Cheshire murders

I’ve been reading every scrap about this awful, awful massacre of Dr. William Petit’s wife and two daughters. It fills me with disgust, and worries me, too, because I can’t see that anyone screwed up in letting these two animals out on the streets. Despite criminal pasts, they’d never been charged with anything violent. They just didn’t appear to have much about them that would clued anybody in that they could act with such complete evil against such innocents.

I think that’s what makes this especially sickening to our collective soul. The crime is horrendous, of course, but so, too, is the deadening feeling that there’s nothing anyone could have done to stop it.

I just can’t stop thinking of poor Dr. Petit, who lost so much more than anyone ever should. Watching his speech at the memorial service yesterday just about broke my heart.

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74 Comments

Filed under Cheshire murders, crime, Petit, Public safety

74 responses to “Cheshire murders

  1. el padrino

    “I just can’t stop thinking of poor Dr. Petit, who lost so much more than anyone ever should. Watching his speech at the memorial service yesterday just about broke my heart.”

    Will it break your heart when you see him wearing an orange jumpsuit on death row in a few years. It was staged all the way. Not once did he refer to his soulmate as his wife. “Good mother and friend”.

    You must live in a cave.

  2. EJ

    “The crime is horrendous, of course, but so, too, is the deadening feeling that there’s nothing anyone could have done to stop it.”

    From the newspaper accounts the parole “board” did and administrative release. No one read the judges comments at sentencing nor did they interview these guys. It loooks like Bob Farr is going to have a lot of questions to answer.

    ‘Will it break your heart when you see him wearing an orange jumpsuit on death row in a few years. It was staged all the way”

    Always a possibility but a rather callous comment at this time. I’m sure that is an angle the police are looking into. If true these guys facing the death penalty will roll over real fast.

  3. Joe Visconti

    Let’s all pray for the family.

  4. It is truly tragic for the entire family.

    El Padrino,

    If what you suggest happened did happen, it is truly horrendous. But isn’t it also horrendous for you to suggest that this bereaving father and husband who just lost everything in such grim fashion masterminded these horrors without any evidence to support your “theory”? I haven’t yet met anyone who could agree to the brutality inflicted upon the Petit’s just to be free of their family.

  5. Osemasterofdoom

    Amen, Bill. I met Dr, Petit on a couple of occaisions and came away with the impression that he is a kind, considerate man, certainly not capable of playing any role in something as horrible as this.

    El Padrino, if your first instinct in a case like this is to immediately suspect that a man facilitated the rape and murder of his wife and 11-year-old daughter, then I feel very sad for you for the world you must live in.

  6. Like most, I’m just hoping for a speedy, and well conducted trial followed by an immediate sentence of Death.

    The whole story has been a sick nightmare that we’ve all thought about. Putting these sick creeps to death is the best thing that could happen.

    We all owe a debt of gratitude to the late Mrs. Petit. She tipped off the bank, which helped facilitate the capture of inhuman creeps. Just think, if these SOBs weren’t captured, we’d all be wondering where they’d strike next. Like all of us, I just wish it had ended differently.

    Sadly, I’m sure some lunatics will be out there campaigning against the death penalty. As for conspiracy theories, they aren’t worth exploring. Without a doubt, the police have the villains.

    May God help Mr. Petit. God help this poor soul. You are in our family’s prayers! We can’t imagine what “recovery” means in this case. But, I hope that your Church and community provide you support, love and compassion.

  7. Resident

    Any word on what took so long for the police to reach the house after she tipped the bank off?

    all very sad.

  8. Resident:

    There is some information here: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime_file/2007/07/30/2007-07-30_police_defend_response_time_in_home_inva.html

    Hopefully, this post won’t get caught up in whdad’s spam catcher.

    There are a lot of “what ifs” in this case. We have to assume that Mrs. Petit was thinking she was protecting her children which is why she didn’t cry out immediately.

  9. I along with all of you are brokenhearted about this tragedy. One cannot understand the depravity that grips some in our society.

    In our office today, the link below was passed around. I am including it here for you to review and sign if it touches you to do so.

    Something must be done. This could be one small way to accomplish good out of this senseless tragedy.

    http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ct-needs-a-3-strikes-law.html

  10. thinker

    Indeed is was a horrendous crime, and the two who committed it should suffer the exact experiences as the mother and daughters rather than jail. But here’s the wondering part: did Dr. Petit wake in the night to noise in the basement and say to his wife “Honey, I heard some noise in the basement and I’m going to go down there with a baseball bat to see if anyone is down there” ? What were the circumstances that led him to the basement? If he did actually hear noise in the basement (and no one has said whether or not he did) wouldn’t he say “Honey, I hear noise in the basement. I am going to call 911” just to be safe? The two broke open the bulkhead to the cellar. That is a big, heavy piece of metal and I would think that you would hear banging on it in the middle of the night. Could Dr. Petit have prevented this tragedy?

