The Cheshire murders happened on the 23rd of July, 2007, when a family home in Cheshire, Connecticut, was invaded by two men.
A day prior to the crimes, the mother, Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughter Michaela caught the attention of one of the perpetrators, Joshua Komisarjevski, who followed them home after spotting at a local supermarket. Komisarjevski then made plans with Steven Hayes to enter the family’s home.
On the early morning of July 23, they did just that. As they arrived and encountered father and husband William Petit laying on a porch couch, they struck him in the head with a baseball bat and tied him in the basement. The intruders then moved upstairs where they bound and locked the mother and two daughters, Hayley (17) and Michaela (11), in their rooms.
Hayes proceeded to take Jennifer Hawke-Petit to the bank, for her to withdraw $15,000. Inside the bank Jennifer discretely informed the teller of what was happening, stating that the men were “being nice” and that she thought money was their only interest. The bank manager called 911 reporting the situation.
Police responded to the 911 call, arriving at the scene where they only took preliminary measures and made no effort to establish contact with the perpetrators or to put a stop to the invasion. During this time that the gravity of the crimes intensified. Joshua Komisarjevski raped eleven year old Michaela Petit, photographing the process on his phone and convinced his partner to sexual assault the mother, who was then strangled by Hayes after the pair noticed William Petit had escaped from the basement to get help.
The attack ended when intruders poured gasoline all over the house, including on Jennifer’s dead body and on Hayley and Michaela, who were still alive and bound in their rooms. After starting a fire, both Hayes and Komisarjevski fled the scene but were rapidly caught by police.
Fire consumed the house, burning the mother’s lifeless body beyond recognition. Michaela and Hayley Petit died due to smoke inhalation. Before her death Hayley managed to set herself free and approach the top of the staircase, where she eventually died. The girls suffered from heat damage and severe burns to their bodies, that could not, with certainty, be identified as pre or postmortem. The whole invasion ended after seven hours and William Petit was the sole survivor of the tragedy.
Those of you who have been following me for any length of time know that I’ve got a bit of an obsession for the Terra Nova Expedition, a.k.a. the Scott Expedition, a.k.a. the British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13. I have now set up a side Tumblr specifically for this project, on which I will post new drawings as they come, but also interesting things I find in the course of my research, exploration of the people and events, photographs old and new, process, and tidbits of my own adventures in the world of polar history – the sort of things I want to share, but don’t want to clutter up my art blog.
If you’re curious about the story that has so enthralled me, want to know who these people are that you keep seeing in my sketchbook, or just want to stare at what happens when someone’s hobby comes to take over their life, then please follow worstjourney.tumblr.com and you will, I hope, be satisfied.
At the moment I’m mostly reposting old stuff in order to have it all in one place, but I aim to have new material a couple times a week, and as time goes on, more and more of it will be new. Where are we going? I don’t know! But I hope you’ll come along with me.
I took a 6 year old photograph and processed it and distorted it and processed it more and then processed it again. And then people told me it was their favorite Richmond skyline picture, and someone asked me if I would print it and sell it to them. I butchered this photograph. Is that really what people want?