The Cheshire Murders (2013) Movie Script

Cheshire Emergency.
My name is Mary Lyons,
I'm the banking center manager.
We have a lady who is
in our bank right now
who says that her
husband and children
are being held at their house.
The people are in a car
outside the bank.
She is getting $15,000
to bring out to them.
That if the police are told, they will
kill the children and the husband.
Her name is Jennifer Petit.
Is she still in the bank?
Yes, she is.
She's being held...
- Her husband...
- Husband and family is being held?
- Yes.
- At their house?
Yes. They're tied up.
She said they drove her here.
I'm trying to look
and see where she's gone.
She went outside, but I don't...
Oh, wait, I see her walking now.
She is petrified.
Again, facts like that I
can't comment on. Okay.
And a male survivor.
Upon arrival at
the victims' residence,
the first officer observed
two male subjects
exit private residence
and also observed
the private residence
fully engulfed in flame.
The suspect vehicle rammed the
Cheshire police officer's car
and continued
on Sorghum Mill Road.
Tonight, police removed
the body of one of the victims
after a home invasion leaves a
mother and her two daughters dead.
The suspects,
26-year-old Joshua
Komisarjevsky of Cheshire
and 44-year-old
Steven Hayes of Winsted
were caught while trying
to escape in the Petits' car.
Now, the only question
remains that why
did this happen
to the Petit family?
There's not one word that I
can use to describe our town,
but it's a phenomenal town.
It's known as the
bedding capital of Connecticut,
for bedding plants.
It was historically a farming
community. A lot of family farms...
And, as the state
of Connecticut grew,
as the cities surrounding
the town of Cheshire grew,
it ultimately became
a bedroom community,
which I think is the, uh, probably the
way most people think of Cheshire.
Returning now
to tonight's top story.
A mother and her
two daughters are dead,
their father severely injured,
after a home invasion
stunned the town of Cheshire.
The suspects
apparently set the house on fire
as well as some of the victims.
Jennifer Petit,
her cause of death
has been asphyxiation
from strangulation.
Her daughters Hayley and Michaela
died from smoke inhalation.
I got a phone
call here on Monday afternoon
from Billy's sister,
and I said, "Hannah, it's
about the girls, isn't it?"
And she said,
"These two men came in
"at what they think was
3:00 in the morning
"and they beat Billy really
badly with a baseball bat
"and his head's all split apart,
"and then they proceeded to do
"all these awful things
to the girls,
"and they tied them
to their beds."
"About 9:00, Jen was made
to go to the bank
"and withdraw money
"and then when she came
back from the bank,
"they set the house on fire
and killed them all
"so that they could try to cover
up their tracks, I guess,"
"but they got the two guys."
And all I could think was, "Who
cares if they got the two guys?
"We don't have our
loved ones anymore,"
"and that's all we had."
Wild Lingonberry. Have
you ever had that?
It's from England, somewhere.
The hardest thing I think
I've ever had to do in my life
was to tell my parents that
one of their other children,
their only other child,
was dead,
and their two grandchildren,
two of their four.
She quickly told
us that the home was set on fire,
but Bill escaped.
We went to the hospital and got
to see Bill for the first time.
He was badly beaten
and he tried to apologize to
us for not saving our daughter
and our grandchildren.
And we had to convince him that
he was in no condition
to be able to save anyone
and we were grateful...
That he was alive.
That he was alive.
This is the last sort of
picture that we had together.
My sister...
She was beautiful.
And she was usually, like, the
lead in the plays at school.
She was on the homecoming court.
She was captain of
the Trojanette team.
So she really was kind
of like a winner person.
Bill was a
committed, dedicated doctor.
Would leave at, uh,
7:00 in the morning
and not be back home
until maybe 9:00, 9:30.
When Jen was diagnosed
with multiple sclerosis,
Hayley really wanted
to raise money because
she felt like if she didn't do anything,
it was possible that her mother could die.
Hayley was able
to raise a little over $50,000
being a spokesperson for the MS
Society here in Connecticut,
receiving awards for that,
although you'd never know it.
I hardly
knew about Hayley helping with MS,
and that was just because she was
just so quiet about everything.
She could have bragged
about everything she did,
I mean, she was
a straight "A" student.
I think about her all the time.
It's hard not
to think about her.
You'll find just something
to relate to her about.
Michaela sometimes
shied away from adults,
but if she saw somebody
was having a difficult time,
she went to them and tried to
help with whatever she could.
Their lives
were just centered around
a sense of sociability,
uh, justice.
And if I didn't smile about
it, I'd have to cry.
these two losers followed.
Jennifer Hawke-Petit
and her 11-year-old daughter
to the Stop and Shop
on Sunday night.
They followed them.
And the first Cheshire police
officer to arrive at the scene
heard at least one of the girls
screaming from inside the house.
Those animals, what they did
to those poor people
of Cheshire,
I can't even believe that they're
gonna give them a trial.
What kind of laws do
we have in this state
where they don't just
execute those animals?
Well, Tony, the reaction
by the public certainly
is for that, but it is...
To destroy a family
the way those two did...
My verdict?
Fry 'em.
Hang 'em.
Do whatever you gotta do.
Make sure they ain't
gonna walk this earth again.
Can we switch?
You need more?
Yeah. I'm gonna need more.
I don't think evil like this has
happened since In Cold Blood.
I really don't.
Not that I know of.
And we went from being a quiet, peaceful
town in New England to, overnight,
people installing alarm systems and
panic buttons and panic rooms.
People in town refer
to it as Cheshire's 9/11.
You know, life was one way
and then it's another.
God has promised to be with
us through thick and through thin.
All other ground
is indeed sinking sand.
Well, first of all, uh...
Thank you.
For all coming out today to
honor the memory of the girls.
I'd really like to
say thank you to
people from all over the state of
Connecticut and all over the country.
We've been
surrounded with love and
cards and flowers and prayer
from east to west
and north to south.
I met Jen at, uh, Children's
Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Before med.
She was a new nurse
and I was the know-it-all
third-year medical student.
I was trying to correct Jen
on how to take blood pressure
the correct way.
Since I had about 3 minutes
of experience at that point.
But it became clear
pretty quickly that, uh,
she knew more about pediatrics
and how to care for kids
than I had ever known.
One of the nice things...
Billy had never smelled smoke.
He had never seen a fire.
He had said that the only
thing he ever heard
of my sister was her, like,
pleading nicely with these two men,
"Can you please
let me get my purse,"
"or they'll know that
something is up at the bank."
He had his legs tied together and he
hopped up the outside basement steps.
And he said,
"But sometimes I wish.
"I would've just
gone to the inside
"because then maybe,
even if I had died in there,"
"I could've done something."
And I said, "No, Billy. You
couldn't have done anything."
"Attached to a pole with
your hands and feet tied
"in the basement with about
6 to 8, 3 to 4 inch"
"openings in your skull?"
And we knew that the police did not help
my brother-in-law out of the house.
So the chances that he lived,
surviving the blood loss,
are just miraculous in my mind.
Joining me
on the phone right now is.
Lieutenant Jay Markella,
the Public Information Officer
for the Cheshire
Police Department.
Thank you for joining us.
Thank you for having me.
Very little detail coming
out about exactly what happened.
Was it when police showed up that
they found the house on fire
and caught these suspects?
Because they were caught
leaving the burning house.
Yeah. It worked out
so officers arrived on scene
just as the suspects
were leaving the residence.
Okay. I don't know how far
we should go back, but...
I'm a very
detective-like person.
I like to know details,
and until I know the details
around things, it's hard
to figure things out.
I would like to know why
my sister and Steven Hayes
weren't stopped at the bank?
Why she wasn't held at the bank?
There were some police
officers that, off the record,
said to people in the town
that they heard the girls
screaming in the end.
Did they try to enter or
did they not try to enter?
And why weren't there policemen
looking in the windows?
My sister had no blinds
on her windows.
I just want the facts.
And nobody has told us
what really happened.
And today,
a state prosecutor said
he'll seek the death penalty
for Komisarjevsky and Hayes.
