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Nancy Grace

Four Peterson Children Face Christmas With Missing Mother

Aired December 25, 2007 - 20:00   ET


PAT LALAMA, GUEST HOST: Tonight: One mom is missing, another dead, and now four kids left behind with no mothers to turn to this Christmas. What happened to young mom of two Stacy Peterson, vanishing into thin air? And what really happened in the mysterious bathtub death of Kathleen Savio, now back under investigation? An emotional roller-coaster for the families of both these women, as massive searches continue for Stacy Peterson while authorities exhume the body of Kathleen Savio for answers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened to 23-year-old Stacy Peterson? That`s what family and friends want to know as Illinois State Police search for answers, Peterson last seen by her husband, a long-time Bolingbrook police sergeant. Peterson, a pre-nursing student, apparently leaves her home to meet up with a relative, but she never makes it. Her family tries desperately to contact her with no success.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of Peterson`s three previous wives was found dead in her bathtub back in 2004, the case ruled to be accidental, but a spokesman for a state attorney saying his office is reviewing the case with an open mind.


LALAMA: Good evening. I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace. Two suburban Chicago women have one thing in common. They are the fourth and third wives of former police sergeant Drew Peterson. Tonight, the mystery behind the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and the suspicious bathtub death of Kathleen Savio.

For the very latest, let`s go to Kathy Chaney, reporter with "The Chicago Defender." Kathy, you know, there is not a more appropriate time to remind ourselves that there are four children in the middle of all this. Kathy, for our viewers, let`s go down the list of who these children are and who they belong to.

KATHY CHANEY, "CHICAGO DEFENDER": Well, the two oldest, the teenagers, they are the sons of the fourth -- I`m sorry, the third wife, Kathleen Savio, whom Stacy had adopted as her own. And the two youngest -- I believe the ages are 2 and 4 -- are Stacy`s.

LALAMA: All right, now, Mike Brooks, former D.C. police detective, also formerly of the FBI terrorism task force, our good friend here on the show -- you know, my question is, Drew, as we know, is not charged. He`s a suspect.


LALAMA: But there really -- Mike, there`s really no legal recourse for anybody. These are his children, and until something changes, he has every right to do what he wants with these children, correct?

BROOKS: Absolutely, Pat. He can do whatever he wants. Apparently, the kids -- there`s no sign of abuse. You know, the family -- they don`t seem to be in any kind of danger right now. But no, absolutely nothing. Yes, he has been named a suspect, but still, he still has legal custody of the children.

LALAMA: Susan Moss, family law attorney, what, if anything concerns you about this scenario?

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Everything concerns me about this scenario, especially the fact it`s Christmas, and I just hope he`s not going to give these kids a fifth wife for their Christmas stocking. What really concerns me is this guy is a suspect, and for good reason. There is a lot of evidence out there that this guy really might have killed number three and number four. And if I were the families of those -- those -- you know, missing wife and the deceased, I would go in and try do something to get custody of these kids. At the very least, get these kids represented by a counsel, by their own attorney, because maybe they know something that`s not being told. And if they have their own attorneys, maybe more evidence will come out.

LALAMA: But Mike Brooks, you know, again, as we said, he`s not guilty of anything. He`s not charged.


LALAMA: What legal recourse would any family member have to go into a court and say, I want these kids, basically, because I`m suspicious?

BROOKS: No, I really don`t think there`s any legal recourse at this time, Pat, because, you know, you`ve had law enforcement going in and out of that house for the last number of weeks. Apparently, they`re not seeing any sign. If they thought that there were -- the children were in any kind of danger, any type of danger whatsoever, they would probably bring out the DFACS from that area in there to take custody of the children. But law enforcement has been the and out of that house, and so have, you know, relatives. So right now, there`s no legal recourse I see whatsoever.

LALAMA: Kathy Chaney, I`m going to say I`m happy that we haven`t seen any pictures of these children in the media. And whatever reporter would do such a thing doesn`t deserve the badge of honor there for reporting. Do you think the media has been -- I mean, those kids have to come and go. There`s older ones who have a life. There`s little ones who, you know, want to go play in the park. Have the media been respectful in that regard? Have you yourself seen the children?

