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The Cheshire Murders (2013)

In the quiet suburb of Cheshire, Connecticut, Jennifer Petit and her two young daughters were killed in a horrific home invasion; husband and father William Petit was the only one who ... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
Marilyn Bartoli ...
Deb Biggins ...
Michael Daluz ...
Jeremiah Donovan ...
Bob Farr ...
William Gerace ...
Rebekah Greer-Carney ...
Marybelle Hawke ...
Richard Hawke ...
Alicia Hayes ...
Brian Hayes ...
Matthew Hayes ...
Fran Hodges ...
Chris Komisarjevsky ...
Joshua Komisarjevsky ...
Himself (voice)


In the quiet suburb of Cheshire, Connecticut, Jennifer Petit and her two young daughters were killed in a horrific home invasion; husband and father William Petit was the only one who escaped alive. This gripping film explores the events of that shocking triple homicide that rocked the town and set off a politically charged death-penalty trial. The result is a disturbing revelation of police failures and untold personal dramas that point out the biggest tragedy of all: the crime could have been prevented at many turns. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

22 July 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Morde von Cheshire  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

The Cheshire Murders
16 December 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

On July 22, 2007, William Petit was a successful doctor, living the dream with his wife and two daughters in the Connecticut town of Cheshire, population circa 29,000. By the following night he was lying in a hospital bed battered and beaten. Far, far worse, he was a widower, the lives of his wife and both daughters snuffed out by two lowlifes whose crime was as shocking as any we have come to see in this at times cruel world. Even his home had been burned out, and the psychological trauma he and his immediate family suffered does not bear thinking about.

This HBO documentary begins with the aftermath of the crime and ends with the trial of Joshua Komisarjevsky; both men were sentenced to death. It contains some unpleasant footage but no autopsy photos or reconstructions. Remarkably it manages to cover the case from all angles speaking to the father of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, the daughter and both brothers of killer Steven Hayes, and the youthful girlfriend of his partner-in-crime along with the defense attorneys of both men and the prosecution. The latter's love interest spoke candidly; she said Komisarjevsky liked to tie her up. In this day and age there is nothing shocking about this revelation, but tying up an 11 year old girl, raping her and setting her on fire is no sane person's idea of kinky sex.

The family of Hayes have mixed feelings, his young daughter Alicia feels sorry for him while his brothers believe he should be executed. Although Hayes is the older man, there is little doubt that Komisarjevsky has earned himself a hotter spot in Hell; he was said always to have had a preference for young girls; one contributor to this film said he told Komisarjevsky he was a paedophile; if he were not then, he is now. At the penalty phase of his trial, the claim was made that he was sexually abused as a child; this claim appears to be true, but it mitigates how? More interestingly, Komisarjevsky is said to have a photographic memory and to be a talented artist, the drawings displayed here are certainly evidence of such talent; it's just a pity he had to squander it.

It seems unlikely now that either man will be executed. Not mentioned here is the fact that Hayes has boasted of committing many other murders, but this may simply be bravado.

There is a lot more in this documentary, and some people may find it too much for their sensibilities, but it is a remarkable work that deserves a wide audience.

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