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Hosey: Drew Peterson blames lawyers, movie

He might have learned his lesson the hard way but it didn’t do him any good.

By the time they charged Drew Peterson with attempting to orchestrate the murder of Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow from behind the imposing walls of Menard maximum security prison, 300 miles from Joliet at the very south end of Illinois, he’d already served nearly six years of a 38-year sentence for murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and his chances of retaining a decent lawyer at that point were slim.

Not that he didn’t have decent lawyers the first time around. He had five for his trial and they seemed to have everything going their way.

There were motions for mistrials. A key witness was kicked off the stand for getting a date wrong. A beleaguered Glasgow blamed his performance on working long hours and a fever.

Yes, it sure looked like Drew was going to walk. But then a sixth lawyer on his defense team, Joel Brodsky, inexplicably called Savio’s divorce attorney to testify and things fell apart. All of a sudden, you knew the only place Drew would be walking to was the van waiting to drive him back to the county jail, and then off to a prison somewhere.

This all goes to show that Peterson’s problem wasn’t that he was deprived of effective counsel, it was that he let the one who wasn’t all that effective sink his case.

Years later, when he was on trial for supposedly plotting to kill Glasgow, Peterson didn’t have a half dozen lawyers working for him. He had one, and now, in a petition for post-conviction relief, he’s blaming him for blowing his case and getting him another 40 years in prison on top of the 38 for drowning Savio.

To be fair, he doesn’t just blame his court-appointed attorney, Lucas Liefer. In both his Randolph and Will County petitions, for example, he also complains about a certain movie.

Drew Peterson filed a petition for post-conviction relief in his Randolph County case.

“During my trial a movie was continuity (sic) being shown, on a major network, about me,” he said, apparently referring to “Drew Peterson: Untouchable,” which they still show sometimes on Lifetime.

“The movie showed me in a negative light which could have influenced a viewer as to my character or guilt,” he said, and he might even be right. It really may have been the movie that did him in and not that he obviously staged Savio’s “accidental” death and may have killed his fourth wife as well, considering she disappeared 14 years ago, never to be seen again.

The movie, incidentally, is incredible. You really should watch it if you haven’t already. And make sure to buy the book it was based on, “Fatal Vows: The Tragic Wives of Sgt. Drew Peterson,” only $22.95 on Amazon.

If you haven't already seen "Drew Peterson: Untouchable," you probably should.

Whether it was the movie or it was Liefer, whom Peterson said “deliberately made errors” and “committed great malpractice,” the murder-for-hire trial didn’t turn out well for Peterson. But it was bound to go bad anyway.

As one reporter from Southern Illinois remarked, Peterson didn’t stand a chance with the jury because he was from Chicago. When it was pointed out that, no, he was actually from Bolingbrook, the reporter shook his head and said, “Everything north of Springfield is Chicago.”

• 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.

Joseph Hosey

Joseph Hosey

Joe Hosey became editor of The Herald-News in 2018. As a reporter, he covered the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and criminal investigation of her husband, former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson. He was the 2015 Illinois Journalist of the Year and 2014 National Press Club John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award winner.