Convicted murdered Steven Hayes, who along with Joshua Komisarjevsky was sentenced to death for the horrific 2007 killings of three members of the Petit family in Cheshire, Conn., has revealed a bizarre plan to kill himself in prison.
During Komisarjevsky’s trial and later in a letter from prison, Hayes claimed that Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters weren’t his only victims. He had killed 17 people, he said, mostly runaways, prostitutes and hitchhikers. Then, in an interview with the Hartford Courant, Hayes admitted he’d made the other killings up as part of an attempt at suicide. He wanted police to become interested in his claims of other murders and offer to trade him food for information. Hayes, who is deathly allergic to oysters, was planning to ask for a pepperoni pizza, a bottle of soda and a dozen oysters. ”I planned to eat them and have them find me dead in my cell the next morning,” he told the Hartford Courant.
Hayes has tried to commit suicide in the past. At the start of his trial, he overdosed on prescription pills and was found unconscious in his cell. During the trial, he told the court about how he’d slashed his wrists, tried to strangle himself with a sock, and crashed his mother’s car in attempts to end his life. He also talked of how he expected to die in the Petit family home after he and Komisarjevsky had set it on fire. Despite his apparent desire to die, Hayes refuses to waive his appeals and be executed by the state because of a promise he made to his attorney. ”I promised Tom I wouldn’t do that,” he said of New Haven Public Defender Thomas J. Ullman.
In 2011, the Connecticut state legislature and Governor Dan Malloy voted to repeal capital punishment. The new bill, however, left death sentences intact for the ten existing men on the state’s death row. The cruel nature of Hayes’ and Komisarjevsky’s crimes was a major argument in favor of that provision.