Although the media has been fixated on how the Petit women died, Dr. Petit wants the world to remember how they lived. Jennifer Hawke met Dr. Petit in 1981 when he was a doctor and she was a pediatric nurse at the same hospital. They married four years later and had two daughters. Jennifer suffered from multiple sclerosis, but those who knew her say she never complained.

Family and friends say Jennifer loved being a mother and raising her girls and was also a second mom to students at the boarding school where she worked. "The boarding school life, there are a lot of kids from far away," Dr. Petit says. "So she spent a lot of time with the kids—part nurse and part mother."

Dr. Petit has not returned to his medical practice since losing his family, but he thinks Jennifer would want him to. "She'd probably want me to go back to medicine," he says. "Wives are prejudiced. She said I was the smartest guy she ever knew."


Next Story