Cheshire Murders Examined In HBO Documentary

The Cheshire murders are examined in an original HBO documentary, which premiered on July 22. The film explores the 2007 crime that literally destroyed the Petit family of Cheshire, Connecticut.

The family’s nightmare began on July 23, 2007. At approximately 3 am, Joshua Komisarjevsky crept onto the family’s front porch with a baseball bat. Dr. William Petit was sleeping on the porch.

As reported by Tru TV, Komisarjevsky struck William with the bat several times. He and his accomplice, Steven Hayes, bound the William with zip-ties and led him inside the home.

William’s wife Jennifer, and daughters Hayley, age 17, and Michaela, age 11, were asleep when the strangers entered the home. The two men tied Hayley and Michaela to their beds.

The family was held hostage for more than seven hours.

After daybreak, Jennifer was taken to her bank by one of the captors. She was told to withdraw $15,000. She alerted the bank teller to the situation. However, she left the bank, got into the car and left with her captor.

The bank teller contacted police, who surrounded the home.

Inside the home, the two men severely beat William and left him in the basement. Jennifer was raped and strangled to death. Michaela was sexually assaulted.

The authorities remained outside the home.

When the two men were finished with the family, they doused the inside of the home with gasoline, set it on fire, and walked away.

William managed to escape moments before the fire consumed his home.

Investigators later discovered Hayley and Michaela still tied to their beds. They both died from asphyxia.

The Cheshire murders shocked the residents of the quiet town, and the nation. HBO’s documentary explores the crime, the suspects, and the aftermath.

As reported by Register Citizen, Komisarjevsky and Hayes were arrested when they left the home. However, questions about the police department’s response remain.


The police stand behind their response to the situations. However, others have questioned why they remained outside the home, while the residents were being tortured and eventually killed.

Komisarjevsky and Hayes were both convicted and sentenced to death. HBO’s documentary concludes by exploring the implications of the death penalty from several different perspectives.

In two hours, The Cheshire Murders documentary raises a lot of thought-provoking questions, and challenges the viewer to explore their own ideals. Although it premiered earlier this week, the film will be available in numerous encore presentations.

[Image via Wikimedia]