It was 12 years and two months ago that Stacy Peterson disappeared.
In all that time, the police never have been able to figure out where she went or what happened to her.
The cops combed through the home she shared with her husband, Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson, volunteer searchers walked fields, divers went into ponds and the canal and nobody managed to turn up a trace of Stacy, who would be 35 if she’s still alive.
Drew Peterson, incidentally, is
65 years old, but only was 49 when he made 19-year-old Stacy his fourth wife.
After Stacy disappeared, the state police named Peterson a suspect in her “potential homicide,” but never charged him with killing her, potentially or otherwise. In fact, they never charged him with doing anything to her at all.
If Peterson did do anything at all to Stacy, he probably regrets it now, because it forced the authorities to look at the untimely demise of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004.
The circumstances of Savio’s death truly were suspicious. Yet the state police, for some reason, dismissed it at the time as nothing more than an unfortunate, freak bathtub accident.
Peterson ended up getting 38 years for Savio’s murder. Then he got another
40 years for supposedly conspiring to orchestrate the killing of Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow from behind the walls of maximum security Menard Correctional Center.
That’s a lot of years and it would be nothing short of a miracle for Peterson outlive his sentence. Still, there has been no justice for Stacy. Unless that’s what all this is about with prison officials hiding Peterson away from the rest of the world.
First they moved Peterson out of Illinois, taking him from Menard and putting him in a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. Then, last week, Peterson was pulled out of Terre Haute and sent off to … well, no one seems to know, as prison officials are keeping it secret.
The Illinois Department of Corrections did issue a statement about it, saying, “Drew Peterson has transferred from the Federal Bureau of Prisons to a state facility outside Illinois. He remains under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Department of Corrections. For safety and security purposes, the department does not discuss details concerning the placement of offenders who have transferred under the terms of the Interstate Corrections Compact Agreement.”
“It boggles my mind,” said Joseph “Shark” Lopez, one of the attorneys who represented Peterson in his murder case, of the recent moves made.
“I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” Lopez said. “Very strange.”
Another of Peterson’s attorneys, Steve Greenberg, said he had no idea what became of him. He suggested the authorities secretly may have released Peterson, or that he could have escaped, or was possibly dead.
Either way, Greenberg, who now has R. Kelly as a client, said he hadn’t heard from Peterson since he departed the prison in Terre Haute.
The last I heard from him was a few months ago. Peterson called to tell a story of his cellmate setting him up and getting him in trouble.
He said he was working in the prison laundry, “a day like any other day,” when he was pulled into the lieutenant’s office, “where they advised me that a knife and a 25-foot rope was found in my locker. Those were both pretty serious charges for the prison.”
Peterson said he ultimately was cleared of wrongdoing, but not before he spent a month in the prison’s Special Housing Unit.
“It’s a nightmarish place where they don’t allow TV, phones, magazines or nothing,” Peterson said of the unit. “All they let you do is read, which is something I really don’t do.”
It sounds pretty awful, even if reading is something you happen to do. But at least we had some idea where they were keeping Peterson.
Now, it’s anybody’s guess. It might as well be a potential homicide.
• Joe Hosey is the editor of The Herald-News. You can reach him at 815-280-4094, at jhosey@shawmedia,com or on Twitter @JoeHosey.