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Petit Family murders. trial coverage, warning! graphic evidence photos.
some may recall this vicious and horrific crime of terror in a Conn. town. the family husband and father survived, but his wife and lovely daughters were savaged, raped and tied to beds, gasoline poured on them and house set afire.
i had hoped court TV would carry the trial, i don't think they are damn it. but i'll try to follow trial here.
this excellent NY TIMES link provides the detailed story:



New Haven, Connecticut (CNN) -- After months of jury selection and delays caused by the defendant's alleged suicide attempt, the triple murder case against Steven Hayes, one of two accused in the killing of a Connecticut physician's family, is set to begin Monday.

Hayes, 47, and his co-defendant, Joshua Komisarjevsky, 30, are charged with capital murder, kidnapping, sexual assault, burglary, and arson in an alleged crime spree that resulted in the deaths of a doctor's wife and two daughters.

The two paroled felons are accused of breaking into the doctor's home in the early morning hours of July 23, 2007, and terrorizing the family for hours before setting fire to the house.

"The case against Hayes appears strong. The real battle should be in the penalty phase," said Christopher Morano, who was part of the team that prosecuted Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, and is now a Connecticut-based defense attorney.

"I expect the prosecution will present their evidence methodically, they'll work to protect their case from any appellate errors and ignore the media and the behind-the-scenes political battle over the death penalty."

Lawyers involved in the case are barred from talking to the media by a court-imposed gag order, so trial strategy and details of the crime have been kept under tight wraps. However those details could be made public during opening statements, as lawyers on both sides have moved to make them. While openings are routine in most states and typically serve as a road map to the evidence, they are not the norm in Connecticut, Morano said.

"Opening statements are usually up to the discretion of the judge," he said.

Steven Hayes, 47, and another ex-con allegedly terrorized and killed Susan Hawke-Petit and her daughters.
Connecticut prosecutors usually start their cases with a witness who will set the scene. In this case that could be Dr. William Petit, the only survivor of the home invasion. Petit was beaten and bound during the attack.

According to local newspaper accounts, he has been a vocal advocate for the death penalty in his quest for justice. His comments at one point drew protests from Hayes' attorney, Thomas Ullmann, who complained to the court that Petit was trying to influence potential jurors.

For legal reasons, Komisarjevsky will be tried separately.

He and Hayes could face lethal injection if they are convicted of capital murder in the deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters. Hayes also is accused of raping and strangling Hawke-Petit and prosecutors have charged Komisarjevsky with sexually assaulting Petit's 11-year-old daughter.

Momentum to repeal Connecticut's death penalty hit a snag last year when the state's Republican governor, M. Jodi Rell, vetoed an abolition bill passed by the State's House and Senate.

Twelve jurors and seven alternates have been selected to hear the case against Hayes, which is expected to take up to three months.

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there's a book also, i'll post later whether it's any good or just a rehash of news articles.NOTHING will ever even approach the reporting of Truman Capote in "In Cold Blood". another book about the tragic senseless murder of a family.
Both defendants have offered to plead guilty in exchange for life sentences, but prosecutors, seeking the death penalty for both, pushed for trials, defense attorneys said, forcing the state to revisit the unsettling crime and its lone survivor to relive it in the courtroom.

EDIT TO ADD, SEPT. 23. THE BOOK WAS A LOUSY HACK JOB. it focused on the life story of komisarjevsky which was a crushing bore.

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the home.
the family.
the home was demolished and a heart-shaped memorial garden is there now.

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I remember when this happened!

In all stories like this I tend to think about how frightened they must have been.
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they've got a jury impaneled and opening statements began. Dr. Petit is going to have to relive the entire nightmare on the stand. but i think he can do it for his wife and daughters.

Conn. attorney admits client killed woman in home.
39 minutes ago

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut prosecutor is warning jurors that they may hear about "indescribable" events during the trial of a man charged in the 2007 killings of a woman and her two daughters.

State's Attorney Michael Dearington and Public Defender Thomas Ullmann gave opening statements Monday in New Haven to begin Steven Hayes' trial.

