Let`s go to Patricia Saunders, clinical psychologist. This contentious relationship between him and his wife. How relevant is that going to be? How do you think that will affect the jury?

PATRICIA SAUNDERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I think it is very relevant. But I just want to back up a little bit, Rita. You know, my question was talking about, you know, how the jovial guy and how he mucked around with the press. I think it is a lot more than that. I think this is an arrogant guy who was disrespectful and kind of aggressive, taking his video camera and shoving it in the face of reporters.

Standing up, as he is going into jail, and saying what a spiffy outfit, my bling. This man is a police officer, where`s his respect for the law and the procedure? Psychopaths are noted for their charisma and noted for their bag chameleon. He knows how to behave. I think this was a very clever murder.


COSBY: I`m Rita Cosby in for Nancy Grace.

Let`s go back out to Beth Karas who was at the courthouse with the Drew Peterson trial, day number one.

Beth, the one thing that`s interesting, there`s a lot of ground rule sort of what can be said and what can`t be said. Nothing can be said sort of inferring that Stacy, his fourth wife, not related, you know, in this case. But you can`t say in this case that she`s presumed dead. There`s certainly language, right?

KARAS: Well, the jury know tat she disappeared and that she is missing, that`s all they`ll probably know the judge is likely to instruct them they will not speculate on anything beyond that the truth is you cannot tell the story about Kathleen Savio`s death and why this is being prosecuted as a homicide without mentioning Stacy Peterson and her disappearance because that was the catalyst for the petition to exhume Savio and do another autopsy.

COSBY: You know what I find interesting, Steve Greenberg, attorney for Drew Peterson, you have him on the witness list, you have Stacy on the witness list. She is missing. What`s the reason for that?

GREENBERG: Well, because, if she appears, we might call her as a witness. Wouldn`t that be --

COSBY: Do you think she is -- yes, look, it will be great. Do you think she will magically appear?

GREENBERG: I don`t think she will magically appear and I also don`t think she`s dead.

COSBY: All right. Well, I`m going to ask you two about this, blame the victim. Because a lot of people, you know, feel uncomfortable, sort of the the defense today, as you know better than anybody, goes after Stacy, but not talking about the third wife tied this case, sort of this, you know, going after her, you know, her character. What does that have to do with the third wife being found dead in the bathtub, going after her character?

GREENBERG: We weren`t going after her character, but there was a struggle, she was the kind of person that would have fought back and no physical evidence that she was in a struggle with anybody. So, that`s the point of that.

COSBY: Yes, because a lot of people took it, I tell you, Steve, here she is dead, she`s passed away, saying she is bossy, she`s tough, she is this. Seem like a little bit of mud slinging there. They`re -- let`s got Charles --

GREENBERG: She is a fighter. She is a fighter, Rita.

COSBY: All right. And that`s the reason. I -- now I understand why you`re saying it.

All right, Bill Manion, real quick, medical examiner, can you prove there is a struggle or not, two seconds?

MANION: No I can`t. It`s very difficult there is no breakage of her nails, no defensive wounds and just aren`t injuries we normally would see with a prolonged struggle. It is a very difficult case from that`s expect.

And we will be covering it closely, guys.

And tonight, let`s stop to remember Army Private First Class Brian Wolferton, just 21 years old, from Oak Park, California, he was killed in Afghanistan. He was award the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge and also the Airborne Badge. He loved video games, the card game "Magic" and on the high school track team for four years. He leaves behind parents, Miriam and Christopher and his brother, Michael.

Brian Wolferton, a true American hero.

And I want to thank all of you for your very sweet words and e-mails about the recent passing of my hero, my father, Lieutenant Richard Cosby. My father fought against the Nazis in World War II and was saved by American troops and in his honor, we are raising money for the USO, helping wounded troops and their families.

To get information about how you can help, go to You`ve got to click on the words "Quiet Hero" or click on the USO box and be sure to say in memory of Richard Cosby.

Thank you so much for always helping our brave men and women, our troops. I`m Rita Cosby in for Nancy Grace and I am staying on to join Dr. Drew, who is next as he covers the Drew Peterson case from a very different angle.

Have a wonderful evening, everybody.