Friday, September 7, 2012

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Why the Drew Peterson Conviction was Simply Wrong

"I could kill you and make it look like an accident."

"I would put your body where no one would ever find it."

"I would 'Keep it simple, stupid.' A simple knifing in an alley and a missing wallet; it would look like a robbery."

"I would make sure a good amount of time passed between taking out the insurance policy and your death."

"If I just pull up your feet in the bathtub, your head would go under the water, you would drown, and there would be no marks on your body."

"All I would have to do is get a condom from the bushes in the park, pull the pants down on your corpse and dump the contents on your butt. They will think you were getting it on with someone and they got violent and killed you.:"

None of the above are Drew Peterson's statements.

All of the above are comments from conversations I have had in the company of police officers, police detectives, private investigators, and crime analysts. Which is exactly why hearsay is normally not allowed in court. People say a lot of stuff, they joke around, they say things in anger, they say things people take out of context or remember incorrectly, and, even if they meant what they said, it doesn't mean they acted upon it. Add to this someone simply claiming things were said that were never said and you have a pretty good idea why until recently in Illinois, hearsay was not considered dependable "evidence" upon which to convict someone.

I think Drew Peterson is a psychopath and that he is damned likely to have committed a homicide or two, but there is no real evidence that he actually did. The jury should never have convicted him. He will appeal, and I believe the verdict will be overturned (even if it has to go all the way to the Supreme Court). The trial was a travesty of the justice system, and even if we aren't too bent out of shape over Drew Peterson being convicted, the same thing could happen to anyone of us and then it wouldn't be quite so palatable.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

September 7, 2012


FRG said...

Ms. Brown, thank you for the article! Although I didn't watch his trial, I read the headlines and yes, you wouldn't want it to happen with you! I agree with your opinion! Great article!

Unknown said...

What a careless thing to say...No evidence?? How can you say that? You point the finger at the McCain family every chance you get and there's no "evidence" their either.

This man is a murderer. You just said it yourself and everyone who comes in contact with him knows what he is capable of. With all the guilty people walking around on this earth because the justice system let them get away, they got this one right. I pray he is killed before he ever sees the light of day.

wow, removing myself from your mailing list right now. I just cannot believe anything you say anymore after seeing this article.

Anonymous said...

normally i agree with you but not on this. there was plenty of evidence aside from the hearsay: the testimony from the hitman, the photos of KS in the bathtub, the autopsy report of her injuries along with the determination it was homicide not an accident... i believe the verdict WILL stand on appeal. hallelujah!

Pat Brown said...

Jennifer, normally I do not address personal attacks on me, but, for the sake of others, I will address what you say (Anonymous, I will also address what you have commented on as far as evidence and an appeal).

First, there is a great difference between personal belief in someone's guilt, probable cause for making them a suspect, probable cause to make an arrest, and enough evidence for conviction without a reasonable doubt.

Emotion should play no part in any investigative and legal proceedings, but rather evidence and the amount of evidence.

There was surely probable cause to investigate Drew Peterson in the deaths of his last two wives. He did have motive and opportunity. He also exhibits psychopathic behavior. But to arrest him, there must be proof of a homicide and ample evidence linking him too it. Then, in court, there should be ample evidence PROVING he committed a homicide, not simply belief that he did. There is absolutely not one shred of physical evidence linking Peterson to the death of Kathleen Savio and not even circumstantial evidence such as a witness seeing him running from the house or burning a pile of women's clothes that match what Savio was last seen wearing. All we have are people that say Peterson said some stuff and they can't prove it. Therefore, as the jurist admitted, Peterson was convicted on hearsay alone and this verdict will be appealed as unconstitutional. It is entirely possible Savio was killed by another, maybe her boyfriend at the time, and Peterson simply looks the better suspect. Hence, a GOOD suspect, not a proven killer. I think he did it, but I do not think there was enough evidence for a trial or a conviction and I think this will be dealt with on appeal.

As to Jennifer's comments on my analysis of the McCann case. The reason it remains unprosecuted is BECAUSE the Portuguese police were still attempting to get enough evidence to take the McCanns to court. They have probable cause to investigate them but did not feel there was enough evidence as yet to successfully prosecute them. I agree. I think if Maddie's body could be found or the Tapas would be pressured to confess to what really happened that night, there would be enough to charge the McCanns and take them to trial. I think the McCanns believe this to which is why they and the Tapas 7 refuse to do the reconstruction.

I BELIEVE the McCanns are most likely involved in the death of their daughter and the hiding of her body. I DO NOT BELIEVE there is enough yet to prosecute them and therefore the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance should continue (but not with that fake Scotland Yard "review").

There are other people I believe are guilty of crimes and those cases have far more physical and circumstantial evidence than the Drew Peterson trial had, yet those people are still walking around. Why? Because there is not enough evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt in court. It is frustrating but that is the way the system is supposed to work We don't lynch people because we don't like them or think they are guilty; we are to prove it before we punish them.

Anonymous said...

I believe he killed her too. But I have a lot of trouble with here say. I've always wondered about testimony from cell-mates.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you,Pat! No REAL PROOF!

Marianne said...

I agree with you Pat. This verdict will not and should not hold up under appeal. It is bad law. I also think he is guilty.

Anonymous said...

I agree and believe the same intellectual argument should be applied to the Casey Anthony jury. We crucified them for doing the opposite of what this jury did. But I still proclaim. The American judicial system is the best and it still works. Just ask Amanda Knox if you doubt it.

Gambler777 said...

I agree with you Pat regarding what was allowed in as evidence and that he will likely win on appeal. I think Drew's likely guilty and if something like this was going to happen it couldn't happen to a better person.
Something I thought was a bit questionable is, when Drew couldn't reach Kathleen by phone to return the children, why would he call a locksmith before police?
I also think he's guilty in Stacy's dissapearance. Hopefully, though unlikely, evidence will be found while he's in jail.

Anonymous said...

Peterson. Guilty in my eyes as well. But no proof. I sat as head juror on an aggravated sexual assault ( on a minor, no less ). We could not convict on these charges, had to convict on lesser charges for the same reason.

We all knew this guy was guilty as hell. But there was no proof. Thank God the other charges of abuse DID have proof and he was found guilty on those. He was sentenced to 12 years, the max or his crimes, , wish it could have been more.