The defense attorney told the jury that Hayes sexually assaulted and killed Jennifer Hawke-Petit. Her 11- and 17-year-old daughters died from smoke inhalation after their home in Cheshire was set on fire by the suspects.

But Ullmann says Hayes told police that things "got out of control".

Hayes is facing the death penalty. the other bastard Komisarjevsky is awaiting trial.


Associated Press Writer / September 13, 2010
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—A defense lawyer, saying his client will "concede much, but not all" of the case against him, told a jury Monday that his client killed a Connecticut mother in a home invasion three years ago that also resulted in the deaths of her two children.

Steven Hayes' trial began Monday in New Haven Superior Court with a prosecutor warning jurors that they would hear "indescribable" details and with Hayes' own attorney admitting that Hayes was involved in the violent home invasion.

Hayes is trying to avoid to possibility of being put to death in the killings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her 11- and 17-year-old daughters. Her husband and the only survivor of the home invasion in Cheshire, Dr. William Petit, was scheduled to testify.

Public Defender Thomas Ullmann told the jury Monday that the 47-year-old Hayes killed and sexually assaulted Jennifer Hawke-Petit.

But Ullmann noted that Hayes told police that things "got out of control," and that Hayes' co-defendant, 30-year-old Joshua Komisarjevsky, said no one was supposed to get hurt.

The crime started out as a robbery but veered into a homicide and ended with the house being burned to destroy evidence, Ullmann said. Authorities say the fire killed the children.

"I hope I don't sound callous or indifferent in describing what happened. These are the chilling facts of the case," Ullmann told jurors.

State's Attorney Michael Dearington told jurors they would hear "indescribable events in the testimony," but asked them to render a fair decision.

Hayes and Komisarjevsky, who is awaiting trial, have tried to blame each other for escalating the crime. Both defendants had offered to plead guilty in exchange for life sentences, but prosecutors pushed for death penalty trials, defense attorneys have said.

Also Monday, Judge Jon C. Blue dismissed three women from the jury after asking the panel if there were any new developments that would affect their service.

Blue dismissed one juror who said her job hours had changed and that serving on the jury would now be a financial hardship. A second woman was excused after she said she had learned some details about Hayes, including that he had tried to commit suicide in prison. The third juror dismissed said she now thought she couldn't go through a trial and her memory wasn't good.

The jury now includes six women and six men. Four alternate jurors remain.

Authorities say a chance encounter at a local supermarket led to the July 2007 home invasion.

Komisarjevsky spotted Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters at the store and followed them home, then returned later with Hayes, authorities said.

Authorities say Hayes and Komisarjevsky, two paroled burglars, broke into the house, tied up Dr. Petit and beat him, before taking his family hostage and forcing his wife to withdraw money from a bank.

The first witness to testify was Kristin Makhazangi, the bank teller who served Hawke-Petit. Makhazangi said Hawke-Petit told her she needed to withdraw $15,000 because her family was being held hostage.

"Her hands were a little shaky but she was not overly anxious," Makhazangi said. "She was focusing on our conversation."

Makhazangi said she talked with the bank manager, gave Hawke-Petit the money and then saw her get into a car that police say was being driven by Hayes. A bank employee simultaneously called police.

Hayes is accused of sexually assaulting and strangling Hawke-Petit. Komisarjevsky is charged with sexually assaulting 11-year-old Michaela. The two then allegedly tied the girls to their beds, poured gasoline on and around them and set the house on fire.

Hayes and Komisarjevsky fled the burning home in the family's car, but were caught a short time later when they rammed several police cruisers, authorities said.
Hayes was wearing 17-year-old Hayley's high school cap, police say.
it's little details like that, that makes me want to cry...and then blow his fucking brains out.


