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HomeU.S‘Being obnoxious got me convicted’

‘Being obnoxious got me convicted’

After more than a decade behind bars the signs of age – and strain – are showing on Drew Peterson. He’s balding and walks unsteadily with the help of a cane.  Some of his infamous swagger has subsided.

“Being incarcerated weighs on you – it beats you up,” Peterson told NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield in an exclusive interview at an Indiana prison. “I’m not as jovial as I used to be.”

Peterson now says it was his personality – rather than hard evidence – that got him convicted of murdering his third wife Kathleen Savio. Her body was found in a bathtub and her death was originally ruled accidental. Only after the disappearance of Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy, did police and prosecutors re-examine the case and file charges.

Later, Peterson was also convicted of trying to hire a hitman to kill the Will County state’s attorney.

“People don’t like me. I’m obnoxious. I laugh at stupid sh*t that would offend other people,” Peterson said. He didn’t act like a grieving or concerned spouse when the media descended on his Bolingbrook home after Stacy’s 2007 disappearance. He cracked jokes with reporters, taunted them and then went on a national media tour with his equally unconventional attorney at the time, Joel Brodsky, at his side. 

Drew Peterson

Drew Peterson

“People want to believe that I did something wrong. People want to believe that I killed someone. Think about it: A policeman killing his wives? That’s juicy. People love juicy.  It’s like I’m a victim of that,” Peterson said.

The former Bolingbrook cop still insists Stacy took-off after becoming angry over his infidelity.  He insists none of his six children – including two each with Kathleen and Stacy – have ever asked him whether he played a role in their mother’s death or disappearance.

“We’ve never discussed it one way or the other,” Peterson said. “It’s a subject we normally avoid.”

NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield asked Peterson whether he would reveal more to comfort his kids or clear his conscience?

WGN Investigates: Investigating public corruption, crime & fraud

“My conscience is clear so how I can clear it any more?”  Banfield asked if Peterson feared he’s being forgotten in prison.  “I’d rather be forgotten,” he responded. “If I’m forgotten no one is bringing new charges against me or accusing me of something else.  Forget me.”

Drew Peterson is fighting a longshot bid for a new trial on his conviction in Kathleen’s death.  He claimed ineffective counsel and argues the outcome may have been different if he testified. As WGN Investigates was first to report in 2022, it’s led to an epic war-of-words between Peterson and his former attorney who suggested he may break attorney-client privilege and share what he knows.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WGN-TV.

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