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Nancy Grace

Peterson Denies Asking Truckers to Transport Package

Aired December 03, 2007 - 20:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, GUEST HOST: Tonight: He is a suspect in his fourth wife`s disappearance, and still there is no sign of young mother of two Stacy Peterson, who vanished in the Chicago suburbs. Stunning new clues tonight. Police now reveal two truck drivers claim they were approached by Drew Peterson to haul a mystery package right around the time Stacy Peterson is reported missing. The truckers say Peterson and an unidentified man wanted that package hauled to an undisclosed location, this on the heels of published reports that a relative claims Peterson paid him to help with moving a large container.
Also tonight, a former police sergeant, Drew Peterson can retire with -- get this -- a $6,000-a-month pension. But now Bolingbrook police reportedly uncover evidence of police misconduct by Peterson while he was still on the force. Did Peterson run unauthorized background checks on his missing wife and her friends?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New questions this morning in the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. Her husband, Drew, is denying an alleged encounter with two truck drivers just hours after she went missing in October. The drivers claim Peterson and another man approached them at a truck stop and asked them to transport a package. Peterson`s attorney says it never happened. The former Bolingbrook police sergeant is a suspect in Stacy`s disappearance. Police are also reinvestigating the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in for Nancy Grace. Tonight, allegations of police misconduct against suspect Drew Peterson as the search for his missing wife, Stacy, now turns to a mystery package.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A new strange twist in the case of a missing Illinois mom. Police now say a man believed to be Drew Peterson asked truck drivers to transport a package just hours after his wife disappeared. But the truckers refused because no one would say what was in that package. Peterson`s lawyer denies the meeting ever happened. Peterson is the primary suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, 23-year-old Stacy Peterson.

And on retirement with a sizable pension, he`s reportedly now under investigation for police misconduct. According to reports, while Peterson was still on the force, he used department computers to run unauthorized background checks on his missing wife, Stacy, and her friends, the Bolingbrook Police Department reportedly turning over this alleged evidence to prosecutors. If true, Drew Peterson could lose what some would call a substantial pension for a former police sergeant, $6,000 a month.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in for Nancy Grace. New information pouring in, with shocking new claims from two truckers who say they were asked by somebody who looks like Drew Peterson to haul a mystery package around the time Stacy Peterson vanished. Are these claims true, or is it just more rumor and speculation, as Drew Peterson`s attorney claims?

For more on all of this, let`s go straight out to Mary Frances Bragiel. She`s a reporter for WBBM Newsradio 780 in Chicago, who has been tracking this very perplexing case. Mary, what is the very latest?

MARY FRANCES BRAGIEL, WBBM NEWSRADIO 780: Well, Jane, you know what? This blue barrel or blue container has become the focus of this investigation. So now that these truckers have come forward and claim that they have seen a man who resembles Drew Peterson who asked them to remove this container a day after Stacy Peterson went missing -- after they asked them to remove it, Drew Peterson then said they would meet these truckers in an undisclosed location and then move the body to another location, where semi trucks could not make their way into that.

Family members of Stacy Peterson`s say this adds a lot of validity to the case, if they do believe, in fact, that she`s in some sort of container or blue barrel out there in the water. In addition, Illinois State Police investigators are now looking into the claim that Drew was doing background checks on some friends of Stacy Peterson on work time, and that, in fact, they`re wondering whether that is some sort of police violation he can since (ph) lose his retirement benefits, which he began receiving today, more than $6,000 a month after nearly 30 years on the police force.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s unbelievable. He started getting the pension money today, Mary?

BRAGIEL: That`s according to his attorney. That`s what he told me yesterday.


BRAGIEL: He started receiving it today, yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable! Now, of course, we have to stress that Drew Peterson, while he is a suspect in this case, has not been charged with anything. In a court of law, he deserves the presumption of innocence. And of course, we extend an invitation to him or his attorney to come on the show and tell their side of the story, his attorney tonight saying this whole trucker story is completely nonsensical. Why would we involve so many people?

But let me go out to my dear friend and investigative journalist Pat Lalama, who is very good at putting her detective`s cap on. Let`s analyze this because looking at the news release, Pat, it kind of looks like cops believe some trucker did possibly take him up on his offer. Here`s what the news release says. "Anyone having a similar encounter is asked to contact Illinois State Police." So is it possible Stacy`s body is sort of traveling around the country on some truck?

PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: It`s very possible. And I mean, there`s a lot of credibility to the stories that we`ve heard. Two men are saying, Look, a guy who looked a lot like Drew Peterson, with a guy with salt and pepper hair, kind of stocky, come in and say, Look, you know, take -- they call it a package. Remember, they don`t call it a box, which I found kind of interesting. We want this package delivered to point A, and then we`ll retrieve it from point A and take it somewhere where 18-wheelers can`t go.

Now, the funny thing is, is that Drew`s lawyer says, Well, why would - - you know, can you imagine a guy who`s just committed some serious crime involving strangers and bringing a friend along? And number two, Drew Peterson wouldn`t be in state police territory. And number three, these truckers are just trying to get involved because it`s a big, high-profile case, and they want tabloid attention. So you know, you got to take it with a grain of salt so far. But I think it`s got a lot of credibility.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Pat, so funny that you mention the fact that he, as a staff sergeant, wouldn`t leave his desk, according to his attorney. He called in sick that day...

LALAMA: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... according to the actual...

LALAMA: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... police force there locally. Let`s turn to Pat Brown, criminal profiler and author of "Killing for Sport." Again, Drew Peterson`s attorney says this is nonsense, these are people who want to get involved in the case to get maybe either tabloid money or just attention, but it tracks with what we know so far, essentially, that a neighbor claims to have seen Drew Peterson and a mystery man removing some kind of container from the house, as well as the fact that a relative of Peterson`s claims that he helped him do precisely that. Your analysis??

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Right, Jane. But what I wonder is why -- does this relative who supposedly took this container out of the house also say that he went with Drew to a location and asked some truckers to move this container? That`s what I`d like to know because there`s a lot of missing information here. In other words, did these two truckers call in? Are they, you know, on the phone? Were they identified? Did they gave names? Have the police talked to them personally? Because if they didn`t talk to them personally, it could have been Drew calling this stuff in, saying, Hey, look, that body`s, like, halfway across the country. Ha, ha. There`s another phony lead you can go after. Or if it`s a real two guys who really did see these people, then there`s some possible credibility to this. But it does seem kind of strange that he would do that, I must admit, in the sense that, how many people are you going to involve? The lawyer`s got a point there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`ve got a fascinating analysis. You`re saying that he might have done this himself to throw them off the trail. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist and author of "Till Death Do Us Part," assuming for a moment hypothetically that these truckers are telling the truth, wouldn`t that help explain Drew Peterson`s complete lack of concern, how gleeful and jaunty he is, running around videotaping members of the media, if he knows 200 people searched this weekend, but they`re never going to find a body because that body`s traveling around the country?

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, and it`s also interesting because he is a police officer. So he might feel that he really knows the system, he`s able to manipulate the system, and maybe that`s why he`s feeling a little cocky, if you will. You know, he really knows what`s going on and nobody else does, and maybe he feels he got away with murder once, he can do it again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we`re talking about also this relative, who allegedly tried to commit suicide after he allegedly helped Drew Peterson remove the container from the house. Does it make sense for somebody to want to commit suicide over just moving a container, or would that imply possibly that he might know more? We`re not identifying that relative. But of course, they`re saying that this mystery second man appeared with Drew at the truck stop, trying to get this package onto a truck.

LUDWIG: Well, from what I`ve heard, this particular family member has a history of depression and also has a history of being suicidal. So that could explain why he was feeling suicidal at this point. Perhaps he just feels tremendously guilty, that he should have done something to help, or maybe he`s just a person who`s really not well anyway. It`s really hard to know with the information we have at this point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, let me bring in the attorneys. I know the phone lines are lighting up, but let`s get the attorneys involved in this for a moment. First, Christine Grillo, who`s a prosecutor, as well as Hugo Rodriguez, defense attorney. This is not some tip that came from a police source to the papers, this is an actual news release from the Illinois State Police. How significant is that? Let`s start with you, Christine.

CHRISTINE GRILLO, PROSECUTOR: How significant the tip from the truck drivers, you`re talking about, Jane?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How significant is all of this, given the fact that it wasn`t just a tip, it`s actually a news release? They`re saying, Hey, if there`s a trucker out there who`s taking a body, give us call.