  11. Talk about blaming the victim! Haven’t you ever heard something odd at night and gotten up to take a look without calling 911? I know have.

  12. Obviously he didn’t hear it. Your take is rediculous. Whatever the lunatics did to gain entry, didn’t wake anyone else in the house. Enough with the conspiracy theories, and trying to put the blame on poor Dr. Petit. He’s got a tough enough time ahead of him.

    I also hope the jury isn’t full of dweebes that want to pyscho-analyze the two losers. We need to get to quick, well conducted trial, and fry the SOBs. Pretty simple.

  13. The King is right about this idiotic attempt by so many to hint that Dr. Petit was somehow involved in killing his family. It’s lunacy to make that argument, particularly when there is not a shred of evidence to back it up.

  14. MARYELLEN

    What I can’t undsand is how no on heard the two guys beating the doctor and throwing him down the basement stairs. Also, how did the guy manage to get Mrs. Petit home and kill her before the cops came? I wish she had screamed for help in the bank…someone would have tackled the guy and the cops would have been there before the other guy knew anything was wrong.

  15. SILENTMINORITY

    Just a thought! el padrino, your theory is Dr. Petit allowed himself to be beaten in the head with an object, hoping he would survive, all in an effort to “stage” the events that took place. Even so, a dispute with his wife maybe, but his two daughters too. Come on…. My heart breaks for him and his losses. Your comments are callous and sad.

  16. Maryellen:

    I’ve asked that question myself probably fifty times. We can only speculate until the point when the creeps make a confession about the details. (And as an aside, I hope no plea bargain to gather the details is made so that they can receive the sentence they so rightfully earned. I can skip the details as a fair trade off to see them put down permanently).

    Mrs. Petit, we can speculate, was probably told that if she didn’t do what they wanted that they would bring harm to her children. This seems the only likely scenario. Her note was probably slipped in at the end. And she probably hoped and prayed that she would be driven back to the house before the police arrived at the house in the hopes that she could circumvent any “action” perpetrated by the villains against her daughters, or somehow protect them. Of course, we know how it ended.

    What I try to think about is what action was most appropriate in these circumstances. What do statistics tell us about how things ended up if this or that decision was made? There probably is no right answer.

    Several discussions point to the idea that its better to comply, but I’m NOT an expert on that, and I wish I could get information of what is the best course of action under such circumstances.

    If anyone else could offer some information on how to respond (someone qualified), I think it would benefit the blog.

  17. Gary Reger

    I’m no expert but here is some speculation on Mrs. Petit’s state of mind. (Warning: a bit gruesome.)

    By the time she went to her bank to withdraw money, she believed that these men had beaten her husband to death, and she and her daughter had been raped. (The rapes must have happened before Mrs. Petit went to the bank, because too little time elapsed, and too much happened, after she got back.) Her two daughters were tied to their beds at home with one of the men, and the two were probably in cell phone communication. (We know that the one who went out for gas had to call the other for directions back to the Petit house when he got lost.) Surely they had told her they would kill her children just as they had killed her husband if she tried anything. She must have been distraught beyond imagining. No surprise she didn’t scream or anything — surely she was terrified that at the slightest sign of trouble, the one in the car would tell the one at home to kill the girls. I’m amazed she had the presence of mind to slip the cashier the note.

  18. Rachel

    Where did you hear about the cell phone? I haven’t read that anywhere. I did hear through someone at the jail that the younger one, Joshua, said he didn’t rape the women, Hayes did, Hayes strangled the mother, Hayes drove her to the bank, Hayes bought the gas, etc. BUT he was there and even with all that, he could of said, “This is getting out of hand, I’m out of here” That isn’t going to help much except as a mitigating factor in the death penalty along with his psych problems.
    So sad, as a mom of 3, I can only for a few seconds, picture the terror she went through….she had to of been scared out of her mind and after being raped, etc. probably wasn’t thinking like someone who is at home “monday morning quarter-backing.

  19. Gary Reger

    Rachel —

    I inferred about the cell. Since Hayes had to call for directions, I supposed that he did so by cell — and that the police knew that immediately because they checked the cell records. But I could be wrong. I agree with you whole-heartedly about the Monday-morning quarterbacking. I can’t imagine how she must have felt.