CHANEY: No. The media`s been absolutely respectful. Like I said, we know our boundaries. They are children. We have restrictions, and we would not overstep those boundaries at all. We have not tried to talk to the children. We would not try. We just wouldn`t do it.

LALAMA: Well, thank goodness for that. And back to Mike Brooks for a second. Mike, we do know that the teenage children were questioned, not before a grand jury. But can you explain how that works? They were probably taken to a neutral territory. And how important is this? And how do you handle children in a scenario like this, with your kind of experience?

BROOKS: Well, that`s a great question because we don`t know that -- if -- we don`t know if Drew brought them in voluntarily because, normally - - I think the children are ages 13 and 14. Normally, children like this, teenagers, you would have to get permission from their parent or guardian. Thus, in this case, Drew Peterson. So if he says, No, I don`t want you talking to the kids, then they could be compelled to come in...

LALAMA: Right.

BROOKS: ... to talk with a subpoena. We don`t know if they were subpoenaed or if Drew brought them in of his own accord. We do know, you know, that when he was asked to go before the grand jury, he pled the 5th. So he wouldn`t cooperate on that side. So you know, would he bring the kids in? Because kids see a lot and they tell a lot.

LALAMA: Right. And they`re very honest. But the trick, Susan Moss, and what makes me sad for these children, for any child put in this situation, is the love for your parent. Kids love Mommy and Daddy, no matter what everybody`s saying about them. What is the delicate way to handle children in this kind of scenario, when you`re trying to find out if they know anything about a murder and a disappearance?

MOSS: Well, it all depends...

LALAMA: Or a potential murder. We don`t know that it was a murder, wife number three.

MOSS: Absolutely. And it all depends upon their age. Certainly, you can speak very differently to somebody who is 14 than somebody who is 2 and 4. But also, what cannot be forgotten is there is so much evidence coming out about domestic violence that might have been in this household, about abuse that the fourth wife has e-mailed to friends that she suffered, about stories about the third wife, as well, about seeking orders of protection by the third wife, as well. There is so much evidence that there might have been abuse in this household that somebody needs to do a stronger look to see if these kids -- what they know and if they, in fact, are safe.

LALAMA: Well, speaking of that, Kathy Chaney, I believe that one of the teenagers has told family members or friends of the family that Mommy and Daddy -- or Stepmommy, I guess it would be, and Daddy were fighting the morning that Stacy disappeared, or somewhere around that time. Can you expound for us?

CHANEY: Yes. That is exactly what he`s told some of his aunts, is that, you know, he did hear Mommy and Daddy arguing. They had a big argument. It was either the night before or the day of, you know, she was seen last. And they reported it to the relatives. The relatives did, in turn, tell law enforcement officials, but we don`t know how the investigation is going up into that thus far.

LALAMA: Mike Brooks, with your astoundingly impressive law enforcement experience, what do you do with that? You get that information. He`s already traumatized, probably, by this whole thing. How do you talk to that child, that teenager?

BROOKS: Most police departments -- and I would almost guarantee that the Illinois State Police, and I know the FBI -- they have specialists on dealing with children. You know, most police departments have a special unit that deals just with children, abused children, talking to the children like this. And they`re specially trained and they will go over certain things, approach them, just like we heard, in a certain way. The teenagers, though, the teenagers, they will know a lot. They hear a lot. They probably don`t confront their dad about some things because of the way he is. But I guarantee you, if they get him in and they talk to these two teenage boys, that they`ll probably tell law enforcement exactly what was going on inside that house.

LALAMA: And it`s probably very useful information, Susan Moss. How would you approach -- I mean, I cannot believe that any child comes out of this unscathed. I mean, it`s just the harsh reality of being stuck in this horrific situation. I mean, going before police and DAs and investigators, and you`re just a teenager, just a little kid, it has to cause some scarring somehow emotionally.

MOSS: Oh, Unfortunately, it`s going to cause a great deal of scarring. Any time you lose a parent, especially during the formative years, especially during your teenage years, it`s going to leave a mark, a substantial scar. And the fact that Drew Peterson is spending so much time thinking about where his next date is coming from is not helping, and it raises a lot of questions.

