Another School Day

She was 6. And on Tues. morning she got up for school all by herself. Coming out of her room she found her mother Patricia Hamilton, 48, just outside her bedroom door. Her mother was bloody, unresponsive.

She did what she had to do. She called 911 at 8:23 am. And when police arrived she talked to them, told them what she knew.

Police found her mother lying on the floor outside the child’s bedroom, dead from stab wounds.

Investigator’s found several things at the home. Patricia Hamilton was a teacher’s aide. And one of her duties was to collect lunch money from the schoolchildren. Some of those envelopes were at the home, and the money was missing from them. Police say it wouldn’t have been much money, but possibly more than $10.

Police also found that Patricia Hamilton’s van was missing from the home. And they found out that Patricia Hamilton had a restraining order against her husband  46-year-old Bernie Hamilton. In the 2004 court records where she applied for the restraining order, it was stated that Hamilton had stalked and harassed her and “The defendant has broken coffee cups, overturned tables, scares child by irrational behavior,” “Plaintiff is alarmed and frightened by defendant’s actions. She fears for her and her child’s safety.” Bernie Hamilton was ordered to attend classes on alternatives to domestic violence. The restraining order was granted and Bernie Hamilton was barred from the couple’s apartment and from his wife’s workplace.

There was a custody agreement, and visitation was to be handled by taking the child to the children’s area of the library for the exchange. Reports here split. Some reports say that Hamilton had begun doing his visitation at the home and some reports say they couple had been living together again.

Witnesses reported seeing Hamilton at the apartment the night before the murder.

The little 6 year old girl was placed with relatives.

On Wednesday, police found Patricia Hamilton’s van at a bus station. And they say they found evidence inside that points to Bernie Hamilton as the killer. They are declining to discuss what they found.

Charges of  murder in the first degree, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes in the third degree and contempt of court for violating a restraining order were filed against Bernie Hamilton. Felony murder charges are being considered. He was also charged with child endangerment in the second degree.

However they do not have Hamilton in custody. Because the van was found at a bus station, they have issued a nationwide alert for him. Bernie Hamilton is also known as Bernie Tomkins.     

One more child, this time waking up on her own. Alone in a home occupied only by the dead body of her mother. She was forced to take an adult’s role in calling authorities. She was forced to deal with her fears with only strangers in uniforms for company. She had to be the one to answer their  questions. And she had to learn that there was nothing that could help her mother. And at some point she is going to learn that it was all at the hands of her father.



  1. vidalia11 said,

    December 9, 2006 at 6:56 pm

    I bet the child already knows it was her father….and he sounds like quite a psychopath.

  2. Veronica said,

    December 11, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    I knew Elena, and really it’s quite sad that a person can play God with a life that is not his. He didn’t only kill Elena, but he destroyed the lives of 4 children.

  3. Lori said,

    March 2, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    To the previous poster, you are wrong. The child was asleep when the murder occurred. She did not know that it was her father that was the suspect. She just wanted the police to take care of her mom. I was at the funeral. The child is thankfully protected by innocence – she is a most unique personality and she did not deserve to lose her mom. Bernie Hamilton has been arrested. He’s also a suspect in a California cold case rape/murder. I know Bernie Hamilton, I used to live in the building where the murder occurred. He is the Devil personified. He gains people’s trust and then exploits it for all it’s worth. He plays the everyday nice guy, but I always knew he was evil. It was always the nature of the con for him. He thought he was smarter than everyone and he is actually dumb as a stick. He would stare at you to intimidate you and scare the hell out of you. He thinks women are slaves. What makes me sick is the fact that we will work and pay taxes and this lump of crap/monster will sit on death row and get three squares a day on our tab. It was always about people doing things for Bernie, the self-proclaimed Mayor of anywhere he was – what a crock. I hope some judge and jury find the gumption to give him the death penalty. Then, once he’s dead, he can go straight to hell.

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