The Cheshire Murders

 (298)6.61 h 57 min201318+
[HBO] HD. The horrific 2007 murders of Jennifer Petit and her two daughters in a home invasion in Cheshire, CT are explored in this chilling film.
Directors
Kate DavisDavid Heilbroner
Genres
SuspenseDocumentary
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Producers
Kate DavisDavid HeilbronerSheila Nevins
Studio
HBO
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
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Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
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Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

298 global ratings

  1. 62% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 13% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 6% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

happyhousewifeReviewed in the United States on June 8, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Angry & Incredibly Sad (how you'll feel after watching
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The one star is because Amazon demands you do so to write a review

I already knew the horrendous details of the story, 20/20 (coulda been Dateline) did a pretty well job at stating the
awful details of the crime, and pointed out the apathetic response from law enforcement during and after the crime. as in this unnecessary retelling, law enforcement have nothing to say.
I really resent that so much time is spent in what i see as sympathizing with the two animals that committed the atrocities against this family. Especially the younger of the pair. Guess what? i do not give a damn about his bad childhood, how good a student he was, his drug problems, his own children, none of it. I finally shut the video down because while the emphasis should be on the victims- deservedly so, it seems the film maker would rather highlight the woes of the disgusting criminals. don't bother is my advice
30 people found this helpful
MFBReviewed in the United States on June 13, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Heartbreaking...
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I remember when this first happened, and just feeling so sad for the family. I didn't know some of the details that were told in this doc. I'm Namaste and all... but death penalty it is for these 2 monsters! The fact that this pedophile wanted that little girl, which I truly believe was the catalyst for the home invasion, and the sexual torture he put her through before her death. Fry them or put them in general population! For every one person who has had a childhood of brutal abuse that ends up committing heinous crimes... how many have the same childhood and don't go on committing heinous crimes? I cannot for a moment empathize with these monsters, that because of their childhoods I have to have some glimmer of pardon for them.
I still am left with the question of how was it that the police were surrounding the house, everyone was still alive, to the 3 losing their lives WHILE the police was still surrounding the house. I just don't understand :(
18 people found this helpful
Self Important User of Internet, Consumer of ThingsReviewed in the United States on October 16, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Please show the mercy the victims were denied
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I am appalled by the utter mob violence mentality of some of these commentators.
While I empathize with the surviving father and understand his inability to be objective, who or what is really responsible for the life and actions of an outcast? Society itself. Including, in a small or not so small way, each and every one of us.
This documentary makes many outstanding points about the death penalty. Do we want to be like Iraq or China or Iran? We certainly don't want to be anything like them in most other respects (except some people advocate for prayer in schools, which I'm sure they love in Iran).
It is unspeakably horrific what the victims endured at the hands of their torturers, but those who knew the main instigator (Josh) saw this coming. His teenage girlfriend reported that he had suffered unimaginable trauma and sexual abuse, and was made to feel evil for it by his church and family and all humans he knew...all those who were supposed to love and nurture him.
If you want to know how a monster is created, this film contains the manual: blind, fundamentalist religious faith is not an ointment but an acrimonious destroyer of humanity for a sufferer of the terrors Josh endured as a child.
Does this excuse the crimes? Absolutely not. But what purpose would his death serve? The precious and irreplaceable lives of the mother and daughters are gone forever. No amount of death can ever resurrect them or make things right. That is not how death works.
Since we don't feel like spending tax money on rehabilitating those lost souls who have maliciously had their humanity destroyed, the only fair thing we can do is lock them away so they can't hurt anyone again.
It isn't their fault that they are monsters, after all. They are created by the failures of the culture that brought them into being. Why should they be destroyed for it like they are no better than insects?
Surely we as a people can do better than, and be wiser than this.
We are all capable of unspeakable evils if put in situations where darkness can fester in the deep recesses of our hearts. So don't chastise the killers and feel better about yourself. You're a human, too, just like me and just like them. We all contain multitudes, and we aren't all that different from one another.
Fair to say, it's devastating that this happened, that things like this happen at all, and are continuing to happen as we speak...all around the world.
I found it irksome and that the father saw fit to traumatize an entire jurisdiction and jury and nation for an ongoing period of years just so he could get his pound of flesh. Of course it's understandable... men are taught not to show weakness and despair, but to seek retribution.

Ironically, this 'masculine revenge' cultural norm is why his family was murdered in the first place.

Due to the father's abominable experience and inconceivable losses I do comprehend his selfishness here. But his vengeful reach extended into the minds and hearts of the jury... and I don't believe either man got a fair or impartial trial under those circumstances.
Certainly the duty of the law is to be objective and not driven by emotion?
Imagine if the law was driven by emotion...we would probably still own human beings as slaves. Women wouldn't be able to own property. Cars would have no seat belts. And this country would have no constitution.
If our legal system cannot manage to be objective, then we are truly lost as a nation.