LALAMA: Yes, that`s go to hurt. Let`s talk about this, now that you brought that up. Kathy, doesn`t he make jokes about probably not going to get a date anytime soon, and you know, They haven`t asked me to pose for "Playgirl"? I mean, come on! The kids aren`t shielded -- I mean, unless they`ve got all TVs turned off and no access to the Internet, the kids have to hear some of this stuff, don`t they?

BROOKS: I would think that it would be. I mean, he thinks that it`s humorous. He`s making jokes of next his 8th grade prom date`s going to come out of the woodwork. And I don`t know who goes on prom in 8th grade. He comes out with the "Playgirl" thing, saying, Oh, no, those rumors aren`t true and this is hampering his love life. I mean, you have to think about what his kids are seeing. It`s not a joke, but that`s how he makes it seem.

LALAMA: Mike Brooks, weigh in on that one.

BROOKS: You know, we`ve looked at this guy`s behavior over the last number of weeks. It just gets more bizarre and more bizarre. I mean, for him to come out and say this -- but you know, kids, probably at school -- they`re probably trying to protect these kids the best they can at school. But when you have him making comments like this, you know, they`re just -- no matter what you say, they`re inappropriate.

LALAMA: Yes, you know, and I got to ask you, Susan Moss, it kind of reminds me -- we were talking earlier today about that whole Alec Baldwin controversy, when he said things about his daughter that people leaked and said things to his daughter. You know, children get teased at school, and parents, like, play each other and do all kinds of nasty things when there`s problems. And he`s out there, Drew Peterson, talking about getting a date. This has to come back to these kids, and they have to be teased about it at school, don`t you think?

MOSS: Oh, absolutely. I mean, there are four kids of varying ages, and kids can be very, very cruel. The first thing that Drew Peterson should be thinking about are these children, what can he do to help his children. And in order to help his children, he should be quiet and not speak to the media.

LALAMA: You know, Kathy Chaney, hasn`t he said that the media terrorizes his children?

CHANEY: He says that day in, day out -- we need to get away from his home, we need to leave him alone, we`re terrorizing the children, they`re scared. And we don`t see the children. We`re not saying anything to the children. Unless he has the TV -- or all of the TVs on in his home on the news channels, that`s the only way that I can see his children can see us and know what`s going on.

LALAMA: Mike Brooks, does Drew Peterson have a point? I mean, if there`s satellite -- I mean, I know how scary -- I used to, you know, be a street reporter...


LALAMA: We show up in front of somebody`s house, it`s hard on the whole neighborhood. Does Drew at least have a point there, where, you know, My kids see all the media, you`re scaring them?

BROOKS: Well, you know, stakeouts are not pleasant. It`s not pleasant for him. It`s not pleasant for the media. I can guarantee you right now, Pat, the media doesn`t want to be out there 24/7. In fact, I`m hearing they`re actually -- they`ve actually cut back a little bit.

LALAMA: Yes, they have.

BROOKS: But you know, the news media, it`s a competitive business, and you know, the bottom line is the bottom line, when it comes right down to it. And he knows this. But they`re going to be out there, the local media, everyone else -- they`re going to be out there until something -- either she walks back across that front yard or he`s arrested.

LALAMA: Right. And Susan Moss, it doesn`t help that he`s out there with a videocamera taking pictures of the media if it`s such a nasty group of people, right?

MOSS: Drew Peterson pretty much has his own SAG card.


MOSS: I mean, this guy is playing to the media. Nobody seems to enjoy this investigation more than Drew Peterson.

LALAMA: And you notice, though, he has quieted up a bit, except for the most recent thing is that since the authorities took away computers that belonged to his children, along with some other stuff, now he`s asking the public to donate computers. Mike Brooks, what do you think of that?

BROOKS: You know, I mean, this guy, he`s not hurting. I mean, here he`s getting his pension. We know that. He`s getting his hefty pension from the Bolingbrook Police. He`s got -- he was driving nice cars before they were taken from him. You know, he`s got a pool in the back. This guy`s not hurting for anything. And you know, there`s always a question, well, really, what happened to the insurance money from wife number three? So you know, this whole thing about, I need financial help -- I don`t buy it.

LALAMA: Well, yes. And didn`t -- I mean, he had a bar with wife number three, and I think there was a million-dollar insurance policy and he`s got the pension. So he can`t be hurting, right, Mike, real quickly?

