CHESHIRE, Connecticut -- The home invasion and murder of three family members in this Connecticut town earlier this month is one of the most heinous crimes I have ever covered. A family tied up and beaten, the mother strangled to death, and the youngest daughter, just 11, apparently raped before both daughters were tied to their beds and left to die in the fire allegedly set by the suspects, according to police. The details are enough to make your stomach turn. I've been to the scene, interviewed family members and police. Today, I am going to interview friends of the youngest suspect, Joshua Komisarjevsky.
We see a lot of terrible stuff in this business, but there are those stories that are so dark and the crimes so senseless that they hang with you for a while. This attack on the Petit family is one that I haven't been able to shake. I had never met them, yet feel like I know them after talking to so many people who did. No doubt, they were special and giving, kind and generous, as everyone tells me. I can't get a family photo out of my head -- all of them smiling, 17-year-old Hayley ready to head off to Dartmouth this fall, just like her dad did years ago.
I haven't had a good night's sleep since I wrote my first story on this last Tuesday. I find myself double- and triple-checking the locks on my doors and windows. And I'm not the only one.
Just last week, one of my senior producers, who hasn't even been to the crime scene, told me that he left for work the other day and as he was pulling out of his driveway, went back and double-checked to make sure he'd locked the front door to protect his wife and kids inside. My sister told me she finds herself looking more closely at people in her neighborhood, at random construction workers and delivery guys. Are they there to do no good? Haven't we all wondered that about someone at some point in our lives? Don't you wish it didn't have to be this way?
This is how it is, though, at least for a while, until the next terrible event shakes us out of this gruesome fog and transports us into the next one. And with all the creeps that we read about and report on in this business, it's just a matter of time until something else happens. Knowing that doesn't exactly help me sleep at night.
-- By Randi Kaye, CNN Correspondent