Watch this and dive deep into your thoughts before you congratulate yourself on not being a murderer and rapist like Josh.
13 people found this helpful
accentriqueReviewed in the United States on May 14, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
victims are being blamed for being too eager to ask for capital punishment?
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This is a good documentary. Most of the sides involved ,were given an opportunity to tell their version of the events. Except for the police department that refused to comment.

I felt overwhelmed by grief and anger. I used to have strong feelings about the capital punishment, but in this case it wasn't something I concentrated on. The defense lawyers' attempt to paint an alternative portraits of the murderers by bringing up all the child abuse factors and how the society failed these individuals... That's what truly upset me. And I do realize that that's exactly what their job is and perhaps they were trying their best to win this case by working with whatever there was to use. Still, the way they tried to blame the surviving father for demanding capital punishment and complaining that their clients didn't get a fair trial... I mean, really? Like, in any other court the jury selected out of state would have more mercy after seeing eleven year old girl raped and burned alive along with her sister and mother??? What is a fair trial in their opinion? There is nothing fair about what these men have done. They were not victims and to present them as such is a cheap trick that worked in many cases but not this time.

I do agree with the family member and some of the people commenting here that there was supposed to be another lawsuit filed against the police department. The way they failed this family is infuriating. I understand the small town mentality . I can see how these things go swept under the rug . But for them to live with the notion that they just stood there for 30 minutes when innocent people were burning alive... I don't know. it all comes down to money. They avoided taking responsibility so no lawsuit could be filed. They spared no apology to the family. Teeth clenched, the code of silence is louder than ever. Disgrace.

And another vital point was brought to our attention - the long list of previous convictions and how it was ignored by the people that are responsible for our safety.

I have no sympathy for the child rapist . None. He was smart enough to write a diary so eloquent you might think there is a book deal on a table. He is absolutely capable to acknowledge his need to get treatment , but he chose another path in life. Both men are capable adults, both were convicted criminals. They killed , they raped, they robbed. If they die incarcerated tomorrow - i don't care.
My heart goes to the family of the victims. This is unimaginable case of cruelty . I hope they can somehow continue to live with the horrible memories of the death of their loved once.
7 people found this helpful
hawthorne woodReviewed in the United States on March 25, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Horribly troubling, murders and a burning house that should never happened.
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Almost worse than the horrific murders and sexual assaults on this kind and innocent family was the extreme lack of capability/professionalism of the Cheshire police department, not to mention the victim's bank, where she actually TOLD them that the criminal who was holding her family was in the car in their parking lot. Why didn't they insist that she stay there while they called the cops, tell the cops to get over there immediately because the criminal was in the parking lot and the home was under siege? I mean, what kind of morons so fumbled this that three beautiful people in their own home town were slaughtered practically before their eyes? I believe the police haven't got a leg to stand on and that's why they are not releasing information about what exactly happened. They literally stood around watching while the victims were being murdered and their house burned down while they were alive. I would hope the father, who miraculously survived, and his family sue the police for millions. Shame, shame on the Cheshire police and the bank employees who allowed the woman to leave. It boggles the mind. In a way, I wish I hadn't seen this. Warning: it can give you nightmares, not only for the crimes but for the negligence of the police, the institution you are led to believe are there to protect you.
4 people found this helpful
DaveReviewed in the United States on June 18, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
No Surprise
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I have to keep speaking out until people finally realize that the big film makers are politically hard left. They will do anything to stop justice through the death penalty and distort the story telling anyway they have to in order to make the police look like the problem. It makes me sick.
6 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on January 28, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Why?
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One of the saddest documentaries I have ever seen. This true story was captured impeccably. It was so hard to believe what this family went through. That someone could be that evil to inflict such unimaginable pain and fear upon another human being. The remaining family members supported one another, and found the strength to go through two trials. They created a foundation in their lost loved ones names to try and make something good out of such a horrific act of violence. Thoughts & prayers to the family.
13 people found this helpful
Lauri T.Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
String em up... Why are we spending millions to keep these monsters alive? Disgusting....
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What disturbs me and enraged me about this documentary is 1st, how incompetent and flat out deceptive the Cheshire Police Dept is. They all should be held accountable for those 3 precious lives taken. When they were right there and chose to do nothing. 2nd, that instead of stringing those 2 monsters up on the nearest tree, they spend MILLIONS of tax payers money to keep those disgusting inhuman dirtbags alive! They caught em red handed leaving the house! String em up and save society the time, energy, money and grief! That is so horrendous to me. They took 3 lives, almost 4, and for what?... $15,000 dollars! And it has cost 7 million and probably more in courts and legal battles and providing them room and board. Our justice system is broken, if this is what they call justice. Sickening.... Absolutely sickening.
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