  20. turtle

    The Courant reported on the cell phone conversation some time ago.

  21. L&A

    Last evening my friend and I had this very debate. We acknowledged on how sincerely disturbing these murders are and how they are compounded by the bizarre nature in which the events proceeded. Both being residents of CT, one from West Hartford, and one from Stamford, we tried to understand exactly how this crime could unfold, particular when we are familiar with the residential area. Now, we have no interest in accusing an innocent man in the effort to be a catalyst for unnecessary banter but it is not simply the fact that there are 3 dead bodies that motivates us to double check our bolt lock, it is the blatantly aberrant manner in which the victims were chosen, attacked, and eventually murdered. The following questions came to mind:

    1. Exactly how can the suspects rationalize their screening for the robbery? It was reported that they followed the mother and child home from the pharmacy since she was driving a white Mercedes. Its Cheshire, every third car is a Mercedes.

    2. The suspects explained that they entered the residence bc they believed there would be money in the house. If one the suspects lived 2 miles away, and had spent a significant part of his life in Cheshire, and both had a criminal record involving burglary, why would they believe it was 1950 and this family would have a safe or money stashed away under the mattress? Perhaps if they did not bring the Mrs. Hawke-Petit to the bank their defense would hold water but they risked their capture for $20,000? They could have stolen the car and been paid more.

    3. An unlocked basement door? Is that just a little odd? I live in a comparable neighborhood and we never have our basement door unlocked. Perhaps those could be deemed as on oversite but it still raises suspicion.

    4. How long was Mr. Petit unconscious? If they entered the home at 3 am and knocked him out unconscious and then tied him up, wouldn’t he have woken up after at least 2-3 hrs? He reported that he woke to the house on fire at 9:30am, managed to untie his hands and hop out of the basement, and did hear his wife screaming for her life. Why could he not untie his legs? Why would he simply languish in the yard while he knew his wife and children were inside? The basic human instinct is to save your children, your family, but any effort put forth seem minimal.

    5. Why did they strangle Mrs. Hawke-Petit and not Mr. Petit or the daughters? She didn’t pose a threat more than the other girls, and certainly not Petit and children has served their purpose as a bartering tool so if they wanted to eliminate suspects they did have time to kill all three? Perhaps they were only there for the wife. Perhaps the Petit and the girls were not supposed to die.

    6. Why would the burn down a house when they had exposed their faces to the victims they left alive when they just brought one to not just a bank but her local bank, in the morning, with potentially dozens of witness? What were they trying to cover up? Prints? The bodies? Why wouldn’t they have finished off the husband first since they knew they hadn’t killed him (bc they tied him up)? Their rational could not have been they would all die in the fire bc they left the opportunity for escape, which one did…also the one that was furthest away from where the fire was started. If Petit was stored up in the attic that man would have probably died as well and would not be at risk for escape from the same place they entered the house.

    I hesitate to reference the Peterson case without further evidence provided to the public but at this point, it is not wise to ignore glaring inconsistencies. It is our responsibility to question these things. Granted it is uncomfortable to accuse a husband and father of killing his family bc it is such an unnatural concept to fathom but there are sick people in this world, who hire sick people to carryout the most heinous and cowardly crimes. One cannot be blinded by compassion and manners if their instincts contradict.

  22. art

    This is such a tragedy on so many levels. My heart breaks for Dr. Petit. As for imagining the final hours that his wife and daughters endured is too horrible. I can only think of Charles Manson to match this horrific episode. While I certainly would love to see the death penalty used here. I remember seeing a documentary or magazine piece on tv where one of the manson woman kept trying to appeal for parole… and they showed her at a parole hearing. Sharon Tate’s sister was at every parole hearing for these people and she spoke out as to why these killers shouldn’t get parole… and they didn’t. I think Sharon Tate’s sister should get some kind of citizen or victims rights award for this tireless effort. She is some kind of hero in my book. We have to work with a system that is broken and in most cases corrupt. If all you can do is sign an online petition to get a 3 strikes law in CT then great. If you want to take it further and write your legislature for parole reform beyond that better. For now I want to send my prayers to Dr. Petit and the Hawke family as well as donate to the scholarships he is putting in place to honor his wife and daughters.

  23. Anita

    After the initial horror set in, I thought of Jeffrey McDonald, and how it was always emphasized that his wounds were so superficial, that his wife and daughters had essentially been overkilled. I can’t seem to get that out of my head when thinking of the harm the doctor suffered.

