Jul 17, 2013
07:31 AMThe Connecticut Story
HBO Documentary Looking Into Petit Cheshire Home Invasion Murders Airs Monday
After five years spent focusing on the Cheshire triple homicide, including attending many days of the trials for the two perpetrators, a husband-and-wife filmmaking team will have their documentary shown by HBO next week.
The two-hour film by David Heilbroner and Kate Davis, “The Cheshire Murders,” will premiere 9 p.m. July 22, the day before the sixth anniversary of the crime that shocked Connecticut and the nation.
The work includes interviews conducted by the filmmakers in which the Cheshire Police Department is criticized for its handling of the case and its refusal to provide information. HBO publicists provided an advance copy to the Register.
Dr. William Petit Jr., the lone survivor of the home invasion, appears in the film, saying “It just makes me want to cry” when he reflects on how his family suffered that day. He did not discuss the police department’s handling of the crime, which ended in the deaths of his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and their daughters, 11-year-old Michaela and 17-year-old Hayley.
But Hawke-Petit’s sister, Cynthia Hawke-Renn of North Carolina, told Davis and Heilbroner there were off-the-record reports that police officers outside the Petit house heard screaming from inside, where the two girls were tied to their beds. They were doused with gasoline and set on fire. Their mother was raped and strangled.