Saturday, July 28, 2007

When evil came to call

Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI behavioral profiler has some thoughts on the brutal murder of the Petit Family.

If I've learned one thing in my 40 years of investigative experience, it's to never believe that you've seen the limits of man's inhumanity to fellow man.

Two sociopaths, 44-year-old Steven Hayes and 26-year-old Joshua Komisarjevky, are the prime suspects in another home invasion that resulted in the murder of an innocent family.

Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her 17-year-old and 15-year-old daughters Hayley and Michaela, were murdered during the course of a home burglary. Their husband and father, Dr. William Petit Jr., barely survived the brutal attack.

The pair of killers allegedly broke into the Petit family home to burglarize it like they had done to dozens of other homes and businesses in the past. Finding the Petit family home, (at 3 a.m. where did they expect the family members to be?), they took them captive and later forced Mrs. Petit to go to her bank to make a $15,000 cash withdrawal. She did it probably in the vain hope of paying off her assailants to save her family.

A suspicious bank employee notified police who rushed to the Petit home, only to find Mrs. Petit strangled and dead on the ground floor of her home. The charred body of Hayley was at the top of the home's staircase, and Michaela was strapped to her bed, dead. Dr. Petit, who had been beaten on his head with a baseball bat and tied up in the basement, was eventually able to free himself from his bindings to hop up the basement stairs to escape the blaze that had been set by his assailants.

When the two career criminals attempted to flee in the Petits' SUV, they rammed the first responding police car, and then, according to a witness, drove at 60 mph and smashed into two police cars that had formed a roadblock down the street. Their getaway vehicle stalled and they were arrested by police at gunpoint. There were broken cars on the street and broken bodies in the house.

Other than minor auto accidents and a small chimney fire, the Petits' neighborhood had not seen crime or tragedy— not until these sociopaths came knocking.

[. . .]

the Petits were pillars of their community, people respected and loved by those who knew them. With charges of sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary, arson and others against the two men in custody, one can only try not to imagine the horror that the Petits suffered at the hands of these murder suspects. It's a crime that MSNBC's Chief Legal Analyst and former Conn. State prosecutor Susan Filan, speaking on "MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams,” said “will shock all who come to know the brutality suffered by the Petit family.” Their believed assailants are now held on $15 million dollars bond each.

From an investigative standpoint, the crime scene and Dr. Petit will tell a story that will undoubtedly see these 21st century monsters sentenced at least to life in prison, and perhaps death. It's a sentence that's too late, though, for Mrs. Petit and her daughters.

Dr. Petit? He will spend the rest of his life half in and half out of a nightmare that will never go away.

Good victims, bad suspects, dead people. Will this cycle ever end?

It will never completely end because man will remain a fallen race. However we can tip the balance in favor of the good people by encouraging them to arm themselves and be prepared for the times when the monsters come knocking.