This week People Magazine Investigates the shocking murder of two teenage girls and their mother in a brutal home invasion.
Cheshire, Connecticut, July 23, 2007, and the Petit family were at home in their home when two burglars invaded their home.
In the house were 48-year-old Jennifer Hawke-Petit, her husband Dr. William William Petit Jr. and their two daughters 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela. When around 3 a.m. two men crept into their house and hit the sleeping Petit Jr. on the head with a baseball bat. He was then tied up in the basement and the two girls were tied to their beds.
In the morning Hawke-Petit was driven to a nearby bank where she took out $15,000, the threat of her family being harmed looming over her. When she was taken back to the house one of the men sexully assaulted her and then strangled her to death.
The pair of intruders then doused the house with petrol and set the home ablaze and fled in Petit’s vehicle as police arrived at the scene. On the way down the street they smashed into a police cruiser and were arrested.
Sadly both girls died from the smoke whilst they were tied helplessly to their beds, but Petit Jr. managed to break free of his bonds and escaped out of the cellar hatch.
The men arrested were Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes, both of whom were found guilty and given the death penalty. This was later changed to life after Connecticut abolished the death penalty.
People Magazine Investigates airs on Mondays at 10:00 PM on Investigation Discovery.