12/07/2007 (www.drphil.com) Dr. Phil Show
“A Killer Among Us?” (Kyle Piry, Former Employee Terry & wife Carol)
Dr. Phil Show "A Killer Among Us?"
Twenty-three-year-old Stacy Peterson has been missing since October 28. On that day she agreed to meet some family members to help them paint a house. When she hadn't called by 4:00 a.m., Stacy’s sister, Cassandra Cales, filed a missing person's report.
Stacy is Bolingbrook Police Sgt. Drew Peterson’s fourth wife, and mother to their two children, ages 4 and 2. Since Stacy disappeared, reporters have hounded Drew.
“If the network would put some effort into helping these people losing their homes all over the country because of the poor economies,” Drew comments, “I think it would be a nicer thing, rather than harass me.”
Cassandra said at the time of her disappearance, Stacy had been planning to meet with a divorce attorney. “She feared for her life, and she wanted a divorce.” Though Drew says his wife left of her own accord, Cassandra doesn’t believe it. “She wouldn't leave the kids, and if she did, she'd call.”
As the intensive search continued, the case came to a disturbing twist. The Will County State Attorney's office ordered the body of Drew’s third wife, Kathleen Savio, exhumed. Savio died mysteriously three years ago, and her family believes she was murdered. She told them she feared her husband, Drew, would kill her. Bolingbrook police had been called to the couple’s home nearly 20 times for domestic disputes.
At one point, media reports highlighted a potential break in the case of Stacy. One of Drew Peterson's relatives told authorities he helped the former police officer move a large blue barrel the same weekend Stacy disappeared. A neighbor claims the barrel was big enough for a body. But no sooner had this new allegation emerged, than Drew and his camp denied it.
“First of all, there was no barrel,” says Joel Brodsky, Drew's attorney. “There never was a drum.”
As the weeks have rolled on, the media have reported various other developments in the case, which include:
Investigators, including police divers and dogs, twice search a nearby pond. Their searches turn up nothing.
Investigators learn that Stacy Peterson met with a member of the church's pastoral staff in late August, two months before she vanished. The 23-year-old told that church official she feared bodily harm at Drew Peterson's hands.
A mysterious letter surfaces that says Stacy Peterson may still be alive. The writer, who did not sign the letter, tells of seeing the missing woman inside of Kroger food market in Peoria, November 12.
Volunteer search crews look for signs of Peterson in a wooded area near her home. Their search turns up nothing once again.
Stacy's friends believe she is the victim of foul play, including Sharon Bikowsky, Stacy's neighbor, who says, “She felt, 'If I disappear, it's not an accident. He killed me.'”
“I could have been Mrs. Peterson number two,” says Kyle Piry. She was engaged to Drew Peterson for four months 25 years ago.
Kyle remembers, “When I first met Drew, he was very outgoing, very funny, very charming. He was a police officer, a decent guy. My family liked Drew, but after we had gotten engaged, he became a lot more controlling. He would get really upset if I wanted to go out with my friends. When I came home, he would be following me. At 20 years old, I thought I'm just not ready and felt like I was really losing my life. I called off the engagement."
About two weeks after Kyle and Drew broke up, she says they got into an argument. Kyle says the fight turned physical, and she ended up on the floor. She says, "He pushed me, he straddled me, pinned me to the ground in a police hold, pressed his knees against my arms to keep me down. I did call the police. They sent over an officer who happened to be one of his friends, and he convinced me not to press charges. Then it was a year and a half of him stalking me. Drew would follow me. He would pull me over. He wrote me tickets for silly things: bald tires, lights not bright enough. Sometimes he would just pull me over to harass me, and he always had a big smile on his face.
“When I saw Drew on the Today Show, I could see that same kind of smirkish smile on his face. Being a police officer, he wants to be in control. Drew could have murdered Kathleen. Drew is probably responsible for Stacy being missing. He's calculating and has been on the police force long enough to figure out how things work. I could have probably ended up like Kathleen or Stacy. I guess I'm lucky.”
Kyle tells Dr. Phil that she believes Drew's alleged history of physical abuse began with her.
“Why did you get out?” asks Dr. Phil.
“It felt uncomfortable,” she answers. “He didn't want me going out with my friends, and it started to appear to me that he wasn't comfortable with me having my own life outside of him and his two kids from a previous marriage.”
“Do you think he killed Kathy Savio?” asks Dr. Phil, of Drew's third wife. “Do you think he's involved in Stacy's disappearance?”
“After hearing the stories, though, the circumstances of both of them, it just seems like too many things point toward that behavior,” she tells him.
