Experts Are Raising Eyebrows at Laundrie Confession

In newly revealed note, Laundrie paints picture of a mercy killing: 'I ended her life'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2022 6:00 AM CDT
Notebook Confession From Brian Laundrie: 'I Ended Her Life'
This police camera video shows Gabby Petito talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van she was traveling in with her boyfriend.   (The Moab City Police Department via AP)

If any doubt had remained that Brian Laundrie killed fiancee Gabby Petito, a new reveal should put those doubts to rest. Steve Bertolino, an attorney for the Laundrie family, shared a note penned by Laundrie with Fox News, taken from a notebook that was retrieved by the FBI in Florida's Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Oct. 20. "I ended her life," Laundrie wrote in the note. "I thought it was merciful, that it is what she wanted, but I see now all the mistakes I made. I panicked. I was in shock." Laundrie laid out in his note what he says happened at a Wyoming campsite in late August, when police believe Petito was killed, insisting that they'd been crossing a stream when he heard "a splash and a scream." Laundrie wrote it was "freezing" and that Petito was "soaking wet," and that when they got to the shore he started a fire and spooned her to try to warm her.

"She had a small bump on her forehead that eventually got larger," he wrote. "Her feet hurt, her wrist hurt but she was freezing, shaking violently, while carrying her she continually made sounds of pain." He then wrote that she begged "for an end to her pain," and so "I ended her life." Investigators later ruled that Petito's death was a homicide by strangulation and blunt-force trauma to the head and neck. In his note, Laundrie also called Petito's death an "unexpected tragedy," per People. He apologized to both Petito's family and his own and implored, "Please do not make life harder for my family, they lost a son and a daughter." He also foretold his own grim ending. "I have killed myself by this creek in the hopes that animals may tear me apart," he wrote. "That it may make some of her family happy."

He ended the note with: "Please pick up all of my things. Gabby hated people who litter." Experts who spoke to Fox News, however, are scoffing at the details in Laundrie's confession, disputing everything from his claim that it had been freezing outside—one points out the temps in that area of Wyoming around the time Petito was killed were close to 50 degrees—to how Laundrie says she died. "He found her breathing heavily and gasping for breath, so he decided to choke her out?" criminal profiler John Kelly says incredulously. Medical examiner Cyril Wecht, meanwhile, shakes his head at Laundrie's description of Petito's supposed hypothermia, noting that violent shaking isn't one of the signs as it gets worse. "He tiptoed around the confession," Kelly says. "He wanted to serve it up as a mercy killing." Read Laundrie's note in its entirety here. (More Brian Laundrie stories.)

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