Friday, December 7, 2007


From the Chicago Tribune:Apparently, it's not easy being Drew.

Drew Peterson said Thursday he would rather be remembered for something positive than something that would result in his picture being plastered on a pinata.

That creation was on display Saturday at a prayer vigil held for Peterson's wife, Stacy, 23, who vanished Oct. 28. Illinois State Police soon named Peterson, 53, a suspect in the case, which has been labeled a possible homicide.

Since then, Peterson, an ex-Bolingbrook police sergeant, has become infamous.

"I'd rather be a celebrity for something good," Peterson said. "They snuck me in and out for the 'Today' show. I remember sitting in the New York airport, and all of a sudden there was my face on TV."

In a telephone interview Thursday, Peterson talked about why he wouldn't join searches or vigils for his missing wife, and about the friends and former police colleagues who now shun him. He has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime.

"It's like they had this vigil for Stacy, and the next thing you know there's a pinata with my face on it," he said. "All these policemen who were my friends, and I would have jumped in front of a bullet for, don't even talk to me."

Peterson has not participated in any searches since his wife disappeared and has contended she ran off with another man.

On Thursday, his former friend, Ric Mims, acknowledged selling his story to the National Enquirer.

Earlier in the day, Mims appeared before a special grand jury investigating the Stacy Peterson case.

Peterson chalked up Mims' deal with the Enquirer as just another moment of "et tu Brute?"

"I've befriended him, he was just some street kid ... and all of a sudden he was here -- my best friend," he said. "I went ahead and let him watch the house when I couldn't be here, and then he's changing sides."

Peterson claimed Mims has been looking for a way to profit since Stacy disappeared.

"The first couple days after this happened, he kept saying, 'How can we make money on this?'" he said.

Mims scoffed at the allegation. He said it was his cell phone bill and big heart that motivated him to talk to the Enquirer. Mims said he would pay his $480 phone bill, most of which came from talking to reporters, then donate the proceeds to the Benefit for Stacy Peterson charity, which will fund the ongoing search.

"I have not profited from this. This whole thing has cost me money," he said.

He wouldn't say how much the Enquirer paid him. Mims also declined to discuss the grand jury investigation.

Should that investigation lead to charges, Peterson's attorney, Joel Brodsky, said any alleged evidence from Peterson's vehicles may be tossed out by a judge on the grounds it was illegally seized. Peterson's vehicles were towed Nov. 1, when the first search warrant was executed. But, according to copies of the warrants, the first one authorized only the search -- not the seizure -- of the vehicles.

Brodsky said investigators tried to rectify their mistake in a warrant served Tuesday by including language that authorized seizure of the vehicles, which remain in police custody.

Richard Kling, a clinical professor of law at Chicago Kent with nearly four decades of criminal defense experience, said while there are reams of case law stating items need not be searched where they are found, Brodsky's argument could have merit.

"The 4th Amendment and the cases that interpret it say that in order for a search and seizure to be valid, the premise to be searched and the things to be seized have to be specified with particularity, other than those things which are in plain view, such as contraband," Kling said. "He may have a point that the first search warrant is problematic because it didn't describe that the cars were able to be seized."

After reviewing copies of the search warrants, Kling said it appears investigators pieced together a detailed theory about how Stacy Peterson's body could have been disposed of.

"It's pretty clear that either somebody from the police has come up with this wonderful hypothesis about how the car was used, the body disposed of, or they have witnesses who are giving them what they believe is credible information [and are] looking for specific items," Kling said.

Some categories were broadened in each subsequent search warrant, and others were more narrowly defined. One example is a section in the second warrant authorizing seizure of "chemicals or chemical containers having the quality to dissolve biological evidence, caustic in nature, or having the qualities of a preservative." In the latest warrant, the language was changed to "objects with chemical traces relating to pool chemicals or any chemical which might be utilized to either retard, mask or accelerate the deterioration or decomposition of a human body."

"You have to assume that the judge is not issuing warrants on somebody's fantasy conjecture," Kling said. "You have to assume that the judge knows the law, and that if he's issuing warrants, they're based on specific information."

When Peterson was asked Thursday about going from cop doing the investigating to being investigated, he said: "I gotta go now. It's very ugly being on the other side."

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