Sep 6, 2007

More Violence against Women, This time close to home..

Please excuse the humongous lapse in entries folks, Ive been on a life-circumstance-imposed-hiatus from writing. I won't delve into the specifics right now, but suffice to say that I had to take some time out of the daily din to express my feelings over the recent tragedy of the Petit family murders, right here in Cheshire, Connecticut.

I have been deeply, deeply troubled by these crimes and carrying a huge weight in my heart ever since learning of the details of the murders of Mrs Petit and her two young daughters, as well, the near-fatal assault on Dr. William Petit, the sole survivor of the carnage who is now left with only memories of his entire family and undoubtedly haunting thoughts about their last hours.

I was raised in Southern Connecticut in Fairfield county, less than an hours ride from New York city and Ive just recently returned the area. But several years back, I found myself relocating to the Hartford area, 20 miles or so from Cheshire, the small town where this tragedy occurred.

But in truth it wasn't a "tragedy" at all, although clearly tragic, as a tragedy implies a fateful event and it didnt "occur", for that matter either: Two paroled career criminals planned and executed with aforethought and malice, a series of crimes that began with the sighting and stalking of attractive Mrs Petit 48, and her budding 11 yr old daughter Michaela as they shopped for groceries at a local Stop and Shop supermarket.

Can you imagine this - I do. In fact I cannot seem to stop thinking about them. and anguishing over the sequence of events that brought them happenstance into the path of evil.
They were shopping for that evenings family dinner, Michaela had been planning the evening meal that very day. She had become a self-appointed family chef, with a growing
talent for cooking.

Sadly, this would be the last meal that Michaela Petit would ever prepare and the last one her family would enjoy together. Mother and daughter were being watched and appraised in the Stop and Shop parking lot. They were watched as they loaded their family SUV with groceries and then watched and followed as they drove back to their raised ranch home a mile and a half away.

Fifteen hours later, Michaela and her mom would be dead as would 17 year old Hayley Petit, their home would be half burnt and charred, and the contents that remained destroyed
by smoke and fire damage The lone survivor of the nightmarish ordeal, William Petit Jr was very near death himself from severe head injury and blood loss, the result of multiple blows to his head with a baseball bat.

To me there was clearly resentment and hatred at the core of these crimes and this was multifold. First, there is an obvious anger and resentment towards women, as is evidenced from the sexual assaults, which I firmly believe were the motives for these crimes.The money stolen was secondary.

The age of the perpetrator's rape victims tells me a lot: The younger of the two, at 27 himself chooses a veritable child as the object of his coveting. Remember, this whole crime began with the spotting of Jennifer and young Michaela at a supermarket. Although only 11 years old from various photos I have seen, Michaela seems to have just gone through a growth spurt that summer, one that left her fairly tall for her age and could easily mistake her for a slightly older 13- 14-year old tween.

Enter emotionally stunted predator Joshua komisarjevsky: Michaela's appearance made her fair game for this sexual-predator in the making, yet emotionally she was still child enough to pose no threat to his ego, as an adult woman or even an older teenager surely would. ie Hayley Petit who reportedly was not raped was not his primary sexual goal.

We have all heard enough times that rape is not about sex, but about power and control. This is painfully true in this case as an other: These two career felons with histories of stints in and out of prison comprising most of thier adult lives were not likely to get much attention nor respect from women in general, much less voluntary sex. This equated to the perception that women in general have a power over them, particularly women that they viewed as privileged or affluent, ie rendering these two men completely out of 'their league"
I am certain that there was a deep abiding sentiment of "the have's and the have nots" here, with these two hopelessly relegated to the latter in their own minds. These were the seeds of bitterness and hate that contributed largely to these crimes.

Bear in mind too that predator Joshua Komisarjevsky was in fact raised within the mixed working class/upper middle class town of Cheshire Connecticut where the Petits home was
and the crimes took place; The only adopted son of an Electrician, who was himself the son of a famous and respected Russian Ballet Dancer turned beloved ballet instructor, with familial roots to Russian Royalty of some sort. Komisarjevsky was living with his parents at the time of the murders, thus giving the Conn Parole board what it wanted insofar as the appearence of a secure and safe environment for the former career thief. He resided in a house a mere two miles from the Petit home where the crimes occurred.

Details are not readily available to explain how or why his family had apparently fallen upon some difficult times in recent years, their once well-kept farmhouse home now in comparative shambles, the grounds neglected and unkempt. To me, thiis becomes even more indicative that Komisarjevsky felt as if on the "outside Llooking in" Living in a mostly upper middle classs town with a striking difference in lifestyle from those who surrounded him in the more affluent homes in Cheshire . Homes that he that he frequently chose to break into from the age of 14 up to the present.