Today, the state charged the men with six
counts each of capital felony murder.
I was driving back
from the Adirondacks with my wife,
coming through the Berkshires.
Not a care in the world.
And I get a cell phone call.
Probably why I turned
pale was because,
you know, I had
a sense as a lawyer
where this was headed
right from the beginning.
You know, capital case, death
penalty case, high profile.
And in my own head,
I knew right away
that that case was
coming in to this office
and that I'd be involved.
Steven Hayes
and Mr. Komisarjevsky
were coming into Meriden
court for arraignment.
Right from the first
time that we met,
Steven Hayes was
suicidal, depressed.
Just doesn't really understand
how this all happened.
His record is lengthy.
He's got all these burglaries.
Most involve car burglaries.
In this state, burglary
includes the break-in of a car.
And they were all daytime.
He'd sit and watch. People would park
their cars. They'd go walking on a trail.
Break into their car and take a
laptop or a radio or a phone.
So you were not
dealing with someone
who had the kind of classic
history of violence
and all of a sudden
stepped into the big time
in terms of the next level of violence.
You just didn't have it.
There was no reason that anyone would
ever look at that history and think,
"Well, this guy's gonna do
something really bad one day."
The first time
that I found out about my dad.
I was probably about
five years old.
He would, like,
take me to the movies
and he really tried to be
that father figure to me,
but for whatever reason, he just
couldn't stay out of trouble
and so when he
went back to jail,
like, he would write to me
and I would write back
and that was our way
of communicating.
"Dear Alicia, hello, honey,
and how are you doing?
"I haven't heard
from you in a while
"and neither has Grandma.
"I want so bad
never to hurt you again
"and I feel like I am
because I'm still here.
"Every day, I wake up wondering
if today will be the day
"that my name is called."
"The stress is
almost unbearable..."
When I first found out
about the incident,
I just came back
from the police academy.
And my mind was just like... I told him
to call me if something was wrong.
I needed to talk to him. I
needed to get answers from him.
What made him get together with
this one guy and do what they did?
Whose idea was it?
Was it just one or was it
both or did it just happen?
It's just like,
there's no easy answer,
and I might not like the
answer I get, but it's all...
It's all just, "Why?"
The details of 26-year-old
Joshua Komisarjevsky's past
are more in-depth, and some
say even more disturbing.
His rap sheet reveals a...
We were
right in the kitchen here
and we got a call
from my brother Ben,
and he said, "I think
Josh has been involved"
"in this home invasion."
And I said to him,
I said, "Home invasion?"
"This was a murder."
"And Josh was involved?"
So you see the name spelled out,
the Komisarjevsky name,
and you sit there and you
hold your head in your hands
and you can't believe it.
And you want to cry.
This young man's a monster,
and that is not the way
that we as members
of this family behave.
We spent all
of our time in Cheshire
and we lived in a home that was
a home of arts and letters.
This is my aunt
Vera Komisarjevsky,
one of the foremost actresses
in the Russian stage,
and there's a theater in St.
Petersburg that's named after her.
And this is my father
Theodore Komisarjevsky,
theater director,
architect, costume designer.
When we drove up to Cheshire,
my brother's house was
just swarmed with media
knocking on the door, trying
to get statements from them.
I think it's hard for anybody to be able
to deal with that kind of a situation,
but probably more so for them
because they were individuals
who basically had
withdrawn from many
aspects of public life.
They ultimately posted a notice
on the outside of their door,
but that was it.
And from that time on,
they've had nothing to say.
It was so disappointing,
because I knew I was the last
person, therapeutically,
that met with Josh
and could really
paint a picture of him
in a different light.
And I knew that the media and
most people's opinion of him
would go against what
I saw and what I knew.
Josh just wanted to do
better things with his life.
Staying clean,
reconnecting with his family,
and possibly going forward with an
education, to become an architect.
I saw someone who created
some beautiful designs.
These sketches.
I mean, this kid was amazing.
This is something
that's unnatural.
This is pure talent.
He had to have practiced this
and worked on this for years.
But when we talk about the...
Just the pure evil.
How am I gonna go in there and tell
them that this was a good kid,
and that I was
really close to him,
after what he did?
Joshua was a little,
skinny, frail kid.
I saw him behind the bars.
He had on his, uh,
cream-colored jail uniform.
He was slight.
He was polite.
He's adopted.
He went from regular school
special ed to home school.
This whole package
didn't make sense to me.
Burglary, burglary, burglary,
burglary, and burglary.
Genius that he is, and he is
a genius in some respects,
with a photographic memory
and attention to detail
that no normal mind
could possibly retain,
he told them every
burglary he did.
He knew every item he took, passports,
what dumpsters he threw it in.
Joshua could get into
a third floor,
steal things, know which
denominations of bills he took,
a year later, two years later.
Tell you where each wallet was, what
kind of pants they were taken from,
where the pants were on the floor,
or on the bedpost, in the closet.
Stay there for hours,
not get caught.
Joshua used relatively sophisticated
equipment for a burglar.
Night vision goggles,
latex gloves.
After he robbed the house,
he would stay there,
on occasion, and listen
to the people breathing,
and go from room to room, listening
to the occupants breathing,
for no apparent purpose.
That was the frightening
part of it.
He'd rob state troopers'
houses, which takes some guts.
"And I said," Judge,
he needs to be watched.
"This kid is sick.
"You're never gonna
see him again
"or he's gonna be the worst criminal
to pass through these doors,
"because that's the kind
of a mind he's got."
There was no
obvious flag here...
"No obvious flag," the new chairman
of the Board of Pardons and Paroles
says that the two
suspects in the brutal.
Cheshire home invasion
and triple murder
were capable of doing
what they allegedly did.
There's no evidence
that we've seen yet
that they were recently...
Uh, failed any drug tests.
They were both employed.
They were both living in what
appeared to be stable households.
Komisarjevsky was
arrested for 18 home invasions,
and the warning bells in there
should have been
ringing very loudly.
Under a ten-year-old law, the
prosecutors are supposed to
order a transcript of
the sentencing preceding
and send that along
to the parole board.
I mean, I used to be
a prosecutor.
I helped write this law
I'm talking about.
Because I knew that
it's at the sentencing
that you really find out
everything you need to know
about this offender
and the crime.
The problem is,
none of this ever got
to the Department
of Corrections.
None of this ever got
to the parole board.
So, from the point of view of
the Department of Corrections,
they got a first time ever
incarcerated inmate.
Young, white, bright,
home schooled, remorseful,
never identified as a person
with high mental health needs
because he didn't come across
as that type of person.
He was a real manipulator.
The typical sentence
for burglary
is a maximum of ten years
in prison for each offense.
Komisarjevsky could have still
been locked up for two lifetimes.
It was possible.
It didn't happen.
I went to Bank of
America to open a new account
and Mrs. Petit
was at the counter.
All I saw was white blond hair
and a white piece of paper.
The teller handing it
to the manager
and the manager really just running
right behind me to her office.
And she just left.
It's very delicate.
Three lives were taken
that should not have been.
Things happened
in a manner that...
And I'm not saying the police...
Because when you have a hostage
situation, you wait until...
You have to assess.
But she was screaming
for her life.
He's in the basement. Conscious.
Bound by the ankles.
Daughter loose upstairs.
She was a very strong girl.
How did it happen?
Cheshire Police.
No one is talking.
No one.
Lieutenant, good morning, sir.
Good morning, Dan.
First of all, uh,
the Cheshire Police Department
in their response
to this initial call
was absolutely outstanding.
Uh, they did a stellar job.
Uh, the Chief and all those
personnel in Cheshire PD
deserve a lot of
praise and credit...
People are
asking about a timeline, you know,
when did this occur,
when did that occur?
We don't detail
that information.
That's... That's...
That's not something
that really the public really needs to
be concerned about at this point in time
and it has more of an impact
on the case itself.
Um, you know, the type
of injury, the scene
that one may try to
envision in their mind,
we're not gonna detail that.
We're not gonna discuss, um,
you know, how someone died...
