Tuesday, December 11, 2007
PASTOR: COP TOLD FOURTH WIFE HE KILLED THIRD WIFE
BOLINGBROOK, Illinois (AP) -- A former police officer's missing wife once confided in a pastor that her husband admitted killing his third wife, the pastor said.
Former Westbrook Christian Church pastor Neil Schori told Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren in an interview broadcast Monday that Stacy Peterson told him in August that her husband, Drew Peterson, admitted killing his previous wife, Kathleen Savio.
Schori said he asked Stacy Peterson, Drew Peterson's fourth wife, to clarify what she had said and she responded, "'He killed Kathleen."' Schori said the conversation occurred when he and Stacy Peterson met at a coffee shop.
Savio's body was found in her bathtub in 2004 and her death initially was ruled an accidental drowning. After Stacy Peterson disappeared in October, prosecutors opened another investigation into the Savio case, and said it appears her death was a homicide staged to look like an accident. Drew Peterson has not been named a suspect in her death.
Stacy Peterson offered enough detail to be credible, said Schori, who declined to discuss the details in the interview.
"But it was very clear that this was not just speculation," he said. "She was not jumping to conclusions."
Joel Brodsky, Peterson's attorney, did not immediately return an after-hours phone message seeking comment from The Associated Press. But he said on the Fox program that "I'd love to get to cross-examine (Schori) because there are a lot of problems with his story."
Schori said he thought Stacy Peterson never shared the information about Savio with police. Asked why Stacy Peterson chose to stay with her husband after learning about his former wife's death, Schori said, "My guess would be out of fear."
Although he has not been arrested or charged, Drew Peterson, 53, has been named a suspect in Stacy Peterson's disappearance by Illinois State Police, who have labeled the case a possible homicide.
Stacy Peterson was last seen October 28 and was reported missing by her family the next day. Drew Peterson, a member of the Bolingbrook Police Department until he quit after his wife went missing, has denied any involvement in her disappearance. He has said he believes his wife left him for another man and is alive.
Last month, the Westbrook Christian Church's pastor of spiritual formation told The Associated Press that Stacy Peterson requested an August meeting with a member of their pastoral staff when the church made a routine call to see why she and Drew Peterson had not attended services in recent months.
The church official made a "judgment call" not to alert authorities and did not consult with other church staff, Rob Daniels said.
At the time he spoke to the AP, Daniels would not identify the clergy member who met with Stacy Peterson or say where the meeting took place. E-mail to a friend