Conn. Home Invasion Survivor Can’t Forgive ‘Ultimate Evil’Updated: 31 minutes ago
AOL News (Dec. 10) — Dr. William Petit says that he could forgive someone for stealing his car, but not his family.
Three years after his wife and two daughters were murdered in a brutal home invasion, Petit, the only survivor of the attacks, said forgiving the “essence of evil” would be wrong.
William Petit, AP
Pictured are Dr. William Petit with his daughters Michaela, front, and Hayley and his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Petit told Oprah Winfrey on Thursday that his family’s murder was “the ultimate evil” that could never be forgiven.
“I don’t think you can forgive ultimate evil. You can forgive somebody who stole your car. You can forgive somebody who slapped you in the face. You can forgive somebody who caused an accident. I think forgiving the essence of evil is not appropriate,” Petit said in an “Oprah Winfrey Show” interview on Thursday.
On July 23, 2007, according to prosecutors, Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky broke into the Petit home in Cheshire, Conn., beat Petit with a baseball bat until he was unconscious, and raped and strangled Petit’s wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, before setting the house on fire. The couple’s daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, were tied to their beds and died of smoke inhalation.
In October, Hayes, 47, was convicted in the killings and sentenced to death. Komisarjevsky, 30, goes on trial for the murders next year.
Sponsored Links Petit was a visible and emotional figure at Hayes’ trial and could sometimes be seen wiping away tears in the courtroom.
With Winfrey, the husband and father was even less guarded. Petit, who is religious, decided against committing suicide because he “wasn’t willing to take that chance” that he wouldn’t see his family in the afterlife. But he said the killings made him question his faith.
“God and I had a little bit of a standoff,” he said. “I’ve believed in God for a long time, but I was pretty angry with him for a long time — or her.”
Petit said thoughts about “what ifs” in the years after his family’s death were mostly just “magical thinking to make it all better.”