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Inside Drew Peterson's tangled love life

  • Drew Peterson is on trial for death of third wife, Kathleen Savio
  • Failed marriages marked by allegations of infidelity, distrust
Inside Drew Peterson's tangled love life

It's not easy to keep track of the women in Drew Peterson's life. He has been married four times, allegedly cheated on three of his four wives, and was briefly engaged after the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.

As the number of his marriages grew, so did the age difference between Peterson and his wives. His fourth wife was 17 when their affair began and Peterson was 47.

Peterson is facing two counts of first-degree murder for allegedly killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004. For the first three years after Savio's death, it was believed she died from an accidental drowning in her bathtub. It wasn't until Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, went missing in October 2007 that authorities took another look at how Savio died. Savio's body was exhumed and re-examined. A forensic pathologist concluded her death was a homicide. Peterson has pleaded not guilty and has been in jail on $20 million bail since he was arrested on May 7, 2009.

The first wife

Drew Peterson married his first wife and high school sweetheart, Carol Hamilton, in 1974. He was 20, and she was 17. During their marriage, Peterson had an alleged steady girlfriend for a year, and the constant womanizing and cheating led to their divorce in 1980. ABC's Good Morning America spoke with Hamilton, who now goes by her married name Brown, as she described her relationship with Peterson, calling it normal. She said he didn't like her going out to bars at night with her girlfriends.

The second wife

At 28, Peterson wed 23-year-old Victoria Rutkiewicz in 1982, two years after his divorce from Hamilton. Rutkiewicz described her relationship with Peterson to the Chicago Tribune as tumultuous. She testified under oath that Peterson had pulled a gun on her at least three times and threatened to kill her so it would look like an accident. Their marriage ended after nine years.

The third wife

Peterson, 38, married Kathleen Savio, 28, in 1992. Prosecutors say Savio confided in friends and family that she believed Peterson was going to kill her, and he could get away with it, because of his police background and training. Peterson's affair with 17-year-old Stacy Cales started in 2001. Savio learned of the affair later that year after she received an anonymous letter detailing her husband's fling with the teenager.

Read more: The anonymous letter sent to Savio

The fourth wife

Eight days after his divorce from Savio was finalized, Peterson, 49, married 19-year-old Stacy Cales in October 2003. One year later, Savio was found dead in her bathtub; the death was ruled an accident. Prosecutors say Stacy's relationship with Drew was very controlling and abusive, and she also feared that her life was in danger. In 2007, Cales disappeared. In the months before she vanished, Cales was considering a divorce and consulted with Harry Smith, the same divorce attorney who represented Savio in her split from Peterson. Although Peterson has never been charged with Cales' disappearance, Smith may testify during the trial about statements the woman made before she went missing. 

The one that got away?

After Cales disappeared, Peterson found potential wife No. 5, Christina Raines, 24. While it is not known whether the two were officially engaged, Raines eventually called off the relationship. On CBS' The Early Show, Raines said the engagement was a publicity stunt.

Opening statements are set to begin Tuesday. There are no cameras allowed in the courtroom, but In Session on truTV will have a crew in the courthouse to bring you the trial.

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