Back off, gals, he's taken

Drew Peterson, suspect in the death of one wife and disappearance of another, gets engaged.

Published December 19, 2008 8:04PM (EST)

Before Rod Blagojevich ran away with the title, Drew Peterson was a strong contender for Biggest Suspicious Asshole in the State of Illinois, 2008. A suspect in the 2004 death of his wife, Kathleen Savio, and the 2007 disappearance of his subsequent wife, Stacy, the former police officer has been quite the newsmaker over the last year. First, there was the search for Stacy, which her husband didn't join, because he claims she ran off with another man -- despite her family's insistence that she never would have left their two small children, and she'd expressed fear that Peterson would kill her. Meanwhile, Peterson's stepbrother attempted suicide after allegedly helping Drew move a large plastic container -- which the stepbrother feared contained Stacy's remains. Then there was the exhumation of Kathleen Savio, whose death was originally ruled an accidental drowning; a new autopsy led to it being called a homicide. Oh, and Peterson's second wife -- he's had four -- speaking out about his abuse and death threats. And then, finally, Peterson was arrested -- only on felony gun charges, which were later dropped.

This week, Drew Peterson's in the news again, because -- wait for it -- he's engaged. Engaged. Now, I'm not saying that Peterson killed either of his last two wives or threatened to kill his second -- all of those things remain unproven. But I will say that if Drew Peterson is not a killer, he must be the most unfortunate bastard in the world. And either way, who would want to marry that guy?

Peterson won't reveal who the lucky gal is, because the last woman he dated was scared off by all the attention. "Last time I had a relationship, you guys screwed it all up," he told the Chicago Sun-Times. "The police had her, the grand jury had her. I'm not putting her through all that." (In response to which, the world's smallest violin is quoted as saying, "Is this guy serious?") Nevertheless, there are already reports that it's 24-year-old waitress Christina Raines. With any luck, the media frenzy will run this one off, too -- but if not, her father's vowed to "drive [his] Cadillac right through [Peterson's] house," should Christina fail to answer her phone.

Meanwhile, Peterson's not too concerned about the fact that he's still married to a missing woman, pointing out, "I was married to Kathleen when I was engaged to Stacy." Yeah, go ahead and let that one sink in for a minute. And then get this: In a press release about the engagement, Peterson says he will file for divorce from Stacy on grounds of "abandonment," in order to go through with the next marriage. Because -- wait for it again -- "the kids and I need a woman in our lives."


By Kate Harding

Kate Harding is the author of Asking For It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do About It, available from Da Capo Press in August 2015. Previously, she collaborated with Anna Holmes, Amanda Hess, and a cast of thousands on The Book of Jezebel, and with Marianne Kirby on Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere. You might also remember her as the founding editor of Shapely Prose (2007-2010). Kate's essays have appeared in the anthologies Madonna & Me, Yes Means Yes, Feed Me, and Airmail: Women of Letters. She holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a B.A. in English from University of Toronto, and is currently at work on a Ph.D. in creative writing from Bath Spa University

MORE FROM Kate Harding

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Broadsheet Love And Sex