Drew’s stepbrother speaks out—(southtownstar.com)

Original article no longer available.

southtownstar.com

March 10, 2009

By Joe Hosey, Sun-Times News Group

Believing that Stacy Peterson was in a blue barrel that he helped his stepbrother, Drew Peterson, haul to a waiting vehicle, Thomas Morphey tried to kill himself by swallowing antidepressant pills.

Morphey survived the attempt but isn’t sure if that makes him lucky. Instead of death, he now endures each day in a living hell, courtesy of Peterson, he said.

“It kills me,” said Morphey, who broke a near 17-month silence to speak out. “There’s not a day that goes by that I dont wish I could take back the events of that day.”

That day was Oct. 28, 2007. Morphey said he was on the second floor of Peterson’s Bolingbrook house when Peterson appeared, pushing a blue barrel and asking Morphey to help him get it downstairs.

They took the barrel “right out the front door” and to Peterson’s Yukon Denali, which was parked in the driveway, Morphey said. Part of a thick plastic bag was protruding from the lid of the barrel, he said.

Morphey said Peterson, then a Bolingbrook police sergeant, dropped him off at his home and told him, “This never happened.”

“I said, Don’t worry. I wont say a word.”

Stacy Peterson, then 23, has not been seen since, and her disappearance has drawn national media attention – especially after it led to a new investigation of the March 2004 death of Peterson’s previous wife, Kathleen Savio. Her death, initially ruled accidental, was determined to be a murder.

While recovering from his suicide attempt, Morphey spoke to Will County prosecutors and received immunity from prosecution regarding Stacy’s disappearance in exchange for his testimony. Despite the immunity, Morphey has yet to testify before the county grand jury investigating the cases of Peterson’s last two wives.

Nearly 18 months have passed since Morphey first told police and prosecutors his story about assisting Peterson, and he’s questioning the progress of the case, leading him to speak publicly about the last time he was in his stepbrother’s house.

Murder plot?

Morphey said the barrel incident was preceded by Peterson trying to enlist him in a murder plot the day before.

Peterson showed up at his home that Saturday morning, ostensibly to take him to a Meijer store where Peterson supposedly lined up a job interview for Morphey. But Peterson drove Morphey to a park.

“He looked like I’d never seen him before,” Morphey said. “As if he had a frantic evening the night before and hadn’t gotten any sleep. We went to that park to discuss Stacy cheating on him, and he had to take care of the problem.”

He assumed Peterson planned to murder Stacy’s supposed boyfriend.

“I didn’t think for a minute he was going to try to kill her,” Morphey said.

But then Peterson started asking strange questions.

“How much do you love me?” Peterson asked him, and Morphey answered that he loved him a lot.

“Enough to kill for me?” Peterson inquired.

“No, I couldn’t live with myself,” Morphey said.

“Could you live with knowing about it?” Peterson asked.

To which Morphey replied, “Yeah, I guess. We always figured you killed Kathleen.”

Morphey said Peterson then drove him to a storage facility and asked him to rent a unit in Morphey’s name. But Morphey had not brought his state ID, and Peterson, fearing that leaving to get it and returning would attract undue attention, dropped Morphey at home, Morphey said.

A few hours later, Morphey called Peterson and told him, “Sorry. I know you’ve always been there for me, but this is just something I can’t get involved in.”

Peterson said, “OK, I can respect that. Ill get with you later.”

Morphey said he felt as if he was in “hell,” fearing that a life was at stake but not knowing where to turn.

“I couldn’t really go to the police,” he said. “He is the police.”

Now, he said, he must face the consequences of his lack of action.

“It’s just something I have to live with,” Morphey said. “I grew up Catholic. I believe if you take another life, you go to hell.”

Cell phone calls

The night after their trip to the park and the storage center, Peterson showed up unannounced at Morphey’s home to take him for a ride.

“He just started driving,” Morphey said. “I didn’t ask any questions.”

They went to a park off Weber Road where Peterson handed him a cell phone and told him not to answer it, Morphey said. Peterson left. Morphey said he paced back and forth in the dark, wondering, “Is he killing someone?”