  24. Deb

    I don’t think the doctor was involved….I realize TV makes these things a “new Law and Order” show, but what would he have gained? His daughters too?? He wanted them raped? That is just too strange, I’m not saying totally impossible, but just unlikely.
    The open door syndrome is popular in Cheshire, I work with a few people from there and they said they do it. The neighbor across the street left HIS open when supposedly Joshua robbed him the night before. That was in the paper. If they were high on crystal meth or something similar (the prosecution is keeping that close to the vest for now) time and actions are really messed up. Paranoia, forgetting things, panic, all fit in. Neither had ever hurt anyone before, something made them act out of character. Not every burgler is a potential murderer, most don’t want to see you and run if they do. (many cops in family) The girls were tied up, the mom wasn’t, sure they could of restrained her, but none of this is logical, you can’t be a normal, sane individual and try to figure it out. It wasn’t planned well, sounds “off the cuff”, they woke up and they freaked out, but the trial will bring that out. Don’t make Mr. Petit a criminal, if he paid someone off, they would be singing like canaries.

  25. Anita

    you’re right.

  26. carrie

    “L&A”. Congratulations on the most ignorant, naive piece of writing I have ever seen in my 40 years on this planet.

    To take little facts you are getting from the media and establish time-line questions with your own pathetic ideas sprinkled in is the ultimate in self-delusions of grandeur.

    “Every 3rd car is a mercedes”? Talk about a distortion and exaggeration of the truth. So you never leave YOUR basement door unlocked – who cares?

    You are an idiot. Do you actually think drug-addicted career criminals with an combined IQ of even less than yours are going to think things out? A slug has more aforethought than these two animals.

  27. L&A

    Carrie:
    Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the nature and purpose of blogs and/or any discussion forum. It is to exchange ideas and spur discussion. Although name calling is far easier than actually producing intelligent, cultured responses, I find it interesting that you failed to address the portion of my post where I inserted that this was simply speculation and gross inconsistencies of the perpetrator’s actions has prompted the series of questions. If we were to apply your logic to every murder case, Charles Manson would be president and Ted Bundy would be the next “Bachelor”. Lets ignore the fact that the area is a prominent suburban area with nearly dozens of prospects, lets ignore the fact that most individuals, particularly with children, lock their doors at night. Further, if they are “career criminals” as you cited, once again thats career criminals, they may have an idea or two of the proper way to commit a crime. However, it appears they are just as poor at their job as you have been in your feeble attempt to associate age with acumen.

  28. turtle

    I thought L&A’s post was interesting although it assumed the killers were rational actors. Deb addressed that fallacy handily. These guys are not exactly criminal masterminds, and their blunders appear to have been ad hoc and desperate. I knew someone who was murdered in a massacre that was simply a robbery gone wrong.

    You’d have to construct a pretty fantastic scenario to implicate the doctor. For starters, if he was serious about offing his family, he would have hired a professional instead of a couple of dim-witted, two-bit burglars.

    Maybe the attractiveness of the Petit women in tandem with the Mercedes made them a more desireable target than other luxury car drivers at the Stop ‘n Shop that day. As for the Petits not locking their doors, I know people who take not locking their doors as some kind of article of faith and cannot be convinced otherwise. In this case, however, it may have been an oversight, as L&M says, especially since the door in question was a cellar door.

    The most suggestive factor is the timing of the doctor’s escape from the house, but I imagine a burning house would rouse even someone who has been bludgeoned with a baseball bat. He must have realized that he was too incapacitated to rescue his family on his own and therefore sought asssistance. It was the right thing to do, it seems to me.

    Apparently the rationale for burning down the house was to destroy any DNA evidence of sexual assault. The killers may have figured the fire would take care of the doctor as well.

    As far as what the public knows, there’s simply no evidence to suggest that Dr. Petit was complicit in this crime.

  29. carrie

    l&a,
    “CULTURED RESPONSES”!!! LOL

    You are a riot my friend.

    If you want cultured responses then why advertise to the world that you’re an inexperienced fool who undoubtedly annoys every person she comes in contact with?

    Everyone on the face of the planet knows exactly what a blog is hogshot but it is people with overblown egos like yours that ruin it. You are clueless – if you think “career criminal” implies some sort of skill level, you obviously live a white-bread world of oblivion. Have you seen these thugs parole records? These are not master thieves who break into the Federal Reserve. These are guys who get time added to their sentences for having contraband in their cells over and over again.

    I would love to know how you have first-hand knowledge that the Petit put forth “minimal effort”. The State Police have not released any investigative reports. Please share. I’m fascinated.

    (We all took sixth-grade creative writing courses honey, “associate age with acumen”). What a riot. At least you’re keeping me laughing.

