Another year passed, the 11th, since anyone last saw Stacy Peterson alive. At least anyone willing to talk about what happened to her.
For more than nine of those years, her husband, Drew Peterson, formerly of the Bolingbrook Police Department, has been locked up, first in the county jail, then at Stateville Correctional Center.
Peterson spent just a few hours at Stateville before he was transferred to Pontiac Correctional Center, and after a week there he was off to maximum security Menard Correctional Center down in Chester.
Peterson wasn't put in prison for doing anything to Stacy. He got 38 years for killing the wife before her, the third one, Kathleen Savio, who was found drowned in a dry bathtub in 2004. The police didn't do much about it at the time. It was only after Stacy disappeared three years later that they developed an interest in Savio's mysterious death.
Peterson is now locked up in the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was transferred there following a murder-for-hire conviction in 2016.
Peterson supposedly tried to put a hit on Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow during his time at Menard. The case was based on the testimony of a snitch convicted of attempted murder, home invasion, robbery, forgery and burglary, and also on audio recordings of Peterson talking.
Prosecutors claimed Peterson was recorded ordering Glasgow's murder. It didn't sound like it but that didn't stop the Downstate jury from returning a guilty verdict.
Peterson got 40 years for supposedly talking about having Glasgow killed, which is two years more than he got for actually drowning Savio. He's already 64. He has a release date in May 2081, when he will be 127 years old. But Peterson thinks he might get out well before that, even though the Supreme Court recently decided not to hear an appeal of his murder conviction.
“Still some avenues left,” Peterson said in an email.
One of the attorneys who represented him at his murder trial, Steve Greenberg, said there was at least one more opportunity to get that conviction thrown out. But even if he succeeds in doing so, there was still the 40 years for his supposed scheme to kill Glasgow. Greenberg was confident Peterson would get out of that one as well.
“That case is a joke,” he said. “He never should have lost it. He should win his appeal.”
So if Peterson gets out of the murder and also wins an appeal of his joke of a murder-for-hire, maybe he walks away a free man. Those are some big ifs, and even if things go Peterson's way, he won't be free for long, said Stacy's sister, Cassandra Cales.
Cales claims there is a plan to charge Peterson with murdering her sister and she has a timeline for when the case will be filed.
"It's going to be before Glasgow's re-elected,” she said.
For his part, Peterson, who consistently refers to Glasgow as “Glascow,” seemed to buy into what his sister-in-law was saying.
“Glascow's career is based on his dishonest prosecutions against me,” Peterson said. “If he is up for re-election he'll use me again.”
Glasgow's spokesman, Charles B. Pelkie, disputed this.
“Mr. Peterson is in prison now, which is where he belongs, and politics has absolutely no bearing on the review of this case,” Pelkie said. “Any claim otherwise is nonsense.”
Glasgow's not up again until 2020. So Peterson has a couple years before he has to worry about whether Cales is right or not. And even she's not certain the plan is actually still in place. It's a sure thing, she insisted, “Unless they changed their mind, you know? I don't think they did.”
Regardless of what police or prosecutors do, Cales claims she has pinpointed the secret location of Stacy's body in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
“Just the canal, I'm not going to say where,” she said.
Not that doing so would be easy.
“It's hard to explain," Cales said. "Where she is, nothing gets past. And I guarantee there's others there.”
Cales, who has a GoFundMe set up to pay for a body recovery and funeral, said there are numerous bodies at that location, along with her sister's, which is a pretty chilling notion. Not that it was weighing much on Peterson's mind.
“I don't think about Cassandra or her searches,” he said.
And how could a guy have the time to when he's busy figuring how to get out from under 78 years of prison sentences.
• Joe Hosey is the editor of The Herald-News. You can reach him at 815-280-4094, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JoeHosey.