Pathologist: Peterson's ex-wife's death was homicide

Drew Peterson leaves his home Monday, Nov 26, 2007 file photo in Bolingbrook. (M. Spencer Green/AP Photo)

February 5, 2010 3:24:03 PM PST
The pathologist who conducted the second autopsy on Drew Peterson's ex-wife says her death was not an accident.Dr. Larry Bloom testified Friday at a pre-trial hearing to determine how much hearsay evidence will be admitted in Peterson's trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio.

Dr. Larry Blum testified that Kathleen Savio's injuries point to her murder. The noted forensic pathologist, who says he has conducted over 9,000 autopsies, told the court Friday that Savio's injuries, psychological history, the position of her body when she was found, along with the scene of her death, led him to rule out an accidental drowning or suicide.

While on the stand, Will County States Attorney James Glaskow asked Blum, "Was Kathleen Savio's death a homicide?"

"That is my opinion. It was homicidal," Blum replied.

Dr. Blum conducted a second autopsy after Savio's body was exhumed.

Kathleen Savio's body was found in a dry bathtub March 1, 2004 in her Bolingbrook home.

Authorities reclassified Savio's death from an accidental slip and fall to a homicide after the October 2007 disappearance of Drew Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy.

Drew Peterson, 56, now faces first-degree murder charges in Savio's death, but he has not been charged in Stacy's disappearance.

Blum's testimony comes during the landmark hearsay hearing where a judge will decide if prosecutors can use hearsay statements as evidence at Drew Peterson's murder trial.

The proceedings began Friday morning with the testimony of Mary Parks, a former nursing classmate of Kathleen Savio.

Parks told the court Savio "feared for her life."

Even after their divorce, Peterson and Savio had been engaged in a bitter dispute over money and custody of their two children.

Drew Peterson's defense attorney, Andrew Abood, painted Savio as stressed and bitter. He highlighted inconsistencies in Parks' testimony, getting her at admit, "Kathy was mad because Drew was with a younger woman."