  30. JK

    To L? or A?,

    Not to join the bandwagon aimed at you guys or anything…just here for conversation…but please…

    “…Career Criminals have a proper idea or two about how to commit a crime…”

    OK, so that must explain why Hayes has been arrested how many times??? Has been incarcerated for how many years???
    His rap sheet is how long? The younger one has been arrested and caught and in and out of jail how many times?…

    Career criminal is a term implying a lifetime of unemployment, drug use and supporting oneself by thuggish crimes against others, not a badge of honor. It certainly does not imply skill or finesse.

  31. Carrie

    Agreed that Charles Manson was insane, but was highly skilled at persuading naive indivuals into his commune.

    It is a know fact that Ted Bundy had a very high IQ, which law enforcement officials acknowledged as one of the scariest, most dangerous things about him.

    There was no rational thought going on with these animals. (How much cash do you think someone would pay for a stolen mercedes from a murder scene?)

    Zealous puritans would have loved you as a judge in the Salem Witch Trials. I’m sure your highly-tuned “instincts” would have been perfect.

  32. Rachel

    I had a thought the other day, that it was almost “suicidal” on the perpetrators part…even 2 brain cells would of told them they weren’t going to get far even if the police didn’t come. It was daylight, neighbors awake, work week, stolen car, cameras at banks, etc., they never disguised themselves, etc. Maybe not on the surface, but at some point, if the brain wasn’t completely fried with drugs, they had to known this was really a dumb idea. They wouldn’t of gotten far. Hayes was a bit clumsy in the past, but Joshua K was very good to break into so many homes and never get caught or have someone hear him….this seems so much more personal. To change your MO that much, and do it where chances are so many will see you (not an isolated area) will hopefully be explained in court. Either way, they did end their lives in some capacity or another.

  33. JTS

    WHDad – are you moderating comments? If so, why is the above still on the blog?

  34. Kristin

    Rachel,

    I think things just progressed from bad to worse as the night went on. I think these guys are way too narcissistic for any suicidal tendencies. Interesting thought – but this all started hours before daylight, and if you look at the crashed police cruisers – these guys wanted to get away, no doubt.

    I respectfully disagree with the statement “they ended their lives in one way or another”. These guys know EXACTLY what life in prison is all about, and they weren’t afraid to go back in the past. They are eating, breathing, reading, speaking to lawyers, taking rides to court in parades fitting for a president, receiving mail, making collect calls etc., If they are not on death row they will have access to numerous prison programs and eventually Komis… will have prison visits from his daughter, perhaps even court-ordered. Petit will never hear his girls voices or see pictures of them as they grow again, but Komis…. will.

    None of us can even imagine the horror these poor girls suffered. We can blog about it and think about it and wonder about it, but the 7 hours of hell these poor girls suffered, no one of us can even imagine.

    God bless thier souls.

    The truly sad thing is that these two creatures don’t have the intellectual capacity to fathom the suffering that they bestowed. Whether or not they were “hired”, which I do not believe, the blood is on thier hands.

  35. turtle

    I second JTS.

  36. DAR

    God, I hope no one would want to watch that anymore than the first brutality. May you be blessed with a way to channel your anger into something constructive and not “topping evil” with more evil.

  37. JTS

    WHDAD!!! GET ON THE G-D STICK AND START MODERATING COMMENTS!!! ARE WE (the residents who care to read and post regularly) TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CONDONE THE POSTS ABOVE? WAKE UP!!!

  38. WH Alum

    Has anyone tried emailing WHDad? I just sent him one… maybe he’s having computer troubles again or is on vacation…

  39. turtle

    This place is becoming a sewer like the Courant forums.

  40. Colleen

    Speaking of the Courant, did anyone else find it extremely sad that they published the full name – first, middle and last – birthdate and birth hospital of Komisarjevsky’s daughter?

    I e-mailed the Courant reader rep to ask that they not drag this innocent childs name into the mix but I never heard a word back. It was newsworthy that he had managed to get custody of this child from the mother and grandparents – but why print her name and other details about her life? As if she hasn’t been through enough turmoil for a 5 year old.

  41. ERIC

    Mitch – If you want to “do the same to the wife and daughers of these creatons”, would you then receive the same punishment as you described in such painstaking detail?

  42. DAR

    Eric, I agree he should since he believes that to be the punishment for the crime. (some people get off on torture..it just makes me nauseous)

    How awful about the daughter….she has to live with these facts and now that. The torture people will put her through, sadistic kids and probably parents too…. I would keep my mom’s maiden name and move…not stay in this area at all.