BROOKS: I don`t think so. Not at all.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators say Drew Peterson is no longer a person of interest in the disappearance of his 23-year-old wife, Stacy Peterson, he`s now a suspect. They also believe the death of the Bolingbrook police sergeant`s third wife, Kathleen Savio, was no accident. It was ruled an accidental drowning in 2004, but now the Will County state`s attorney believes it was staged. Meanwhile, searchers continue to look for clues in the whereabouts of Stacy Peterson.


LALAMA: I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace. Bittersweet to talk about the four children. Actually, he has more than that, but the four young children of Drew Peterson. Mike Brooks, Drew Peterson made a comment to the media that, You know, Stacy always made Christmas special. Do you buy it? I mean, do you think he was looking for sympathy, or perhaps she did?

BROOKS: Perhaps she did. You know, there`s a very good chance that she may have. And you know, we don`t know where she is. And -- but I think the ones who are really going to pay, just, I mean, really be hurting the most and missing her the most during this time are the children.

LALAMA: Absolutely. And Susan Moss, I mean, what would a good parent do on Christmas Day with Mommy gone? How does one handle this?

MOSS: Well, the first thing is you try to make it as normal as possible, even though that is, in fact, impossible. You try to go through the same routines you`ve had year in and year out. I think you have to acknowledge the fact that Mommy isn`t there. You have to get out your feelings, express the feelings so that nothing is being held inside. I think this is a great deal of work and it`s very difficult to do. I don`t think Peterson`s up to the task.

LALAMA: Well, Susan, let me ask you this. He apparently has told the media -- meaning Drew -- they aren`t asking that much about her. All the kids I know, if Mommy goes to the grocery store, Where`s Mommy? Do you buy that?

MOSS: You`ve got to be kidding, unless the first rule of Peterson family fight club is you don`t talk about Peterson family fight club. I mean, maybe these kids are so scared about the domestic violence and abuse that they have seen, whether it be from wife number three, wife number four, they know not to speak.

LALAMA: Well, you know, the control issue is one we need to speak about. Kathy Chaney, we know that some relatives have asked to see the kids. He hasn`t been all that open about allowing that to happen, am I correct?

CHANEY: Yes. I know that when -- I believe it`s Cassandra -- when she attempted to, you know, ask if she could take them out for an outing, he said no. But he has let her inside the house to see the children.

LALAMA: Mike Brooks, what does that say? I mean, you could argue on his behalf -- again, hasn`t been charged -- Hey, I`m going to protect these kids. There`s media out there, people saying bad things about me. Sorry, they`re under my wing. Then you could argue, Wait a minute, these kids have relatives. They`d probably like to see their aunts and uncles, don`t you think?

BROOKS: They do. I mean, if I were the relatives, I`d be wanting to see the children, too. But again, it`s -- the ball is in Drew`s court. You know, he has the final say over what happens to the children. I agree with him on one part. I would not let them go outside with any relatives at all because, you know, you never know about some media that are just totally unscrupulous and would take pictures of the kids because, again, there`s that controlling issue. Everything`s under his control, under his roof.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I asked him point blank, I said, Do you want Stacy back? And he told me, It`s questionable if I want Stacy back. It would take a lot of talking for that to happen. And in terms of the media coverage, I mean, come on, he`s eating it up. He was on his front lawn doing a photo shoot for "People" magazine. Your fourth wife is missing, your third wife`s death may very well be a homicide, and you`re out front doing photo shoots for "People" magazine? Come on!


LALAMA: I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace. Kathy Chaney, just to update us on recent comings and goings, he really has heeded the advice of a lot of television lawyers telling him he should shut up. It seems like he has decided to be quiet.

CHANEY: He`s been much quieter than he has been before. Now he`s coming out with, you know, little subtle comments. When you ask, you know, what does he need his money for, he`ll just say, Well, you know, let`s just see what happens. He won`t divulge how much he needs, but he just says that, you know, he`s hurting financially and his home could possibly go into foreclosure.

LALAMA: Right.

CHANEY: But he is saying less.

LALAMA: Yes, he is. And Susan Moss, do any family members have the right to go to court and say they demand visitation? I think grandparents have that right, do they not? Could aunts and uncles, cousins?