About 45 minutes later the phone rang. Then it rang again. Both times, the caller ID showed “Stacy’s cell,” Morphey said, which gave him a “pretty good idea” who was Peterson’s target.

“Really, all I could think when I saw Stacy on the phone was he was killing her while I was standing there,” Morphey said.

Peterson returned to the park within an hour of the calls and told him, “I need a hand at the house moving something. You got time?”

Morphey tried to beg off, explaining how his girlfriend had a medical procedure scheduled early the next morning. But Peterson wasn’t taking no for an answer, Morphey said.

Suicide attempt

The day after the barrel incident, Morphey spoke on the phone with Peterson, telling him he wanted to hang himself, Morphey said. Peterson told him not to worry.

That night, Morphey started drinking again. He spoke on the phone with one of his brothers, whom he had earlier told some details about what happened over the weekend, and the brother told him that he had called the FBI about it.

“Then I said to him, ‘That’s it. It’s over,’ ” Morphey said.

He hung up on his brother and swallowed the two bottles of pills. He said he tried to kill himself to protect his girlfriend and her sons – if he was dead and they knew nothing, they would be safe from Peterson, Morphey reasoned.

But Morphey’s brother had called 911 and reported the suicide threat, and police and paramedics showed up at Morphey’s home and rushed him to the hospital.

On his second day in the hospital, Morphey got his offer of immunity. Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow showed up himself to grant it. He had a couple state troopers with him, and they talked to Morphey in a coffee room.

“It was the first of many interrogations,” he said. “They went easy on me there.”

Morphey figures he has undergone about 40 hours of interrogation. “A lot of good cop-bad cop going on,” he said, as well as threats to pull his immunity. Morphey said he also spent about five months away from his family for his protection.

Wondering whats up

Despite all the interrogation, state police hiding him out in small towns and his immunity agreement, Morphey has yet to testify before the grand jury probing Stacy’s disappearance and Savio’s death. He also has not gotten a call from the state police in quite some time, he said.

“All contact’s pretty much been broken. I dont know what that’s about,” Morphey said, adding that he feels “betrayed.”

A spokesman for the states attorneys office said he could not comment “on any aspect of a pending investigation.”

Since the revelation that authorities believe Morphey helped Peterson dispose of Stacy’s body, Peterson, 55, repeatedly has disparaged his stepbrother. Told of the new interview with Morphey, Peterson said Monday, “He’s lying. He’s hallucinating.”

Last week, Peterson’s attorney, Joel Brodsky, issued a statement in which he said Morphey “has a documented history of severe mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction.”

Morphey concedes he has been diagnosed as manic-depressive, was arrested twice for drunken driving and spent time in rehab after his mother’s death. But he said he has straightened out his life – living with a woman and her three sons for about nine years.

“I just feel like the truth needs to be told at some point,” Morphey said. “At this juncture, I don’t know if I’ll get my day in court.”

He doesn’t know if Peterson will have his day in court either.

“I never would have imagined I’d be sitting here 17 months later, and there hasn’t been an arrest,” he said. “I know what I know. Drew knows what I know.”
_________________________________________________________________________________________

Original article no longer available.

Peterson’s stepbrother finally tells his story

suburbanchicagonews.com

March 10, 2009
By JOE HOSEY jhosey@scn1.com

A summary of what Morphey told police about weekend of Stacy’s disappearance

Believing Stacy Peterson was in the blue barrel he helped his stepbrother haul to a waiting get-away car, Thomas Morphey said he tried to kill himself by swallowing bottles of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety pills.

Morphey survived the attempt but does not know if this makes him lucky.

Instead of death, he now endures each day in a living hell, he says, courtesy of his stepbrother, Drew Peterson.

“It kills me,” said Morphey, who broke a near 17-month silence to speak out last week. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could take back the events of that day.”

Morphey is talking about Oct. 28, 2007. That’s when Drew Peterson, he said, came out of the master bedroom in his home pushing a blue barrel and asked Morphey for a hand in carrying the barrel downstairs.

“I asked him, ‘Shouldn’t we have gloves on?’ He said, ‘No, don’t worry about it,” then hushed Morphey to be quiet.

