Kathleen Savio niece, Elizabeth was kind enough to send me the letter her father (Kathleen’s brother Henry) wrote honoring her life. The newspaper didn’t print it in it’s entirety so here it is. As you know Savio’s ex-husband – Bolingbrook Police officer Drew Peterson – sits behind bars awaiting trial for her murder.
Here is the letter my father wrote for our family.
My name is Henry M. Savio. I am the brother of Kathleen Savio. My sister Kathleen was Tom and Kristopher’s mother. I read every new story that is written about the Peterson case; every word that is written that mentions my beloved sister and the man that took her away from our family. I hear every news-cast and wonder if they feel anything when they read. Sometimes the news focuses on Stacy, the missing fourth wife of Drew Peterson. I know what they are going through. I pay attention when I hear people remark on the case. My reality is that my sister has become a news case. My sister, the girl that I grew up with that I expected I would know forever, reduced to a case for everyone to speculate about.
I am writing this because I want to hear something about my sister that does not involve, include or revolve around Drew Peterson or his family. While people know my sister’s name they don’t know anything about her. She has been dehumanized and reduced to a case that people speculate about in the lunch room as a distraction from a tedious day at work. Now when I see a case like this on the news, I do consider what the families of these victims and go through. I wish that everyone watching this case or other similar cases would take a moment to imagine someone they love becoming what might as well be a number. People have a morbid fascination with death and tragedy. We want to feel something and when we turn on the news and are safe in our homes it is easy to say, “That poor woman, I hope he gets what he deserves”. It matters to me a great deal that my sister’s death is avenged but it won’t bring her back. When all the news shifts to another tragedy that is dragging out in the courts and in the media, we will still be here and she will still be gone.
Kathleen “Kitty” Savio was a bright, determined and spirited woman. She was considerate and compassionate towards others. She had that “IT” factor that beautiful women often posses. She was one of those women that commanded your attention just by entering a room. People that knew her loved her. People that did not know her, noticed her. People left behind mourn her.
I know that this is probably not going to be published or edited out but she was afraid for herself and made this known to all of us. None of us could have conceived it would end this way. No one ever thinks this will happen to them and when it does, it happens too quickly to comprehend it. We lost her because we did not think this could happen. My children have lost an Aunt, and they think of that everyday. Her downfall was that she was not going to continue to be abused. She was not complacent and she was not going to subject her children to a home filled with anger and control. Kris and Tom both know the abuse that she endured, and they prayed for that abuse to stop as well. She was a fighter. She was not a quitter and that was her demise. Kathleen Savio was not a victim. She was courageous until the end of her life, and she was their mother.
To her son, Thomas, I am glad that you are moving on with your life. Your mother would be proud of everything you are achieving. Every goal you accomplish is a testament to the first 11 years of your life, what was instilled in you by her. You were faced with the worst tragedy a child can know, the death of your Mother; my sister. I am grateful that the Kathleen’s estate is paving the way for your education in the medical field. We realize that that is what will be getting you through school. My only hope is that as you continue your medical studies the facts in your mother’s case will interest you enough that you may find the evidence, weigh it out, and contemplate things that are not visible to you now. Not to mention, the whereabouts of your stepmother Stacy, and the question where she really is. My children, and family tried to make contact with you but it was not allowed. Your father for all that is he is or isn’t, was clear in what was not to be allowed. Not only did I lose my sister but I lost her children, something I know would not make her happy. Sadly, I know that she would understand. If you ever want to reach out and remember your mother through the memory of people who loved her, reach out to me. I am heartbroken that you would consider or believe that I would not want you and your brother in my life. You are my sister’s child and therefore engrained in my life whether you know or acknowledge it. Kathleen will always resonate in her family’s lives. If our lives continue to move separately and our paths never cross, I hope that you will keep your mother’s memory because very soon, everyone else will forget our family and move on with their lives. I will never forget you. You will always be in our hearts.
Your Uncle, and the Savio Family,
Henry M. Savio.