MOSS: Well, anybody can go attempt to try to get some type of visitation. It is very difficult because there is a Supreme Court case called Troxel versus Granville that essentially says unless you prove that a natural parent is unfit, they do have the right to determine who can and cannot see their children.

LALAMA: Wow. That`s very interesting. And Mike Brooks, if -- and this is an "if" -- he should be charged -- let`s start with charged. Does that change the game in any way, if you`re charged with murder, in terms of who gets to see the kids?

BROOKS: Absolutely because who`s going to take care of the kids? He has sole custody of them right now. If he is -- and again, we -- he has not been charged, but if he is eventually charged, somebody`s going to have to take care of the kids, and that`s going to be -- have to -- they`re going to have to hash that out in court.

LALAMA: And then the same, of course, would apply if -- and again, if -- he were charged and then ultimately convicted, correct?

BROOKS: Exactly. But somebody`s going to have to have temporary custody while the whole process goes along. But again, he hasn`t been charged, but that`s just a big "what if," and it`s something that needs to be looked at down the road. Either she walks back in, or he`s going to be charged.

LALAMA: All right. Exactly. And Kathy Chaney, the young ones are too small for school, am I correct in that?

CHANEY: Yes. Yes. They are a toddler and going into pre-school age.

LALAMA: OK. And the older ones are teenagers. And obviously, they`re not being kept home from school that you know of, are they?

CHANEY: No, they`re not being kept home from school. Like he said earlier, initial (ph) in the morning.


LALAMA: Drew Peterson`s fourth wife is missing and his third wife`s suspicious bath tub death under investigation. As police try to sort out both mysteries, allegations of abuse and controlling marriages revealed by family and friends. We spoke with Steve Caesar, a friend of Stacy Peterson, who received an e-mail describing her marriage to Drew Peterson as abusive.

Plus, Kathleen Savio`s nephew and the man who found Savio`s body in a dry bath tub back in 2004.


LALAMA: Steve Cesare, you`re the friend of Stacy. In fact, I believe you dated her sister for quite a while. Did you take this e-mail seriously when you read it, or did you think maybe she was just being a little dramatic?

STEVE CESARE, FRIEND OF STACY PETERSON: I was very concerned. I didn`t know exactly what to do because, of course, Drew is involved with the Bolingbrook police, and if I called attention to it, I figured it would fall on deaf ears. But it did concern me. She never wrote anything like that before.

LALAMA: Steve, though, did she tell you anything about wanting out of the marriage specifically?

CESARE: No, just what was in the e-mail. What was bothering me was our limited access. She couldn`t call me often. I couldn`t call her. It was difficult to stay close.

LALAMA: You know, Steve, that`s really important stuff because we`ve been finding out that, apparently, allegedly, he was very controlling, didn`t want her to see her dying sister, followed her with a GPS tracking system.

LALAMA: is she the kind of woman who would say, "I can`t take this. I`ve got two step kids. I`ve got this husband who`s always jealous. I`m out of here"?


LALAMA: No, no, categorically she wouldn`t have done that?

CESARE: No, she wouldn`t have left her kids, period. I know for a fact she was depressed over the summer.

LALAMA: Did I hear you say that you wanted to take Stacy to see her very ill sister and that Drew was against all that?

CESARE: Yes. I was really disappointed. Her sister, Tina (ph), who was my girlfriend back about 10 years ago, was diagnosed with cancer. And she was having an operation in Peoria, which is about two-and-a-half hours south of here. And I wanted to bring her sister down there to visit because it`s a long ride for a young girl like Stacy, and it wasn`t allowed. He wouldn`t let her go and...

LALAMA: What was he afraid of, in your mind?

CESARE: You know, I don`t know. I`m no threat. I wasn`t going to take his wife.

LALAMA: It was just...

CESARE: I just wanted to go...

LALAMA: It was just his controlling nature, is that what you`re trying to say, that you thought it was his controlling nature?

CESARE: I believe so.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are talking about the mystery of what happened to Stacy Peterson. Elizabeth, let`s go to this video that police sources are now telling a Chicago paper is what they call "peacocking" or strutting, strutting like a peacock to indicate that he feels he has gotten away with it all. That`s how this source described Drew Peterson`s behavior when he was lent a camera by the news media and sort of very jauntily went out into his yard and began videotaping in an almost giddy fashion.

