Monday, November 29, 2010

Stacy Peterson: Life Interrupted


In the marriage of Drew and Stacy Peterson, she faced the same life threatening situation not only as a victim of abuse, but as the wife of a law enforcement officer, and she knew it. What she did not know was that Drew Peterson, in my opinion, would kill again. She believed Peterson loved her enough and because of her secret about Peterson, would not harm a hair on her head.

If was Drew Peterson was stupid enough to do anything to Stacy Peterson the truth about his former wife Kathy Savio would be her insurance policy for staying alive. That was her only mistake. The ace in her hand, if you will, that Stacy held, was not strong enough and what she knew for a fact about Kathleen Savio's murder would vanish with her on October 27, 2007. Like Stacy and Kathleen, documenting and capturing facts of the abuse that ultimately lead to both of these women being killed, would have been sustained them beyond the grave. The key for other women to remain alive is provided and spelled out step-by-step in the book “Time’s Up: A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships.” Offenders of intimate partner homicide, similar to Drew Peterson, would have been arrested by authorities, without as much as a blink because their words would be captured similar to a leaving will followed by a video, beyond the grave. Removing the so called “hearsay” conversations that most victims have with friends and family when the abuse or threats to their lives increases and they always tell someone before they vanish or are killed “if something happens to me, please know he did it.”

In the world of Drew Peterson, ever cocky and confident in his plan, he made certain that no one would figure he would have had anything to do with the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. After all, look at her family background. She grew up in a less than perfect home, as did many of us. She dreamed of a better life with the first person who showed her kindness and affection. That is appealing to anyone who was read fairy tale stories as a child, wishing their life, would begin, with a prince taking her away from everything that was unpleasant and evil.

As most victims of intimate partner violence, Stacy Peterson grew, over time, into a strong confident woman. When the abuse was no longer acceptable, she looked at her two young children, possibly thinking back on her own life and decided to make changes that did not include abuse, control and violence. She made plans to move forward, to not repeat the cycle of violence. For that, she is to be commended.

Although her remains have yet to be recovered, her life is important for other victims living in fear at this very moment. I would like to think that on angels wings Stacy Peterson brought me into her world in some way. The initial meeting after her death I would have with Pastor Neil Schori with whom she met in Naperville, IL and the partnership he, the church and I would form to stop the senseless killing of women involved in dangerous relationships across the county.

Now, 3 years have passed and no answers on where the remains of Stacy Peterson are buried. The answers, in my opinion, are in her actions while she was still alive, just as they were for Kathleen Savio, Roberta Murphy and others.

If each of these women were on a stage right now taking to you they would tell you “ when you do what you have always done, the outcome is the same. Look in the mirror at yourself, what do you see?”  What are you going to do about ending the abuse?  And although my mother, after 28 years had a taste of freedom out of the toxic and abusive environment, she would conclude her remarks to each of us and say "Time's Up." !

[Susan Murphy Milano is with the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. She is an expert on intimate partner violence and homicide crimes. For more information visit  She is the author of "Time's Up A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships," available for purchase at the Institute, and wherever books are sold.  Susan is the host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show, "Time's Up!" on Here Women Talk and is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth ]


Anonymous said...

In 1987, my new flame at the time and policeman in the local town, took me on a "field trip" one day to meet his parents. We made a stop along the way to a isolated spot where he stopped the car and preceeded to show me where the body of his friend had been found. He told me the story of how his friend was brutally murdered and his body was not found for months. At the time I felt bad for him, to lose a friend in such a horrid way was unimaginable but the subject was never brought up again. Eventually he moved in with me and my children and we had a tumultuous relationship for eight years. Long story.... I finally threw him out, where he stalked me, tried to kill me...and landed him in jail. Eventually I testified against him and he went to a physch ward...he was diagnosed schizophrenia. He was released about 6 months later and back on the streets. But during the trials, with his family around, new information came to me that it was "him" who killed his friend....I was the only one that could tie him to this murder with the information he had given me. I was damned if I do, and damned if I didn't but I went to the police with the information I had. This murder had taken place back in the early 70's and was and is still a cold case so the policemen I spoke with wern't even aware of it, they found the files in the basement of the Library. We met, I gave them info that was not released to the press and they took me to the spot that had since been redesigned by a new development. I never hear another word about it..this man is still walking the streets and I am still vulnerable...I am the only one that can link him to this murder after all these years and I have heard through the grapevine (another long story) he is still telling his story to people about how I screwed him over and he would like to know where I am....but is that the real reason...or would he silence me forever for this knowledge...our relationship was over 15 years ago!

Susan Murphy Milano's Journal said...

Anonymous Can you do me a favor and email me privately at so I can direct you a bit as it relates to some safety issues-

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