Over and above manner and cause,
which, we'll give manner
and cause of death,
but we're not gonna get into great
graphic detailed description.
Um, you know, we're not
gonna talk about assaults.
We're not gonna
talk about weapons.
Say what we don't know.
What happened?
And the next...
...the ensuing half-hour.
Between the time
Hayes and Hawke-Petit
returned home?
- Mmm-hmm.
- And the time...
I don't want to say, "The first
Cheshire police." MAN 1: No.
They were arrested
coming out of the house?
Time they were arrested.
"That may only be
answered at trial."
If you can answer some of the
questions, go ahead and do that.
And then, uh...
There's so little
information and there's so many
rumors and innuendo circulating.
People are clamoring
to find out what happened.
The Day possibly proposed
that William Petit was
somehow involved.
The sooner, I think, we
get all the information,
the sooner folks can
really start healing,
because the unknown is just as
frightening as what happened, in a way.
You have all these people saying
all this stuff, you know?
Just tell us what happened, and,
uh, then we can deal with it.
It's almost
like not knowing is...
Kind of keeps that
wound open, you know?
I don't know. It's gonna be a
while 'till we see trial, so...
It's starting to pan out that
the state's claim is pretty strong.
Overwhelmingly strong.
And that what's at stake at
this case is life or death.
You have the gasoline
aspect of it.
You know, the sexual assault.
Horrible crime scene photos.
You have the right defendant.
You have the right perpetrator.
What do we do?
Isn't this the case
that death is warranted?
And, um...
And I can't accept that.
Once you allow the death
penalty to go forward,
then the next case comes along,
and it's okay for the next case
because that crime was horrifying,
and what if that's a mistake?
What if that's an innocent guy?
And this notion that, if you execute
somebody, you know, you'll save money.
You know, that's the furthest
thing from the truth.
You know, we have
pretty much a blank check.
So, I'm reminding
everybody, listen,
Steven Hayes is ready to plead
guilty to all of these charges
and take a sentence of life without
the possibility of release.
It'll be over now.
You know?
There'd be...
The case would be done,
there wouldn't be any appeals,
we'd stop spending
all this money,
um, we would not have to traumatize
everybody with the facts of this case.
As a United Methodist minister,
I am a minister
of a church at large
that is opposed
to capital punishment.
That has put me between
a rock and a hard place.
We certainly don't, um,
approve of torture
of people, uh,
but we feel that there
has to be some justice
in how people are dealt with
when they are so inhumane
in their treatment of others.
You know,
it just makes me want to cry.
Jennifer, Hayley, and Michaela,
they were kind
and they were sweet.
They looked out for other people,
they cared about other people,
and, uh, spent their time
helping people,
so for them to suffer,
you know, horrific...
Horrific deaths
seems incredibly unjust.
I mean, it would seem
incredibly unjust for anybody,
but obviously they were
the three people
that I knew and loved
the best in the world,
and it just...
The contra...
The contra...
The opposition of the...
Just absolute evil
that attacked us
versus the goodness
that they represented is...
Is just worlds apart.
A benign visit to the grocery store
to get milk, bread, toilet paper.
Oh, and People magazine,
because a family
that my brother killed
is on the front cover.
And my brother's
picture is in it.
He raped a woman.
He choked her to death.
He poured gasoline
on two little girls
and he set them on fire.
How does a person do that?
They paroled him in November...
He peed funny,
and so they threw him back,
and they paroled him
five months later.
I... Personally, they're fucking
stupid 'cause they don't get it.
You don't care enough about
the people in your society
to put these type of people
back out on the street.
And I want to say that...
It's really tough for me to say because
one of those people is my brother.
Steven at birth,
or soon thereafter.
Steven around three.
Steven around five.
Matthew around one,
Matthew around three.
Then we get into these.
Steven, Matthew, Brian.
Where I got the blond
hair, I have no idea.
Dad. That's where
you got it.
You, Kathryn, and...
And, uh, Steven
all had the light hair.
Who is Steve?
He's manipulating,
he's, uh, deceptive,
and he's my brother.
God, look at that.
And I remember that. See,
look at where his hands are.
I remember that day. He was
pinching me, he was grabbing me.
I mean, look, I'm about to
frickin' burst out in tears here.
He's just laughing
his little ass off.
Fuckin' noodge.
Always. Manipulator.
"Mom, it's not me,
it's Matt." Yeah.
Mom and her three boys.
And that's probably
the first Christmas
since 1979
that all three of us were in
the same room for Christmas.
Only to go back to jail again.
You know, this is the evolution
of Steven in prison life.
Monday, when I
saw it on the news,
all's I heard was that there was
the home invasion and whatnot,
and it seemed like
something Steve would do.
But if he'd never... With the
smashing of the police cars
and the breaking and entering
and stuff like that.
But the killing, the
raping, and the burning.
That could've been Josh.
I don't know who was
the mastermind.
Well, obviously,
neither one of them,
because they got caught,
and they did something...
Well, being a mastermind
doesn't mean that
you don't get caught.
Honestly, you know, it is,
It is the
equivalent of the perfect storm.
If he wasn't smoking
drugs, then, you know,
I say flip the switch
and fuck the trial.
Flip the switch.
I hope it doesn't
even go that far.
As nasty as it sounds,
I hope somebody puts
a bullet in his head.
That's not gonna happen.
Outside the courtroom.
He's in solitary confinement.
Yeah, well...
They will...
They will keep him away
from every God-living soul.
When he's on his way into the
courtroom, he has to get out somewhere.
They're not gonna risk his life,
because the state
wants to kill him.
They're not gonna give that
privilege up to anybody else.
You know, I think that it
should be the death penalty.
Both my daughters, Clarice and
Caroline, had a relationship with Joshua.
And I believe that he
picked my daughters out
due to the fact that they
looked like they're very young.
When Josh wanted to marry Caroline,
we had a phone conversation.
I don't know if Josh was asking for my
blessing, but in that phone conversation,
I said, "Joshua, I have
two major concerns."
"One is, I think
you're a career criminal."
And then the second
thing I shared with him
is that's he was a pedophile.
And in both of those, he...
He never really
changed his voice.
Um, all I remember
him saying is,
"I'm sorry
you feel that way."
"Dear Caroline,
good evening, sweetheart.
"When I wake every morning, the
sun is just starting to rise.
"Its light dances
across your picture,
"radiating your beautiful
eyes and pretty smile.
"It's the best part of the day.
"A calming mix of hope,
beauty, and tranquility.
"Take care, Caroline. Smile.
Someone's thinking of you.
"Strength and honor,
sincerely, Joshua."
"P.S. Miss you."
We called Joshua
the hopeless romantic.
That was the biggest
side I loved about him,
because, how many guys are
out there that are romantic?
You know?
Not very many.
And he was super romantic,
and that's the way I am.
I'm super romantic.
When I went to Cheshire,
we would go around
the neighborhoods,
the rich neighborhoods,
and he'd look at
all these houses
and be like, "Man, you
know, I want to live in
"something that nice
and that gorgeous."
He wanted to have a family.
He was like, "I want a family.
"You know,
a good family."
"I don't want something
that's broken."
"If I were home,
I would have sent flowers
"and some sort of
creative surprise
"with this little note
of admiration.
"Actually, if I were home,
"I would have shown up
in person"
"and, well, who knows."
Me and Joshua did have a very
sexually active relationship
and he did like to tie me up
and, of course, you know,
I was the submissive one,
and sometimes I was
the dominant one.
But most of the time,
I was submissive.
Joshua always asked me, you
know, "Is this too tight?"
"Are you okay?"
Joshua always was concerned.
Joshua was definitely a soul mate
and that's what killed me the most.
I saw Steve and Josh together every day.
Every day.
They were always talking.
Um, because Steve was...
Steve was very,
very versed in recovery.
Um, Steve knew the NA
book back and front.
His nickname was "Mr. NA."
And I think Josh kind of
absorbed a lot of it
and was able to get
that knowledge from Steve.
"For this addict, drugs
are not my main problem.
"I am my main problem. My
self-destructive attitude and behavior.
"What I like about getting
high is to escape my feelings.