We have Steve Carcerano from Bolingbrook, Illinois, who is a friend of Drew Peterson`s, on the phone. What`s your analysis of this video, which you may have seen? He`s very happy and jaunty, almost giddy. Given the tragic circumstances, is that appropriate?

STEVE CARCERANO, FRIEND OF DREW PETERSON`S: You know, I can`t say if it`s -- you know, obviously, the public doesn`t think it`s appropriate. It`s -- that`s the way Drew is. That`s the way Drew always has been. He`s kind of a jokester. Considering the circumstances, this guy has the whole world looking at him as he`s this -- you know, everybody has him convicted already. That`s not the Drew that I know. Drew is a very nice -- very nice guy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why doesn`t he take a lie detector test? Apparently his attorney has said he wasn`t asked to take one, but now there is a challenge from Peterson family spokeswoman Pam Bosco urging him to take a lie detector test.

CARCERANO: I can`t answer that question. That`s up to Joel Brodsky and the counsel that`s behind him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why so faithful to Drew Peterson in light of this new autopsy report by Dr. Michael Baden after the body was exhumed of Kathleen Savio that says, hey, it was murder.

CARCERANO: Not to take anything away from Dr. Baden, obviously he`s probably the top forensic pathologist in this country, but he had that decision going in after reading the first autopsy report. If we listen to what Joel Brodsky said that night. He talked to Cyril Wecht who read that same autopsy report from the first one and said he would have called it an accidental drowning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Steve Carcerano, you are a friend of Drew Peterson`s. You found Kathleen Savio`s body. Tell us about that day.

CARCERANO: That night I, was coming home from work. It was about 9:00, 9:30, and I was coming down the street. And Drew was accosting (ph) me on the street. He actually stopped me and said, I need you to go to the house in the next 10 to 15 minutes. I have a locksmith coming over there. Mary, her friend, he contacted to go over there.

He said he he`d been trying to drop off the kids for the past day-and- a-half and she hasn`t been responding. So I pulled up in the driveway, and I went nest door to get Mary, and then we proceeded over to the house. And the locksmith and Drew were there.

The locksmith opened up the door. Mary and I went up the stairs. Drew stayed downstairs by the door. And Mary`s husband and son went into the (INAUDIBLE) to see if the car was there. We went up the stairs and went into the bedroom. Mary veered off to the right and went to the bed because the covers were kind of puffed up, ruffled over, and I went into the closet ...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Get us to the body.

CARCERANO: And then I went into the bathroom, and that`s when I noticed a balloon-type object in the tub.

BROOKS: Joining us is a special guest tonight from Chicago, Illinois, Michael Lysac. He is Kathleen Savio who is Drew Peterson`s third wife, it`s Kathleen Savio`s nephew. Thanks for joining us.


BROOKS: Michael, how well did you know her?

LISAK: Well, my family was very close, was very close with my aunt. You know, we were very close. We came together a lot more birthdays, Christmases, holidays. My family would go on little vacation trips during the summer with them and, you know, she was a very big part of our life.

BROOKS: How was your family handling this reopening of the investigation?

LISAK: Well, it was hard, I mean it was really hard.

BROOKS: I can`t imagine. I can`t imagine.

LISAK: We`re basically reliving it all over again. All the emotions are coming back. Down, when this all happened at first, it was a shock, of course and we dealt with it, we had to make all the arrangements and we didn`t really have time to sit and think, what`s going on. And as the years have gone by, we have definitely had questions with this Stacy meeting right now, this brings all the emotions bring back up and in a way, it`s a blessing, my family probably thinks it`s a blessing, in a way I feel horrible for Stacy`s family, but this is shedding life on my aunt`s life and death and hopefully some questions that we have had will be answered finally.

BROOKS: Did you know Stacy Peterson?

LISAK: I personally didn`t know her. I have heard many stories about her through my aunt because when my aunt was getting divorced from Drew, she was basically the reason why they were getting a divorce.

BROOKS: So Kathleen knew Stacy?

