BRIDGEPORT — Not all horrors fade with time.
It’s been 12 years since Richard Roszkowski fatally shot Holly Flannery, her 9-year-old daughter, Kylie, and Good Samaritan Thomas Gaudet on a city street.
But as she sat in the back of the courtroom Thursday morning waiting for Roszkowski to be resentenced from death to life without the possibility of release, Eileen Gaudet sobbed.
“Living without my son ... has left me with emptiness in my heart and soul that nothing will ever fill,” the Milford woman said previously in a statement to the court. “As parents, we question why? Who appointed Richard Roszkowski as executioner to do what he did?”
The now 51-year-old Roszkowski, the last man sentenced to death in the state and now the last one of 11 death-row inmates to be resentenced to life, claimed Thursday that he now has remorse for what he did.
“Your honor, I am very remorseful for what happened that specific day,” he told Superior Court Judge John Blawie. “I can’t change what happened. I can’t remember what happened that day but it was never my intention to kill anyone and I am truly sorry.”
Blawie lamented that his hands were tied by the ruling of the state Supreme Court overturning the death penalty in 2012, and subsequent law eliminating it passed by the General Assembly.
“No doubt this is a decision the surviving victims of this triple homicide disagree with, but it is one that reflects that we are a nation of laws, not of men, and the law has changed,” the judge said.
He then vacated the death sentence and replaced it with consecutive life terms without the possibility of release.
It was one of the worst crimes in the city’s history.
On the morning of Sept. 7, 2006, Holly Flannery was trying to get her daughter, still in pajamas, ready for her first day at Thomas Hooker School when there was a knock at the door of her small North End ranch-style home.
Roszkowski, a former neighbor who had bummed cigarettes from Flannery, ended up car-jacking the mother and daughter at gunpoint from their home, and forcing Holly Flannery to drive him to a rooming house on Seaview Avenue, according to the evidence and testimony presented by prosecutors C. Robert Satti Jr. and Margaret Kelley.
Once there, he shot and killed Gaudet — who had never met Flannery — grabbed the woman in a headlock and shot her in the head as she screamed, “Not in front of my daughter.”
Witnesses described at trial how Roszkowski then chased the girl — who ran in silver-and-white flip flops — and shot her in the back.
As she lay on her back on the sidewalk, Roszkowski calmly walked up to her and shot her twice in the head.