Dr. Phil turns to Court TV correspondent Lisa Bloom. Lisa has been following this case closely and believes that Drew fits the profile of a killer. Dr. Phil asks why.
“Well, first of all,” Lisa begins, “his story is preposterous, that she ran off with another man. She didn't take her car. She didn't come back and talk to her kids. She's never called her family. She hasn't used a credit card. She hasn't used a cell phone. I mean that's just insulting to all of our intelligence.” She continues, “The second thing is his demeanor and his attitude. He's almost dancing on her grave, Dr. Phil. He's doing a little jig in the driveway in front of the reporters. He's making jokes about posing for Playgirl. Something's wrong with this guy.”
Dr. Phil offers some insight, based on his phone conversation with Drew. He says, “One of the things that bothers me about this is — I always look to see if the person's emotion, if their affect, is appropriate to the circumstance. I don't care if you don't care about your wife anymore; you would still at least care about the mother of your children gone missing in some way, and I just haven't seen any appropriate emotion or affect about that.” Turning to Lisa, he says, “You've seen every inch of tape there's been, do you ever see anything appropriate with him?”
“No,” she replies. “He seems to be having the time of his life, doing media interviews, the fact that they're all camped out in front of his home. And think about his story, Dr. Phil. If she really ran off with another man, wouldn't he be concerned that he hasn't heard from her, that the children haven't heard? Maybe this other man did something to her. He never says that.”
“You would think,” Dr. Phil agrees. He adds that although Drew has said before that he thought his wife ran off with another man, he told Dr. Phil he didn’t know what happened, that he couldn’t even guess.
“[Drew] said, 'If I cry, everybody says I'm faking it. If I laugh, they say I'm being unsympathetic,'” Dr. Phil recounts. “So, he says, 'I can't move; I can't stand still,' is his position.”
Lisa is not convinced. She says, “We could understand if he cried or if he was stoic. We could understand that. What we can't understand is dancing the jig in the driveway in front of the media, making jokes about posing for Playgirl, that kind of a thing. That's beyond any normal kind of grieving, isn't it?”
Dr. Phil agrees, and continues, “He told me, he said, 'I'm expecting them to drag out my eighth grade prom date, at this point, to say I'm not a good kisser.'”
“As if Kyle is in that category, by the way,” says Lisa. “How insulting to her.”
Dr. Phil asked Drew if he would agree that, as someone who has himself conducted investigations, he would be a likely suspect. Dr. Phil recounts telling him, “’You look like a really good suspect for this based on everything that's gone on.’ And he thought for a long time, and he said, 'Well, you know what, I guess I really do look like a good suspect. If I was investigating this, I think I would be looking at me as well.’”
“Yep,” Lisa agrees, “and he's left in his wake a trail of women who were threatened, harrassed, one is dead and one is missing.”
“When I heard Kathleen was dead, I said to my husband, 'He did it. Drew did it,'" says Carol, whose husband, Terry, Drew had hired eight years previously to work at his company.
Terry presents his view of Drew’s relationship with Kathleen this way: “It was obvious that she was extremely afraid of him.”
Carol says she didn’t like Drew from the very beginning. She describes seeing Kathleen one day when, “Her eye, it was all black and blue, and she had bruises on her arms.” Carol recalls being horrified.
Terry spoke to Kathleen at the time. “I said, 'I've got a big house, so you can come up there any time if you need to get away,'” he says.
Carol reiterated the invitation. “I said, 'I don't want to interfere, but I just want you to know that you have a place to go if you need one.' She thanked me, but I never received a phone call. Looking back on it, with what happened to Kathleen, I am 100 percent sure that Drew murdered Stacy.”
Back in Dr. Phil's studio, Terry describes Kathleen coming to work in sunglasses to cover up her bruises. He says, “I didn't want to intrude into her domestic life, and her private life, and I said, 'How are things?' She says, 'Not very good,' and I said, 'Well, you mean here, or ... ?' and she says, 'No, at home.' And I said, 'What's a matter at home?' and she says, 'We're not getting along.' And I said, 'Oh, I'm so sorry.' I said, 'Does it get physical?' and she said, 'Definitely.'”
“And that's the concern,” says Dr. Phil.
Dr. Phil returns to his phone conversation with Drew. “One of the things that I'm concerned about is the fact that he is playing the victim in this situation,” he says, “and at no time, when I talked to him, not one word of concern about his wife, not one word of concern about his children.
