The peaceful suburb of Cheshire was rocked to its core on July 23, 2007, when the distinguished Petit family was struck by a tragic tragedy that no one could have predicted.
After all, as seen on Investigation Discovery‘s ‘People Magazine Investigates: Connecticut Horror Story,’ what started out as a friendly meet turned into a series of savage assaults that only the patriarch, William Petit Jr., survived.
To put it another way, the accomplished physician lost his wife and two bright kids in a single evening, only to discover how to transform darkness into light gradually.
Let’s find out everything there is to know about him now, shall we?
Who Is Dr. William Petit Jr. And How He is Involved In “Home Invasion” Case?
William Petit Jr., who was born on September 24, 1956, began developing his social and life skills through experience at a young age by actively helping his father work at their family-owned general store in Plainville.
After graduating from high school in 1974, he was able to secure a position at Dartmouth College for his undergraduate degree.
Later, he decided to pursue his aspirations at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. William finished his residency at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and went on to Yale University School of Medicine to complete his formal education.
William continued to run a private practise in his hometown while simultaneously volunteering/working with other organisations and acting as the Director of Public Health (1994-2008) to utilise his expertise fully.
During this time, he even started a family with Jennifer Hawke-Petit, a paediatric oncology nurse, and his daughters, Hayley and Michaela, became his pride and delight.
While Hayley, then 17 years old, was prepared to follow in his footsteps and attend Dartmouth in 2007, Michaela, then 11 years old, had already discovered her passion for cooking.
But, alas, on that terrible summer day, everything went.
On July 23, 2007, two men stormed into the Petit family house in the middle of the night, holding them captive for hours in order to extort money, sexually assault Jennifer and Michaela, attack William, and finally set fire to the estate.
The diabetic specialist was sleeping when the intruders (oshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes) hit him in the head with a baseball bat and tied him up in the basement, but he was able to free himself and flee during the fire.
He’d lost at least seven quarts of blood, but the worst part is that his wife was strangled to death while his daughters died from smoke inhalation.
What Happened to Dr. William Petit Jr. & Where Is He Now?
Shortly after, the Petit family’s perpetrators, Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes, were apprehended, and Dr. William Petit Jr. testified in their trials.
Following the catastrophe, he retired from practice for good, but he founded the Petit Family Foundation to honour those he had lost in between treatment and survivor’s guilt.
This 501(c)(3) charity celebrates Jennifer Hawke-Petit, Hayley Elizabeth, and Michaela Rose by supporting young people’s education, particularly women’s education in the sciences, in order to better everyone’s living conditions. Even today, William is the President of the 501(c)(3) charity.
In addition, the doctor has entered politics and is now serving his third term as a State Representative from the 22nd district.
William is also an Executive Member of the CT Science Center’s Women in Science Steering Committee, a Committee Member of Men Make A Difference-Men Against Domestic Violence, and a Corporator at the Hospital of Central Connecticut, to name a few.
In terms of his personal life, William looks to have moved on, despite the fact that the past still haunts him from time to time.
William remarried in 2012 after falling in love with Christine Paluf while helping as a photographer at the Petit Family Foundation. William Petit III, the couple’s first and only child, was born in November 2013.
Today, the family appears to be entirely satisfied with their situation. In a rare interview, William admitted, “I used to have bad weeks and awful days.”
“These days, it’s mostly unpleasant minutes and hours.” The 65-year-old hasn’t forgotten about his first wife or his daughters, but his pain has lessened with time.