GRILLO: I think it`s pretty significant. And I think that in this particular case, Drew Peterson -- I think he would involve further strangers. What else is he supposed to do at this time? He needs help to dispose of the body. Maybe he couldn`t do it on his own, so he had to get someone to help him, so he went to truck drivers, thinking, Maybe if I throw some money their way, they`ll help me out. Who`s going to notice? Who are they going to report this to? So that there is a really good chance that he tried to elicit (SIC) other people to help him dispose of this body.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Hugo, you`re a defense attorney. His defense attorney is saying this is complete and utter nonsense, that he would never get this many people involved.

GRILLO: Well, he`d have to do something. I mean, what is he going to do? If he has a body in this container and he has a relative helping him, what is he going to do? He`s got to do something with it. Maybe his first plan didn`t work out...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hugo -- I hear your point. But Hugo, go ahead.

HUGO RODRIGUEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Stranger things have happened. I`m not here to defend him. I would find it very hard to believe that he`s as calculated as people want to make him out to be, that he would go through this process of involving a family member and two unknown truck drivers. I haven`t heard anything yet that the truck drivers have identified him as being Drew Peterson, but if that`s the case, then they`ll have substantial leads to follow. But as of right now, I think it`s pure speculation. And they should be covering any leads that come their way, especially about a body being anywhere. They should follow those leads. But he should not be involved in defending himself in the press, he should be laying low and taking care of his kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it seems like everybody in America is playing detective. Let`s go to Sue in Florida. Your question, ma`am?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. You`re doing a great job.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a question. Drew`s friend went on TV and said that when they worked together at the bar, that Drew told him that he had tapped the phone. Now, that`s against the law, right? And if he was a cop at the time, I`m sure he probably did that with stuff from the job. Can he be prosecuted for that and lose his pension for that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s go back to Mary Frances Bragiel, reporter for WBBM Newsradio, on the whole issue of what Drew Peterson allegedly did or did not do as a police officer that might have been beyond the bounds of his official duties.

BRAGIEL: At this point, what we know or what we`re hearing that he may have done is that he looked into the backgrounds of some of Stacy`s friends, which obviously are police violations. That`s all we know at this point. And that`s coming out of the Illinois State Police investigators. Bolingbrook police have their own set of possible police violations that they turned over to the Will County state`s attorney. Now, I am told the Will County state`s attorney, as well as the Bolingbrook police chief, did already meet, and at this point, there are no criminal charges.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about all this talk, though, of wiretapping that we`ve heard before, that some of the wives, even possibly Stacy, feared that they were being wiretapped?

BRAGIEL: That is the fear out there. I mean, some of them said that they believed, you know, they were being wiretapped, they were being followed. We heard this out of the second wife. We heard it out of family members and friends from the third and fourth wife. But at this point, it`s unknown if police are actually looking at that as a possible violation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we got to go back to psychotherapist Robi Ludwig. What does it say about a guy who wiretaps his wife?

LUDWIG: Well, it means that he`s very controlling, that he`s very jealous, and maybe he had this ongoing fear that his wife was going to leave him. Maybe that`s why he wanted to kill her, to prevent her from leaving him. This is not uncommon for men who commit marital homicide and are very controlling. They get very suspicious of their wives, and it`s very dangerous for them, for the wives, when they`re about to leave.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, in fact, I think there was a report in a Chicago newspaper contending that Stacy Peterson had informed him on the very day she disappeared that she wanted a divorce and said, Be out of the house by Wednesday.

So let me go to Ric Mims, who is a friend of Drew and Stacy Peterson. You`ve known Drew for a long time, even back to his marriage to wife number three, Kathleen Savio, who died mysteriously in a bathtub. What do you know about Drew Peterson`s desire to control his women?

RIC MIMS, FRIEND OF DREW AND STACY PETERSON: Drew`s just a very controlling person. That`s about all I can say on that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, elaborate. When you say "controlling," how so? What did you see?

MIMS: Just, you know, the usual things they`re reporting on the radio now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I mean, tell us. Tell us. What did you see? You say he`s controlling with his women.

MIMS: I...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, I can tell you what he told "People" magazine. Maybe you can elaborate on that.

MIMS: All right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He told "People" magazine that his dad was a Marine and that when he was a child, when his dad woke up in the morning, his mom would make his bed immediately, the family bed, and he expected all his wives to do the same thing and was disappointed that they didn`t.

MIMS: That`s a good -- that`s about it right there. That sums it up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So a chauvinist?

MIMS: Just that he was the man and she was the woman type deal, you know, pretty much a caveman-type style.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Caveman? OK. Well, you know, we waited a long time for your comments, but definitely, it was worth waiting for.

