CHICAGO – Friends of Drew Peterson, whose third wife was killed and fourth wife is missing, say they wore wires during conversations with the man and turned over recordings to Illinois State Police, according to a published report.
Two of Peterson's friends told the Chicago Sun-Times for a story published Wednesday that they recorded seven months of conversations with the former suburban Bolingbrook police officer who has been named a suspect in the October disappearance of Stacy Peterson.
Paula Stark and Len Wawczak, who are husband and wife, told the newspaper that they have known Peterson for about 16 years. Wawczak said he was first contacted by State Police in mid-November.
The couple said they secretly recorded conversations with Peterson through mid-June.
State Police Sgt. Tom Burek said Wednesday morning that he couldn't comment on the reported recordings.
Peterson's attorney, Joel Brodsky said Wednesday that he considers the tapes a fabrication but if there are recordings, he is not concerned.
"We kind of say, if there are tapes of everything Drew said for the last 8 months, bring it on," Brodsky told The Associated Press. "Even if they did some minor wiring for the state police a couple of times there's certainly nothing incriminating on there."
Wawczak told the Sun-Times that Peterson had complained about his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
In 2004, about 12 years into Wawczak's friendship with Peterson, Savio was found dead in a waterless bathtub, and State Police determined she was the victim of an accidental drowning.
Stark said at the time Peterson mocked the police officers investigating the death, calling them "idiots."
Savio's body was exhumed after Stacy Peterson vanished and after an autopsy, authorities reclassified the death as a homicide. Peterson has not been named a suspect.
Wawczak said Peterson told him and Stark that he should have had Savio's remains cremated, adding he wouldn't be going through the troubles he was facing.
Peterson told the Sun-Times he never voiced wishes Savio had been cremated.
Peterson has been named a suspect in Stacy Peterson's disappearance, which police have labeled a "potential homicide." Peterson has said he had nothing to do with the fate of either of his wives.
As the investigation into Stacy's disappearance escalated, Peterson took to spending more evenings at Wawczak and Stark's Bolingbrook home, they told the Sun-Times.
"We figured we were being good Joes, that's all, helping him out," Wawczak said of contacting Peterson after his fourth wife disappeared.
The couple said Peterson also had asked them to stash a .22 caliber folding revolver after his gun owner's permit was revoked.
Peterson said was surprised to learn that his friends said they were recording him but suggested the couple had motives beyond the investigation.
"They stormed off mad one day when I wouldn't lend them money," Peterson told the Sun-Times. "They wanted some big money from me."