I wish I wasn't interested, it would be easier to avoid this thread. No offense, LC, it's just that it's so godawful yet, I am interested & I do want to know what is going on. Do you have any background on how the husband/father is, what he has been doing?
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there is an in-depth interview with him here, it's a year old. i have to research what he's been doing since then and whether he is in medical practice again. i imagine he is 100% focused on seeing justice now that trial has finally started.
i intend to follow every day of this trial even though it's a horror. i keep thinking of those beautiful and good girls who both had a wonderful future planned and ripped away.

click for his interview:
Dr. Petit

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today at trial, from NY TIMES:

NEW HAVEN — The morning she would die, Jennifer Hawke-Petit was calm as she stood at the teller’s window at a bank in Cheshire, Conn. She said that she needed to withdraw $15,000 because men were holding her family hostage at their home and that no one should call the police.

More than three years after that morning, as the Cheshire triple-murder trial opened here on Monday, the bank manager, Mary Lyons, told jurors that she looked in Ms. Hawke-Petit’s eyes. Then she knew, she testified with her voice breaking, that “what she was telling me was the truth and I needed to help her.”

With three packages of $5,000, Ms. Hawke-Petit went home, where she was raped and strangled, and where her daughters, Michaela, 11, and Hayley, 17, were killed, tied to their beds in a house that was set ablaze with gasoline.

The jurors heard the 911 call from Ms. Lyons, the bank manager. Ms. Hawke-Petit had told her, she said on the tape, that “if the police are called they will kill the children and her husband.”

A neighbor, David L. Simcik, took the witness stand and described walking his dog and picking up the newspaper at the end of his driveway, as he would on any morning. Then a while later, his wife told him she heard someone calling “Dave, Dave.”

There was a man lying in the driveway, so beaten and bloody that Mr. Simcik did not recognize him. Only when the man spoke did Mr. Simcik realize it was his neighbor of 18 years, Dr. Petit.

Dr. Petit said Mr. Simcik should call for help.

The morning began to accelerate, as the jurors heard it described. After the call from the bank, officers started converging about 9:30 a.m., running through the woods, wriggling into heavy armored vests. By then there was a police officer, Thomas R. Wright, with a SWAT team rifle in Mr. Simcik’s driveway.

The jurors heard Mr. Simcik’s call to a 911 operator. He seemed breathless. He said who he was. Officer Wright took the phone. He sounded near panic. He shouted at Mr. Simcik to get in the house and he barked out a call for an ambulance. The line went dead.

As he rushed into the safety of his house, Mr. Simcik, a retired teacher, testified, he heard Officer Wright ask a question of Dr. Petit.

“Is there anybody in the house?”

“The girls.”

By then, flames were shooting out of the Petits’ house, Mr. Simcik told the jurors.

Officer Wright, with a crew cut and a military demeanor, was the last witness of the first day. He delivered an account of those next minutes in the flat language of the police, which seemed to be coming from a different man entirely from the frazzled officer on the 911 tape.

The jurors were motionless.

Officer Wright described coming upon Dr. Petit in Mr. Simcik’s driveway: “I saw an individual who had a large injury to his head, bleeding profusely.”

He described hearing shouted commands from the Petits’ house as other officers saw that Mr. Hayes and Mr. Komisarjevsky were in the Petits’ tan Chrysler rushing down the street, the only path to escape.

On foot, he could not hope to keep up. And there were other officers in pursuit. So he and another officer went toward the burning house, Officer Wright testified.

They pushed in one way, he said, and could not make it past the heat and the smoke. They tried again and failed. They searched for a ladder. There were no firefighters yet. They listened.

“We did not hear anything from inside the house,” Officer Wright testified.

A prosecutor led the officer through an account of going through the house after the fire was out.

“There was a body,” Officer Wright said.

There was another body, the officer continued.

“The body,” he said, “appeared to be tied to the bed.”

The vehicle used by the suspects sits crashed at the side of the road shortly after the triple homicide on Sorghum Mill Drive in Cheshire on July 23, 2007. After the suspects fled the Petits' home in the family's Chrysler Pacifica SUV, they rammed a police cruiser that tried to cut them off in front of the house and slammed into two more cruisers in the center of a roadblock a block away. The police cars spun apart from each other on impact. The Pacifica, front end damaged and airbags deployed, rolled 30 feet before stopping against a neighbor's manicured lawn. Officers, guns drawn, swarmed the vehicle and pulled out the suspects, Joshua Komisarjevsky, 26, of Cheshire; and Steven Hayes, 44, of Winsted.

