Friends, Peterson talk about secret tapes

July 24, 2008 9:06:14 PM PDT
Former friends of retired police sergeant Drew Peterson are talking about why they say they decided to secretly tape conversations with him.Peterson was also talking Thursday. He says his former friends are just trying to make some quick cash.

The former Bolingbrook cop adds he feels betrayed by Paula Stark and Lenny Wawczak.

"How can we be in it for the money? We haven't made any money. And anybody we've been talking to doesn't pay money," said Wawczak.

Wawczak and his wife deny Drew Peterson's claims that they turned on him for the dough. The Bolingbrook couple say they had several reasons to help investigators. For Wawczak, some of it was personal. His own father was murdered when he was 9 years old. A witness came forward to find the killer.

"Because of her... this guy is, you know, in Dixon Correctional Center for 200 years. So, I stepped forward partly because of that and because I felt something was wrong, you know, it was the right thing to do," said Wawczak.

Wawczak and Stark say they came forward after observing Peterson's behavior after his fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared. The couple says he would sneak away from his own house to go to theirs. He called it a "safe house."

"Every time he would come here, he would take his battery out of his cell phone and we would be like, 'What are you doing?' And he was like, 'They can't trace me here,'" said Stark.

Wawczak and Stark say the Illinois State Police have limited what they can say publicly, although it was reported in the Sun-Times that Peterson told the couple he would be tried and acquitted by the time they found Stacy's remains.

On Thursday, Peterson made the media rounds and responded.

"I think it is kind of sad that they would stoop to such a thing and attempt to get me. But I kind of welcome the fact that I was recorded and on tape. And I am sure once they are played in their entirety, they'll show my innocence," said Peterson.

During the seven months that Wawczak and Stark secretly recorded conversations, the couple became very attached to Drew and Stacy Peterson's two children, Lacy and Anthony. Stark said they were so close, Lacy asked Stark to be her mom.

"I just hope when they get older they will understand what we've done because it was for their mom," said Stark tearing up. "After a few months of spending time with them, they would actually say, 'I love you.' Lacy asked if she could live with me. I wanted to take them and bring them home. I miss them. I miss them a lot."

"My big thing is, they violated my children. They used my children to get to me. And that's a sad thing. And for that, they should be ashamed of themselves," Drew Peterson said.

Not only did Wawczak tape Drew Peterson, but he had an online relationship with Peterson. He divulged that he posed as a woman named Ashley between March and June and that he and Peterson had some romantic emails exchanged back and forth.

"He didn't act like a man who should be missing his wife; he acted more like the person that made his wife go missing," Wawczak said.

They say wearing wires was stressful, but it was the right thing to do help solve the murder case of Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, and the missing persons case for Stacy Peterson.

"I'll be honest, when we got in the car to get home, I would be bawling. I would be crying," Stark said.

"I know what we have. Drew knows what we have, too," Wawczak said.

They said that the first week Stacy Peterson was missing, they started to question Drew's behavior. They said Peterson would go out his back door, crawl through another yard and jump in their van, so he could go to their home.

Drew Peterson, however, insists that his former friends need money, and that's their motivation for wearing the wires. He says the tapes will clear his name.

"I welcome the fact that I was recorded, I was on tape, and I'm sure once the tapes are played in their entirety - they will show my innocence.


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