"I've self-medicated so much."
"I don't know how
to feel anymore."
This is his own words.
He's writing this.
"...unresolved anger controls
me, it haunts me day and night.
"Sometimes to the
point of obsession,"
"even scary fantasy."
You know, one of the comments
that Steven had shared with me
was he didn't know
what was gonna happen
but something big had to happen
because he had to get away
from my mother's house.
May to July, uh,
in a one-bedroom apartment,
my mother in the bedroom, Steven
on the couch, me on the floor.
You know, I didn't
ever want to be home.
I just didn't,
so I'd stay out until
I had to come home
to go to sleep,
because I couldn't stand to
be in the same room with him.
And then I'd be lying,
making believe
I'm sleeping in the morning
while he's having coffee
with my mom
just runnin' all his
bullshit out of his mouth
about how he's gonna
take care of her
and he's gonna be
making all this money.
He's going to reshift
and reshape my mother's life
and get them a bigger
place, and, you know,
it's gonna be Steven
taking care of Mom and...
On a scale from here to here,
there was that much of me
that actually believed
it was gonna happen.
We got into a very physical
confrontation one night,
and he broke three of my ribs,
and gave me a black eye.
And, you know, I probably should
have had him arrested then
because that would have been
violation of probation.
Then he would've went to jail and
none of this would've ever happened.
Things were
already falling apart.
The lies that Steven
had been telling
for the last two months
were coming back.
My mother was
finding out about it.
She was getting ready
to boot him out.
"I don't care what
you have to do.
"You need a halfway house.
I don't care."
"Get out of my house."
So that was Friday.
I don't know the
specifics of what happened
Saturday and/or Sunday,
but, you know,
things were definitely
ramping up to something.
A day or
two before the crime occurs,
Steven saw that his life was
once again going downhill,
and he says that he locks
himself in a hotel room
with crack cocaine and heroin
and goes on this drug binge
with a desire and hope
that he would kill himself.
He leaves the hotel room
feeling like he's failed
at this suicide attempt, leaving
him, in his view, more desperate.
He shows up at an AA meeting in
Hartford, and there's Joshua.
And Joshua started
talking to him about
ways to make some real money.
The last contact I had with him
before the crime, I think, was
Sunday night?
We said our usual good night's and "I
love you" and then the next morning,
I tried to get a hold of Joshua.
Me and my mom were walking to the
car and I looked at my mom, I go,
"Mom, something's wrong."
I was like, "Joshua's not
answering his phone.
"I think
something happened."
I was like, "Something
definitely is wrong."
Ms. Komisarjevsky
did call me on...
I'm pretty sure it was Monday,
and she told me that
Joshua went out late that night
and he was wearing dark
clothings, like his hoodie.
And Ms. Komisarjevsky
told me that
he only does that when he's
going out to rob houses.
The lights that the candles make
I think can help
to radiate the, uh...
Uh, the love that's needed.
Well, they're gonna ring the bells
at the churches for three minutes.
Uh, one minute for each
of the Petit women.
remember that last summer,
at what police describe
as a random home invasion.
And, of course, the darkness
that happened on that day
will never be forgotten.
But perhaps for the first time
tonight, there is a glimmer of hope
that perhaps some good
could come from this evil.
Now, the money raised here
will stay in Connecticut
and go to the foundation
that was founded
by Dr. Petit in the names
of his daughters.
Michaela Miracle
and Hayley's Hope and...
- Good morning, everyone.
- Good morning.
This is a hearing in a...
A continued hearing in
a matter of a complaint
brought by Colin Poitras
and the Hartford Courant
against Chief of Fire
Department, town of Cheshire...
We applied
through the town of Cheshire
for more material right after
the crime took place.
We finally got new
information yesterday.
A complete transcript from
the time of the initial call
from the bank official regarding Mrs.
Petit being at the bank
saying she might be held hostage
to the time the two suspects
were arrested outside
the Petit household.
And our review of this document,
which is heavily edited
to protect potential witnesses,
the town has told us,
raises the possibility
that officers on alert
could have maybe stopped this car
with the suspect and Mrs. Petit
as they were coming home
from the bank.
Um, perhaps could've beat
them back to the house.
Could've separated the two
suspects at that time
and maybe things would've
had a different outcome.
And what's still out
there is no one knows
what the initial 911 call said.
What the bank official said
to police when she called.
What were they told?
Was it clear?
Did they know they
have a hostage crisis?
There's always more information
that is yearned for, um,
either in a journalistic sense,
a due diligence reporting sense,
and sadly, in a salacious sense.
So, it is hard to say, "No, I don't
have anything to tell you right now."
Over and over again.
Upon arrival
at the victims' residence,
the first officer observed
the private residence
fully engulfed in flame.
Yeah, it worked out
so officers arrived on scene
just as the suspects
were leaving the residence.
I get really tired
of the stories that say,
"Oh, by the time the police showed up,
the house was already in flames."
And that's not true at all.
When Billy came
out of the house,
he was pretty sure that he saw men
in the woods hiding behind trees,
and we think those were
all the police officers.
And he was calling out
to a neighbor
while hopping across the
yard, tied and badly beaten.
That should have raised
the police eyebrows to say,
"What are they
doing in there?"
"We need to get in there
and find out."
That's why
I wrote letters to the police.
I felt like, and I expressed
in my letter that...
That their... Their goal
was to catch the men,
whoever were guilty,
and above and beyond
the saving of lives.
And I felt their priorities
were very much askew.
Why didn't they just have a bullhorn
or something saying, you know,
"This house is surrounded.
"You're not going to
get out of this alive,"
"so come on out?"
Why didn't you
just go to the door
and break a window or something
and go into that house?
You know, my... My whole
inner person said,
"These were
precious people."
"Why didn't you
enter the house?"
We've asked a lot of
questions, written a lot of letters.
But they have not sat with me
and they have not
sat with my parents
to tell us what happened and
what unfolded and why and how.
I believe that truly they think
they did something wrong.
I've heard all kinds of things,
that it was a small town
and they hadn't had
the experience in the past.
I think they were afraid.
I just can't say
enough good things
about how proud I am
of the extraordinary effort
of our police officers
and our firefighters.
Um, they're extremely
well trained,
they're a great group
of professionals,
and I think today
exemplified, um,
the finest of what the police and
fire are all about in this community.
And I can't thank them enough
because without
their great work, uh,
this could've been
a far worse tragedy.
Uh, we were very,
very fortunate...
I was just literally shocked
when I heard him say that
and that there were no further
casualties or something.
And I thought, you know,
"How bad does
it have to be?"
I mean, I thought it was awful,
and he was commending them on
what a great job they had done,
and I...
I was sorry, but I didn't
feel they did a great job.
I mean, if they had done a great
job, nobody would have died.
As you look
through this dispatch,
you can't help but
walk away thinking,
you know, that there's another
tragedy within the tragedy
that occurred to
the Petit family here.
9:21:28, initial call comes in
to the police department 911.
And this is the call that was
actually from the bank manager.
I will watch and see
what kind of car she gets in.
I'm in my office with the door...
With the lights off.
My teller said that
she saw the driver.
He had a black hood over...
A hoodie and a baseball cap on.
I'm gonna keep you on hold
- for another couple minutes, all right?
- Okay.
Some police officers
were actually at the scene
within seconds or minutes
of when Steven Hayes and Jennifer
Petit get back to the house.
They had the phone number
of the house early on.
Nobody made a call.
Um, nobody knocked on the door.
Two suspects
are moving into Chrysler.
There is a fire also
at the scene.
Initial call
comes in at 9:21.
This is over
a half an hour later.
They were actually at the
scene for 30 minutes.
The strangulation of
Jennifer Petit occurred.
The rape of
Jennifer Petit occurred.
The pouring of gasoline
occurred throughout the house
and the actual setting
on fire of the house.
All of this is taking place
while the police are
watching the house
setting up their perimeter.
It's really outrageous.
Filling in for Ed Flynn
today, on Talk of the Town.
