Michaela Petit was only eleven years old when she was taken from this world on July 23rd 2007.
She would be eighteen today.
Living in Connecticut, I was/am geographically fairly close to where the Petit family lived.
The series of crimes against this particularly down to earth family devastated me;
I found myself fixated upon what all of them went through beginning with the 3 am home invasion and attack upon William Petit 10 or so baseball bat blows to the slumbering head of household;
(The Perpetrators' could easily see thru the Petit home's sun porch windows on that warm July early morning.)
A gripping question that I kept asking was why these crimes, which the Petit family complied completely with, ended with mother and two daughters all murdered despite Police car units driving within 1/8 of a mile of the Petit home when the first 911 call came in to Police re The Petit family their address details of a robbery and hostage kidnapping in progress with obvious precious time factors.
Truthfully I began to become obsessed emotionally as I learned more, my heart literally broke I lay in bed at night, visions of the crimes, what these girls experienced, the attack on Bill Petit and his shock and pain. I spent a lot of time thinking about little Michaela who had been sleeping in her mom's bed when the two assailant's grabbed the young girl and took her immediately away from her mother into her own bedroom, tying the terrified girl to her bed surrounded by her own stuffed animals.
Something about those stuffed animals - the juxtaposition of such innocence clashing with the evil of Joshua komisarjevsky a pedophile at only 28 it was Michaela he'd spoted at a supermarket that day and decided to follow the pretty blonde girl home his own girlfriend ten years younger at 15 had just been relocated to Arkansas by her minister father who viwed Joshua as a career criminal and a paedophile.
I replayed the crimes in my head as tiny pieces of evidence made it to the public .
Tragically I found out that Mrs. Petit's trusting nature inadvertantly aided and abetted her captors in that she managed to get out of the house when the men demanded she go to an out of ton bank to withdraw money while the other man stood guard with her vulnerable family. Thus far Komisarjevsky was holding his pedophilic desires I check for he knew Mrs Petit's compliance was completely necessary if he were to get the big prize the 15000 she would withdraw for them.
Hayes made two small trips and each time he left the huse this is when Joshua molested poor little Michaela whom he even had change into school girl outfits which he cut off of her body with scissors.
Shrewd he made certain to put he back into her pajamas before allowing her mother to see her briefly before she left for the bank with hayes. After they left Komisarjevsky was completely without conscience and the cell hone photos he took a tie stamped showed a drastic escalation in his sexual assaults as well his pornographic cell photos which are said to be horrific.
Every ounce of me, as a woman and a human being wanted to rewind the whole Petit family crime, including the Cheshire Police's less than stellar handling of an immediately reported hostage situation- their cars were already within 5 minutes of the crime as it was unfolding into a murderous rape and well planned preparation to burn to death the two girls alive - one who was raped repeatedly and Hayley we will ever really know as she was burnt much more severely and this made accurate rape samples improbable.
It was quite a coup that Jen Petit while being extorted of 15,000 at the bank somehow conveyed to a teller that she needed this unusually high amount cash fast in order to pay two men that were holding her family hostage tied up in their Sorghum hill home.
As well Mrs Petit managed to keep her cool as Steven Hayes sat slumped in the drivers seat trying to avoid any camara detection once te house was burned down and investigations began. With a cap over his eyes he was just within jens sight, sizing up her interaction with the teller at the counter.
She had only one chance to get word to the outside world but not tip off her captor- as her daughters were just a cell phone call away from Hayes who would order the other kidnapper to kill them all and meet him somewhere else.......or so she believed.
I have always held a deep respect and empathy for this strong woman she grabbed that chance to try to send in the cavalry without tipping her kidnapper off and causing her family harm or death.
I have ruminated a thousand times over what Jennifer Petit felt as she entered her home with the money and was immediately pounced on by both men who tied her legs and arms straight away, the former innocuous façade and false politeness gone in a snap. The worst part was that a rope was found around her neck. This means that her murder was completely premeditated.
Jenns Her screams awoke unconscious Bill Petit and thus certainly the girls just up the stairs, heard their mothers pleadings and struggling and the ensuing ominous silence. Jennifer's larynx was broken in two different places, the second break killing her. Komisarjevsky according to Hayes paced in and out of the room \\\\\\\\\\747\\44\ k
I was not alone this unshakable frustration anger and broken hearted feeling that would not leave me; As bits of news trickled out - and the news was scant it became clearer and clearer that some members of the Cheshire Police Department who gave directives repeatedly to not approach the Petit's home despite a swarm of Police cars and armed officers Dogs body armor and automatic weaponry, instead of trying to make contact the Cheshire hostage negotiator was told NOT to come no attempt was made to call the home or speak via bullhorn.