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Those were kids that had never known anything but love in their short lives. 21
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and never gave anything but love. their lives, if allowed to live them, would have been a blessing to all who knew them. and these scumsucking sons of cunts cruelly savagely tore them out of this life.

here will be an ongoing/daily exhibit of evidence as trial goes

Dr. Petit will probably take the stand today. i expect it will be an emotion-filled day in court.

this is the Petit Family Foundation webpage~~
Family Foundation
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testimony this morning...

Petit Describes Morning Of Attack

Dr. Petit took the stand late Tuesday morning, wearing his foundation pin on his jacket. While on the stand, Petit talked about his wife and two daughters.

Petit told the courtroom Michaela was in fifth grade, loved brownies and piano lessons. He said Hayley was accepted to Dartmouth, played soccer and ran cross-country track. Petit said his wife, Jennifer, was diagnosed with MS, but was able to carry on with her life despite her disability. He said Hayley told him he wanted to raise money to fight MS after learning of her mother's diagnosis.

Petit said Hayley was away the weekend of the 21st and that he, Michaela and his wife went to church on Sunday morning. Petit said he then went to play golf with his father.

While he was playing golf, Petit said Hayley returned and the girls later stopped at Stop & Shop to purchase items for dinner. Petit said he, his two daughters and wife ate at about 8:15 and carried out a regular evening. He send they all spent time in the family room before he retired to the sunroom, where he fell asleep on the couch reading.

Dr. Petit testified that he woke up at about 3 a.m. to pain and in a daze. He said he felt something warm running down his face and it was dark. Petit said he saw two people, one of whom had a gun held down. Petit described the gun as having a wide barrel.

Petit said one of the intruders told him to lie back down and he was tied at the wrists and ankles and something fabric was placed over his head. He said one of the intruders said, "If he moves, put two bullets in him."

Petit said his hands were tied palm-to-palm with plastic zip-locs and he was walked down to the basement. In the basement, Petit said he was seated against a pole and given a cushion. He was tied to the pole, his feet re-tied with plastic wraps and clothesline. Petit said more fabric was placed over his head. He said the fabric ended up being a blue blanket and a graduation quilt that was given to Hayley for elementary school graduation. He said the blanket had been in Hayley's room the last time he had seen it.

While in the basement, Petit said he felt light-headed. After working throughout the morning, Petit said he was able to free his hands. He said during the course of the morning, he was asked where the safe was. Petit said he told the intruder that he didn't have one and that the intruder responded, "If you give us what we want, we won't hurt you."

Petit said he later could hear his wife in the home's kitchen area. He said he heard a voice telling her to get dressed and to get the checkbooks so they could go to the bank. He said he could also hear his wife calling his work to report that he was not feeling well and would not be in.

Petit said he thought he heard someone leave and get in a car. He said he heard and saw someone through the blankets over his head go to the fridge in the basement two times. Petit said he kept soda and some beer in that fridge.

Right before freeing his hands, Petit said he heard some sort of moaning and an unidentified noise. He said he yelled, "Hey!" Petit said someone yelled back, "Don't worry, it's going to be over in a few minutes."

Petit said the tone of the voice had changed completely, to something more sinister than it had been the rest of the morning. Hearing the change in tone, Petit said he got a shot of adrenaline and freed his hands and escaped through the back of the basement.

Petit said he hopped, with his legs tied, to his neighbor's home. He said he fell a few times, and tried crawling before rolling himself to his neighbor's house.

this is almost exactly the scenario of what was done to the Clutter family in Kansas by smith and perry ("In Cold Blood")...the father was tied to a pole or pipe in the basement. the teen son was also tied up in basement. the mother and teenage daughter confined and murdered in their bedrooms.