Robi Ludwig, when we talk about women who are abused, we talk about something called the "power and control wheel," where the man uses all sorts of intimidating tactics to control his woman. Does this track with Drew Peterson`s behavior?

LUDWIG: Oh, absolutely. It sounds like he was abusive. It sounds like he was quite scary. I would even bet that he threatened to kill his wife on several occasions. And one of the reasons why women don`t leave in these situations is because of something called "learned helplessness." They really believe it`s impossible for them to get away. And in some cases, those women are right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know, this is a cautionary tale for women around America. We`re going to talk more about that when we come back. What should a woman do if she`s in a bad marriage and has two young kids, as Stacy did, and wants to get out? Do you alert your husband that you`re planning on leaving, or do you leave when he`s at work and get out of harm`s way, and then let the lawyer call and say, Hey, I`m leaving you?

To tonight`s "Case Alert." A Missouri prosecutor says there will be no criminal charges in the case of a 13-year-old St. Charles girl who commits suicide after she is bullied on the Internet. The parents of Megan Meier say she hanged herself after being harassed on the social networking site Myspace. An 18-year-old acquaintance of Meier`s neighbor and the neighbor`s daughter create a phony profile pretending to be a teenage boy interested in Meier. Then they turn on this young girl, bullying her. The prosecutor says no charges could be filed under current state law.

And also tonight, it`s a brand-new message from Nancy about the twins. So head over to Nancy`s baby blog and check it all out. It`s all at


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in for Nancy Grace. Stunning new clues tonight as two truck drivers say a man believed to be Drew Peterson asked them to transport a mystery package. And reports Bolingbrook police have come forward with new evidence alleging Drew Peterson misused his position as a cop to do background checks on his missing wife`s friends and associates.

We have so many callers backed up. Let`s go to Charlotte in Tennessee. Your question, Charlotte?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I love your show. But I was wondering, doesn`t this truck stop have cameras that would have seen his vehicle? And also, is this vehicle equipped with the EZ Pass, so that if he went through one of the toll booths, they would have a record of that, you know?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You should be a detective, Charlotte! Mary Frances Bragiel, reporter with WBBM Newsradio, we`re all talking about whether this is true, but wouldn`t there be some kind of video that would show whether he showed up there that night?

BRAGIEL: Oh, absolutely. I mean, there`s practically cameras all over the Chicagoland area at this point. That video would have been turned over at this point to Illinois State Police investigators way before they issued this press report about the two supposed truck drivers.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So that adds credence to this because if they had checked the video out -- but you`d think that they would have released the video, don`t you, by this point?

BRAGIEL: No, they haven`t released anything. They`ve remained very, very tight-lipped about this case, and that`s why the fact that they even released a statement saying that these two truckers have come forward with seeing a man that resembled Drew Peterson and his relative there is big news out here in Chicago.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it`s big news because it wasn`t one of the sources talking to the Chicago papers. This is actually the Illinois State Police saying this, so it has a lot of credence.

Dr. Marty Makary, physician, as well as professor of public health at Johns Hopkins, if this body was in a plastic container -- remember, it`s been more than a year -- I mean, excuse me -- it`s been more than a month since she has disappeared -- what would the condition of the body be?

DR. MARTY MAKARY, PHYSICIAN, PROF. OF PUBLIC HEALTH, JOHNS HOPKINS: Well, it would be probably decomposed, but let`s face it, there`s not a ton of evidence that`s going to come out of a body. She`s going to have his DNA on it. Every married person in America has the DNA of their spouse on them, practically. It`s going to come down to the circumstantial evidence. Maybe an accomplice will have some DNA involved. Maybe they`ll have some evidence of a certain device used in the homicide which may be present at the crime scene. Those are the sort of clues that investigators are going to look for in this autopsy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the body, wouldn`t it possibly show something like a gunshot wound but not show another type of death, like strangulation, if it was badly decomposed?

MAKARY: That`s a good point, Jane. A knife or a gunshot wound would be the sort of thing that you could most closely trace to a specific object at the location. But look, a lot of this is going to come back to the Kathleen Savio thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely, and we`re going to get to the Kathleen Savio thing in just a moment.