  43. Beck

    It doesn’t matter WHAT past these two guys have. It doesn’t give them the right to go out and do the same to others. For example, once of the guys was raped by his father when he was little, it doesn’t give him the right to have done it to the girls and mother. I have a friends who knew Ms. Petite. She had MS. How could she defend herself?! Also, I heard the trial hadn’t even started yet. I bet these guys are going to be living a LOT longer than the mother had.

    I’m sorry but I just think our justice system sucks. When the sourt is dealing with a situation like this, the trial should be quick and the guys should get a lethal injection soon as possible. Buts it’s when the trial is held off for a while and that give the killer’s laywers enough time to find any excuse to keep them from getting the death penalty. And after a few years, people will start feeling sorry for the guy who was raped by his father.

    I don’t understand why investigators have to ask them of why they did it. I could give the least of a rat’s ass about them and yet the court wants to keep them alive to just find out questions that don’t even matter. I could see it now, they’ll be writing books of how they were mistreated at childhood and some people will start feeling bad for them.

    We have serial killers living for killing the innocent. One serial killer here in Connecticut killed and raped six women and when he was caught, he’s still living up to 18 years in jail now. I think by a LONG shot, the justice system is more forgiving to the ones who kill costantly and have pitiful excuses for it than killers who grew up in a fine background and was raised right. So there’s TWO forms of death penalties.

  44. You are correct, Beck.

    We have two death penalties, one that actually erradicates villains from society by putting them down – which is rarely exercised.

    And a second death penalty which is imposed on all of us and our society everytime our judicial system fails to implement the first.

    Criminals know that statistically in places where the state is easy on crime, that there is a light sentence, and they won’t be held accoutable for their actions. We’ve simply got the wrong people running our courts and government. It’s a living nightmare.

  45. King, If it were true that criminals know that statistically in places where the state is easy on crime, that there is a light sentence” then wouldn’t Connecticut have a high crime rate instead of a relatively low one? The states with the harshest penalties — Texas comes to mind — also have the highest crime rates. I don’t see any evidence at all that criminals flock to states that are easier on them or that there’s more crime where sentencing is less draconian.

  46. Deb

    I think sometimes a criminal will think twice about killing a cop or someone like the president because of the mandatory death penalty in some cases, but most of the time, a gang member, a mental case, a hardened criminal, someone high on drugs, etc. isn’t going to give it a second thought.
    For some their lives are meaningless which is why they don’t consider other lives worth anything. Others are very narcisstic.
    I disagree when some say, “I don’t care about their pitiful past, etc. they did what they did”. I agree it can’t negate what was done, but when no one cares about the neglected, abused children now, many grow up to be the people you don’t want to meet at the wrong place and time.

  47. Whdad,

    Crime is on the rise:

    “Not only was violent crime in suburban communities with populations between 25,000 and 49,999 up for the third year in a row in 2006, but it grew by 3.2 percent — significantly faster than the nationwide increase of 1.3 percent, according to recently released FBI statistics. By comparison, during that same period, cities with more than 1 million people saw violent crime edge up by only 0.2 percent while rural areas saw a decrease of 5.3 percent. Only cities between 250,000 and 499,999 witnessed similar increases, with violent crime in those areas also surging by 3.2 percent.” – from the Day.

    I’d expect Texas (pop 22,490,022) to have higher crime stats: 1) borders Mexico, 2) Higher population in Dallas and Houston alone, 3) Larger population over all.

    Texas had better have harsher laws.

    CT (pop 3,503,604) crime rate low? Hmmm. Not so fast. CT ranks 34. Hartford: 9.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States

  48. Notwithstanding all of this. Criminals know that they unlikely to face the death penalty in this state. And recent evidence suggests that villains seem to get the “get out of jail free” card pretty regularly thanks to Bob Farr and his friends.

    Don’t know about “flocking anywhere”. I just know that if we put the murderers down, and kept the crooks and felons in jail longer, we’d all be better off.

  49. Rachel

    Did anyone ever read why the Petit’s might of been targeted besides the somewhat lame “they liked the car”. The whole thing seemed very personal and talking to p.officers, usually if the criminal doesn’t have a history of being violient and depraved, they don’t do things like that, the fire, rapes, etc. unless they are angry or revengeful. It could of been a psychotic break of some kind, but somehow they knew it would be an easy break-in, they never doubted, buying the rope and so on, they would not be successful. They had to of known, the alarm wasn’t there, the big german shephard wasn’t there to bark, guests weren’t staying over to complicate things (It was summer)so many logical things. They could of been leaving that day to vacation…..just wondered if anyone thought there was a personal angle, not the doctor involved, but other things.