We're gonna take a quick break,
and when we come back,
we're going to be joined
by Dr. William Petit from the
Petit Family Foundation,
so stay with us.
Yeah. 1984.
We go directly
to you. On nine...
Eight, seven...
Dr. Petit is here,
and as many of you recall,
you know, it wasn't that long ago that,
you know, you suffered a tragedy,
losing your wife and your two
daughters in a home invasion.
Talk a little bit, if you will, Dr.
Petit, about the mission.
About the mission of the
Petit Family Foundation.
It's essentially to help out people
with, uh, chronic illnesses,
which was a nod to Hayley,
who was accepted at Dartmouth
and wanted to major in biology
and considered medicine
or other careers.
And to help people affected
by violence in their life,
which there's obviously,
uh, far too much of,
as evidenced by the
shootings in Oakland
and the shootings in Pittsburgh.
There are few things
that make me mad as hell,
and one is when I heard
that the legislature
was even talking about,
even considering
abolishing the death penalty
here in Connecticut.
And I'm beginning to wonder,
do I have anything in common
with this state anymore?
I mean, what the heck?
One of the studies
that has been done,
and it does get
brought up by people...
Study, study, study.
Well, this study actually has some
very good statistics, which are,
most violent criminals who commit
the most heinous of crimes
don't see the death
penalty as a deterrent
because their
sociopathic activities
don't take into
account consequences.
How do you feel
about that, Dr. Petit?
Death penalty's
clearly a deterrent,
because the person that has
committed the violent crime
can no longer commit it again,
so that person is
removed from society,
and I think they've
forfeited their right
to live in a civilized
society, and, uh...
The taking of a life,
the opponents like to say
it's, uh, murder
by the government,
but that's a semantic issue,
because murder is
the unlawful taking.
We have laws set down
for certain reasons,
and certainly the
defense attorneys spend
lots of time
and lots of our money
using the law to their benefit,
and, uh, the law says
that for certain crimes,
there's an ultimate penalty,
and society's believed in
that for thousands of years.
And that fight will
continue, and I know
that is, uh, one of the things
you're gonna fight passionately,
to make sure that those laws
stay in place, and, uh...
And no better spokesman
than you, Dr. Petit,
for why these laws are here.
State lawmakers
are considering a bill
that would change
the death penalty law,
and Dr. William Petit
gave his opinion
on the same day of a hearing
for one of the men...
Death penalty opponents
speak of the inviolable
sanctity of life.
They love slogans such as "Do not
kill in our name" and the like.
Thus, I assume that
death penalty opponents
value the lives of murderers
more than their victims.
Specifically, to me,
as a victim...
You know, if you're
for the death penalty,
this is the poster child,
no question about it.
If you're against the
death penalty, like I am,
this guy is the poster child
for the death penalty.
I mean, him and
Saddam Hussein, right?
Kind of hard to argue the case.
But it's not a philosophical
debate anymore.
This is reality.
And the ordeal you
have to go through,
once it's a death penalty
case, is considerable.
It's a guaranteed
multiple-years ordeal
in terms of just the trial,
and after the conviction,
scores of years of appeals
and frustration.
And all this time, the focus
is on the murderers.
They become mini-celebrities.
You have to go into gruesome
detail about what happened,
because the prosecutors
must prove that
the aggravating factors outweigh
the mitigating factors,
and the aggravating factor is
unusually cruel and heinous.
In other words, you have to prove that
compared to other triple murders,
this one is much worse.
Once this gets under way, people
are not gonna like what they see,
and it's just starting
to get under way now.
And so I guess I'd say
to Dr. Petit, you know,
I don't know who's
giving you advice,
but I think if anyone's
implying to you that
there's a realistic
hope that these guys
would ever actually be executed,
I think they're misleading you.
The one and only time we had an
execution here, in my lifetime,
in Connecticut, was
this guy Michael Ross,
and that was after 25 years of
drama to get to that point,
and the guy asked
to be executed.
The reality is that you'll feel like
you're making progress every day,
but it's gonna go on forever.
It'll probably be two years before
they even start selecting of the jury.
I'm getting pretty old.
I hope I live long enough so
that I can attend the trial.
I want to see justice done.
Detective Fran Budwitz
"of the Connecticut
State Police.
"I give this statement
to aid and assist those"
"who now have the burden and huge
responsibility of seeking justice."
"My earliest memories of Steve
go back to age four or five.
"Steve presented himself as
the apple of everyone's eye.
"What many people did not see
was the brother I knew.
"Being young and naive, I arrived
home from school in seventh grade.
"Steven and his friends were using
the oven to dry out some marijuana.
"He turned on the
burner on the stove.
"He told me it was really cool
and put my hand over it.
"'It's cool.
You won't get hurt.'
"As soon as I put
my hand over the burner,
"he pushed my hand
onto the hot burner
"and I had ring scars
that lasted for months.
"To say there hasn't
been a history of violence,
"well, this should, this should serve
to say the predisposition was there.
"It was always there.
"Within two months of moving, Steve took my
mother's car in the middle of the night.
"Upon calling the police,
the relationship
"with my mom, Steven, and the law
enforcement officials began.
"Steven is not sick.
"Steven is cunning
and calculating.
"Please exercise discretion.
"I will assist how I can.
"However, there is enough to hang
him without any family involvement.
"Steven is alone.
He will answer to God,
"he will answer to the law,
and my prayer is"
"he will answer to himself, before
fate hands him his final sentence."
I don't know.
I'd like to be there from the beginning of
each trial through the end of each one.
If there are things to look
at that they had to endure,
I feel like it's part
of my life to know
what they lived through
or died through,
and I just feel like it's
not to punish ourselves,
it's just to know in the end
and have that finality of...
"Oh, this is how it looked. This
is what they say they did."
"A thief in the
night, I've come to steal
"not jewels and money, but your
personal safety, privacy, and security.
"I violate your inner
asylum of intimacy.
"I piss on your optical illusion
of peace and innocence.
"I feast on your animosity."
"The Petit family passed
through their fear
"into the calm waters
of abject terror,
"like mesmerized rabbits cornered
by a springing predator.
"To see that fear, that
emotional pain I feel every day
"manifested on another's face validates
that this pain in me is real.
"The shockwaves of
my self's hopelessness
"reverberated its bitterness
through my rocked soul
"at the realization that I crossed
life's bridge of depravity.
"The awakening of my shadow, repressed
within, reaching its zenith that morning
"with rapturous control
of Michaela."
"Her age was insignificant."
Come on, Shadow.
Come on, Rummy.
Inside. Let's go.
Let's go. Inside.
On the phone, Joshua
denied raping the 11-year-old,
but I knew Joshua raped
that 11-year-old.
I just knew. And he kept...
Joshua kept telling me that he
didn't and I didn't believe him.
I couldn't believe him.
Because I was raped
in ninth grade, and...
Hold on a minute.
Before I left,
I told him about it.
I know he didn't know
Michaela at the time,
but I feel like maybe he
was thinking of a Michaela
while he was doing
that stuff to me.
Punishment that would
be good enough for him
would be having done to him
what he'd done to them.
Roll cue to video.
Sure. One, two,
three, four, five.
There are two suspects, but
Steven Hayes goes on trial first.
He is in court today.
But he looks very different
from his mug shot.
He's lost weight, he's in a
regular striped shirt and pants.
No handcuffs on him
in front of the jury.
And it is because this case
has gotten so much publicity
that picking an impartial
jury could be difficult.
Sunny, you were
inside the courtroom today.
What sort of state did
Komisarjevsky appear to be in?
He's much heavier now.
He sort of has a buzz cut.
Komisarjevsky is dressed
in a suit and engaged in the process.
Now, if you're wondering how
long this is all going to last,
we're talking about
several months.
This morning,
the judge told the...
From the courthouse,
I don't think Cheshire's
but about a 15 minute drive.
Everybody knew this case.
Terry Nichols, Timothy McVeigh,
the Oklahoma City bombing cases
were number two and three.
Komisarjevsky was number one.
Talking to almost 2,000
prospective jurors,
everyone had made conclusions
based on the publicity,
and that conclusion
was very clear.