To tonight`s "Case Alert." Thousands, including players for the Washington Redskins, attend a funeral service for NFL superstar Sean Taylor, Taylor gunned down on November 27 during a home invasion in Miami. Four suspects charged with unpremeditated murder, armed home invasion and armed burglary, the suspects awaiting extradition from Ft. Myers, Florida, to the Miami jurisdiction. According to police, some of the suspects have confessed to the crime, and one of their attorneys says there is now a fifth suspect. Taylor leaves behind grieving girlfriend Jackie (ph) and an 18-month-old daughter.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former Illinois cop Drew Peterson denies asking two truckers to transport a package hours after his fourth wife vanished. Illinois State Police say the truckers reported somebody resembling Drew Peterson and another man approached them at a truck stop in October. The state police say the men turned down his request. Peterson`s lawyer said this incident never happened.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in for Nancy Grace, as we track shocking new claims in the disappearance of Chicago-area mom Stacy Peterson. And get this. Drew Peterson now wants his stuff back from cops who confiscated it.

Pat Lalama, tell us about this one.

LALAMA: Well, they have 11 guns. Count them, 11. They have an iPod. They have CDs. They have his vehicles. He claims he at least should get the cars back because the police department -- or excuse me, the authorities are depriving him of his right to take care of his children because he`s going to have to rent a car to get them to and fro. He says he wants the guns back because, in the words of his lawyer, he knows he`s not liked or maybe even hated, and he needs them to protect himself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The search for Stacy continues. The FBI has volunteers focused on specific waterways. Investigators reportedly think her body may have been dumped in the water based on cell phone calls placed from that area.

Meanwhile Drew Peterson remains free. Police say he`s a suspect, but he`s denied doing anything wrong and hasn`t been charged. He`s resigned from his job with the Bolingbrook P.D. and in his free time continues his strange behavior, turning the tables on reporters with a home video camera, joking about camping out at their houses.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let him show his face whenever he wants because the more he opens his mouth, the more he`s going to sink himself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Depending on which they this goes, Drew Peterson could be documenting his last taste at freedom.

I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in for Nancy Grace.

More than 200 people braved freezing cold temperatures this weekend to search the suburbs of Chicago for missing mom Stacy Peterson as well as another missing mom, the earlier disappearance of Lisa Stebic from a neighboring town. And these two cases have really creepy similarities. Lisa Stebic`s husband is a person of interest in her disappearance. Stacy`s husband, of course, a suspect in her case.

And I want to go back to Rick Mims who is a friend of Drew and Stacy Peterson, knew the couple and actually knew Drew for many years, even before he hooked up with Stacy. What is your take on this whole trucker story that we`ve been hearing?

RIC MIMS, FRIEND OF DREW AND STACY PETERSON: I really don`t even want to comment on it. I think it`s a red herring.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You think it is a red herring. Why do you say that? You go way back with Drew Peterson. Let me ask you this. What is your relationship like now? How did it devolve or evolve given all this stuff?

MIMS: It`s strained right now. I haven`t talked to Drew in quite some time now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because you think he`s guilty?

MIMS: I`m letting the state police do their job.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, why wouldn`t you talk to him if you didn`t think he was guilty.

MIMS: I don`t have anything to say to him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you upset by everything that`s happened? This is a very insular community. Wife number three who died mysteriously in the bathtub lives about four blocks away from where Drew Peterson lives now. They in fact had had some run-ins. Stacy and Kathleen Savio. He was dating Stacy while he was still married to Kathleen. He`s a serial cheater, does that upset you what he has done to this community?

MIMS: The whole community is upset right now. It`s a circus out there, it is, it`s a circus between the media and just the things that`s going on out there. What Drew`s doing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So obviously you share the disgust of the community over what`s transpired?

MIMS: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yeah. I want to go to Pat Brown, criminal profiler and author of "Killing for Sport" because we have been hearing that Drew Peterson wants his 11 guns back but we`re also reporting tonight that a clergyman fears for his safety. Apparently, according to published reports, Stacy Peterson before she disappeared confided in a clergyman that her husband, Drew, had said he killed his third wife and made it look like an accident. And these are just public reports, we can`t obviously independently confirm any of this.

Well, now that clergyman is telling a Chicago paper that he is afraid for his life. Given that Drew Peterson wants his 11 guns back, what do you make of all this?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, I think anybody who has ever said anything against Drew might fear for their lives. It`s always a typical thing to say oh my God, the guy`s going to come after me. Usually that`s not true. When a person`s in the spotlight, they`re not going to go knocking witnesses off. That`s just probably not happening.

