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Burford killer: 'I'm crying a river of tears inside'

Original post made on Feb 23, 2008

Tyrone Maurice Hamel, the convict who last month confessed and pleaded guilty to the 1988 stabbing death of Palo Alto attorney Gretchen Burford, 49, received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole this morning.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 22, 2008, 2:45 PM

Comments (9)

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Posted by Terrell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Feb 23, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Of course he's crying inside. He's(Tyrone Hamel) a cold blooded killer and finally got caught. These kind of people do not cry for what they have done, they cry because they were caught!


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2008 at 8:16 pm

This so called cold blooded killer is already caught and serving 60 year sentence. His reason for repenting just may be that, repentance. His life is not going to change because of this apology, so I see no other reason for the pretty speech. Sometimes, people do say sorry because they are sorry.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 24, 2008 at 6:24 am

And sometimes people do evil things because they are evil. They have decided that it is easier to take than to earn. They reduce the occupational hazard by taking from the weak.


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Posted by Seth
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2008 at 7:39 pm

I was a witness to the crime and I testified in this case. As I sat in the witness stand I looked into Mr. Hamel's eyes and what I saw was remorse and shame. He hadn't said a word about admitting the crime or any apology yet. He honestly looked very sorry, not for himself, but for the family members, particularly as he looked to them.

I'm not being sympathetic, I'm telling what I saw, in person. In fact I was quite shocked by his remorseful composure. Yes he did a horrible thing, one that will stay with the family, friends (and the witnesses) forever. I'll always be upset with him for what he put me through personally. But being there in person and being a part of this I really do believe that he meant what he said.

Until (the more conservative) members of the community can be as accepting of his apology as the own flesh and blood of his victim are more of the residual hate from this crime will continue to live on. It doesn't have to, let this and Ms. Burford rest in peace. Her family and friends deserve it.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 25, 2008 at 4:49 am

Sorry don't shuck no oysters. This killer's remorse is irrelevant. At one time he decided that his gratification excused killing someone.
I believe there is a duty to execute murderers,and that government that shirks that duty bears responsibility for all the subsequent crimes a murderer commits - and they do commit more crimes. 45% of the men on California's death row are there for killing they committed after release from another killing.


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Posted by gt
a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2008 at 4:30 pm


Why do the citizens of this country have to settle for "life in prison", which costs a bloody fortune? Why can't we spend $1 on some bullets, or $5 for a rope? Or a few dollars worth of electricity? Or a sharp knife - let him die the way his victim did.

This society is WEAK. letting its killers and monsters share the air with us. Its not compassionate, its not enlightened. Its stupid. There is no point to living cooped in a box with the other monsters. just end these useless lives!






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Posted by Who are the real monsters?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2008 at 12:35 am

"This society is WEAK. letting its killers and monsters share the air with us. Its not compassionate, its not enlightened. Its stupid. There is no point to living cooped in a box with the other monsters. just end these useless lives!"
Only 5 countries have managed to execute more people than the U.S. in 2006. In order of executions they are: China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq and Sudan. Is this the "enlightened, compassionate" company you seek?

According to Amnesty International, executions are known to have been carried out in the following countries in 2006: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Korea (North), Kuwait, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, USA, Viet Nam, Yemen.

We are second in the world only to Iran for number of executions of child offenders since 1990.

As far as "ending these useless lives", how do you reconcile the irreversible nature of the penalty when it is mistakenly administered to the innocent?

You could use some enlightenment and compassion yourself, gt.


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Posted by gt
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2008 at 12:31 pm

No, you're reading the post wrong. Im pointing out the hypocrisy of these misguided liberals. They're ridiculous and inconsistent. can't argue their way out of a paper bag. What is the POINT of a life in prison!? its more compassioned, its more engligtened, this is their idiotic mantra. Its not! Its a wasted investment. There is no return. Being in prison for life isn't humane. Have you see the prison population? animals! Its like Lord of the Flies in there.

We execute a lot of people because there are lot who deserve to die. If only we could purge the Death Rows of these crazy backlogs - people been there for 20 years or more!. Isn't there some kind of expedient way to kill em all simultaneously? What about a boxcar converted to be a sort of a gas chamber? Mass firing squads in states where its legal.?

and of course I knew you'd bring up the issue of the mistaken punishment. Well, thats a separate problem. If juries would quit convicting people based on flimsy hearsay and conjecture and personal bias and belief, we wouldn't have this problem anymore. Thats nothing to do with punishment, and everything to do with a busted judicial system which is capricious and inaccurate. how many innocent people are sitting in Death Row for crimes they didn't commit? No idea. In any case, it doesn't matter, if the alternative is life in prison, which is no life at all. Sitting in prison for life contributes nothing to society, certainly, but takes away a great deal..money, stress on the people who have to administer these places, etc. Capital punishment is just a weak society's alternative to doing the right thing. If you're so evil you can never again be allowed to walk amongst us, then you're clearly evil enough to be killed. I have never seen the point of "life in prison" sentences. Its an inconsistent message.


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Posted by james morales
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2008 at 10:25 am

I was one of those people who with the touch of Gretchens love turned around for the better, I was in Juv. hall, childrend shelter,foster care, group home, boys ranch, youth authority, ankle monitor, probation, parole, prison. I loved her, and will always love her. I have been out of the system for many years, I am a pastor, We have drug and alcohol residential programs, outpatient programs, etc. All this because of an extrodinary women who loved me, when everyone else gave up on me. My life serves as an echo of her voice. Never give up james!! that was her words to me all the time. Gretchen, may your love and compassion live in the lives of all of us. Bob, Maureen, Pete, Martha, and Becky Moragan may Gretchens life be an example to us, she loves all of you..


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