The attorney for the family of Kathleen Savio filed a wrongful death suit against the man many believe committed the crime: Savio's former husband, Drew Peterson.
No one has been criminally charged for Savio's death, but a 15-page lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Will County Circuit Court, carefully lays out a case the family says shows that Peterson was responsible for the death of his third wife.
Peterson's attorney, Joel Brodsky, said the allegations in the lawsuit are "absolutely untrue" and said he looks forward to questioning witnesses in the case.
"This would give us almost broader investigative power than a grand jury. It's a great tool they are handling us. It’s very easy to make lemonade out of these lemons," Brodsky told a local author.
The suit claims:
- That Peterson caused the wrongful, intentional death of Savio,
- That Savio survived for a time as or after Peterson was killing her,
- That during the couple's "contentious divorce" in 2002, "there were a number of confrontations" that resulted in police reports that detailed Peterson's physical assaults and threats of physical violence,
- That upon finalization of the divorce, Peterson gained entry to the home of which Savio had become the sole owner by using a garage door opener and, on one occasion, by cutting through a wall and crawling through it,
- That Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, met with a pastor and said that she had "personal, detailed knowledge" that Peterson had killed Savio.
Five months after their divorce was finalized, Savio was found dead, face down in a dry bathtub. Her death was initially ruled an accident but follow-up autopsies determined it was by homicide.
Savio's estate is now controlled by her sister, Anna Doman, and their father, Henry Savio, but Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police sergeant, last month launched an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court to regain control of it. Peterson said Doman and Henry Savio
Peterson is suspected in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. He now has an on-again, off-again relationship with 24-year-old Christina Raines.