LISAK: Yes, she did, unfortunately, she probably didn`t want to know her, but she did know her. There was many reasons why my aunt should have divorced Drew, but Stacy was probably something that took her over the edge to finally go through with the divorce.

BROOKS: Now, there was an incident, was there not, where Kathleen and Stacy were both in the car together with Drew, can you tell us about that?

LISAK: Well, this happened probably a year before my aunt was found dead. What happened was I think they were still going through the divorce, and Drew came by my aunt`s house to either pick up the kids or drop them off. I don`t remember what the story was. But either way he came over to the house and went into the house to talk to my aunt and he let it be known that Stacy was in the car waiting. And my aunt was a very opinionated person.

BROOKS: How did she explain Stacy to Kathleen?

LISAK: Well, Drew from what I remember him being all the time, he was a very cocky person, he wasn`t shy of saying what he wanted to say, that`s just his attitude. He didn`t care.

And he basically told her some way or other that she was in the car and my aunt totally was not for the kids being around her at that time. And, you know, she was a very opinionated person like I said so she went outside to tell her, I don`t want you around my kids, get out of here. And while she went outside Stacy was in the car with a video camera already rolling.

BROOKS: Wait a minute. A video camera?

LISAK: A camcorder in the car, basically pointed at my aunt`s door, she came outside and she said what she had to say and I`m sure some words were exchanged and basically this was a setup, this was a setup to see how she would react and Drew being the cop that he is, basically as soon as she went outside and started running after Stacy.

And I saw the video firsthand. My aunt showed me and my mom this. Drew tackled my Aunt Kathleen and pinned her to the ground, put a knee to the back of her head.


LISAK: Yeah, it`s sick. It`s sick. I mean she`s screaming please help me, somebody help me, somebody help me, and Stacy gets out of the car and continues to videotape this while Drew was on the cell phone calling the police department that she assaulted Stacy.

BROOKS: Calling the police to say, hey, come arrest me for assaulting Kathleen?

LISAK: I mean, that`s really what happened. From what I saw on the video firsthand, my aunt never touched Stacy. I mean, she went at her and said some words that I think she had a right to.

BROOKS: I tell you what. That is some behavior that is just unbelievable.


LALAMA: When we come back, a second autopsy in the death of Drew Peterson`s third wife, and it`s all after his fourth wife Stacy goes missing.



LALAMA: Shortly after young mom of two Stacy Peterson goes missing in the Chicago suburbs, the state makes a shocking announcement that the bathtub death of Drew Peterson`s third wife may not be an accident after all. That leads authorities to exhuming the body of Kathleen Savio for a second autopsy. Tonight, Savio`s sister speaks out.


BROOKS: I know you`re going through a tough time. Yesterday you reburied your sister. How`s your family doing?

SUE DOMAN, KATHLEEN SAVIO`S SISTER: It`s very hard. It`s not every day that you bury someone twice. Very difficult for us, and we`re grieving very much for her. But we did promise her that we will seek justice for her. No one can hurt her anymore.

BROOKS: And you`re absolutely right. No one can hurt her anymore than she`s already been hurt. What are your reactions to the many interviews that you`ve Drew Peterson give on the "Today" show...

DOMAN: You know, from what I know of Drew, Drew puts on a big front. He likes attention. He wants everyone to believe that he is a good guy. And he has a lot of baggage behind him.

BROOKS: Now, we know that there was one autopsy done by Dr. Blum there that was ordered after the exhumation, and then you all wanted to have an independent done -- independent autopsy done by noted pathologist Dr. Michael Baden. What did he tell you about the autopsy he conducted and what his conclusions are so far?

DOMAN: Dr. Baden had talked to us in the beginning, trying to get a timeframe and everything. He came back and he said that it was definitely -- she was beaten. She was hit in the back of the head with something very strong. Her hands were all bruised up from her trying to defend the person that did this to her, several marks that were visible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to Sue Doman who`s Kathleen Savio`s sister, we are very honored to have you with us here tonight. We know all of this has to be churning up some emotions and be very difficult for you and your family members.

Tell us what you have heard that`s been reported in the Chicago papers about Stacy reportedly telling a clergyman and others that her husband Drew revealed to her that he had killed your sister and made it look like an accident?

