CHICAGO (NewsNation) — Convicted killer and former police sergeant Drew Peterson will attempt to overturn his sentence in the death of his third wife Kathleen Savio as his former lawyer says he is considering revealing intimate details of the case.
Peterson, from the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, is serving a 38-year prison sentence in the 2004 killing of Kathleen Savio. He will follow that sentence with 40 more years after he was convicted in 2016 of plotting to kill the prosecutor who put him behind bars.
The case was set to be heard Wednesday but was postponed to a later date.
Savio’s body was found in a dry bathtub in 2004, weeks before a scheduled hearing to determine money and child custody issues related to her divorce from Peterson. Her death was initially ruled an accident, but her remains were exhumed after the 2007 disappearance of Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy. Savio’s death was subsequently ruled a homicide.
In an exclusive report, Peterson’s former attorney told NewsNation that he is considering revealing new details that Peterson told him.
“It’s something that weighs on my conscience,” attorney Joel Brodsky told NewsNation affiliate WGN. “I would never do anything that would hurt a former client, but he’s in prison, he’s never getting out. So, if he’s a man, he’d say ‘I’m done, here’s what happened,’ so people can have closure.”
Stacy Peterson is presumed dead, although her body has never been found. Drew Peterson is a suspect in her disappearance, but has never been charged. The case took the country by storm.
“You couldn’t be a reporter in Chicago 15 years ago without getting sucked into, unfortunately, the carnival that Stacy Peterson’s disappearance became,” WGN’s Ben Bradley said to NewsNation’s Adrienne Bankert.
Brodsky said the information is weighing on his conscience.
“I know everything about both of his wives – everything,” Brodsky said on NewsNation’s “Banfield.” “I feel bad about Drew still not taking responsibility and Stacy still being missing. I’m thinking about maybe revealing what happened to Stacy and where she is.”
In 2019, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission suspended Brodsky’s law license for two years, and he has not yet applied to have it reinstated. A complaint obtained by WGN said Brodsky engaged in “a pattern and practice of unprofessional behavior including false allegations and inappropriate diatribes in pleadings.” Brodsky says he regrets the conduct and attributes it to being “overzealous” in defending his clients.
Bradley said Brodsky told him that he could easily point police to where Stacy Peterson’s body is in what begin as a routine interview between the pair.
“I was surprised when, in the middle of what was a routine interview over his frustration over the intersection of power and politics in Chicago and how the politicians play an outsized role in appointing judges, he said, ‘You know, I’m so frustrated, and I may never practice law again,'” Bradley recalled Brodksy saying. “‘So I may just spill this secret. It’s been weighing on my conscience.’
Bradley said he spoke with Stacy Peterson’s sister Cassandra Cales about this revelation, saying Cales has fought the last 15 years to keep Stacy’s name in the news.
“She is skeptical, but hopeful. She’s had a lot of false leads, false hope over the years and this investigation,” Bradley said of Cales. “But when I told her what Brodsky told me that he’s thinking of betraying his client’s trust and spilling the secret she said, you know, what, if he really cares about Stacy’s family, if it’s really weighing on his conscience, essentially don’t tell a reporter, tell law enforcement.”
Legal experts said it’s almost unheard of for a lawyer to betray their client’s trust in such a bold fashion.
“I think it’s despicable,” former appellate judge David Erickson of Chicago-Kent College of Law told WGN. “To break that breaks the very trust that this entire system of law should be based upon.”
The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WGN contributed to this report.
These interviews have been edited for clarity and length.