Dr. Petit: He was bleeding and fading in and out of consciousness, tied to a pole in his own basement. His heart, he said, “felt like it was going about 200 beats a minute.” His family was being held by two men upstairs. Through the night, he had not heard much. But then sometime after the birds began to sing in Cheshire, something changed upstairs. He heard sounds like 50-pound bags being thrown to the floor. he heard spraying. it was the gasoline.

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I think it's a blessing that he couldn't hear what was being done to his family.
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first responders and police will testify today.
click for more evidence photos, Dr. Petit in ER, the ropes and pole in basement where he was tied, his ankles.
bulkhead and stairs where he escaped.

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today Sept. 15.
After seeing disturbing photos from the crime scene in Cheshire Judge Blue turned to the jury and said he knows this is a horrible experience and dismissed them for the day. He told the people who will be deciding Steven Hayes' fate not to discuss the case, but to give each other hugs if they wanted.

NEW HAVEN — Testimony in the trial of Steven Hayes this afternoon turned to the grim search for bodies once firefighters were able to enter the Petit house on July 23, 2007.

Judge Jon C. Blue, returning from lunch break, addressed three notes from the jury, including one inquiring whether they could be told beforehand about graphic photos.

Blue said graphic photos would not be displayed on the movie screen in court but distributed among the jury.

"Just prepare yourself as best you can," Blue said.

Rick Trocci, a Cheshire volunteer firefighter, said he was driving that morning when he received a page that there was a fire on Sorghum Mill Drive.

Within eight minutes he was on scene. He grabbed an air pack and hand tools and entered the home through the front door with two other firefighters.

The smoke was so thick on the second floor that there was no visibility. They went there because they were told there might be people on the second floor.

They used thermal imaging-cameras for their search. They found a body at the top of the stairs.

Prosecutors distributed photos of the body to the jurors. Many had no reaction. Some looked quickly and promptly closed the files they were in.

One woman looked at the photos and then looked at Dr. William Petit Jr. seated in the front row. Next to him was his father, William Sr., who sobbed as the photos made their way across the jury box.

Killed that day were William Petit Jr.'s wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and their daughters, Hayley and Michaela.

At the time, the firefighter said, he didn't know who the person was. When asked if he learned the identity later, Trocci said softly, "Hayley Petit."

Trocci said he was concerned for his safety in the house as the burning stairs had lost structural stability.

"We could feel the heat through our gear," he said.

They discussed moving into the building further but because of the heat and flames, they left the home.

He said he went in again with a carbon monoxide meter to see if police could go inside to investigate their discovery.

Finding Jennifer's Body

Meriden firefighter Tim Wysoczanski was the first firefighter to arrive at the burning Petit home. He said an officer told him there were possibly people inside.

Once the fire truck arrived, he pulled a hose and went through the front door. He said it was "pitch black" inside and they could only make it in about 10 feet.

They pulled out of the home and fought the flames from the outside, spraying water through a picture window.

Eventually, the fire died down and ventilation helped make visibility better.

He saw members of a police SWAT team enter. He said he was told there was possibly a third person inside.

"It was not a definite," he said. "It just wasn't known."

With the flames diminished, Wysoczanski went inside again. While in the family room, he found a body.

"Was there any way for you to know who it was at the time?" Nicholson asked.

"No sir," the firefighter said.

"Did you subsequently find out it was Mrs. Jennifer Hawke-Petit?"

"Yes sir," he replied.

Several jurors reacted to the photos of Hawke-Petit's body. One woman braced her body and sighed. Another put her hand to her head. One woman appeared to glare toward Hayes after her viewing.

Michaela's Body On Bed

Cheshire police Lt. Jay Markella said when he arrived at the scene there was a third suspect inside.

Markella and five other officers went to the second floor, being careful to step on the outside of the steps and not the middle as they were told the middle of the steps had been compromised.

Then they made a discovery.

"Hayley was lying down at the top of the stairs," Markella said.

Then they made their way down a hallway and searched rooms. A ladder was in their way but they managed to make it to the last room.

Inside, Markella saw something on a bed.

