It's day four of the Komisarjevsky penalty phase, day two of Jude Komisarjevsky's testimony, and we must once again thank Komisarjevsky's defense team for their parade of witnesses to corroborate what we already knew.
Joshua Komisarjevsky is a full-blown Textbook Sociopath and the symptoms began showing in earnest by the time he was fourteen years of age.
Sociopathology or "anti-social personality disorder" as is it's technical designation by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, is not a mental illness, and it is not treatable by psychotherapy, counseling or psychiatry.
Therefore, Komisarjevsky's lawyers can get off this tired and unsound argument that "'if only he'd been given the mental health treatment that he so clearly needed as a youth, instead of religious themed intervention ....the Petit family would be alive.
As well Benjamin Komisarjevsky can let himself off the hook, or rather let the State of Connecticut off the hook ie he claimed during his cross, that the State should have helped more in providing the professional counseling that the Cheshire Police said their son needed, this after the teen aged Komisarjevsky set fire to an abandoned gas station in town.
At the time the elder Komisarjevsky was financially unable to provide long term therapy for his troubled son, which was/is very expensive, especially when dealing with Psychiatrists, who are called in when psychiatric medication is indicated. In reality anti-social personality disorder is believed to usually be exacerbated by cognitive or talk therapy. The sociopath's tendency to lie and manipulate finds itself a perfect home in the "therapeutic relationship".
Their deceptiveness, knowing no bounds, they will often fake and malinger symptoms of other mental illnesses, after researching them, all in an effort to mislead the therapist and/or evade accountability for whatever actions landed them in therapy in the first place. In some instances psycho-pharmacology such as Thorazine and other anti-psychotics have been used to basically defray the worst of the danger that the established sociopath poses to the people around him.
Such is the case with many a serial killer after they are imprisoned having been convicted for multiple murder and or rape. Thus it is not a treatment , but rather a type of pharmacological sterilization of the psyche after the fact. Sociopaths are notorious for refusing to adhere to medication regimens of this sort on an out patient basis; they do not wish to be dulled or made less dangerous. Remember control and power are their watchwords.
In any event pharmaceutical treatment for the budding anti social personality disorder is rarely used with adolescents however, as the diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder the adolescent precursor to sociopath, usually takes a minimum of 6 months of psychiatric sessions to appraise and even then co-existing conditions like attention deficit disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, Bi-polar disorder etc any and all may complicate attempts to medicate the younger patient.
Much of the testimony from the defenses own character witnesses has centered around the notion that Komisarjevsky was a depressed teenager and later young adult. However once again a simple interpretation that anti-depressants would have helped the situation and his parents failed him by sending him to a bible based youth camp, is not only misleading but it is indeed false. Again, due to Komisarjevsky obvious concurrent diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder which segue weighed predictably into anti-social personality disorder, would have made most or all anti-depressants contra-indicated. In other words anti-depressants easily could have made Joshua Komisarjevsky's already simmering rage issues and propensity for control and later, violence manifest themselves sooner or in an even worse capacity than his targeting for the Petit girls at the age of 27.
In Komisrajevsky case, I feel certain that this so - called rape that he told his mother about, for the very first time conveniently while in prison for a recent string of house burglaries, was, and is, nothing but utter manipulation; At that time Komisarjevsky was famous for his conciliatory routine, something his own father described in court just a day ago, citing that his son would write voluminous letters saying how sorry he was for his crimes/and or bad behavior, promising he would change, and become a new person. Bu then, his father sadly admitted, once back home Joshua would usually immediately return to the very same behaviors.
In their opening statement the defense belabored the fact that Joshua Komisrajevsky had been raised in a strict awful household weighted down by a christian mindset rather than elevated by his parents whose strong christian Faith is ultimately what led them to fall in love with each other as well as being so tolerant with their adopted son's continuous refusal to obey their household rules, which were not overly demanding, nor the general rules of society aka the law. Time and again Komisarjevsky seemed to take great pleasure in thumbing his nose at not only his parents Christian beliefs and ethics, but also state laws which he began to flagrantly break over and over again by the age of 14.