“That leads me to believe the kids were home, in their rooms,” Morphey said.

Peterson and Stacy, his fourth wife, have two children who lived with them in their Bolingbrook home. Peterson and his third wife, Kathleen Savio, had another two children together who also lived with Peterson and Stacy after Savio was found drowned in a dry bathtub in March 2004.

State police are still investigating the Savio homicide, just as they are probing the October 2007 disappearance of Stacy, a case they consider a “potential homicide.” Morphey said he is quite certain there is nothing “potential” about Stacy being the victim of a homicide. And what he has to say about it led State’s Attorney James Glasgow to offer an immunity deal three days after Stacy was last seen alive.

Morphey got the deal while recovering from an overdose of Paxil and Xanax at Linden Oaks Hospital on Halloween 2007. However, Morphey has yet to deliver it in a courtroom. No arrests have been made in connection with Stacy’s disappearance, and Morphey has not even been called before the grand jury reviewing the cases of both Peterson’s last two wives.

The near year and a half that has passed since he first told police and prosecutors his story has spurred him to question what progress has been made in the case, and to speak out publicly about the last time he was in his stepbrother’s house.

Murder plot?

Morphey said the day before the blue barrel incident, Peterson showed up at his home, ostensibly to take him to a nearby Meijer store, where Peterson, the overnight sergeant for the Bolingbrook Police Department, had supposedly lined up a job interview for Morphey.

But Peterson and Morphey never made it to Meijer. Instead, Morphey said, Peterson drove him to a park off Remington Boulevard.

“We went to that park to discuss Stacy cheating on him, and he had to take care of the problem,” Morphey said.

He assumed Peterson planned to murder someone but that his target was Stacy’s supposed boyfriend.

“I didn’t think for a minute he was going to try to kill her,” he said. Then Peterson started asking strange questions.

“How much do you love me?” Morphey said Peterson asked him, and Morphey answered that he did love him, a lot.

Peterson then asked, “Enough to kill for me?” “No, I couldn’t live with myself,” Morphey said.

Peterson pressed on, asking, “Could you live with knowing about it?”

Morphey replied, “Yeah, I guess. We always figured you killed Kathleen.”

Morphey said Peterson then drove him to a storage facility and asked him to rent a unit, using his own name. Morphey had not brought along his required state identification. Peterson, fearing that leaving to get it and then returning would attract undue attention, dropped Morphey at home, Morphey said.

A few hours later, Morphey said, he called Peterson and told him this was something he couldn’t get involved with. Peterson, he said, replied, “OK, I can respect that.”

Morphey said he feared a life was at stake, but did not know where to turn because Peterson was a police officer. “It’s just something I have to live with,” Morphey said. “I grew up Catholic. I believe if you take another life, you go to hell.”

Morphey and Peterson forged a relationship in the mid 90s, after the marriage of Morphey’s father and Peterson’s mother. After Morphey’s own marraige broke down, he moved in with a sister in Bolingbrook. That’s when he got to know Drew Peterson.

“My son’s a cop there,” Morphey recalled his new stepmother telling him. “He’ll take care of you.”

Since Stacy’s disappearance and the revelation that police believe Morphey helped Peterson dispose of her body, Peterson has repeatedly disparaged his stepbrother.

Told of the interview with Morphey, Peterson said Monday, “He’s lying. He’s hallucinating.” Just last week, Peterson’s attorney, Joel Brodsky issued a statement in which he said Morphey “has a documented history of severe mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction.”

Morphey concedes he has been diagnosed as manic-depressive, was arrested twice for driving under the influence, and did a stint in rehab in the wake of his mother’s death.

Since then, he said, he has straightened out his life. He has lived with the same woman, Sheryl Alcox, and her three sons, 11-year-old twins and an 18-year-old, for almost nine years. The three young men excel academically, and Morphey¹s life would be back together, he believes, if his stepbrother had not come calling the weekend of Oct. 27, 2007.

Cell phone calls

The night after their trip to the park on Remington, and then the storage facility, Morphey said Peterson showed up again. Morphey admits he’d been drinking beer, but claims to have a clear recollection of what transpired.