DOMAN: It sounds so familiar because that`s what my sister had always told me that he would do. But as far as her talking to clergymen, I don`t know, I don`t know that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have police talked to you? Because one of the things that`s sort of striking about all this is that it`s all coming from sources, some of them police sources who are talking to Chicago newspapers and obviously those guys develop relationships over the years, but at this point, do you think the police should hold a news conference and sort of set the record straight with all of these stories, wild stories flying around?

DOMAN: I have been in contact pretty much every day with the police. They`re pretty much tight lipped right now. I think they`re going to need more evidence, hard evidence and they will go ahead and do a news conference on that.

LALAMA: Did you notice this jealous streak when you knew him, when you met him?

DOMAN: Yes, I did.

LALAMA: Could you tell us about that?

DOMAN: Well, actually, in the beginning, everything was fine. And then after a few years, it did start up. He would always ask, Who are you on the phone with? And she would say, Just, you know, a friend or a family member. And then he would just smirk and laugh and he said, Who are you on the phone with?

LALAMA: But Sue, let me ask you, did she ever express a fear? Did she ever say, This guy scares me?

DOMAN: Oh, definitely. She said it many times. She said -- many times, 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.

LALAMA: I was looking over the coroner`s report, and I`m finding out that her hair was soaked with blood, that she had a couple lacerations and some bruising. Were you just absolutely shocked when you heard "accident"?

SUE DOMAN, SISTER OF DREW PETERSON`S THIRD WIFE: Yes. Well, my first reaction was, did he kill her?

LALAMA: That`s the first thing that came to your mind?

DOMAN: Yes, I said it, "Did he kill her?" That was the first thing.

LALAMA: I`m looking here, and I`m finding out now that there was a life insurance policy, that they owned a bar together for which she got some funds, a house together. Were you suspicious at the time when he was able to generate all that income in the wake of your sister`s death?

DOMAN: Yes, I was.

LALAMA: OK, tell us about that.

ROMAN: Well, there was all kinds of money all over. I mean, he would always be out of the house, back and forth from the house. He would scream and yell at my sister. He has a lot of secrets, a lot of secrets.


LALAMA: What happened to young mom of two, Stacy Peterson, and was the dry bathtub death of Kathleen Savio really an accident? Savio`s brother on the emotional re-investigation of his sister`s suspicious death.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re very happy to have with us tonight Nick Savio from Chicago, who is Kathleen Savio, the dead woman`s, brother. Thank you, sir, for joining us. I know this must be a lot of emotional turmoil for you now that this issue is back in the news.

You were just hearing from Drew Peterson`s friend Steve Carcarano about how he discovered your sister`s body in the bathtub. That was back in 2004. It was initially ruled an accident. The body has been exhumed, new autopsies; a famous forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Boden has concluded it was murder. Why do you think the police the first time around didn`t come to the same conclusion?

NICK SAVIO, BROTHER OF KATHLEEN SAVIO: I want to say, I mean, maybe because he`s a cop. Maybe they kind of covered up for him. I know he has a lot of friends in the department. Just to make our family go through all this again is really rough. We just wish it could have been done right the first time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are reports that Kathleen Savio had expressed to the family that she was afraid -- while she was still alive -- that her husband, Drew Peterson, might kill her and make it look like an accident. Did you hear that personally? What do you know about that?

SAVIO: I heard that from my sister Suzie Doman. She was really close to Katie. And, I mean, he told this to my sister, the second wife and the fourth wife. There`s just too many coincidences.


LALAMA: Tonight, let`s stop to remember Army Specialist Vincent Kamka, only 23, from Everett, Washington, killed in Iraq, dedicated to God, family and country. He believed in fighting for freedom, loved computers and reading Louis Lamoure and Tom Clancy. He leaves behind mom, Brenda, ten siblings, including three brothers in the military.

Vincent Kamka, an American hero. Thank you to our guests and to you at home for being with us. I`m Pat Lalama in for Nancy Grace. Remember, check out Nancy`s baby blog, new pictures of the twins, baby Lucy, baby John, and the latest messages from Nancy. It`s all at See you tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. sharp Eastern.

Until then, from all of us here at the Nancy Grace show, Merry Christmas. Have a great evening.