The case was highly publicized at the time, chronicled in a book that was adapted into the 2012 Lifetime Original Movie “Drew Peterson: Untouchable,” starring Rob Lowe and depicting the strange mystery that engrossed the nation. Peterson’s lawyers attempted and failed to halt production of the film, which they thought was biased and unfair, helping fuel the man’s rage-filled 40-minute speech at his sentencing hearing.
A judge listened to him rant, then sentenced him to 38 years in prison.
In the years since, the embattled men retreated to their separate corners — Glasgow to Will County, Ill., and Peterson to Menard Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison in Randolph County.
It was there, authorities say, that Peterson wasted little time plotting his next slaying: Glasgow, the prosecutor who put him behind bars.
On Tuesday, a jury convicted the former Bolingbrook, Ill., police officer, now 62, on charges that he orchestrated a murder-for-hire plot from within the walls of the prison through a fellow inmate nicknamed “Beast.” The jury found Peterson guilty of solicitation of murder and solicitation of murder for hire, the Chicago Tribune reported.
His plan was foiled when his confidante “Beast,” real name Antonio Smith, tipped off prosecutors, agreed to wear a wire and secretly recorded hours of conversations with Peterson cataloging the man’s plans to arrange Glasgow’s slaying, reported the Chicago Tribune. As part of the ploy, Smith told Peterson his uncle would off the prosecutor by Christmas 2014.
“I told him what you said, that it’s the green light on, that basically go ahead and kill him,” Smith said in a Nov. 15, 2014, recording, reported the Tribune. “That’s what you wanted, right? … It ain’t no turning back.”
“Okay, alright. I’m in,” Peterson responded. “From the first time we talked about it, there was no turning back. … If I get some booze in here, we’ll celebrate that night.”
The jury deliberated for just an hour before delivering their guilty verdict.
It’s the second time in as many years that Peterson’s fate has been left to the courts, and Glasgow said Tuesday after the trial ended that if he ever collects enough evidence, he won’t hesitate to charge the man in another, more notoriously sinister, case involving Peterson: the unsolved disappearance of his fourth wife, 23-year-old Stacy Peterson.
The woman vanished on an October day in 2007, three years after Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio, was found dead in the bathtub of her home.
It was Stacy’s disappearance that prompted authorities to reopen the investigation into Savio’s death, which was initially ruled an accidental drowning. At the time, she and Peterson were finalizing a nasty divorce.
Just weeks after Stacy Peterson vanished, Glasgow requested that Savio’s body be exhumed, reported the Associated Press, and a pathologist and former chief medical examiner determined the woman had been killed after a struggle, then placed in the bathtub to make her death appear accidental.
As investigators built a case against Peterson, the families of his third and fourth wives banded together against him, marching from Savio’s home to his lawn clutching candles and carrying signs, AP reported. One bright pink placard read: “Where’s our sister Stacy?”
Nearly a decade later, Stacy Peterson, who met her husband when she was 17 and had two children with him before her disappearance, has never been found. Her husband was named a suspect by Illinois State Police, who investigated the case as a possible homicide. Nobody has been charged in her disappearance.
A friend of one of Drew Peterson’s relatives offered a version of what might have happened in media interviews less than two months after the woman’s disappearance, AP reported. Walter Martineck, a friend of Peterson’s stepbrother, Thomas Morphey, said that Morphey revealed Peterson had paid him to move a large rectangular container from a bedroom on the day Stacy Peterson vanished. Morphey told Martineck he thought it may have contained the woman’s body because the box was warm.
Court documents and police records revealed a contentious, hostile relationship between the Petersons and Savio in the years leading up to the women’s deaths, AP reported. Police responded to 19 calls for help involving the three adults in a two-year span, several of them related to a bitter custody battle raging between them.
After Peterson’s most recent conviction Tuesday, both Glasgow and the family of his missing wife celebrated the verdict, which could land him in prison for an additional 20 years or more when he is sentenced in July.
“A prosecutor has a right to go home and sleep soundly and not worry about getting a bullet in his head after he’s done his job,” Glasgow told the Chicago Tribune outside the courthouse.
For Stacy Peterson’s family, the day was more emotional. His prior sentence could have been served within his lifetime. Now, he’ll likely remain in prison for the rest of his life. As he walked out of the courtroom Tuesday, according to news reports, Peterson mouthed something unintelligible toward his missing wife’s youngest sister, Cassandra Cales.
She stared him down, reporters observed, smiling uncomfortably.
“You know, this just put another nail in his coffin.” Cales said outside the courthouse. “Karma’s catching up with him. He’s, you know, gonna stay in prison forever.”