A just verdict for Peterson
SouthtownStar editorial September 6, 2012 8:34PM
Updated: October 9, 2012 2:38PM
The day it seems Drew Peterson thought would never come finally arrived Thursday.
A Will County jury found him guilty of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in her Bolingbrook home in March 2004. We believe justice has been served.
Peterson, 58, showed no emotion when Circuit Court Judge Edward Burmila announced the verdict. Gone were his usual cocky attitude and trademark smirk.
Like a Greek tragedy, it was Peterson’s hubris that led to his downfall. The former Bolingbrook police sergeant got away with murder — until his fourth wife, Stacy, vanished 31/2 years later. That prompted authorities to re-examine the circumstances of Savio’s death and eventually charge Peterson with her murder. And he may yet face prosecution for Stacy’s disappearance.
The sensational story consumed untold hours of national cable TV news coverage, fascinating millions with its unusual aspects. In Savio’s case, it was most notably the issue of whether a murder had even occurred (authorities bungled the first inquiry, calling her death an accidental drowning) and the use of hearsay evidence that was critical in convicting Peterson.
We were touched by the outpouring of emotion from family members of Savio and Stacy Peterson after the verdict. After enduring a years-long nightmare — struggling with grief, watching Peterson’s antics and frustrated by legal delays — they rejoiced that he’s not likely to walk free ever again.
For State’s Attorney James Glasgow, whose office mishandled some high-profile cases and investigations in recent years, the verdict is a rewarding and much-needed victory. Prosecutors got off to a stumbling start in the trial, facing a possible mistrial more than once. But they recovered in time to get a conviction many thought they could not deliver.
Defense attorneys put on a brave face, vowing that Peterson will win on appeal. But Glasgow said he’s confident the verdict will stand.
Whatever the outcome of an appeal, Peterson’s not the one smirking now.