Nov 17, 2007

A Hard Thing To Put Out Of Their Minds --

I have been wondering for quite some time how the families of Dr Petit, and Jennifer Hawke-Petit have been doing since the murders of their beloved family members in July, just over three months ago today.
I came upon an article today in the Hartford Courant about a phone interview with the Hawke family and how they are holding up since the tragedy. Both Reverend Hawke and Mrs Hawke are the parents of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and grandparents to Michaela and Hayley, all three of whom were murdered this summer in a brutal home invasion that ended in the snuffing out of three beautiful and vibrant lives.

The crimes are now what appears to have been sexually motivated. They began with the sighting and stalking of Mrs Petit -Hawke and her daughter Michaela, while they were out shopping at a local Stop And Shop Supermarket. The attractive mother-daughter pair were apparently followed home and their house staked out by two lifetime career criminals, joshua komisarjevksy and steven hayes, The men apparently HAD taken an interest in the Petits when they first saw them in the store itself.

Although Michaela was only 11 YEARS OLD she'd reportedly just had a recent growth spurt which belied her actual young age, and joshua komisarjevsky had a history of attraction to very young girls, the mother of his five year old daughter being only 15 when he began seeing her, while he was 21 at the time. His most recent girlfriend was also 15 when they met- this time when komisarjevsky was 26 making the age difference twice as notable. Obviously the man had severely dysfunctional issues surrounding women and like a pedophile was drawn to very young pubescent or adolescent girls. As is true with most pedophiles, they were no threat to him and he could easily control the relationship as well as the girl with such overt age disparities-if the word "relationship" even applies here.

The two men spent the next several hours plotting a home invasion that would include multiple rapes,, an assault on Dr Petit, arson of the Petit's home, and a brutal and senseless triple murder committed in an attempt to cover up DNA evidence, as well as eliminating all the witnesses to their 6 1/2 hour brutal crime spree.

No matter how many times I read about this I cannot stop imagining these three women; what they were feeling and thinking throughout the ordeal of that long night into the fateful morning. I cannot get it out of my head three months later, and from what I read in this article about the Hawke family, they too cannot get it out of their heads either.

This is why I am so committed to criminal justice reform in this state. Consider how many lives have been so deeply affected by this crime alone. We the people of Connecticut mourn right alongside the Hawkes, right alongside the Petit family, and right alongside every single person that has been graced by the Friendship of these fine people. And We mourn especially for those who will never know them.

The Hawke family, though deeply religious, would still seem tormented by thoughts of "...if only..." or, "...why couldn't this have happened... at the bank... or... when the police arrived " etc... For them it isn't simply a matter of losing one's family, WHICH IS DIFFICULT ENOUGH. It is in the senseless manner in which their lives ended and the maddening series of events that comprised the last 15 minutes of their lives. This this is why so many people just cannot seem to wrap their heads or hearts, around this crime.

The police were involved before the family was murdered, being notified, thanks to Mrs Petit's courage and quick thinking. Unfortunately due to the specific language used by Mrs Petit, undoubtedly given to her by steven hayes, it was conveyed that there was a hostage situation and that specific threats were given. This led the police being notified with the implicit promise of no harm as long as the police were not notified. So basically the Cheshire police were in a very difficult position, they made a judgement based on the info they had at that time and it perhaps cost two possibly three lives lost.

I find that these are the details of the case that have all of us gnashing our teeth and pulling out our own hair, if only on the inside. None of us can help but think about a variety of slightly different scenarios that would have made everything end in a manner that left the three Petit women alive. Yet the roots of this crime were planted and fertilized in our court system-( this includes our Parole board and procedure) and its there that we must look to ensure that nothing like this shall ever happen again in this State.

A Hard Thing To Put Out Of Their Minds --

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