Notorious wife killer Drew Peterson is in federal custody — and out of Illinois.
But authorities aren’t saying much else about Peterson’s abrupt exit from the state’s prison system. His attorney, Steve Greenberg, told the Chicago Sun-Times he doesn’t even know why Peterson has been transferred. He said he’s been told his client is at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
That’s 200 miles south of Peterson’s former home in Bolingbrook.
A source confirmed the feds have Peterson. His name appeared on the Bureau of Prisons’ website, but it listed him as “not in BOP custody.” Peterson’s name also appeared on the Illinois Department of Corrections’ website, though it identified him only as a temporary resident.
IDOC spokeswoman Nicole Wilson said Peterson, 63, “has been transferred out of IDOC custody.” But she declined to discuss the details, citing safety and security concerns.
No federal charges appear to have been filed against Peterson, so it amounts to one more twist in the long saga that began when Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy, vanished nearly a decade ago. Peterson has long been suspected in Stacy’s demise, but no criminal charges have ever been filed.
However, Stacy’s disappearance led prosecutors to put Peterson on trial in 2012 for the 2004 murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, whose death had previously been ruled an accident. A Will County jury convicted him, and a judge sentenced Peterson to 38 years in prison. Peterson predicted he would die there.
Then, while serving his time at the downstate Menard Correctional Center, Peterson became friends with a Satan’s Disciple known as “Beast.” His real name was Antonio Smith, and he would eventually wear a wire while Peterson fantasized about the murder of Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, who led the 2012 prosecution against him.
Prosecutors in Randolph County charged Peterson in the murder-for-hire scheme, and jurors convicted Peterson after a roughly week-long trial last year. A Randolph County judge then sentenced Peterson to another 40 years in prison, bringing his projected release date to May 7, 2081.
During last year’s trial, Peterson could be heard musing on secret recordings with Smith about flying to Mexico to deal drugs. He also told Smith that “Stacy’s still alive,” even though Smith testified that Peterson “admitted to me that he killed Stacy Peterson.” Smith also testified that Peterson offered $10,000 for Glasgow’s murder.
By the time Smith finally took the witness stand to testify against Peterson, prosecutors said Smith had been moved to federal custody.
But Greenberg says Peterson is no snitch.