Peterson was born in 1954 and joined the US Army before becoming a member of the military police. By 1977 he’d left the army and started working as a police officer in Illinois, quickly gaining a good reputation and even being named officer of the year.
He married Carol Brown in 1974 and had two sons during their six year marriage. His second wife, Vicki Connolly, divorced him in 1992 after claiming ten years of abuse and that he’d started dating another woman.
That woman was Kathleen Savio, an accountant whom Peterson married in 1992. The pair had two sons together but ten years later their relationship broke down and she divorced him in 2003. It was between 2002 and 2004 that police attended their house over various domestic disturbance incidents. Then on March 1, 2004, Savio was found dead in an empty bathtub, with her death initially being put down to accidental drowning.
The jury in the case was controversial as it included a cop who knew Peterson and who assured others that he would never harm his wife.
Soon after Savio’s death Petersen married once again, this time to 19-year-old Stacy Ann Cales. Again they had two children together and all seemed well, with Cales even legally adopting Peterson’s kids by his previous marriages.
However, in 2007 Cales was reported missing by her sister and she’s never been seen since. Peterson told police that he got a call from Cales to say she’d left him for someone else and that her car was at the airport, but her family were unconvinced that she’d just disappear.