Joshua Komisarjevsky was guilty.
75% also expressed the opinion
that Joshua should die.
I've never had a jury selection where
people would jump out of their seats...
"I'll kill him now."
It's in the news, Internet.
How could you miss it?
What did you think
when you saw him?
Um, I just think
he's a murderer.
"Frustrating day, but
two more jurors were selected.
That came in at
8:13 this morning.
"Still need four more jurors, six
alternates, and two substitutes."
So it's
about 11:00, this morning,
my time, Pacific time, and one
of Steven's attorney's called.
They went in to check on him this
morning and he was unresponsive.
Steven's lying in a coma induced
by, you know, a medical team.
They're not sharing why.
You know, the attorney said
that he could very well die.
And they're expected to be
back in court tomorrow.
They can't proceed
without him in the room.
Steven squirreled away nine
or so doses of Thorazine
and Klonopin.
And you might question
how this could happen.
About a year before this, Steven
Hayes had made a suicide attempt
and one of the things they found
in his cell was a suicide note.
I quote, "I am sorry.
All I want to do is die."
"It is the only way to end
the pain I go through
"every day 24/7,
and more important,
"the pain that trial
will bring to others.
"Time to go to the last
undiscovered country.
"Although I am not the monster that
Josh is, I am one nevertheless.
"A coward, because I could
not do what was right.
"Looking back on my life,
I was nothing
"but a self-centered asshole
who cared only of himself.
"But the ironic facet to this is I have
always had the ability to change."
"But cowards don't change.
They become me."
The judge actually
toured Hayes' cell yesterday.
It's called a safe cell, which will
protect him from harming himself.
He learned a lot. He also wears
something called Ferguson clothing,
which an inmate wears if they're
in jeopardy of killing themselves,
because they can't tear up the
clothes and use it as a noose.
Is it on?
Good day.
Good morning.
How difficult, Dr.
Petit, is it to sit in there
and have them discuss Hayes' conditions
in prison for two hours at a time,
the lights being on?
Uh, it's difficult. Uh...
Somehow, it was okay
for the defendants
to bind us and beat us
and rape us and torture us
and set the place on fire,
but you can't be,
can't be held in a cell
with the lights on,
and somehow there's
something wrong with that.
It's surreal.
The entire prosecution is
geared to killing Steven Hayes,
and so here he is
trying to kill himself
but we won't let him do that,
because we want to extract
our pound of flesh.
It's really a sick kind of
process, in my opinion.
Tragedy in trial!
Front page!
Right now, both
sides are inside this courtroom.
All eyes are on what's going to
happen in these opening arguments.
The heavy, heavy security
around Steven Hayes
brought in by authorities
on a convoy of vehicles...
There's no
cameras allowed in the courtroom,
so you're not going to see what's
actually going on in there,
but tweeting is allowed.
A juror has been excused.
It's because she said she couldn't be
fair, because she heard news reports
of Steven Hayes'
suicide attempt.
This jury will
end up making two decisions.
One will be the guilt or
innocence of the defendant,
and if they find him guilty,
then they would have to decide
if he should get the death
penalty for the crime.
Going into the courtroom,
Steven Hayes was, like, off to my left.
I look at him and I think,
"I still can't believe
that you did this."
I said as soon as I found out
that my sister died,
"Just come into me,
be a part of me."
So I kept staring at him.
And sometimes I think, "Is that a part
of her saying, like, 'Stare at him.
"'Don't take your eyes
off of him."
"'Like, he, he
can't be trusted.'"
I'd like to say a few things
to these guys.
I'd like them to answer
me the question,
do they know what it is
to be terrorized?
After waiting
more than three years,
the Petit and Hawke families are ready
for this process to finally begin.
And are hopeful in the end
that justice will prevail,
and we think of Jennifer, Hayley, and
Michaela every second of every day.
It is a system, you know, and...
People say it's the best
system in the world,
but it's a, it's a
maddening system at best.
People spend a lot of
time parsing words
instead of really
trying to get to
what is right and what is wrong,
what is good and what is evil.
But it's the system we have,
so we're hoping...
We're hoping that the system
we have will give us justice.
Today's date is July 23, 2007.
Statement's taking place at the Cheshire
Police Department headquarters.
Joshua Komisarjevsky,
do you know why you're here?
Okay. And you went to
Stop and Shop in Cheshire?
On the night of July 22, Josh
and Steven were texting each other.
Steven texting Josh about
"When are we gonna get going?"
It was kind of like an excitement
about going to burglarize this house.
He drives down to Cheshire.
He and Josh go to a bar.
And then they start
looking for this house
that Josh knows about
from when they were
shopping at
Stop and Shop earlier.
It's always been my opinion
that he was attracted by
the young girl Michaela, rather
than the money or the Mercedes.
Josh was born into a family with
a history of mental problems.
Then he was adopted by a family that had
no ability to cope with mental problems.
And so he was doomed by biology,
and then he was doomed by fate.
When Josh was three years old,
the family took into the home
two foster children,
a girl and a boy.
And Josh underwent really
horrible and extensive
sexual abuse at
the hand of Scott.
I think it started off
playing little sex games,
having him pose naked,
and then it proceeded to
full-scale anal intercourse and to
Josh's being burned with cigarettes.
Against the background
of all of this,
Josh is at a church in which it is
taught that there is evil in the world
and probably the greatest abomination
of all is homosexuality.
And so you've got a, what,
a five-year-old, a six-year-old,
a seven year old,
listening to this
and thinking to himself
that I am fundamentally evil,
I have engaged in
that kind of activity,
and really not being able
to tell anybody about it.
There's a theme
that I saw in Steven's life of...
Of betrayal.
Steven had been sexually
abused as a child,
which led him to become more
emotionally disconnected from people.
The turning towards drugs and the desperate
state of mind that he found himself in,
all of this helped explain how Steven
could've done what he had done.
- You did?
- Yeah.
KK. Obviously she told you
her nickname or whatever is KK,
or you made that up?
I met Josh when I was 13.
Josh's parents started attending
the church that we went to,
the Evangelical Bible Church.
And we dated, we were in a
relationship for about two years.
We started dating
when I was 14 or 15
and then our relationship
was ended by the church.
Throughout the whole course
of our relationship,
we were always trying
to not have sex.
That was the goal. It felt
deeply, deeply sinful.
Our church community was
our home school community.
And Josh's family
and mine as well
had a very specific idea
of good and evil.
The devil was understood to be
an entity that you could know,
so if Josh had anxiety,
it was the devil.
If he did something wrong, it was because
he was being used as an agent of the devil.
Josh spoke some to me about the sexual
abuse that had happened to him.
But there wasn't even a way for
him to tell me without weeping.
Josh had terrible
anxiety attacks.
His home was not
ever safe for him.
The safe place was being away
and hiding in the woods.
He was trespassing
and sneaking around,
spying on people, long before
it was a criminal offense.
I think that he envied people and
he would daydream about being them.
They find beer in the refrigerator
and drink throughout the night.
Steven finds jars
of quarters and coins.
They found
a Bank of America book
and they're waiting
for the morning.
However, Steven worries that
he's gonna leave DNA evidence
in the house, and he starts...
And Josh tells him,
"Fire destroys everything."
"We'll get the people out
and we'll burn the house down,
"we'll get them somewhere, and then
we'll get the hell out of here."
That's what Steven
was thinking about.
Steven goes into the garage.
He finds containers and starts
driving to find a gas station.
When Steven
gets back with the gasoline,
Josh had changed the
clothes of Michaela
because of activity that
he was involved with
in terms of
sexually abusing her.
And part of that occurred while
Steven was out on the gas run,
because we know that
because of Josh's photographs
that he took on his
cell phone before the bank.
The first set of photographs,
you know, showed Michaela.
There were leg shots and genital
area shots, but they were clothed.
The last shots while they were at
the bank were much more graphic.
Really awful, awful,
awful photographs.
Those are the kinds of
things you never forget.
They kind of become
emblazoned in your mind.
It just shows the level of
depravity of Joshua Komisarjevsky.
