Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Connecticut Nightmare

Sunday Night

After robbing the Bergamo and Hick houses in Cheshire on Saturday, July 21, prosecutors say Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky chose a new target for Sunday night. The younger man talked to his girlfriend, who had recently moved to Arkansas, at about 10:30 p.m. and then went out with a black hooded sweatshirt. At about the same time, Steven Hayes left his mother's house, saying he was going to see someone about a job.

Police believe the two men met at the Super Stop & Shop. They left Hayes's borrowed pickup truck in the parking lot and then went out for a few drinks. By around 3 a.m. Monday morning, after the bars had all closed, the two ex-cons were standing outside the Petit house at 300 Sorghum Mill Drive.

Although much has been reported about what happened during the night of the horrific home invasion, there remain unknown details. The two accused killers await their separate trials and defense lawyers worry about being able to find a fair and impartial jury. According to the Hartford Courant, both accused men talked to investigators, and their stories contradict each other in places.

Although Joshua Komisarjevsky confessed to certain crimes in letters and interviews with journalist Brian McDonald, his version of events has not yet been cross-examined in court and much of it cannot be checked against the physical evidence of the crime scene.

On the Web site, Dr. William Petit has called for a boycott of Brian McDonald's book based on his interviews, In the Middle of the Night, calling it a "pornographic book that is in contempt of court." At the request of Steven Hayes's legal defense team, Judge Richard Damiani has ordered a gag rule in place on the defense, the prosecution, and all law enforcement involved in the case.

Despite the gag rule, information in news reports, legal documents and other sources paint a chilling portrait of what happened in the Petit home that morning.


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