Drew Peterson: Then And Now

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

Oxygen's two-hour event on the infamous Drew Peterson case airs on Friday, August 25th at 9/8c.

Drew Peterson was a cop gone bad. Now 63, the retired Illinois police sergeant was convicted in the 2004 murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. He was also named a suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, whose body has yet to be found. In 2013, he was sentenced to 38 years for Savio's death. "I did not kill Kathleen!" he shouted upon hearing the sentence. 


What was Peterson's life like before the murder, and what has her life turned into since?


Vet And Officer

After high school, Peterson went into the U.S. Army. As Biography shares, he married his high school sweetheart Carol while in the army. He joined the Bolingbrook Police Department in Illinois in 1977. He had a 30-year career on the force. After his marriage to Carol ended, he dated Kyle Piry. Four months later, she broke it off and claimed that Peterson used his position as a cop to harass her. In 1982, Peterson married again to Vicki Connolly. 



The Murder and the Trial


Peterson's marriage to Connolly fell part when he began seeing Kathleen Savio. They married in 1992 but by 2003, were done. In 2004, Peterson and his ex-wife were finalizing issues from their divorce. That's when Savio was found dead. Initially, the death of Savio seemed accidental as her body was found in a bathtub. But after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared, police got suspicious. They exhumed Savio's body and changed their ruling to homicide. With extensive bruises and a large gash in her scalp, it's believed that she died from a stab wound. Peterson was charged with first-degree murder but his attorneys claimed the prosecution's case was based only on hearsay (including conversations Stacy had with her pastor and divorce attorney). There was no physical evidence or eyewitness accounts putting Peterson at the crime scene. Still, after five weeks the jury came back with a guilty verdict. 


PR Stunt

Drew Peterson had love from the ladies even amid Stacy's disappearance. In 2009, another young woman fell for the serial groom's charms. 23-year-old Christina Raines was swept off her feet. She later said that she and Peterson faked an engagement for publicity. She called the hoax off, telling CBS that she decided not to go along with Peterson's "staged" engagement (which she described as a publicity "stunt") so he "could be in the media." "He was a charmer. And he really romanced me." Raines' father was so worried about Peterson's controlling ways that he issued an ultimatum that his daughter needed to break off the relationship.


Another Conviction

The story of Drew Peterson doesn't end with murder. In 2015, he was also charged with trying to arrange a hit on attorney James Glasgow, who helped convict him. He received an added 40 years for that. 



Made For TV


With multiple marriages (including to many women who were several years younger than him), alleged infidelities, controlling ways and murder, the story of Drew Peterson was made for television. Lifetime created a story depicting the murder of Savio starring Rob Lowe as Peterson.


Life In Jail


Peterson was transferred to an Indiana federal prison for security reasons in 2017. In April, he was attacked by a fellow inmate with a food tray. The Chicago Tribune shares that the former sergeant was "jumped" in the chow hall. He was not seriously injured. 


[Photo: Getty Images]




Related Stories
Related Show

Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content. 

You May Also Like...
Recommended by Zergnet