Drew Peterson maintains his innocence in the disappearance of his 23-year-old wife, Stacy, yet many consider him a suspect. The Dr. Phil show covered the story when it first broke, and a year later, it's still making headlines.
"The last year of my life has been really turned upside down. I went from having a wife and a happy family to being a single father," says Drew. "I had media camped out in front of my house from 3:00 in the morning until about midnight. This pretty much hinders everything I do."
The former lawman says he has developed a unique way to deal with his detractors. "When people look at me and say, â€˜You did this to your wife,' I just look at them and laugh and say, â€˜Thank you.' You know? â€˜Go screw yourself.' I normally have a smart-ass remark for people like that," he says.
"Everybody is looking at me, and they're concerned that I'm not curled up in a corner crying about all this or feeling bad about this," he continues. "I've been angry. I'm mad she ran off. I'm mad I've gotten all this publicity I don't want. I think that's a normal reaction. That's what my life has become, and it's kind of commonplace to have these silly things happening to me."
Noting that Drew had a long career in law enforcement, Dr. Phil asks, "If you were involved objectively in this about someone else, would you be suspicious of you?"
"Of course," Drew replies. "Normally, the spouse is always looked at as the one who is responsible for it, and there were circumstances surrounding these things that people would tend to think gave me some sort of motive."
"Do you think your behavior has fed the media scrutiny?"
"In this type of situation, I was very nervous and under a lot of scrutiny, and so it came across as gallows [humor] or unconcerned."
Dr. Phil is baffled by Drew's stoic demeanor. "Even if I had problems in my relationship with my wife, if the mother of my children went missing, I just have to think that would become a focal point of my life to try to find her. Have you looked for her?" Dr. Phil asks.
"We have private investigators that are, in fact, looking for her. But again, we have very limited resources to do that search," Drew replies.
"As you sit here today, what do you think happened here?" Dr. Phil asks.
"I think Stacy ran off with somebody else. I think she got tired of the life she was living. It was a little bit overwhelming for her. She had four kids. She was 23 years old. She just had a situation where her sister died a terrible death from cancer, and I think a combination of all those things was too much for her, and she ran off," Drew responds.
"Did you have any theory about who she would have run off with at the time?" Dr. Phil inquires. "You weren't aware of her having an affair?"
"Not when she ran off, no. Later we found out that she was seeing a few people. And to what extent she was seeing those people, I don't know."
"Those few people, are any of them missing?"
"Not to my knowledge. That's something the Illinois state police is keeping pretty tight to the vest," Drew answers.
Dr. Phil is troubled by the circumstances of the case. "Does it defy logic that a mother of four, without a tremendous amount of resources, could just walk away from her own children and then just disappear leaving no track, no trace, no electronic trail, no car trail, no money trail " any kind of trail that would lead to her being found?" he asks.
"Yes, it does, very much so. It's something that defies logic in my mind, and I can see it defying logic in everybody else's mind," Drew replies.
"Just so we're clear with everybody here, it is your unwavering position that you had nothing to do with her disappearance?" Dr. Phil inquires. "You did not do anything to her detriment, anything untoward whatsoever?"
"That's correct," Drew answers.
"Did you ever threaten harm to her?" Dr. Phil asks.
"We have accounts that have been reported in the media of her saying that you had threatened her, and that if something happened to her that looked like an accident, it wasn't," Dr. Phil says.
"No. I never threatened her and never hurt her," Drew reiterates.