Does he want his guns back? Of course. They`re his. He likes his guns. And as long as the police determine they might had something to do with the crime, he might get them back. But some of these things like the CDs of the kids and the vehicles, they do not have to do with anything, he has a right to have them back because at this point, he`s not guilty of any crime, is he?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s bring in the lawyers. Christine Grillo, Hugo Rodriguez. Hugo, should he get his guns back at this stage of the game when they`re looking for his wife`s body?

HUGO RODRIGUEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: If they`re not of evidentiary value he should get them back. But if they`re still examining them for whatever reason, they shouldn`t. But there`s CDs of the kids, there`s home movies of his children. Maybe one of the cars, he needs to take his kids to school. Unless it`s of evidentiary value is, they should give it back to him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m talking about the guns. Christine Grillo, I don`t care about the CDs. I`m talking about 11 guns when people are saying they`re scared.

RODRIGUEZ: If it`s not evidence, return them. He`s not been accused of anything.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But what about the clergyman?

RODRIGUEZ: What about the clergyman?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about the clergyman? He`s sitting in fear at home tonight or in his parish.

CHRISTINE GRILLO, PROSECUTOR: Time out. Because the point is that if he is a suspect in a violent crime, I don`t think that keeping his guns from him is something that`s .

RODRIGUEZ: Is there a law that allows you to do that?

GRILLO: For safety precautions I would think .

RODRIGUEZ: Tell that to a judge.

GRILLO: No, I would think that we need to safeguard, just like, sir, if a police officer is arrested in a domestic violence case, they have to give up their guns. Especially if there`s an order of protection in effect or something.

RODRIGUEZ: That`s because there is a court injunction. That is because a judge adjudicated an injunction. There is no judge adjudicating .

GRILLO: God forbid if those guns were returned and something happened, what does he need them for? Why does he need them? What does he need them for?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is a very good question, I wish we could ask Drew Peterson tonight, what do you need your 11 guns for? You know what he would say? And his attorney has actually said this, Christine, is that he is so hated in the community he needs it for protection in his own home. Because he`s afraid.

GRILLO: If he`s so afraid. If he`s so afraid for himself and his family, putting himself out there constantly, in the media attention, showing his face, showing where he is, where his children, where he can be found, where he can be reached, I don`t buy that he`s so afraid.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ric, do you think he should get his guns back? Why do you think he wants the guns?

MIMS: I don`t have any comment on that. That`s the state police, it`s their decision whether they want .

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know it`s their decision. I was asking you if you thought that he might have a particular reason for wanting these guns back? Why does he have 11 guns?

MIMS: He`s a gun collector.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh. A gun collector. That always for me, personally, when I hear that, I always run the other direction. I`m like, I`ll catch you later.

All right. The phone lines are lighting up. Joan in Ohio. Your question, ma`am?

CALLER: Hi. My question is -- First of all, I love your show, we miss Nancy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I miss her too, and she`s going to be back soon. Don`t worry.

CALLER: Good. My main question is I know they have searched vehicles and I know they have searched the home. At any of these times have they ever used Luminol?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very good question. Mary Frances Bragiel, reporter, WBBM news radio. Have they used Luminol on the cars? On the house?

MARY FRANCES BRAGIEL, REPORTER, WBBM: I wouldn`t be surprised if they didn`t use Luminol, but, again, Illinois State Police aren`t saying much. Other than we know that the computer has been taken out and the guns and all this, we saw when all this happened and the vehicles taken away. It wouldn`t surprise me if they didn`t use it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Bonnie in New York, your question, ma`am.

QUESTION: Well, he should have a psychiatric test before he discusses that. Second, have the truckers mentioned where they were supposed to have delivered this package.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Pat Lalama, investigative reporter, we know that there was little information revealed. Do we have any idea where the package was supposed to be taken.

PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: That hasn`t been publicly disclosed but you know what, Jane, I have a hunch, just you and I having done so much crime reporting over the years, sometimes law enforcement plays it close to the vest for a reason. They give it us out some information, they don`t give out other information. You know, maybe if they did know the locations, they`re just waiting to see if somebody else comes forward who might know more. I think there`s a strategy to keeping that information away from us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go back to the other aspect of this case which we certainly do not want to ignore and that is the mysterious death of Kathleen Savio. Wife number three, who died in a bathtub, originally authorities said it was an accident then after Stacy disappears, they reopen the case, they exhume the body, they do another autopsy, Mary Frances Bragiel with WBBM news radio, when are they going to announce the results of that second autopsy?

