The public was gripped by the chilling tale of Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito last summer when the young couple left for a vacation across the country but only Brian returned. Investigators and commentators on social media quickly pointed the finger at Laundrie, saying he must have hurt Petito while the two were traveling alone through the American West.
Laundrie went missing in the midst of the investigation in late 2021, and his parents were uncooperative with the police. Authorities found his body in October 2021 and determined that he had taken his own life. They also recovered a notebook that contained his handwritten confession to killing Petito and leaving her body in Grand Teton.
Laundrie’s notebook contains his handwritten confession and notes regarding the murder of Gaby Petito. The message seems to indicate that Laundrie murdered Petito after she suffered from some kind of accident.
“I ended her life,” Laundrie wrote. “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. But from the moment I decided, took away her pain, I knew I couldn’t go on without her.”
The confession suggests that Petito fell and suffered a head injury that left her in agony. Many investigators and commentators have suggested that Laundrie was simply rationalizing his abhorrent actions after the fact and that Petito likely never asked him to kill her. Patrick Reilly, a lawyer for the Petito family, says that Laundrie’s assertion about a “tragic accident” is “nonsense”.
Nichole Schmidt, Gabby Petito’s mother, posted a message on her personal Twitter following the release of the notebook. She included the words “Fed up,” and attached a graphic stating, “Narcissists rewrite history to escape accountability.” This is similar to Reilly’s description of the confession.
“He is writing a letter as though he wants people to feel sorry for him,” Reilly insists. Petito’s family has sued Laundrie’s parents, claiming they knew about Gabby’s death and planned to help Brian escape the country to flee the consequences. Petito’s family is seeking $30,000 in damages for the mental anguish they suffered.
“Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie exhibited extreme and outrageous conduct which constitutes behavior, under the circumstances, which goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is regarded as shocking, atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community,” read the suit against Brian’s parents.