“He wanted to point to the fact that her mother had disappeared some nine years ago, and he said, 'Her mother did it and now she's doing it.' There were dramatic differences in this situation. Her mother was addicted to alcohol. Her mother had lost two children, one to sudden infant death syndrome, another to a house fire. She had been in conflict with the law for shoplifting and different problems. There was a complete disparity between her history and that of Stacy as a mother, but that seemed to be lost on him.”
Drew denies abusing Stacy, Kathleen, or his girlfriend, Kyle, 25 years ago. He denies any physical abuse toward Stacy, but does acknowledge that he could be called somewhat controlling. However, Drew says this trait was no secret to either woman before they married him. For the full statement from Drew and his attorneys, click here.
Dr. Phil turns to Lisa, and says, “Tell me what's happening with the autopsy of Kathleen Savio at this point.”
Lisa replies, “Well, her remains were exhumed, she was dug up, and Dr. Michael Baden, who was the chief medical examiner for the City of New York for many years, a very highly respected forensic examiner, took a look. She was covered with bruises. Now the story was that she drowned to death in a bathtub. A bathtub that was dry, by the way.”
“How was that missed at the time?” asks Dr. Phil.
“This was not investigated at the time, Dr. Phil,” says Lisa. “This was ruled an accidental death; it was done. He was a police officer, and some say the police organization needs to be looked at closely because something was wrong with that story. But now, head-to-toe bruises, clearly she was beaten. [Baden] says homicide.”
Dr. Phil says, “The media has reported there have been as many as 18 calls for help from the house, 9-1-1 calls, calling the police for help. Has the police force up there talked at all about why nobody ever did anything, nobody ever took protective measures?”
“No,” says Lisa. “And there's an internal investigation going on right now about that because you can imagine Kathleen Savio having to call the police to report abuse by her husband who's also a police officer. And this is a tragedy for a lot of women who report police abuse by the way.”
“Do you believe there was a blue barrel, a blue container, a blue something?” asks Dr. Phil.
“I think that's a credible story,” Lisa replies. “The stepbrother tells the story. Drew Peterson says, 'Don't believe him. He's crazy.' Well, the guy is bipolar. We all know that does not mean crazy. That does not mean delusional. He's been medicated, functioning effectively in society for the last 10 years. Apparently after helping Drew Peterson lift the warm, warm blue barrel into the SUV, the next day he attempted suicide. Now, was that from a grief-stricken conscience, or was that from a mental disorder? We just don't know at this point.”
Atty. Joel Brodsky's statement to the Dr. Phil show regarding his client, Drew Peterson:
Drew denies abusing Stacy, Kathleen, or his girlfriend of 25 years ago, Kyle.
As to Kyle, Drew states that it was he who broke up with her, and not vice versa as Kyle states. In all fairness to both Drew and Kyle, the events of 25 years ago are so remote that what occurred is obscured by the fog of time. After hearing from Kyle, Drew wonders when the media is going to track down his prom date for a statement that he was a bad kisser.
As to Stacy and Kathleen, Drew absolutely denies any physical abuse but does acknowledge that he could be called somewhat controlling. However, this trait was no secret to either woman before they married Drew. All the women in his life have acknowledged that Drew was exciting, handsome, charming and romantic. Drew’s children are all doing great, and his high school freshman son was just named first in his freshman class at Bolingbrook High School. The long and short of this is that no person is perfect, and we all have positive and negative traits in relationships.
As to involvement in Kathleen’s death, Drew absolutely denies this. The original pathologist found that the death was accidental, and with all due respect to Dr. Baden, at least two other prominent pathologists who reviewed the original autopsy agreed that the finding of accidental death was correct. Dr. Baden stated that people don’t drown in bathtubs, but that is not correct. The National Safety Counsel reported that there were 341 bathtub deaths by drowning in 2000, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in 2006 there were 126,563 bathtub/shower-related injuries in the U.S. based on 3,147 reported incidents, including four deaths, for people between the ages of 21 and 65.
Atty. Joel Brodsky's statement (cont.):
The divorce between Drew and Kathleen was a contentious one, fueled in part by the fact that Drew became involved with Stacy, the "younger woman." There are records of physical confrontations between Kathleen and Stacy. However, the only charge and order of protection sought by Kathleen against Drew was dropped by her very shortly after it was brought. There is no substantiated report or record of Drew ever physically abusing any of his wives, and the only unsubstantiated report arose out of a contentious divorce and was almost immediately dropped.
As to Stacy, Drew denies any involvement in her disappearance and states that she ran away the same way as her mother did when Stacy was 16.