BRAGIEL: Jane, everybody is waiting for the official results. We heard from independent pathologists, he believes it was murder. We`re waiting for these results here. But it is my understanding they`re waiting for toxicology reports to come back as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. But of course, Dr. Michael Baden, the private pathologist hired by Stacy`s family, has concluded in his second autopsy, in his new autopsy, that it was murder. Let`s bring in the lawyers.

Christine Grillo, Hugo Rodriguez. Let`s say they never find Stacy, could stay still use the autopsy results if the official autopsy is that it was murder to expand their case against Drew on the Stacy Peterson front?

GRILLO: On the Stacy Peterson front, as far as direct evidence, I don`t know, it depends on, I don`t know, if you`re setting up an M.O. or if you want to use it on your direct case to show prior bad acts of the defendant, maybe you could do that.

I`m unsure as to what they`re going to be able to do, because I`m unsure as to what they actually have about this prior wife. I think it also, it just shows, you get one wife mishap per family if you would, and this makes him look just a little bit more guilty. I mean he`s got one wife that mysteriously dies in the bathtub and the other one that mysteriously disappears. So I think if they`re going to be able to use anything about this, it`s going to be probably on what we call a malino (ph) or a prior bad act if we can.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Hugo, we`re going to get to you right after the break. Tonight check out an all new message from Nancy about the twins, Lucy and John. Plus Nancy gives a special and exclusive tour of the twins` nursery. It`s all at Click on Nancy`s baby blog.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hundreds of volunteers are braving the frigid temperatures looking for any signs of Stacy Peterson near Centennial Trail in Romeoville. The weather continues to be a concern as crews attacked fields and water ways before they freeze over. A large container or blue barrel which Stacy`s husband Drew allegedly needed help carrying out of his house the day she vanished is still the focus.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in tonight for Nancy Grace as we bring you the very latest bombshells and they are bombshells in the disappearance of Chicago area mom Stacy Peterson, her husband Drew, a former cop, considered a suspect in the case which is being investigated as a possible homicide. And now a huge tug of war over Drew Peterson`s pension. He recently retired from the force and he`s supposed to get $6,000 a month.

Apparently the first payment was today and we`re going to ask in a second, should he? But first I want to go back to Ric Mims who was a friend of Drew and Stacy Peterson`s for quite a number of years. You are doing something very important to try to raise money vis-a-vis this case. Tell us all about it, Ric.

MIMS: What we`re doing is we`re starting to have fundraising concert in a couple of weeks. What we`re doing is looking for corporate sponsors and maybe some national acts to volunteer their time and efforts to help with the cause. If they want to get involved, they can get a hold of us at, attn: Peterson Benefit. We needs things like lighting, staging, sound equipment, anything that could help local bands, national bands, any type of corporate sponsors that would help we would really appreciate it. Once again they can reach us at I think they were going to put something up on the screen, too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And absolutely best of luck with that effort, that is so important and we did have hundreds of people searching for her over the past weekend in very, very cold temperatures.

I want to talk about the issue of Drew Peterson`s pension, $6,000 a month, that ads up to about $72,000 a year. Let`s bring in the lawyers. Hugo, your turn first now, should he get this pension given everything that`s happened and the charges that he used a police computer to look up information on Stacy and her friends.

RODRIGUEZ: The cases I`m familiar with having represented many police officers is not only accessing the information, but you have to put your personal ID in there when you access the National Crime Information Center. It`s the dissemination of that information that results usually in misconduct charges against police officers. I don`t know if that rises to the level of excluding someone`s pension because I`m sure that there are pensioners out there that have done much worse, but it`s obvious they`re looking at him for the purpose of removing him from the pension plan.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you saying as long as they don`t disseminate it, you can sit there with your feet up and just be typing information, I`m going to look up Hugo Rodriguez and find out the dirt on him because I`m a cop and I can do whatever I want? Christine, help me out here.

RODRIGUEZ: Be careful. They have done it.

GRILLO: I hate to interrupt Hugo but I have to say, we are given -- just like police officers, we`re prosecutors, we are given abilities to do things, this is an abuse of authority by any police officer to be running any information or getting any extra information on people. It is an abuse of your authority, it is an abuse of your position and I don`t think that you need to disseminate this .

RODRIGUEZ: Is it sufficient to remove his pension?

GRILLO: I`m sorry?

