Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Correctional Officer Richard James Burke

Florida Department of Corrections, Florida

End of Watch Sunday, October 12, 1980

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Correctional Officer Richard James Burke

Rest in peace Correctional Officer Burke. Please know that your memory, service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.


May 5, 2024

Hi dad...another year, 43 years, and yet the pain I have in my heart never goes away. It always seems like yesterday, but my yesterday memories were me climbing into your lap in your big chair and knowing how safe I felt, and happy. And now, Meg has been taken from me too. I'm so lost without her, without mom, without you. I pray you are all together, and will look after me in this crazy world of uncertainty. I know I am not alone, but the 3 people that meant the most are gone. I read the reflections that have been left for you and us over the years and want to thank all those beautiful souls for their words. I don't think I will ever fully recover, especially now that my sis isn't here to make me feel safe. But I know in my heart that she, and mom and you will watch over me, and take me away when it is time. I love you daddy, I wish I could cry on your shoulder, I wish so many things that will never be. But I shall be strong and smile as I relive memories of our lives together and know that someday you will hug me again. I love you dad.

Carolyn Burke Thompson
Youngest daughter

October 13, 2023

Rest in peace Correctional Officer Burke.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

October 12, 2020

I have to first say what spot on remarks that Retired Warden David Lawrence left in the reflection just prior to mine. Absolutely correct sir.

Officer Burke, thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice will always be remembered by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

October 12, 2020

This is heartbreaking! As a correctional professional for 40+ years I am saddened by the lack of recognition given these true heroes who were just trying to support their families. Evil is alive and well in the world and we are catering yea pandering to it. These monsters escalate in their criminality as we provide them more and more opportunities and second, third, and fourth chances. We are failing our good citizens every time we allow these monsters a second chance. Rant over. Rip sir your are respected and not forgotten.

David lawrence, retired Warden

October 12, 2019

Although it has been 38 years since I lost you, there is never a day that goes by that I don't miss you with every piece of my heart. I was 15 then, now 52, and the pain never seems to go away. Although the man who murdered you was put to death in 2014, and believe me, I am extremely relieved, it does not take away the pain of never having my dad to grow up with. I love you, I miss you...but I know you are looking after me, as you always have. Always your Skeetermonkey.

Carolyn Burke Thompson
Youngest daughter

October 12, 2018

I was there that night , a young new officer with 5 months on the job . The human body holds 7 pints of blood . We keep the white tile floors cleaned and polished like glass . I watched as Officer Burke bled out from the numerous stab wounds on that tile floor . The nurse did everything he could do . I remember of how it looked like gallons , I mean GALLONS of blood was FLOWING and spreading all over and around on the floor . I remember the " little voice " in the back of my mind telling me " that is too much blood , they've got to stop it , that is just too much " . Then Mr.Burke got a certain look on his face and the was a feeling that just came onto everyone and you could just feel and tell that his spirit had just left . Rest in Peace

Sgt.A.M.Palazzolo Sr.
Florida Dept Corrections

October 9, 2017

October 5th Is your Birthday ! Happy Birthday Daddy ! It is Also your Granddaughter Cristie & her husband Tyler's Wedding Day! I miss you so much !

His Daughter !

October 3, 2014

Officer Burke,

Today I read about your case and the man who took your life. I am saddened to discover the man lived 40 years longer than he should have for the crimes he committed. The fact he was able to obtain appeals for everything from claiming the death penalty was unfair to it was unfair for him to be held on death row for so long before his execution is a sad comment on our justice system. Your killer went to his grave quiet meekly according to the news media; I hope in his finally moments he realized how little he had to show for his time on this earth and is now in hell where he belongs.

To your family I can only say I am sorry for your loss and I hope some closer can be obtained now that your killer is gone. They will be in my prayers.

Lieutenant Christopher Whatley
Kaufman County Sheriff's Office

March 28, 2014

Our wait for justice is finally over dad. I witnessed the life taken out of the man who took yours. It was not pleasant, however I am relieved that we can all move on and know the system finally did what was right. I have always celebrated the time we had and I know you will always be with me, heart and soul. My prayers to all who lost someone they loved. Bless you dad.

Carolyn Burke Thompson
Youngest daughter

January 10, 2014

Your Service to the state of Florida has not been forgotten and the suspect of your murder has been rightfully executed for the crime .Mr Burke may your Family find closure this day ..Rest In Peace now and forever in the Arms of our Lord


January 8, 2014

Ex worked there and never got over what he saw and heard. New officers should start out in minimum security facilities - you can't grasp how these people are just coming in off the street. RIP CO Burke.

Sherry Levoy
former CO and spouse of CO

January 8, 2014

The bastard who committed this horrible murder has just been executed by the state of Florida. Justice has been serves, RIP Officer Burke. You are a hero and will never be forgotten.


January 7, 2014

Now you can Rest in Peace Officer Burke. The system is not perfect - nut look at the third World - scary. God be with his family(case closed)but not in your hearts.

Det JP McGrath(retired)
Schenectady Police Dept.

January 7, 2014

"God is great" Justice is Served!"The system finally has worked"...

Corrections & Rehabilatation

January 7, 2014

You can Rest In Peace now Officer Joe O'brein,JUSTICE has been served..My prayers are for your family and host of friends.

Res Deputy/Courthouse Security
Coosa County Sheriff Office/Rockford,Al

January 7, 2014

The murderer said it is "inhumane" for himself to be put to death, and yet he has no remorse for the taking of other lives. THAT is i
"inhumane". Thank God he is now able to meet his maker and receive his final punishment. I am so glad the state finally executed him after all this time.

Dana Hunt
A concerned citizen

January 7, 2014

you may NOW rest in eternal peace as justice has been reached.

Retired Police Communications
Kathy Alvarez
Hialeah Police Dept
co-worker survivor

January 7, 2014

justice is served as of 645 pm this evening. RIP sir.

kathy alvarez

January 7, 2014

I am thinking of the men and women who gave it their all today and I came across an article about the murderer of Officer Burke who is trying to block his day of execution because he says it is inhumane. Why should any court give consideration to anyone who gave no thought of his actions against another especially Officer Burke. This court system needs to be fixed so family do not have to go through this.
God bless his daughters and the rest of his family. I will have you in my prayer intentions tonight at the midnight mass.

Jim O'Brien
Nephew of Officer Joe O'Brien EOW 12/24/1968

December 24, 2013

Daddy .. You are Missed and Loved so Much . You Never met your grandchildren , I'm sure you know who they are , I have taught them the part of me that is the part of you . Your Favorite songs come to me at the times I need them most .. Country Roads Take Me Home .. and our Duet Shackled by a Heavy Burden we Sang in church together !

Meg DelaVega

November 9, 2013

You were taken from me when I was only 15 years old. I never had the chance to show you the woman I became, but I know you are watching ever day. I found out yesterday that justice may finally be found on December 3, 2013, and I will be there. It will help close the wound, but I will never really heal. I love you and miss you so much, but I know you already know that. Bless you forever dad!

Carolyn Burke Thompson
Youngest daughter

October 23, 2013

Officer Burke if all goes as planned justice will be served December 3, 2013. The Governor has signed the death warrant of your killer. Rest in peace brother!

Captain Ronnie Gann

October 21, 2013

Brother, we lost you four months after I started my career with the Florida D.O.C. You're not forgotten! God Bless you and yours.

R. K. Jones
Florida Department of Corrections (Retired)

October 21, 2013

Love You Daddy !

Meg Burke

October 18, 2013

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