Joshua was committed, against
the wishes of his parents,
he was committed and spent, I
think, two weeks at Elmcrest.
He was clearly in terrible
shape and suicidal.
The records
are very clear that Joshua
wanted to try the medication, Joshua wanted
the therapy, but the parents rejected it.
Not only did the parents reject it,
but they immediately took him up
to the Alton Bay
Christian Center.
People would say that he was
seeing demons and he believed that.
And would pray
that they'd go away.
And people would gather around
him and pray over him
and lay hands on him and speak
in tongues over him.
That was kind of a regular part of our lives
when it came to dealing with anxiety.
He ended up breaking into my room at the
discipleship house to come and see me.
He was essentially
excommunicated for doing that.
His whole life, everything,
was just gone. Overnight.
There was no addressing that
perhaps this was a desperate kid
who actually didn't, wasn't
wrestling with the devil
but had experienced trauma
and was losing his grip.
Some people called our
office asking if we would,
we would take Josh on,
in spite of,
some of his legal difficulties
as a member of our tour.
I just gave Josh a little
bit of responsibility
and let him know that I expected him
to be a leader, and he blossomed.
He just loved it.
We came to the end of that
tour and it was a good tour.
I think it wasn't long after that
that Josh joined the Reserves.
Then he was discharged.
And then that's when
his troubles started again.
Morning rolls around.
They untie Mrs. Petit.
Steven takes her to the bank.
Mrs. Petit is in the bank.
It's taking longer
than he thought.
- You performed oral sex on KK?
- On KK.
Did you take pictures of her?
Now, did you say you
let her get dressed again?
How, how is it she came
upon being undressed?
Because you originally
said she was dressed.
No one disputes
that he committed this crime.
Eventually, he tells
the police officer
that while Hayes is gone, he goes
upstairs and sexually assaults KK.
At that point, the judge
stops the tape.
He says, "A juror
is having problems"
"with this testimony,
with this evidence,"
and that he's gonna
stop it for the day
and they will continue
again tomorrow.
A very difficult day
in court here.
We're good.
Thank you very much.
Komisarjevsky was
calling my youngest niece "KK."
Like, you know, who are
you to be using that term
and calling her this, like,
term of endearment that we use?
Okay, you show me
that baseball bat again
that you hit Billy with and
I'll show you how it feels.
You want them to
lose a daughter.
You want their house
to burn down.
You want them to see
how it feels.
And, and other times,
you think, "Gosh, who am I?"
Like, "This is wicked. How
could I wish this on anybody?"
Steven is becoming anxious.
He calls Joshua.
Joshua tells him, "Everything's gonna
be fine. The plan is gonna work."
After a period of time, Mrs. Petit
comes out of the bank with money.
When they arrive
back at the house,
Steven is under the belief that the
crime is over. Now they could leave.
But Joshua tells Steven
that, "We have a problem."
He had left DNA with
one of the children
and he had to kill them
and their dad,
and Dr. Petit had died
from the injuries,
and that now he had to get his
hands dirty and kill Mrs. Petit.
I believe Steven.
But from the first time that
Josh talked to the police,
he tried to save himself by blaming Steven
for all the horrific stuff that occurred.
Steven tells me
that he felt betrayed by Josh,
that he felt dragged into
this horror of a crime,
and he also felt, in a crazy
way, betrayed by Mrs. Petit,
because he looks out the window
and he sees police cars.
And he realizes that Mrs. Petit
must have informed bank officials.
He is triggered into
this state of rage.
He strangles
Jennifer Hawke-Petit,
he pulls down her pants,
pulls her legs up,
and he vaginally rapes her
after he strangles her.
Which is where the dad was.
Steven hears Josh
telling him they have to leave.
Spread the gasoline
and let's get out of here.
Why did you close the doors?
I don't, I don't...
You knew they were tied,
but you closed the doors.
Empty bottles of...
Of gasoline, so he went
back up with another bottle?
All of these family
members that have had to relive
the horror of what happened inside of that
home the night they were all tied up,
has been heartbreaking to
watch inside of the courtroom.
The images have been absolutely
devastating of the crime scene...
When it's all put out in
front of you, it's very gruesome.
It's, it's insane to just hear and
it's just affected the whole town
and it's like the whole town
is just reliving it all again,
and it's not easy for all of us.
These are pictures of, like, the
accelerant pattern that they showed.
How they went from, like, where
Hayley's body was upstairs
into her bedroom
and onto her bed
and then down the hall and into
Michaela's bedroom and onto her bed.
And when they finally put the
fire detective on the stand,
I saw Michaela was tied and she
had gasoline dumped on her
while she was alive and alert,
and that at least
Hayley, I know,
was probably burning
while she was breathing.
And that was just a really
hard thing to learn,
because I never really knew if the girls
were alive when they were burning or not,
and it kind of was
made true to us
that, that was
the case with Hayley,
that she had walked
while she was on fire,
because she fell down
and the front of her
was more burned than
the back of her.
I was crying
and I just felt like.
I wanted to get out of that courtroom
and scream and just say, you know,
"I can't believe what's
going on in there."
You know, I just...
It's making me so angry,
and I can't understand
why somebody couldn't have
ventilated that house for the girls
while they were still alive,
and I just...
I want it to be so different.
We're finally seeing the defense
giving tough questioning to the Cheshire
police officers who initially responded
to the call of
that home invasion.
The officers said
they followed protocol.
Doctor William Petit
has always supported
the actions of the
Cheshire Police Department.
One captain testifying
that the incident
did not make sense
at first, and he said,
"It still doesn't
make sense today."
Steven admitted
to killing the mom.
He admitted to raping the mom.
He admitted to
spreading gasoline,
I mean, so it's not like
he was trying to get himself
out from under in any way.
And yet Josh was getting this story
out that Steven knew was false.
Joshua tried to minimize the sexual
assault, not make it out to be a rape,
that it was just contact and
ejaculation, which is absurd given
the scientific evidence
that exists.
He tried to blame Steven solely for
being the person who initiated
the gasoline and lighting
the gasoline
when there's gasoline
on both of their clothes.
Josh Komisarjevsky was the
one who was suggesting
that they go into a house
where people were,
and for Steven, this was a
foolish thing, because he was
obviously, with a guy
who was uncontrollable.
And I think it haunts him, really haunts
him, as to why he didn't walk away.
Steven's in an isolation
cell 24 hours a day.
He has nightmares. He has nightmares
about his own kid burning.
This is the way his incarceration
will last, forever.
So, you know, I don't know
why we have to kill
someone who's
in a position like that.
It's like being buried alive.
We, the defense
team, always believed
that Joshua never had
the intention to kill anybody.
After he bashed Dr. Petit's
head several times,
later on, he got a towel.
He wiped the blood away
from Dr. Petit's head.
He then got two pillows,
put them behind his back,
and he got two cushions,
and his explanation,
which is in his confession,
was that he did so
because he thought Dr. Petit
wasn't comfortable enough,
and he was concerned
about his comfort.
Why didn't he simply walk
in and undo the bindings?
Dr. Leo Shea,
a neuropsychologist, testified
that Joshua was unable to make quick
decisions in stressful situations.
What occurred with Michaela
is absolutely unexplainable.
Such a horrendous crime
committed on such a young girl.
People go to jail for a long
time for crimes like that,
but you don't get
the death penalty.
When Joshua was apprehended,
when he was pulled from the car,
he was straight with the police.
When Steven Hayes was pulled from
the car, he gave a phony name,
and when asked, "Was there
anybody in the house?",
he said, "I don't know."
When Joshua was pulled
from the car,
he gave his name and he said,
"There's a woman inside,"
"I believe she's dead, and
upstairs there's two girls,"
and he expressed to the police that there
was some urgency to the situation,
which was pretty obvious because at
that time, the house was burning.
To me, these are things that are inconsistent
with intending to kill somebody.
Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Everybody came here safe,
you know, just to support.
You know, the teachers,
after Michaela died, said, uh...
Whenever, uh...
Whenever someone in the class...
