JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — As the real Drew Peterson demands an apology from Illinois State Police for suggesting that he might have killed in fourth wife, Stacy, a trailer is now out for a Lifetime TV movie that suggests the very same thing.
Rob Lowe, well-remembered as political hopeful Sam Seaborn on “The West Wing,” and sleazy television executive Benjamin Kane in “Wayne’s World,” plays Peterson in the TV movie “Drew Peterson: Untouchable,” which is set to air Jan. 21.
Kaley Cuoco of “The Big Bang Theory” appears as his fourth wife, Stacy, who disappeared in October 2007, while Cara Buono of “Mad Men” has been cast as Kathleen Savio, Peterson’s third wife, with whose murder he now stands charged.
The trailer shows Catherine Dent as neighbor “Karen” alone in a garage as ominous horror movie music plays, with intermittent flashes of scenes that depict Peterson violently attacking fourth wife Stacy.
Finally, the garage door opens and Peterson walks in.
“I’m untouchable, bitch!” he says.
The news release for the movie does not take a definitive position on whether Peterson killed Savio, or whether he was responsible for Stacy’s disappearance.
“Are Kathleen’s death and Stacy’s still-unknown whereabouts just a tragic coincidence? Or is there more there than meets the eye?” the release says.
Savio was found dead in a dry bathtub in March 2004.
Her death was initially ruled an accidental drowning by the Will County Coroner’s office. But after Stacy disappeared, Savio’s body was exhumed and a new autopsy was performed, resulting in her death being reclassified as a homicide.
After Stacy’s disappearance, Peterson quit his job as a Bolingbrook police sergeant, and went on a media blitz proclaiming his innocence. He also made headlines for his brief engagement to Christina Raines, 23, whose outraged father brought cameras when he went to help his daughter move out.
But in May 2009, Peterson was arrested and charged with Savio’s murder. He has been held at the Will County Jail ever since, as his trial has been delayed twice as questions on the admissibility of hearsay evidence make their way through higher courts.
He has never been charged in Stacy’s disappearance, although Illinois State Police believe she is dead and have named Peterson a person of interest in her disappearance.
Peterson’s attorneys have not been amused by the Lifetime movie. In July of this year, attorney Walter Maksym sent a letter to everyone from Lifetime to Lowe personally to halt production of the movie or face a lawsuit.
Maksym says the makers of “Drew Peterson” Untouchable” have no right to produce the film without Peterson’s permission.
“They’re the ones who have jumped on this lynch mob bandwagon – you know, this sort of Frankenstein torture mob, and they have not only decided to jump on it and besmirch Mr. Peterson, but they’ve gone ahead and added insult to injury by making it their business to profit doing it!” Maksym said in July.
The filmmakers went ahead with the movie, but no lawsuit has been filed.
Meanwhile, Peterson was back in the headlines this week, when his attorneys said he is owed an apology by state police for implying he might have killed Stacy. This came after Judith “Yudith” Bello was found in Fontana, Calif., with a new family and using a new name, after disappearing from her Stanwood, Wash., home and abandoning her children 18 years earlier.
While Stacy’s family has insisted that she would never leave her children, Peterson and his attorneys say this prove she could have done just that and run off with another man – as Peterson has always claimed.
The Lifetime movie is based on a book by Joseph Hosey, The Tragic Wives of Drew Peterson.