Of all the recent odd sights at the end of Bolingbrook's Pheasant Chase Court, one of the most surprising arrived in a shiny black jacket last week.

Greta Van Susteren.

The woman who attracts 1.4million viewers nightly as host of Fox News' "On the Record" was hunched in Sharon Bychowski's kitchen, scratching a brown dachshund, Tootsie.

As a friend and next-door neighbor of Stacy Peterson -- the mother of two whose disappearance has become the focus of massive searches and media coverage -- Bychowski already had several brushes with fame, as evidenced by the Fox News salt and pepper shakers on her table and the navy blue "Good Morning America" baseball cap and T-shirt ensemble that lay on a nearby counter.

In a quiet cul-de-sac where residents more commonly see kids on bicycles than TV personalities, Van Susteren's arrival was just the latest entry into the chaos that has enveloped the tiny strip of Bolingbrook where Stacy's husband, Drew Peterson, is holed up as the primary suspect in her disappearance.

The case has become the Illinois State Police's top priority and has been infused with additional officers, a source close to the investigation said.

In a media age where the competition to break news is fierce and public hunger for instant information seems insatiable, some cases have blown up into celebrity stories: Chandra Levy, Laci Peterson, Natalee Holloway, and now, Stacy Peterson. Most of the stories have common themes, including attractive victims who were at first missing persons, but the Bolingbrook case offers extra curiosities: Thirty years separate Stacy Peterson, 23, and her cop husband, 53, whose third wife died under mysterious circumstances.

"We like to believe we select stories based on their merits," said Steve Katz, supervising producer of "America's Most Wanted," which is preparing a lengthy segment on the case this week. "But we're human beings and all kinds of value judgments come into play."

During the last three weeks, TV crews have arrived on the Petersons' street most days about 4:30 a.m. and left about 11p.m. By midday, the street grows crowded with reporters, including those from the Tribune and other newspapers.

Carol Shelton, 65, who lives next door to the Petersons, has been keeping track of TV reporters she recognizes. She's up to 19. But as her parkway grass turns yellow beneath journalists' shoes, she said, the demands are getting ridiculous. Sure, she let the 5-month pregnant TV reporter use her bathroom, but there was no way she or her husband would let the guy from CBS use her computer even though he had forgotten his laptop.

The bright lights, the idling trucks, the exhaust -- she's ready for it all to go away.

"I've just had enough," Shelton said.

"My question is, what are you people waiting for? I know it's your job, but I'm just frustrated."

Part of the interest is undoubtedly the result of Drew Peterson himself, whose public persona has been morphing by the week as questions swirl about Stacy Peterson and his ex-wife, Kathleen Savio, who was found dead shortly after their divorce.

At first, when only local media were at his door, Drew Peterson, a Bolingbrook police sergeant, lamented in a few solemn, off-camera interviews that Stacy Peterson had run off with another man.

As the spotlight intensified and media began camping outside his two-story home, Drew Peterson went into hiding. He appeared infrequently and only with his face obscured, once by a bandanna and another time by a hoodie, when he offered a nonsensical blurb that was replayed incessantly on TV: "What do you get when you cross the media with a pig? ... You get nothing, because there's some things a pig won't do."

But now Drew Peterson seems less put off by the attention, appearing twice on the "Today" show in a week, posing for a People magazine photo spread in his back yard Monday and increasingly hamming it up for reporters.

In a loose 15-minute exchange Monday morning, he advised a TV camera operator to lose weight and told a Tribune photographer he needed a better camera.

Meanwhile, the media seems to become an ever-greater player in the case; more TV programs and publications are taking on the story and, some would argue, inserting themselves into it.