She said, "Dr. Petit,
I just have to tell you that"
"your daughter Michaela
was always the one to"
"go with the kid
who was excluded,"
and I thank you for
standing up for justice
and what is morally
and ethically correct.
Thank you.
Dr. Petit is
pretty much out there
with his foundation, which is obviously a
really good thing and should be supported,
but we're in the middle of the state
trying to get the death penalty.
So, as much as I have
incredible sympathy for him,
I think his outspokenness
in this case
has really affected any
ability to get a fair trial
for either of these
two defendants.
What happened, what was said
during that conversation
with Dr. Petit
that made you just make a 180?
Dr. Petit came in
with his sister-in-law, Mrs. Chapman.
They said if the
legislature this year
votes to repeal
the death penalty,
it'll make it harder
for the jury
to make the decision
of the death penalty
for this monster,
this Komisarjevsky.
I can only imagine that
one-on-one conversation.
You're sitting as close
as probably we are now.
You have no idea.
I could not bring myself
to cause this man
any more stress.
He's a monster.
He is a monster.
And I said, "He's such a monster
"they should hang
him by his penis
"out from a tree
in main streets."
I can't think of anything bad enough
that should happen to that man.
I actually got to see Steve
twice, well, the past two Sundays.
When I first saw him,
I wanted to cry,
because I haven't
seen him in so long,
but I just didn't want to cry
under those circumstances.
You had all the guards
standing right on top of you.
And you can't talk
about the trial because,
like, you know that the
phones are pretty tapped.
I know that that family wants him to
be dead and it all to be over with,
but, like, my side of the family,
we just want him to, like,
take responsibility
for what he did
without the consequence
of the death penalty.
That won't bring anyone back.
What happened, happened,
and his death
isn't gonna bring
about much justice.
Hayes walked into room 6A.
For the first time,
he saw a familiar face.
It was his brother Matthew.
The first time that we believe a Hayes
family member has been in court.
Michael Dearington said,
"These two beautiful girls
and loving mother were killed"
"because Steven Hayes
wanted money."
Defense attorney Thomas Ullmann
argued that life without parole
is the harshest punishment
Steven Hayes could be given.
attorney, Gary Nicholson,
did not mince words as
he spoke to the jury
in his closing arguments
this morning,
saying that Joshua
Komisarjevsky is, quote,
"No shrinking violet."
"He played a starring
role in this crime."
Nicholson hammered the point that
Komisarjevsky was first in the house,
the first to use violence, and had
plenty of opportunity to leave the home.
He gave Steven Hayes
directions back to the house,
when Hayes went
and bought gasoline...
It's not fair, is it?
No. Hmm.
You know, all I think of is the impact that
our girls could've made upon the world.
And, of course, none of that
will ever come forth from
Joshua Komisarjevsky.
What's the jury weighing?
Aggravating factors
against mitigating factors.
The aggravating factors brought
out by the prosecution.
The heinous nature
of the crimes.
For the mitigating factors
that the defense presented,
they pointed to a very difficult early
childhood of Joshua Komisarjevsky.
The defense said they
turned to prayer instead.
They also pointed to a series of
concussions when he was a boy,
drug use in his teenage
and early twenty years,
all saying it mitigates
what happens.
It means he didn't really
know what was going on,
couldn't make a decision to stop what was
going on that night in July of 2007,
and so his life
should be spared.
No verdict today. We do expect a
verdict by the end of the week.
We're good.
You guys can reach, right?
Oh, Lord, we gather
around this table as family and friends.
We stand at a place
in the trial where
we wonder what will take place.
But we pray, oh, God, that we
will be able to be strong enough
to accept whatever
the outcome may be,
that it would be your
will that would be done.
For we ask it in the
name of Christ. Amen.
This is all about death
or life without parole.
Really, it does seem
like the most kind, humane thing
you could do for a person
is to allow them... just die.
I thought of how much
that challenges the jurors.
A lot of pressure has
been placed upon their shoulders.
I'm glad I'm not in that room.
They'll never get those pictures
out of their heads for the
rest of their lives, you know?
Yes, I know.
It's been very
traumatic for everyone.
This is a case
that has just rattled people,
and a lot of people say
that if there is a case
that warrants the
death penalty, this is it.
Wait a minute.
I want to read you something
that we're, uh, we're
getting some word on,
and you might be able
to explain it to us.
The jurors are standing. The clerk
is reading the verdict form.
Count four,
no statutory mitigators.
Both aggravators are proven.
Uh, okay. The defendant is
sentenced to death, Sunny.
The jury returns.
Death penalty verdict.
Death for the
monster who slaughtered
the Connecticut doctor's family.
Tonight, a Connecticut jury
has done something very rare.
A Connecticut jury has recommended
death for Steven Hayes.
He's convicted of raping
and murdering a mom,
Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and her two
daughters, Hayley and Michaela...
The verdict was devastating.
Steven wanted a death verdict and
knew we did everything in our power
to prevent that from happening,
in spite of his own
efforts to kill himself.
This case
gets attention in Australia.
It got attention in Europe.
You know, this was Anytown,
America, any-family America,
and when you saw just how
that was shattered
in a few hours, I think
that's powerful...
Count five is death.
The second count, count five in the
murder of Michaela Petit, is death,
that he intentionally caused the death
of a person under 16 years old.
All right, count 10 is death.
That's, he intentionally caused the death
of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, the mother.
Okay, count 11 is death.
A couple of marshals
came up behind Joshua in cuffs
and really no reaction at all.
Given the public outrage
for these horrendous crimes,
that we just couldn't
get a fair jury here
and we still feel that way,
and that's why we had filed
a motion to change venue
and believe it
should have been...
Should have been granted, so that'll
be one of the main appellate issues.
I believe the death
penalty is just barbaric
and it puts us in line with countries
like China, Yemen, Iraq, Iran.
I don't know what other purpose it
serves other than simply revenge.
Walter Bansley III,
thank you very much.
Denise, of course, yeah, we're gonna
have continuing coverage here.
The death penalty has been
given to Joshua Komisarjevsky.
We are satisfied that
the defendant has been judged
to be the murderer, the rapist,
and criminal that he is.
And now he's been condemned
to the ultimate penalty.
We certainly have been
criticized over the years
that this is vengeance and blood lust,
but this is really about justice.
We want to go forward with
the Petit Family Foundation
and try to continue to create
good out of evil and...
The defense did what they
thought they should do.
I thought a lot of it was
particularly distasteful.
We saw picture after
picture after picture,
and every time one of those
pictures went up, I thought,
"Charles Manson
was a baby once."
"I'm not sure that this
is particularly relevant."
I'd just like to thank our justice
system as well as the jury members,
listening to a lot of things that they
would much rather not heard or seen.
I believe that without
our defense attorneys,
we could not have the
outcome that we have,
so we have to even
be appreciative
that there are defense attorneys
that will take cases like this.
And I believe God's
will has been done.
I don't really want
to answer any questions.
I feel so sad
that my answers would be...
I don't know if any of
the other defense attorneys...
...on death row now.
There will be automatic appeals.
There will be
appeals upon appeals.
This will go on for years
and years and years, and...
We offered to plead guilty to
every charge in the information against us
so long as death
wasn't the result.
And so Joshua would've been sentenced to
life without the possibility of release.
It would've happened, you know, three
weeks after the crime had taken place.
Josh would've disappeared
into the, into the great abyss
of the penal system, and would
never be heard from again.
But that wasn't a serious enough
punishment for the state,
and of course, the state was
being goaded on by Dr. Petit.
And so we had to go through three
years of Hayes and Joshua,
and just forcing the
people of Connecticut
to relive that crime,
day, after day, after day,
I think kind of coarsened the
social fabric of Connecticut.
It would've been so much better
just to throw those guys in jail
and throw away the key, but...
The most difficult
thing that I had to do in my life
was to bury my own child
and two grandchildren.
I don't think there
will ever be closure
for our family.
Jennifer was too much of
a giving, loving person,
and I don't think that
we will ever, ever,
if we live another 100 years,
would ever want to forget her.
So if closure brings forgetting,
I don't want that closure.