Instead standard tire strips and car blockades were set up up the small street that the Petit home was perched upon as the girls were being splashed with gasoline and a path poured from Jen Petit's body up the stairs to each girls room and all over their beds. It turned out despite rigorous efforts BY Mrs. Petit, that hostage negotiator was told he wasn't needed ( it took 5 plus years for this information to sneak its way to the media, where it was swiftly away with little fanfare; The fact that such essential information was hidden for so long speaks volumes and it is disgraceful..
Michaela had been sexually assaulted she lay tied in ripped pajamas doused in gasoline with a pillowcase over her head having been forced to shower as the rapist attempted his first go around with getting rid of his DNA which was found anyway as was testified to in court by the medical examiner.
Hayley who had just undergone a punctured lung less than a month before this despicable attack also lay tied to her bed having broken her binds once already and komisarjevsky admitted calling in the then 240 lb Hayes to wrestle poor Hayley back onto her bed where she was tied much more firmly and goodness knows what else she suffered at the hands of these rapists and pedophiles.
After hearing their mother screaming and struggling with both Hayes and komisarjevsky after returning to the house giving Hayes exactly what the men asked for and of course promised the children and Dr. Petit wouldn't be harmed as long as they got their money.
Komisarjevsky whose motivation for the home invasion was the desire to take over a house filled with the pretty blonde 11 year old whom he climed to the reporting detective she sure didn't look 11 to me!!! As if it were his victims fault for having a summer growth spurt that left her appearing perhaps 13 or 14 at the most. As most people know he had spotted Michaela that very day skipping up the produce aisle at an area stop and shop where he slyly followed Mrs Petit and her daughters back to their house and scanned it out for accessibility and weak points for breaking in ; his specialty along with stalking and breaking and entering while the homeowners were in their home.
He bragged to Police that he wouldn't break in to empty houses this was too boring" as well he admitted to breaking into over 100 houses in the area and often took trinkets that belonged to the female members of the homes.
This was a glaring warning sign of a sexual predator highly experienced in getting into homes now his only lack was physical size as he was rail thin and if he ran into any man or woman of good size, he would undoubtedly wind up on the receiving end of harm from the homeowner.
And the likelihood of his being able to rape anyone was fairly slim although as in the case of Mr Petit caught asleep on a couch he toted a baseball bat and rendered poor Bill Petit semi conscious sighting him asleep with a book on his chest through a sun porch window on the night of the home invasion.
His extremely frail build and cowardly sociopathic nature is why he procured the help of his accomplice Steven Hayes. Of course he immediately distanced himself from Hayes pointing the finger at him citing Hayes obsession with DNA despite the fact that until the very end of the morning only komisarjevsky had left his DNA anywhere when he was assaulting Michaela and taking cellphone photos of the acts which grew more violent when Mrs Petit left the house with Hayes.
Classic sneaky Sociopath he had been reeling Jennifer Petit in succeeding in winning her over with his guy next door face soft spoken voice and earnest promises. He would only molest Michaela prior to her protective mother finally leaving their home. Mrs Petit even asked if she could please see her daughters prior to leaving for the bank with Hayes as Komisarjevsky watched over" the girls.
Mrs. Petit was blindfolded and purposely kept from the area where her husband had been awoken with baseball bat blows to his skull He was quickly dragged out of sight and tied hand and foot to a pole in the cellar. If Mrs. Petit had been privy to the violence that Komisarjevsky was capable of --- she undoubtedly would have tried to escape at the bank or another juncture.
I was very torn about writing this article; I have read some of the family and friends wishes to not dwell on their loved ones murders, but rather to focus on their giving loving spirits.
I feel the incredible spirit of this family, as well survivor Bill Petit Jr who has raised millions for victims of violence and many other great causes through the Petit Family Foundation which he has helped become successful and nearly self sustaining.
I too do not appear to remember these angels for the way that they died that appears sensationalistic - ever!
That said as a survivor, I know the importance of keeping the truth alive. The truth of what ended these three lives are the very embodiment of this crime.
Some of the details of their murders, including the predation of a family simply shopping for a nights meal, hold the answers to preventing crimes akin to these
Predation The ways of the Sociopath; they may vary but fortunately they also all have similar traits - traits that we can learn about and soon we will be extremely familiar with them.
And this knowledge transcends the intellectual; as does th eventual innate evading and escaping the stalk or grip of a predator - be it a full blown serial rapist murderer or a man who abuses women and or children.
Let us learn from the loss of Michaela; Research, Learn, Get involved.
Happy Birthday Angel, THANKS TO YOU We are doing our best to "Be The Change"