Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Connecticut Nightmare

'Cold-Blooded Predator'

Although they were very different, Joshua Komisarjevsky had at least one thing in common with Steven Hayes. He liked to mix drugs and theft. Together, the two men's parole records totaled 489 pages.

Joshua Komisarjevsky
Joshua Komisarjevsky

In October 2002, Komisarjevsky was convicted on burglary charges and sentenced to three years in prison. Police had discovered stolen electronics in a pawn shop called Easy Money and traced it to the then 22-year-old. After being arrested, however, Komisarjevsky volunteered information about 17 other burglaries he'd committed in the area.

At the time of his sentencing, Komisarjevsky claimed to be turning his life around because of the birth of his daughter Jayda. With tears in his eyes, he addressed the judge. "I only pray that I have the opportunity to be able to raise my daughter in the love and the faith that now has new meaning to my life," he said. Komisarjevsky's parents petitioned for a two-year faith-based program as an alternative to prison time.

In letters with journalist Brian McDonald after the Petit tragedy, however, the young criminal called his confession "tactical"—he'd committed many more crimes that he'd been caught for, he says, and didn't want them to come back to him.

The judge wasn't convinced about Komisarjevsky's revelation. That he "would commit calculated burglaries at night while people were there sleeping," he said, shows that Komisarjevsky is "a calculated, cold-blooded predator." He sentenced the young burglar to nine years in prison and six years' parole.

Because of good behavior in prison, Komisarjevsky was given early release and cuffed with an electronic monitoring device. The bracelet was removed in July 2007, less than a week before three members of the Petit family were murdered in Cheshire.


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