  50. We will have to wait until the trial… possibly. Then again unless they are involved in some sort of plea bargain or one of them has a nervous breakdown, I can’t imagine them spilling their guts about all the details on why and why since the prosecution is seeking the death penalty.

    And if you are right, that they had all this planned out, I think the penalties are higher for premeditated crimes.

  51. Rachel

    It is higher for premeditated, but my friend, the police officer (new haven) said the time line for pre-meditated is longer than I thought.

    I don’t doubt Joshua K is mentally disturbed, how much will be for the courts/shrinks to decide. But Steven Hayes went along with it too, with no real background in mental illness, so it isn’t going to be an easy plea.
    I never thought the doctor was involved, but I did think that they assumed an awful lot and unless it was a “simple job” gone bad, it didn’t make sense. The rope might of been for something else, but for what I haven’t a clue and why suddenly want a “fake gun” for intimidation when that was never used before?
    I don’t think the two said much without their lawyers, they learned that, but you never know.

  52. Jessica

    I am horrified as I read the responses. I am sickened by the details of the crime and can’t stop thinking of these victims. That is all anyone needs to think of. They should have lived until tomorrow without being tortured. I wish that the police had rescued them in time, but either due to protocol or misjudgement, they didn’t.
    Of course, it could have been me, and my family. It could have been any one, and I think that all of the accusations about the family being careless with locking a door or somehow participating or arranging the murders is insanity. I read these responses and see that everyone overthinking, just to explain away their fear and horror, that there was no order or sense to this crime. It could have been anyone and to blame Dr. Petit is to dilute the horror and think that some how we would never a victim. I lock my doors now, more than before, but still I think that nothing could have prevented this. If it wasn’t the Petit family it would have been someone else at some other time. I think that this blog has more writers who want to overthink just to avoid crying. There are deranged, evil people and we can’t stand knowing that we don’t know which ones they are.

  53. JLR

    Ever since I heard about the murders I have felt heartache and pain for the Petit, however, the more I read there is the strong possibility that this whole murderous event had been pre-thought out. I am not questioning the Dr.’s role but if he was the first to encounter these thugs why not off him first? Alot will come out in the months to come but we all will have our thought as what and why the Petits were involved.

  54. Rachel:

    How long does it take to be deemed “premeditated”?

    Also, I heard today on the news that there are stiffer penalties via a bill that was signed by Gov. Rell (today?) regarding sexual crimes. Although Murder should warrant capital punishment, the additional charges against these villains should help to solidify their fate.

  55. Rachel

    Premeditated shows that you planned it, in this case you can say the rope and bb gun was premeditated, but not the gas and fire, because they did that “maybe’ at the spur of the moment, they got scared and acted out of fear. Even the rapes could of been unplanned, but one guy spurred the other on, the crime is the same but the callusness of it, the extra “oomph” the pre-medication gives, is not there. I hope that is clear enough, my cop friend went on more, but that was the gitz of it.

  56. Jimbeau

    To any who post assuming you are anonymous: it’s a relatively simple task to find an IP address, and trivial with a warrant. Most poster’s who slander would never do so in public with their name attached. Think twice; you could be in court too! Assume your full name and address are on your post, and speak accordingly.

  57. Humble

    No matter how anyone looks at this, The Dr., his wife, and especially not his kids deserved to go through such tragedy. I’m not from CT and have never been there but as a person I’m shocked and awed when reading the details they give about this case. These two men deserve no sympathy, it doesn’t matter that they didn’t have a history of violence. This one night is more than enough to bury both the losers.

  58. Jan

    I am hoping someone can answer my question please….

    When the Mom was instructed to go to her bank in the morning when it opened, to withdraw the $15,000, why didn’t she just stay in the bank where she was safe? I read it was just herself and one of the men in the car, and this was always puzzled me. Thanks!

  59. WH Alum

    Going on assumption – if the 2 men were in contact by phone, she would have been afraid they would harm her family further than they yet had if she did not return with the money. I guess she could’ve tried to stall for a few minutes, but who knows what could’ve been going on in her head at that point, with her family at these monters’ mercy and having just been raped?

  60. Jan

    That’s a good point. It’s just so sad because if she would have stayed in the bank, she could have had a better chance. They could have used the money to negotiate with, plus the police could have maybe apprehended the one guy waiting in the car, leaving just the other guy back at her house to capture.