RODRIGUEZ: Is it sufficient to remove his pension? I`m sure there`s other situations in the State of Illinois.

GRILLO: It`s an abuse of authority. You can`t continually be rewarded as a police officer if he`s acting inappropriately.

RODRIGUEZ: He`s not a police officer.

GRILLO: He was a police officer at the time of doing this.

RODRIGUEZ: If he violated the law and there`s sufficient authority for others who are retirees who have done the same thing to have been removed from the pension, then do it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me bring in Pat Lalama because his attorney is claiming, oh, everybody does this. If you prosecute him on this, you`re going to have to prosecute every cop. Now that`s shocking to me. You have worked with a lot of cops. So have I. I would hope that every cop is not snooping around and getting information on their wives and their girlfriends and their friends.

RODRIGUEZ: You would be surprised.

LALAMA: Oh, boy, I think we have to look at purpose and motivation. OK? It depends on the degree, it depends on what his purpose may have been, what kind of actions he took afterwards, who he gave the information to and if they find it`s a crime, they could take his pension away. I mean, it`s a serious allegation. But what`s interesting, Jane, is that when they were investigating him, my understanding from the police department is that just about the time they were bringing him in to internal affairs for questioning, that`s when he`s like, I`m going to resign now. He`s very clever, he knew when they did that he would get his pension, and the city council said, sorry, you have to give it to him, he`s resigned. So he was very clever to get out of the kitchen just as the frying pan was heating up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Maybe the frying pan will come flying back in and hit him on the head. We don`t know. Mary, Washington, DC. Your question, ma`am?

CALLER: Yes. I wanted to know why do they assume that the package is a body. Couldn`t it have been her cell phone? I mean, if you want to throw somebody off the track, you would track you would give a cell phone to someone who is traveling because he knew that they would be tracking the frequency and the activity on the phone and stuff. And then he wanted it back, he wanted the package back, I mean why do they assume it`s a body?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a very good question. Let`s bring in Dr. Marty Makary, physician and professor of public health at Johns Hopkins back into the conversation. The container that the neighbor allegedly saw that`s been sighted is about three by two, possible body?

DR. MARTY MAKARY, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PHYSICIAN: Nine times out of ten in a situation like this, it`s a body. People do not try to get rid of evidence in this circumstance and if you just look at common things being common, this was a body.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Final thoughts, Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist and author of "Till Death Do Us Part." This is a cautionary tale. What does it teach us about how women who in a bad marriage who fear for their safety should get out of that marriage.

LUDWIG: Well, I think you need to prepare and you need to work with agencies who can help you get out safely, first by making sure your documents are with safe people and really planning it with people who can help you. I don`t think it`s something women should do alone. There are many resources out there for women that can really help them in this area.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Criminal profiler Pat Brown, is part of the strategy not letting the husband that you`re scared of know that you`re leaving because in so many of these cases, the woman expresses fear and then disappears?

BROWN: Exactly. If you think this guy is the kind of person is the kind of person that would kill you or hurt you if you want out. If you tell him you want out, you`re going to get killed or hurt. It makes no sense to tell him that. Get away, get some big brothers who look scarier than him and then he won`t come after you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And just very briefly. We have a very serious problem with male on female violence in this country, don`t we, Pat?

BROWN: We have a very serious problem. Women need to know they should not get into relationships with men they cannot trust. In other words, don`t rush into it. Just because he`s cool and powerful and a really neat guy. Wait. If you can wait a year or two for that guy before you get into a permanent relationship or married. Guess what, if he is the kind of guy you shouldn`t be with he`ll be long gone and he`ll find someone else because he`s not going to wait for you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very well put, listen to her advice, women across America. Tonight, let`s stop to remember Army Specialist Chirasak Vidhyarkorn, just 32 from Queens, New York, killed in Iraq on a second tour of duty, an engineering wiz, he earned a master`s degree at New York Institute of Technology. He lost his life just weeks from returning to his family and a lucrative engineering job. He dreamed of buying a home and bringing his siblings from Thailand to the United States. He leaves behind grieving parents in Thailand. A brother, a sister and a cousin. Chirasak Vidhyarkorn, an American hero.

We want to thank al over guests tonight for their insights. Thanks to you at home for tracking these very important cases with us and remember to visit Nancy`s baby blog at We`re going to se you tomorrow night right here at 8:00 sharp. Until then, have a terrific and make it a safe evening.