“He just started driving,” Morphey said. The two men got coffee at a Starbucks drive-through before heading to a park off Weber Road. There, Morphey said, Peterson handed him a cell phone, told him not to answer it, then left.

Morphey said he paced back and forth in the dark, wondering, “Is he killing someone?” About 45 minutes later the phone rang. Then it rang again. Both times, the caller ID showed “Stacy’s cell,” he said. It was then he “got a pretty good idea” that Peterson was not scheming to do in anybody’s boyfriend.

“Really, all I could think when I saw “Stacy” on the phone was he was killing her while I was standing there,” he said.

Peterson returned to the park within an hour of the phone calls, Morphey said, and Drew insisted he help him “at the house moving something.” They went inside the Peterson house, and Morphey noticed all of the children’s bedroom doors were closed. They took the barrel “right out the front door” to Peterson’s Yukon Denali, which was parked in the driveway, Morphey said. Part of a thick plastic bag was protruding from the lid of the barrel, he said.

After loading the barrel, Morphey said, Peterson dropped him off at his home and told him, “This never happened.”

“I said, ‘Don’t worry. I won’t say a word.”

But it did not take Morphey long to talk. Frantic, he left his house and went up the street to see his friend Walter Martineck. He told Martineck everything and stayed at Martineck’s until Alcox called and told him to come home.

Morphey spent the next day at the hospital with Alcox. He spoke on the phone with Peterson, he said, telling him he wanted to hang himself. Peterson, he said, told him not to worry.

When he got home that night, Morphey started drinking again. He spoke on the phone with one of his brothers. He had told the brother some of the details from the past weekend, and the brother told him he called the FBI about it.

Morphey said he hung up on his brother, ate two bottles of pills, and got in bed. He says he tried to kill himself to keep his girlfriend and her sons safe from Peterson. But Morphey’s brother called 911, and soon emergency responders were banging on the door.

Peterson visits

On that Tuesday morning, after returning from Edward Hospital in Naperville, Alcox said Peterson showed up at their door, not long after she saw a story on the TV news about Stacy’s disappearance.

She told Peterson about Morphey’s suicide attempt. He offered his help but said nothing about his wife’s disappearance, she said.

Martineck then arrived and drove Alcox to District 5 State Police Headquarters in Crest Hill. Soon after, troopers headed to the hospital in Naperville. But before they got there, Peterson paid his stepbrother a visit, one Morphey remembers only through the haze of medication. Martineck said the state cops just missed him.

Getting immunity

The next day, Morphey got his offer of immunity. Glasgow showed up himself to grant it. He had a couple state troopers with him, and they talked to Morphey in a coffee room.

“It was the first of many interrogations,” Morphey said. “They went easy on me there.” But the grilling got tougher, he said, with police accusing him of killing Stacy. Morphey figures he underwent about 40 hours of interrogation that included threats to pull his immunity.

Morphey said he spent about five months away from his family for his own protection. The state police first put him and Alcox up in a motel about two hours from his home. Alcox returned after a long weekend.

“I was put at various locations,” he said. “I didn’t know where I’d be staying from one night to the other.” In December, the state police found a permanent location for Morphey out of state, but by “February or March, I just decided enough was enough,” he said.

Police, he said, reluctantly agreed to let him return home.

Holding pattern

That was a year ago. And Morphey has yet to speak a word to the ongoing grand jury convened to hear evidence about Stacy¹s disappearance and Savio’s death.

“All contact’s pretty much been broken,” he said. And Morphey feels “betrayed.”

Charles B. Pelkie, spokesman for the state¹s attorney¹s office, said he was precluded from discussing Morphey’s story. “I can’t comment on any aspect of a pending investigation,” he said.

The state police have told Morphey to keep his mouth shut, Morphey said. But he wants to know what the police are waiting for. “I just feel like the truth needs to be told at some point,” he said. “…I don¹t know if I’ll get my day in court.”

Morphey doesn’t know if Peterson will have his day in court, either.

“I know what I know,” he said. “Drew knows what I know.”