In a recent interview with The Hartford (Conn.) Courant, Hayes said a letter he sent out during the 2011 trial of his accomplice, Joshua Komisarjevsky, in the home invasion slayings of the Petit family, detailing the murders of 17 other women, was all just part of a plan to commit suicide.
"With most, a second and third note would be written, by the girls themselves, and I would mail these weeks and months later. The notes would be detailed and disarming. This was key because while the girl would be gone within hours, the notes gave the appearance of what I wanted, a runaway or a girl who left her boyfriend or a hooker drug addict who went to greener pastures," said the letter he sent to prosecutors and the Courant.
Hayes said he planned on trading information on the alleged murders with investigators for soda and food, including oysters, to which he is deathly allergic.
"I planned to eat them and have them find me dead in my cell the next morning," he said.
This would not have been Hayes' first suicide attempt, before or after killing the Petit family.
At the start of Hayes' 2010 trial, he was found unconscious in his cell after overdosing on prescription medication, and trial testimony showed that incident was the latest in a long list of suicide attempts.
Even the gruesome July 23, 2007, killings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, who was raped and strangled to death, and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, who died of smoke inhalation after Hayes and Komisarjevsky doused them in gasoline and set their home ablaze, was a suicide attempt, Hayes claimed.
Hayes said he expected to die as he and Komisarjevsky, who is also on death row, fled the burning Petit home. When that didn't pan out, he said he hoped police would have shot him to death when they saw the fake but authentic-looking gun he was carrying or when Komisarjevsky rammed their getaway vehicle into a police car.
Hayes said he believes there is a reason why none of his suicide attempts have worked.
"I think I've survived because I am meant to live with the thoughts of what I did to that family," he said.