The fact that this would be murderer began acting out and becoming more and more unmanageable as a teenager sneaking out of windows at night, putting up satanic symbols on the walls of his bedroom, (something he knew would hurt frighten and be a direct affront to his extremely devout Christian Parents.) shows an escalating personality disorder. This is a bird of an entirely different color than any moos disorder such as bipolar or clinical depression.
The word frighten (aboveis the most essential part of the equation; Joshua Komisrajevsky hoped by use of satanic symbolizing and such to frighten his christian parents especially his clearly submissive mother whom he figured he could more easily gain control of . There goes the defenses earlier theory that Komisarjevsky's father was some kind of overly strict and rigid man; a fact that they'd actually brain washed this poor guy into believing and saying at his sons trial. Of course they probably framed it in such a way that if he said such and such he'd help the cause of saving his son's life blah blah blah"
If Ben Komisarjevsky were indeed the rigid strict scary father that the defense painted him as in their
opening statement this week, there is no way in the world that Josh Komisrajevsky would have ever dared to sneak out windows, or put up satanic symbols on his bedroom walls. Never mind the words hate and murder and suicide for good measure, that one would surely grab the concern of his well meaning and long suffering martyring parents who by now he knew he could wrap around his psychopathic finger.
If anything,it sounds as if both Ben and Jude Komisrajevsky were entirely too permissive, thanks in part to the unusually patient, persevering nature that seemed inherent to their particular brand of Christian faith. Forgive forgive and forgive some more.
Komisarjevsky's mother describes a specific episode where her son Joshua had begun regularly sneaking out of his window at night in order to hang out with hoodlum type friends in the woods and elsewhere, purportedly showing an interest in satanic symbolism at that same time.
On this certain night, she and her husband realized Joshua Komisarjevsky was missing from his room and they called the Cheshire Police to try and find him. She described the scene when Police brought her son back to the house.claiming that there was a distinct change something was "different about Joshua, there was a cocky attitude and an anger that was literally emanating from him.
"His eyes were absolutely dead. It was like he was just dead.”
The anger and the vacant look was undoubtedly because his mother had exerted her authority over him and he was furious that he no longer felt control over the situation. Once the police picked him up and took him away from his friends, probably greatly embarrassing the teen who was trying to act like a total "bad ass" Having your parents send the police out to fetch you and bring you back home is not in the realm of "badassness." which he was clearly striving for, between the satanic symbols on the walls of his room, along with words like hate death suicide -the latter a complete bid for his parents pity and concern knowing once again that their basic christian natures were likely to worry rather than judge or discipline.
Teenagers who have oppositional defiant disorder or something called Conduct disorder, show classic symptoms and Komisarjevksy began showing these very symptoms starting at the age of 12 or 13. By fourteen Komisarjevsky was literally transforming into a full fledged sociopath ( or what was once commonly called a " psychopath. "
Interestingly one of the most common physical descriptions that victims of sociopaths often relate to authorities is an "empty" or "dead" look in the eyes of their assailant (IE rapists, batterers or would - be murderers one such example was a woman that escaped Ted Bundy's clutches, by jumping out of his car door with handcuffs still attached to one of her hands. She told police and testified in court that suddenly he turned to her in the car and his formerly engaging friendly eyes changed, as did his entire countenance, into something akin to an animal.
This is what I believe Jennifer Petit experienced with Joshua Komisrajevsky. He was the one carrying on all of the friendly conversation for the greater part of the kidnapping. He kept everyone including Dr Petit calm by assuring all that no one would be hurt, as soon as we get the money well be on our way. Dr Petit said that the man who h9it him with the bat did all the talking - this was komisrajevsky. He also said that while the mans voice had been reassuring after he'd tied him and basically neutralized him, after he heard some banging noises upstairs and moaning which he thought might be his wife, that same voice suddenly became terribly sinister when petit yelled hey up towards the sounds of violence.
" Don't worry" the voice now said tauntingly with terrible sounding intent" it will all be over in a few minutes..."
