The above title header is Linked to Photos of the Petit family crime scene and some evidenciary files. Some of the Photos are very upsetting. Chasing Justice is linking to the photos as they are essential to the death penalty case against Steven J Hayes, currently in its third day of proceedings. They also help others to understand the full pain and terror that these crimes rendered upon four innocent human beings - As awful as they are, they now become part of the voice for Jennifer, Hayely and Michaela Petit, may they Rest in Peace. Although he survived, Dr William Petit was severely injured in these crimes. He lives with symptoms from these injuries on a daily basis as well as the Post Trauma and perpetual grief caused by the brutal assaults and murders of his family.
Todays court proceedings in the State of Connecticut vs Steven Hayes were by far the most difficult and painful for the members of the Jury as well as the lone survivor and witness to the crimes, Dr William Petit Jr who lost his wife and children to the same murders that almost claimed his life.
Family members of both the Petit and Hawke families were also visbily shaken during portions of todays testimony, they have surrounded and flanked Dr Petit since the first day of the trial's three day proceedings. The reason for the unusual emotional display was a reaction to very detailed testimony from a member of the Cheshire Fire Deartment who discovered the partially burnt bodies of Michaela and Hayely Petit 11 and 17 respectively, as well as the body of Jennifer Hawke-Petit who had been strangled prior to the fire that consumed her daughters lives.
Even the seasoned fireman appeared to be extremely distraught as he testified about his discovery of 11 year old Michaela, who he found in the still smoldering bedroom with her arms still bound above her head to her bed; her feet were off the bed in a seeming attempt to somehow get away from the encroaching smoke and flames.
He stated that before he even approached the girl on the bed it was obvious that she was deceased. It was at this juncture in the days testimony that Dr William Petit could not help the tears that now flowed freely. Petit had thus far managed to remain composed and relatively calm throughout the first two days of the trial which included often upsetting testimony and information regarding the case, not to mention while taking the stand himself on the second day of the courts proceedings:
As the only surviving witness to these crimes William Petit was a key component of the state's case against Steven Hayes, who prosecutor dearington is seeking the death penalty for his participation in these senseless and particularly cruel kidnappings assaults and murders.
Two Police officers gave similarly detailed and heart-wrenching testimony regarding the discovery of and condition of 17 year old Hayley Petit who having been found outside an upstairs bathroom clearly had managed to at least get free from her bonds-this as we knew from prior testimony and the defendents confessions that Hayely was tied to her bed hand and foot, just as Michaela was throughout the home invasion and sexual assaults that preceded the murder of the girls. The two sisters tecnically died of smoke inhalation although hayley's body was reportedly burnt beyond recognition. This is the same as the lungs becoming severely burnt from the gasoline fueled fire, heat and toxic substance inhalation caused by carpeting plastics and other household items, which when burnt, produce extremely noxious smoke and gas, all of which likely contributed to the girls deaths.
It has been established that both girls were alive while Mr Hayes and possibly Mr Komisarjevsky poured gasoline liberally on and around them and their bed linens leading a trail of gasoline down the stairs straight to Mrs Petits strangled and carelessly discarded body which had been sexually assaulted. This was all done clearly in an effort to destroy both DNA and witness evidence linking Hayes to the sexual assault of Mrs Petit and Komisrjevsky to the sexual assault of Michaela Petit. You'll recall that Mrs Petits rape occurred literally moments after she returned from the bank with him, having withdrawn 15000 dollars in exchange for her families safe release.
Unfortunately, Mrs Petits generosity bought her no mercy with her family's captors. In fact the gasoline for the torching of the the house, the evidence and all four "witnesses" (it appears that in escaping the basement and rolling to his neighbors house Dr Petit foiled the captors plans in including him in the house fire victims.) had been purchased hours before her trip to the bank with Mr Hayes.
Both men with complete and full aforethought planned the execution of this entire family, beginning at least as early as 6 am, when Steven Hayes made a trip to a nearby Gas station to fill up 6 containers of gasoline containers, all stolen from the Petit family garage) Gas station tapes show him going about this task methodically and cell phone records from that morning, show phone calls made from hayes phone to komisrajevsky- who apparently had to give Hayes directions back to the Petit house as he got lost on his return trip.
The Jurors only were shown Photographs of each victim's body as they were discovered by firemen at the murder/arson scene shortly after the raging fire was extinguished enough to enter the home.
Audible crying and gasps were seen and heard and stricken faces were the norm with all members of the jury, some of whom were unable to stop reflexive reactions to the stark reality of these cruel and brutal murders of a child and a teenager by fire. There is no way to prepare oneself for that.
After the testimony and photos,with some closing words of support and encouragement aimed at the jury, judge blue ended the days proceedings prematurely making certain to send the jury home with a pep talk of sorts,
telling them that they had now been through the most difficult part of the trial and he said that it would be okay for the jurors to" hug eachother" for support. Court was thus adjourned for the day.