Barbara Hamburg’s Son to Her Killer: ‘I Beg You To Tell Us Why’
It’s been 10 years since Barbara Hamburg was found dead outside her rental home on Middle Beach West in Madison, and while, for some, the brutal, unsolved murder may have faded from memory, the same is not true for her son and the rest of her family.
“When you first died, I used to call your phone. Just so I could hear your voice in the voice mail. I would leave you messages, even though I know you could not hear them. Every so often something triggers me to remember that it’s all real,” her son Madison Hamburg, 28, said during a Feb. 29 memorial service at the First Congregational Church in Madison. “I’ll see a mother and son getting ice cream together or see my friends’ mother’s watch them get married and have kids...My life will never be normal. I will never have that with you.”
Hamburg also told those gathered that a new tip line has been set up at barbarahamburgtips.com. Tips can be provided anonymously, for those who might prefer that, and can be provided through a form on the site, via a phone call (1-860-619-BARB. “Press 9 to leave a message. Your phone number will not be recorded”), or through an email or an anonymous email service, with links to those provided on the site.
Visitors to the site also can sign a petition, urging the police department to share the files on Barbara Hamburg’s homicide with the public, “in the hopes of solving this decade-old crime.”
A Message for Her Killer
During the memorial service, which started inside and then moved outside to the steps of the First Congregational Church in Madison, Hamburg also had a message for his mother’s killer.
“A message to the killer...If you are out there. The person who killed her. You must be living with such a weight. I feel sorry for what you must be carrying,” he said. “I beg you to tell us why. It’s the question that I will have for the rest of my life and maybe the question is much deeper than a solution to a problem. Maybe it was a terrible mistake. Why not relieve yourself?”
During her memorial service, friends and family members provided moving tributes. Her sister Conway Beach recalled Barbara Hamburg singing her sisters to sleep every Christmas eve with “Silent Night,” over and over again. Her brother, Lewis Beach, recalled how she was there for him during the most difficult time in his life and he said her guidance helped lead him to God’s grace. Friends of Madison Hamburg and his sister Ali Hamburg recalled how Barbara Hamburg’s home was always a safe haven for “wayward kids” who needed a place to go where they could hang out, have fun, and relax. Friends of Barbara Hamburg recalled how intensely loyal, how generous, and how very, very funny she was.
Hamburg was found dead on March 3, 2010 outside her rental home at 44 Middle Beach West Madison, following a 911 call at 11:25 a.m., from “blunt force trauma and sharp force injury.” The death was ruled a homicide. She was 48.
Old Case Seeking New Leads
Madison and state police say they will follow any new leads they receive about the case.
Madison Police Captain Joseph Race said this week that Madison police followed every lead at the time of the murder, and then turned the case over to the Connecticut Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and the New Haven County cold case unit, so that other police officers, investigators, and specialists could review it.
“So it was a cold case and we’ve gotten it back,” he said, adding that the cold case squad took the files and reviewed it, going through all of the evidence, and all of the files, and all of the interviews. “And it came back to us, at that point we had covered it, based on the technology at the time.”
Recent advances in forensic DNA technology provided some new information that police have followed up, he said, declining to elaborate.
“Now it is an active investigation, from our perspective,” he said. “We work on it, as things come in, as any new information or leads come in...It might not be every week. But every so often something comes in, and we work on it, and we follow the lead to where it goes.”
He said new leads, combined with the existing investigation records, “could be the key” to solving the murder.
“DNA testing did provide new information, so we are following up on that,” he said. “We follow the lead to where it goes.”
The Madison Police Department Crime Tip Line is at 203-245-2721—ask for the Crime Tip Line or select voice mailbox 222.