Ironically it was Komisarjevsky-the-sociopath's pleasure in wielding power that ushered William petit to muster the last bit of strength he had to break loose of the plastic zip tie binds on his hands, hop up the steps of his cellar and roll his body to his neighbors garage yelling to call 911, ultimately becoming the sole witness against him.
Victims of such men will describe these eyes as not human, soulless, sometimes resembling predatory animal such as sharks which statistically are the most mentioned.
I have to say I've never seen a penalty phase of a trial so excessive, so overt in its attempts to manipulate the jury. Also a bone of contention is that the presiding Judge Blue, typically a no nonsense jurist, is either walking on eggshells with this defense now afraid of a mistrial or valid grounds for appeal at this late stage refusing every one of the prosecutions rarely used and as a result unusually fair objections to what has become an overload attempt at humanizing a convicted child rapist and triple murderer.
This Jury and now the entire public, have literally been bombarded with childhood photographs of this pedophile, rapist, assailant and triple murderer, Joshua Komisrajevsky, frequently referred to lately as "Josh" From infancy to toddler-hood we have been deluged with photo after photo of this man as a innocuous looking child, wearing his daddy's clothes, eating a birthday cake and even painting a white picket fence.
Yes, you heard it right - a white picket fence.
And the prosecution objects, asking for relevancy of these photos, and Judge Blue overrules the objections.
What I'd like to know is:
Where are the family photos of Joshua Komisrajevsky's murder victims?
Why are there none to defray the emotional reflex that the defense is hoping the jury will feel over the sight of this murderer as an innocent child?
Where are the photos of a beautiful little girl named Michaela Rose Petit, Joshua Komisrajevsky's very own special target of choice - in case of point, the very reason that the Petit home invasion happened in the first place? Michaela Petit was a beautiful baby, a beautiful child and moreover she had a beautiful little soul and this world has been robbed of her - Because angry sociopath Joshua Komisarjevsky decided that he wanted to rape a pretty and sweet little girl just budding into a teenager
destroy her innocence and take control of her entire household, starting with the near fatal neutralization of the only real threat in the house, William Petit Jr.
It is Michaela Jennifer and Hayley Petit's photos that this jury should be spending their time with. Or at the very least,spending equal time with. Instead day after day images of Joshua Komsarjevsky and his various childhood events, are shown on a giant screen before the Jury and in Newspapers and Blogs,
The photos taken before he became the sullen, violence- pondering teen,and later full grown man
a Parolee that kidnapped, tortured and murdered a little girl named Michaela, her beloved sister Hayley and her equally beloved mother Jennifer Petit whose bed she was sleeping in when this man
grabbed her away and led her to her own bed tying her hands and feet as tears ran down her face.
And what about photos of lone survivor and still grief stricken William Petit Jr on his wedding day kissing his wife whose fatal mistake in life was trusting Joshua Komisrajevsky and taking him at his word when he promised not to hurt her family. Bill Petit was a healer,a wonderful doctor before Joshua Komisarjevsky entered his home intent upon bashng the sleeping man's head over and over with a bat,
as he slept on his own sunroom couch.
Certainly this Jury needs to see these photographs more than they need to see the killer's coming out photos. Again, I am disappointed with the State prosecutors - They were well aware that this defense team had an elaborate "show" prepared for the penalty phase of this trial And despite the fact that they knew that it was going to be a great deal of smoke and mirrors, there was an enormous witness list at the central core of this mass illusion for the sake of the jury as well as the media, who they've been courting all along,despite their incessant protestations about their presence.
This being what it is and was, the State had a moral obligation-not necessarily to sink to their Nemesis's level, but rather to ensure that the defense did not pull off any of their main objective; to convince even one member of this jury that Joshua Komisarjevsky was so emotionally damaged as a child and teenager from neglect and alleged sexual abuse,that his evolution into murderous criminal behavior was inevitable.
The assertion that he'd never been violent within any of his crimes before teaming up with one Steven J Hayes also should have been carefully dissected and the actual truth laid out clearly, cohesively and with the use of specialists such as criminal/forensic psychologists hired to evaluate the dynamics of the two men, using the massive amount of evidence as well as each mans psychological profile to illustrate to this jury that Joshua Komisrajevsky was most assuredly the leader, the brains, and the instigator of the entire criminal event including the murders which were decided the moment he sexually assaulted Michaela Petit.