"I found Michaela Petit," he said.

On the bed? Dearington asked

"Yes," Markella replied.

Michaela's hands were tied, pulled over her head and tied to the bed. Her lower torso was hanging off the bed.

Markella went into the room to see if there was any sign of life.

"I could tell she wasn't alive," he said.

The photos pushed a juror to tears. Dr. Petit sobbed and his father embraced him.

Blue then excused the jury for the day in a nod to the day's tough testimony.

"They've been through quite a bit," he said.

Before letting them go, he said, "You've been through the roughest part."

Tense Courtroom Exchange

Earlier in the day, a Cheshire police captain faced tough cross-examination this morning about his department's response to the home invasion.

Capt. Robert Vignola said he had no idea that violence was going on inside the Petit home. He appeared agitated under questioning from defense attorney Thomas J. Ullmann and said, if he had known what was going on inside, "I would have been the first one through that door."

Ullmann, cross-examining Vignola after the police captain gave his account to prosecutors, showed the court a timeline of events that showed 33 minutes elapsed from a bank employee's call alerting police to a possible hostage situation, to confirmation by police that at least one person at the home was in distress:

9:21 a.m.: Bank employee alerts police to a possible hostage situation.

9:25: Broadcast goes to all police units about report of a hostage situation.

9:27: Police captain tells units not to approach the house.

9:28: Marked units are told to stay back.

9:36: Vignola does a drive-by.

9:44: Vignola advises that police need to set up a perimeter.

9:45: Patrol units set up on each end of Sorghum Mill Drive.

9:54: Someone is heard calling the name "Dave." (Earlier testimony identified "Dave" as a neighbor and the person calling his name a severely wounded William Petit Jr.)

Vignola testified that police were following the proper protocol for a hostage situation. He said the information they had showed no violence. It was confusing, he said, and "still makes no sense today."

Under cross-examination, Vignola said no officers went to the front door of the home shortly after the police call. Vignola said he advised police not to enter until a better perimeter was set up.

When Ullmann offered a wait time of 20 minutes, Vignola did not dispute the time.

"No phone call was made from any police officer to the home?" Ullmann asked.

"That's correct," Vignola said.

Vignola said there was some confusion at the bank: A teller did not entirely believe Hawke-Petit's story about the hostage situation but the bank manager did.

Ullmann questioned Vignola about an officer who upon hearing the call, went to the police department to get SWAT gear instead of the home. Ullmann asked Vignola if police already carry weapons. Vignola said yes.

Ullmann, referring to the time police spent responding to the call, said that even with all the setup, "you were too late."

Prosecutor Gary Nicholson objected to the comment, and Judge Blue said Vignola did not have to respond.

Vignola was excused from the stand and hurried from the courtroom without acknowledging Petit, sitting in the front row.

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click for bank video of Mrs. Petit withdrawing the cash for the bastards. she was raped and murdered within an hour after this video.


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I find myself thinking about this gentleman, this husband/father and I wonder how he is, how he manages to go on & how he can face another trial in the future. He probably has the best support system ever but, I wonder too if it's any comfort.
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oh poor monster peed himself, wait until they strap him to the gurney.34 21 put a diaper on the fucker in open court and force him to see what he did to those girls.

NEW HAVEN -- Crime scene testimony in the gruesome Connecticut home invasion murder trial is making even the defendant feel sick.

Career con Steven Hayes suffered "seizure like symptoms" and urinated on himself in jail last night, his lawyer told the trial judge this morning, at the start of Day 4 of testimony.

"He urinated all over himself," said defense lawyer Thomas Ullmann, saying he was relaying what jail officials had told him earlier this morning.

"He's been cleared medically. There were seizure-like symptoms which were described to me.

"I don't believe Mr. Hayes got any sleep last night," his lawyer told the court.

"I believe it is attributed to what occurred yesterday afternoon," he said, in apparent reference to that day's difficult testimony, including accounts by first responders of finding the charred bodies of the victim mother and her two daughters.

what are you smiling about you garbage?

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