In 2012, the former police sergeant from Bolingbrook, Ill., was tried and convicted of murder in the drowning death of Kathleen Savio, his third wife. Savio’s 2004 death had initially been ruled accidental, but when Peterson’s fourth wife, 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, disappeared in 2007, police reopened the investigation.
Savio’s body was exhumed, and Drew Peterson was later charged with her murder.
Police believe Stacy Peterson is dead, but her body has never been found. Peterson remains a suspect but has not been charged in connection with her disappearance.
State prosecutors said that between September 2013 and December 2014, Peterson solicited a hit man to carry out the murder of Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow. He faces felony charges of solicitation of murder for hire and solicitation of murder.
“I have absolute faith in law enforcement and our criminal justice system to handle this case appropriately,” Glasgow said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that prosecutors sometimes must deal with allegations of this nature.”
“However, in no way will a threat to my personal safety deter me from the important work I perform as the state’s attorney on behalf of the citizens of Will County,” he added.
According to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Randolph County State’s Attorney’s office, Peterson appeared in court Monday and is next scheduled to appear March 3.
Peterson became notorious for appearing on national television after Stacy Peterson’s disappearance. On show after show — “Larry King Live,” “Dr. Phil,” the “Today” show — he declared his innocence in both cases.
His demeanor — chatty, often smiling, always unflappable — was disconcerting to observers.
When asked in one interview how he felt seeing the home where Savio died, Peterson appeared unfazed.
“It was kind of emotional, but it was kind of like, what can you do?” he said. “Life goes on.”
Following the 2012 conviction, Glasgow, the prosecutor, said: “Drew Peterson went on worldwide television and mocked the death of his first wife and made fun of the disappearance of his fourth wife, and that was just something that I felt that we had to change. Not to necessarily to make an example of him because he’s irrelevant, but just the philosophy that he was promoting, we’ve got to turn that around.”
Peterson’s lawyer, who is handling his murder appeal, called the new charges “absurd,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
“I find it extremely difficult to believe he would do something like this,” attorney Steve Greenberg said. “Drew would have nothing to gain and everything to lose by doing that. He believes he has a strong appeal and that the conviction will be overturned.”
The saga became the subject of the Lifetime movie, “Drew Peterson: Untouchable,” as well as several books.
Peterson has been moved to a higher-security unit at the Menard Correctional Center in light of the new charges, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
[This post has been updated.]