Deb Gauthier: A date with Drew
I'm constantly surprised, sometimes shocked, at the way the human mind works.
The latest jolt came to me via radio last Thursday during my commute into work.
Drew Peterson, 53, a former police sergeant for the Bolingbrook (Ill.) Police Department, is suspected but not charged in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, who, if she's alive, turned 24 Sunday. The death of Peterson's third wife, first ruled an accident, is now under investigation.
Here's the story.
Peterson and his attorney, Joel Brodsky, called the radio talk show of Steve Dahl last week and suggested a Valentine's Day contest, "Win a Date With Drew."
According to the Chicago Tribune, Dahl agreed to the contest on air, but after consulting with the station's management, backed out of the deal. Good idea, Steve.
Peterson's attorney was surprised at the furor their proposal fueled in the community.
"Holding a contest to win a date with a murder suspect trivializes women's safety for the sake of humor," said Polly Eskin, executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
It sure does. Yet Peterson's attorney, in an on-air interview, said he saw nothing wrong with Peterson wanting to have a little fun. That kind of thinking, coming from an attorney whose client is a murder suspect, is just plain nuts.
And it strikes me as odd - even fiendish - that a man whose wife disappeared at the end of October is looking for love 10 weeks later. Instead of looking for his wife, he's looking for a replacement. Isn't he concerned for her safety? Isn't he grieving? Isn't he busy caring for his two children from his third marriage, and his two children with Stacy? Isn't he emotionally distraught that police suspect he murdered two women?
Apparently not. He's ready to move on with his life.
Peterson might be a a nice guy. He did, after all, convince four women to marry him, one of them 30 years his junior. According to published reports, he dated Stacy when she was 17, while he was still married to Kathleen, who was found dead in a whirlpool tub in 2004. Her death coincidentally ended arguments over her share of his retirement account and $2,000 per month in child support payments.
OK. OK. He's innocent until proven guilty.
But, "Win a date with Drew?" That's just creepy.
Deb Gauthier can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.