Joshua Komisarjevsky's personal life and criminal history should have been scrutinized as well as the
defense's own forensic psychologist's findings, via the paid hired shrink whose testimony echoed everything the defense wished it to.
The Jury needed a 1 day lesson in anti-social personality disorder, oppositional defiant disorder,
and extremely essential the symptoms of the evolution of a sexual predator, of which Komisarjevsky left a veritable trail of symptomology and an unusual boldness starting at an early age when he began peeking into houses stealing panties off clotheslines.
The Jury and the entire courtroom have now listened to nearly a week of talk and testimony about this convicted assailant rapist and murderer's life; First they endured a lengthy opening statement by his defense attorney's who melodramatically proclaimed that Joshua Komisrjevsky was "doomed from birth" An insulting and arrogant assertion, both from a psychiatric standpoint as well morally a purposely dishonest railroading of Komisarjevsky's well meaning if anything overly tolerant adoptive parents, who big sin, according to omniscient Jeremiah Donovan, a man who could give Komisarjevsky a run for his money in the arena of shameless manipulation and mendacity, was their commitment to their Christian Faith.
Never a hand was raised to Joshua Komisrajevsky. No one verbally abused him and it would certainly appear that he was not neglected, from a basic needs standpoint as well as the love of two parents who refused to give up on what was clearly a problem teenager and later young adult.
Mr and Mrs Komisrajevsky took their son back into their home every single time he broke the law and indeed ultimately embraced him. Every time he ran roughshod over the rights of others, starting with lighting gas stations afire, invading neighbors homes and robbing them-for sport" He committed voyeurism with a young girl he fancied, stalking her from trees and bushes on her property, literally making this girls life miserable, according to Cheshire police detectives.
And more and more brazen thievery. Satanic worship, undoubtedly designed to frighten his parents into leaving him alone and not trying to put constraints on him, this at age 14 while still living in their house, eating their food, and happy to use their middle class respectability to get out of his latest scrapes with the law. The satanic worship behaviors were obviously a backlash against what komisrakjevsky saw as his parents attempts to control him and a more authoritative approach to his increasingly defiant behavior, such as sneaking out of his bedroom window in order to spend the nights out.
It was becoming more and more important to Joshua Komisrajevsky to be the one in control.
The Petit family home invasion was planned around the desire to commit sexual assault -rape, a crime that forensic psychologists have known for years is all about power and control. The State prosecutors might have read excerpts from Brian MacDonald's paperback novel, based almost solely upon the claims of Joshua Komsarjevsky who was in prison awaiting the trial of his accomplice Steven Hayes. Hayes Jury selection had yet to be scheduled when the book, which began in a first person narrative as if in the mind of Komisarjevsky, was published and offered in area Bookstores.
Komisarjevskys claims of innocence were largely disproved within the forensic evidence shown during the Hayes trial. But in it he predictably tried to shift all of the capital crime blame upon his accomplice..yet at times he forgets his goal and repeatedly betrays himself . He admits to " his demons getting the best of him" when sexually assaulting Michael Petit only 11 years old. Although this is akin to voices telling someone to kill another, it is still an admission of guilt.Komisarjevsky also admitted to MacDonald that this was never supposed to be a regular robbery, altho he lamely tries to cite Hayes as the one who came up with the idea of armed robbery he again shows his true colors when saying when he saw the Petit family at the Stop and Shop "he liked the way the younger Petit girl looked" He went on to tell MacDonald that a home invasion where the people would be tied up all night, opened up all kinds of possibilities.."
For whatever reason the state never brought this book into evidence or question, nor did they call Brian MacDonald as a witness. The book, which was clearly hastily written and poorly edited, came out months before the start of Steven Hayes trial. It was an emotional blow to the still grieving community of Cheshire, not to mention people both in and out of the state who heard about it, or read the many excerpts that were being published all over the Internet.
It was like a scab that had just begun to form, out of nowhere being ripped off.