  61. Humble

    Jan:

    That is a good question you asked and it does leave one wondering. I agree that it’s really just sad, she could have stayed in the bank, and then she was thinking of what was best for her family. I’m sure it was an overwhelming situation for her. Maybe writing a note was what she thought was the best way of communicating with someone for help. It angers me so when I read about the eleven year old being bound and raped. I think I speak for so many people when I say these animals should die for this.

  62. Deb

    Whether the death penalty is imposed is up to the state and the Petit’s. Mr. Petit said early on life or death would be acceptable. Death will be a much longer affair, many years, many papers, many hours of graphic photos, exams and testimony. They might decide to just end it, take a guilty plea and life until death. I hope no one judges them if they do that.

  63. Orlando

    The laws in the United States are far too lenient. If laws here were more like they are in places like Singapore we would not be talking about things like this as often as we do. When the laws here change to where when someone steals, they lose a hand, rapists castrated, and so on…then things like this would less likely occur. We react to crimes rather than preact. The damage has already occured.
    Criminals rarely reform from being in jail. The punishment rarely fits the crime. Life in prison or death does not bring back the lives of these people…and we the people are responsible. Laws need to change. Rights? What rights does a criminal have? We pay to rehabiltate the ones that mostly cannot be rehabilitated. The vicious cycle continues and we sit dumbfounded wondering where we the people went wrong…….Criminals don’t rationalize and we try to rationalize what they have done. You can’t rationalize with evil. What is so sad is we can change many of these things….and its takes years to make the smallest change because of politics. Its disgusting.

  64. Claudia

    Why oh why oh why didn’t they nab the car as they drove away from the bank,and then enter the house with the guy ??
    At that time,everybody was alive..
    I just don’t get the police action,or lack of it.

    And the Dr. seems so devoid of any affectionate
    words toward his wife..he talks of things the kids have accomplished…but what about the love ?
    seemed cold,distant.

  65. WH Mom

    I am sure the doc is on a dose of meds that would sedate a horse. Can you imagine??? As far an eye for an eye I think one horrid crime is enough. Let’s not make the angels cry twice.

    Think positive thoughts and lock up before bed!

  66. These jerks (not allowed to post profanity), have got a lot of nerve to plea Not Guilty.

    God, the prosecution and the Cheshire PD better not screw this up.

    Also, did you catch this…

    The ex-girlfriend of one of the suspects in the Cheshire home invasion is talking.

    Caroline Mesel, 18, now lives in Arkansas and said Joshua Komisarjevsky called her from prison not long after the home invasion….

    Mesel said the Petits offered Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes breakfast before they drove Jennifer Hawke Petit to a nearby bank and forced her to withdraw $15,000 during the home invasion in July.

    Mesel also said Komisarjevsky tried to pin the killings of the three Petit women on Hayes during their phone call.

    “He was just telling me Hayes started freaking out. He kind of tried to make Hayes look like he did it all,” she said.

    When asked about possible punishment, Mesel said, “He’s a low-down punk and he deserves whatever he gets. If they had a poll, I’d actually push for the death penalty.”

    Not Guilty… are you kidding me? Even the criminals have audacity. Does anyone know about the judge assigned to this case?

  67. Gary Reger

    “Not Guilty?” Let’s remember that even those accused of the most horrific crimes are entitled under our system of justice to a presumption of innocence, and that they have the right to plead however they like. Nothing shows the best side of America better than the rights we accord in the criminal justice system even to people charged with crimes that “shock the conscience.”

  68. Nugent

    These pieces of $hit need to be put down like the animals they are. This country is to passive on violent crime. Murder = death sentence in my book!

  69. Nugent

    Wait ’til something like this happens to your family Gary Reger. Maybe you won’t be so soft then. Of course they are entitled to due process but if convicted they should get lethal injection – end of story.

  70. Kevin Walsh

    Not quite “end of story.” In light of Nugent’s acknowledgement of the accuseds’ right to due process, I presume that s/he also acknowledges their right to appeal any conviction before being strapped to a gurney.

    Nugent’s remarks supporting the death penalty in this case address a different issue than what appears to be the primary focus of the Nov. 3 comments by the King and Gary Reger. That exchange related to the accuseds’ decision not to plead guilty, and instead put the state to its proof regarding the charges. The King appeared to take this exercise of a constitutional right as some sort of affront; Gary Reger had a different view. In any case, the issue that they were discussing relates to the accuseds’ rights PRIOR TO conviction.

    What penalty they should ultimately receive in the event of a conviction that is not subsequently vacated or overturned on appeal is a different question.

  71. Kevin Walsh

    I should clarify that my comments above regarding appellate rights assumes conviction after trial, rather than as a part of a plea bargain.

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