What Happens to Drew Peterson’s Children?

May 21, 2009

Imagine growing up with a father who is suspected of murdering your mother. How would you react to hearing that he was also suspected in your stepmother's disappearance? The four younger children of former lawman Drew Peterson may be facing such a reality. Their dad's recent arrest shocked the nation, as he's been charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. What will happen to the children if Drew receives jail time?

 

Click here if you missed Part 1!

 

Update: Drew Peterson Receives New Judge


A new judge has been appointed in the trial of Drew Peterson, who is charged with murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Carla J. Alessio-Policandriotes will now preside over a case that was formerly overseen by Judge Richard Schoenstedt. The Illinois state's attorney had asked that Judge Schoenstedt be removed on the grounds of bias.

Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, has been missing since October 2007. Yesterday, badly decomposed remains were discovered near the Des Plaines River in Illinois, leaving many to speculate if the bones belong to her.

 

Drew Peterson Update

Just two weeks after Drew Peterson was arrested and charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, a potentially significant development has been reported in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy. A badly decomposed body was found yesterday near the Des Plaines River in Illinois by a marine clean-up crew.

Could the remains belong to Stacy Peterson, who vanished in October 2007? An autopsy is being performed, so it's still too early to tell. Drew has always proclaimed his innocence in his fourth wife's disappearance. In an interview with
Dr. Phil, the former lawman said: "I think Stacy ran off with somebody else. I think she got tired of the life she was living. It was a little bit overwhelming for her. She had four kids. She was 23 years old. She just had a situation where her sister died a terrible death from cancer, and I think a combination of all those things was too much for her, and she ran off."

Drew is scheduled to appear in court today on charges that he murdered Kathleen Savio five years ago. Her death, originally ruled accidental, was later considered a homicide after the exhumation of her body. Drew has two children with his third wife, Thomas and Kris, who are currently living with Drew's adult son, Stephen.


 

Missing Her Family
Anna is the sister of Kathleen Savio, and she recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit again Drew Peterson. Anna says she's worried about the psychological state of her two nephews, Tommy and Kris, whom she says she hasn't spoken to in five years.

 

 

 

"These are her kids, and I knew this monster had them."

 


 

A Model Father?

Dr. Phil speaks to one of Drew Peterson's attorneys, Reem Odey. How does she respond to allegations that the former lawman is "brainwashing" his children and won't allow the Savio family to be involved with his sons, Tommy and Kris?

 

 

 

"I really don't see any malicious effort on Mr. Peterson's part."

 


 

Kids Caught in the Middle
Drew's four younger children are currently staying with his adult son, Stephen. Lisa Bloom, legal analyst and host of In Session's Open Court, weighs in on where the kids should live.

 

 

 

Who should receive custody?


 

Dealing with Death
How does one explain to a child that his or her parent is deceased or has been murdered by the other parent? Michelle Borba, an educational psychologist, offers advice. Plus, Ernie, the father of Drew Peterson's fiancée, Chrissy, speaks up.

 

 

 

"He wants to marry my daughter so he's got somebody for the kids."

 


 

Throwing the Book at Drew

Derek Armstrong, author of Drew Peterson Exposed, says he spent hundreds of hours interviewing his titular character. Learn his observations about Drew's relationship with his children. Does he believe Drew killed Kathleen or was involved in Stacy's disappearance?

 

 

"They would do whatever he said."

 

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