Please pardon me for this detour into the lives and minds of the cruel and cowardly men that committed these crimes. I too rage at them. I too want justice and swiftly,but I also need to have a basic understanding of how this predator is created, and then enabled by his family and the system and even more importantly how they operate. +0+
There is a classic Mode of operandi for the sociopath. The more I read about crime of this sort, the more textbook these guys become, and the more likely I am to recognize them as I traverse my own life.

In fact many people would be amazed and horrified to know just how many people with "Anti-social personality disorder" exist around us and among us. All too often the so-called boogey-man is not grotesque, nor stupid ,nor inarticulate. In fact, the most dangerous sociopaths are highly intelligent, highly articulate and highly manipulative- which explains how they are able to blend in so well and behave as "normal people" do.

In the meantime, they inwardly mock what they know is expected of them, including the possession of a conscience, something they recognize as an expecttation of them.
As such they will often laboriously carefully craft the appearance of such qualities, especially when it is neccesary in getting out of a jam, which often their criminal behavior has led them into.

For example, the crocodile tears that Komisarjevsky used at one of his last sentencing hearings, whilst trying to illicit sympathy from the judge and prosecutor, he stated the desire to address the many many victims of his latest string of robberies which spanned several towns and districts, but none of whom were present in court that morning. "I only wish my victims were here today so I could show them how sorry I am" he gushed.

It hasn't helped matters that this guy has a boyish -looking face and a soft spoken voice, likely something he's mastered as part of an innocent seeming personae, one that he dons as it is necessary - with his parents, the church, school administration and later, law enforcement as he became frequently embroiled in one problem after another with all agencies that represented authority.

While all of this knowledge regarding the criminal mind doesn't ease the pain over the lives lost to these monsters, it does help me somehow in De-mystfying them, thus reducing them to something akin to laboratory rats rather than my former attributing some mysterious evil force which only served to empower them.

When this kind of brutality happens, I do my best to crawl into the perpetrators lives/minds and to follow the trail that is always left, showing the roots of cold and inhuman proclivities. These traits are often not diagnosed, misdiagnosed under-diagnosed within many social agencies connected to our court system, as stemming from issues of low self esteem and/or abuse that the evolving predator might have experienced as children.

This kind of thinking only helps enable and excuse crimes such as the ones that led up to the Petit family assaults and murders. And it does not take into consideration the entity known as the sociopath, as this brand of personality disorder simply evades all rules of thumb when it comes to what most people can grasp as decent human beings. There is no way to "make sense of them or their actions.

And therin lies the struggle and the pain that so many of us have when things like this happen.
We cannot make sense of it, it does not compute we cannot make it fit. And unfortunately, some people who cannot or refuse to conceive of the notion of a simply evil person, invest a lot of time and energy into trying to explain, and help excuse an individual for committing acts such as this. Sadly it is a wild goose chase, and within the criminal justice system, a very dangerous one, that will end in more crime and as is usually the way, of an escalating nature.

The irony is that The Petit family could not have been a better example of kindness, generosity (of self and spirit,) and social and spiritual conscientiousness, all wiped out in an effort to obliterate evidence of the rapes that had been the precursor and motivation for the entire evenings carnage. I honestly believe that the 'robbery' was incidental as well as the 15,000 withdrawal that Jennifer Petit made under duress from her bank that fateful morning.

I can only surmise that Mrs Petit may have desperately tried to buy more time in an attempt to buy off the criminals in hopes of saving her family's life-a family that was being held hostage for the last 6 hours and sexually assaulted repeatedly.

I am sickened at all of this and yet it happened and right around the corner. therefore I must not turn away as I was tempted when first told of the crimes. I owe this to the victims not to bury my head in the sand and say to myself I cannot think about all of this, its just too awful'
We must consider it, we absolutely must remember it and we most of all we must try our best to insure that it doesnt happen again in our State.

I really don't look for this stuff , it just seems that time and time again these awful multiple type murders have a common misogynistic theme at their core: a loathing and resentment towards females and in this case also envy, hatred and resentment for what appears to be affluence and privilege-In reality Dr Petit came from working class roots and was by all accounts, a self made and modest man, who gave generously of his time and energy to assist less fortunate people through his practice, his church, the community and charitable works
As a people let us please use these senseless crimes as a starting point for drastic changes in how our Connecticut Courts deal with crime and justice. As a state, Connecticut has an abysmal reputation, well earned merely processing our crimes and thus our criminals.
I personally can attest first hand that criminals who have committed violent crimes are no exception to this processing mill called criminal court where plea deals are automatic and dropped charges, lowered charges, nolles and dismissals of serious criminal charges happen every single day in our area courthouses, with nary a hitch.

Note: The latest disturbing news is that the toxicology reports on the suspects both came back negative! This translates into the knowledge that these two predators were 100 percent sober and lucid when they committed these crimes.

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