Dr. Petit to Share His Story on Oprah

adolfo jimenez

As the only survivor of a brutal home invasion slayings in Cheshire waits for the second man accused of murdering his family to come to trial, Dr. William Petit is speaking out about what he's been through.

Dr. Petit sat down with Oprah to talk about that fateful night and told Oprah he chose not to commit suicide because he hopes to see his family in the afterlife.

Oprah asked Petit why he decided not to kill himself after he had thought about it. He said, because of religious reasons, he thought he might not meet with his family again in the afterlife if he committed suicide.

Petit said he "wasn't willing to take that chance."

Oprah reportedly traveled to Dr. Petit's parent's house in Plainville, where he's been staying since his wife Jennifer Hawke-Petit and their daughters Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, were killed in the family's home in July of 2007.

Dr. Petit spoke about the months following the brutal home invasion:

"In the beginning I feared sleeping," he said.

"Because in the beginning you didn't sleep for months. I heard, you didn't sleep for months?" Oprah asked.

For two to three months, he slept about two hours per night.

"I was completely, completely fried. I was in a daze and just intrusive thoughts bang into your brain every second, every minute replaying events over and over again in your mind," he said. 

"The entire intrusion?" Oprah asked.

"Yeah, different pieces, different parts," Dr. Petit said.

Dr. Petit also relived the horror of testifying against Steven Hayes in September.

Hayes was found guilty on numerous counts of capitol felony murder and has been sentenced to death.

Now a judge has set Feb. 22 as the start of the trial for the other man accused in the crimes, Joshua Komisarjevsky. Oprah asked Dr. Petit about whether it's ever possible for him to forgive the men accused of murdering his family.

"Right now, no. I don't think you can forgive ultimate evil. You can forgive somebody who stole your car. You can forgive someone who slapped you in the face. You can forgive someone who insulted you. You can forgive somebody who caused an accident. I think forgiving the essence of evil is not appropriate," Petit said.

The episode airs on Oprah Thursday afternoon.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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