Saturday, August 18, 2012

Drew Peterson Trial Ends Third Week, The Best is Yet to Come!

Drew Peterson   Photo by Paul Huebl

Joliet, IL—Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow made a non-stop mess of his questionable effort to destroy Retired Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson.  He knows that while gossip and hate may be over the top, real evidence of murder and Peterson’s possible involvement is almost non-existent.
At best it can be shown that Peterson was a lousy husband and that Kathleen Savio was on a campaign to grab the marital assets of her failed marriage. She was an angry and scorned woman.
Savio had her emotional problems and was taking or in some cases not taking drugs prescribed to her to keep her under control.
It's also reasonable to believe that Peterson said some ugly things about and to Savio.  Divorces seldom bring out the best behavior of those involved. 
The biggest problem I have is calling Savio’s death a murder.   Aside from the original investigation and autopsy are the total lack of signs of a fight for life that would normally exist.  No defense wounds, nothing in the area disturbed nor were there broken fingernails with DNA material.  
We can’t dismiss the reality that Savio changed the locks on the home and Peterson had no key. 
The hearsay issue has very frightening implication to the American freedoms and liberty so many brave Americans gave life and limb to protect.  If they can get Drew Peterson through hearsay evidence, you’re next!  We all have someone in our lives that would lie just because they can.  They tell others and the story spins and grows to epic proportions before it’s ever heard in court. 
In this case, was Savio lying to those close to her?  She can’t be cross-examined nor was she ever placed under oath.   Next did the people claiming they heard her statements tell the truth?  Did they perhaps misunderstand what they were told, if they were told? 
As a cop and criminal defense investigator I learned long ago people will embellish or even lie if they thought it could somehow “bring justice”.  Everyone wants to help the cops especially in a high profile case that can bring fame and fortune.
There’s a huge rub here that we are sure to observe if this silliness continues.  That is that this case has been dragging on for years.  Peterson has a sharp legal team and they left no stones unturned.  Any time a defense investigator has this much time he will find more and more people that will rat on the witnesses.  Relationships dissolve or were never quite as solid as some of the witnesses think.  Three years of idle chatter and inconsistent stories will be put before the court.
Impeachment of witnesses becomes easy when people lie, embellish or spin their accounts to their so-called friends.  Lawyers know this so they employ investigators trained to flesh out impeachment witnesses and other evidence. 
The fun begins during the defense portion of trials because the impeachment witnesses are not part of discovery process.  They can be brought into courtrooms by surprise.  In high profile cases its common to see people we look up to like professionals, members of the clergy destroyed especially when the media is watching intently.
For a defense investigator having three years to watch, track and record witnesses is a gift from heaven.   Today, an investigator contacts a friend, relative or acquaintance of a witness and learns nothing but he dutifully leaves a business card behind.  Months later the phone rings and startling facts come to life. 
I believe that the so-called prosecution blunders and not what they seem.  They are deliberate.  Glasgow wants this trial to go away because he knows all he has are his shaky hearsay witnesses and he rightly anticipates a credibility bloodbath.  If there is a mistrial Glasgow knows he can blame the judge to save his own political ass.
The Forbidden Fruit of the Information Age
As for the jury and the evidence being kept out of the courtroom that’s another total disaster.  Few jurors have the self-discipline or the motivation to not actively search out the forbidden fruit provided by today’s Information Age.  They can be counted upon to follow their human curiosity and learn what causes sidebars and the jury to be removed from the courtroom.  In this case they are also learning that prosecutorial misconduct is running over the top here. 
I can’t predict just how this circus will end but it’s proving to be the greatest show on earth.  I don’t share early defense team beliefs that the judge will have the balls to render a directed verdict of Not Guilty when the state rests their case. Directed verdicts are rare and seldom granted even when solidly warranted.
The defense will be forced to put on a case complete with impeachment witnesses, experts and investigators.   I doubt seriously that we will hear from Drew Peterson.  I doubt he has anything to add to the mountain of interviews he’s granted.  The jury  already knows what he had to say about this case.  
This trial Will Change Lives
The case will go to this jury and they will either render a unanimous verdict or not.   If they follow the instruction of the court I doubt there can be a conviction.  Jurors seldom follow instruction so anything is possible. 
The only thing I know for sure is that this trial will change the lives of those involved and not for the best.  


Anonymous said...

If I were Drew's Attorney, I'd consider Subpoena'ing Rob lowe and all those movie producers, and find out just who planted the idea for their version of the story. Why was Peterson portrayed as he was? Did Peterson authorize this? Who embellished on all the speculation?
I would further wonder why the murder scene, [bathroom] indicated NO evidence of Murder, definate struggle, or foul play of any sort, that can be 100% FULLY explained, and not just speculation.

Paul Huebl Crimefile News said...

Let me say that the Drew Peterson Legend is exactly what drives Hollywood. Intrigue, sex, violence are all there along with a mystery. Add two attractive women as sympathetic victims you have a book and a movie. Most of all you need a strong villain that everyone loves to hate and you have a blockbuster. If the story is based on real events the needed publicity drives the film.

Unfortunately it’s the publicity he generated particularly when he did the New York Morning TV talk shows that turned a small snowball into the monster it is today.

The Peterson film began when a local print reporter was copying the tricks of a writer, Joe McGinnis who found fame and fortune on the Jeffrey McDonald “Green Beret” case in the early 1970’s.

McGinnis ran a scam on McDonald pretending to be sympathetic and convinced of his innocence. He used his insider knowledge and presence become visibly credible as he really planned to capitalize on Dr. McDonald’s misfortune. McGinnis’ book which, later became a movie that swayed public opinion against McDonald. McDonald has been rotting in federal prison so far for 40 years.

The writer here peddled his slanted book to a publisher and it was soon hawked to a film producer. The actors like Rob Lowe fall into place based on looks, age, popularity and the films budget.

Frankly the book and the film were second rate. Both could have been done a lot better.

I can’t blame the reporter because criminal suspects know the huge risk they take cooperating with the media. Peterson gambled and lost. The reporter made money but in the process became a pariah with his newspaper and now writes for a neighborhood Internet startup.

Had the Peterson saga been a successful feature film the reporter would have made a bundle and could pick his next project.

By the way, the acting world Rob Lowe is really small potatoes, Robert Downey, Jr. would have blown the audiences away in that role.

Anonymous said...

Whatever he is, Peterson is an idiot. When you are accused of a crime, NEVER EVER answer any questions without your attorney present.