Thursday, December 11, 2014




Eva (2nd grade), Ariel (kindergarten), and Alex (pre-school) are all attending the prestigious St. John's Lutheran School in Napa, CA.  The cost is considerable, but they are loved and supported there beyond measure.  I have full time paid assistance at home and the kids are prospering.  They are experiencing the full range of kid culture here in Napa minus their natural parents.  I am completely embedded in their lives, and I love it!  I want to provide them with every benefit I can.

Don Hatfield

HERE  IS THE LINK TO THE ENTIRE CBS SHOW;     this is the entire CBS48Hours show plus text

48 Hours aired the one hour presentation at 10:00 pm ET-PT/ 9:00 pm CT on CBS Saturday Dec. 13

GRAND FATHER'S LOVE AND SORROW    Here is the video that the Sacramento Bee did in seeking the Pulitzer Prize for Renee Byer's photo-journalistic work on Rachel's children and Grandpa's love.
Grandpa Don, Rachel, and Baby Alex 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Don Hatfield Delivers Victim's Impact Statement At Winkler Sentencing 12/8/2014

Hatfield Confronts Killer.  Read complete news account at:

  1. My name is Don Hatfield and I am the father of Rachel Winkler, the victim of this cruel murder.
  2. On February 27, 2012 Rachel was viciously and brutally murdered by the defendant,  Todd Winkler.
  3. The pain and anguish my family and Rachel’s friends have endured since this vile act is unimaginable.  Todd Winkler took the life of my daughter without any regard for its effects on me, on Rachel’s three small children, on her three brothers, on her mother, on her friends, on extended family or on the world.
  4. The loss of Rachel will be forever painful.  There will be no more birthday parties, backyard gatherings, holiday celebrations or any family activities to share.  The laughter, hugs, guidance, sense of security and those opportunities to say “I love you” are forever gone.  My family is forever broken.
  5. The psychological, spiritual, and financial impact of this act of murder has been devastating.
  6. I am raising Rachel’s three beautiful children and get to watch them daily navigate life without their mommy, without her great energy, her skills, her instincts, her humor, her affection, her wisdom.
  7. Rachel was a tremendous mother and my best friend.  She was the spiritual, psychological, and social core of the Hatfield family.  She often shared her dream of creating a family center where we could all meet on holidays and birthdays and love one another and share the bounty of family.
  8. This murder trial for me was a nightmare.  I had to listen while Rachel was portrayed by the defense as a sick, incompetent, wayward drunk who cared little for her children and was impossible to please.   Nothing could be further from the truth.  I fell into deep despair and depression thinking only of the one juror who would believe this stuff.  In the end, none of them did.
  9. In truth, Rachel was exceptional in many ways.  She graduated at the top of her class from Sonoma State, and was heavily recruited by every major accounting firm in San Francisco.  She was loved by all of her employers for her hard work and sparkling personality.  She ran the Cameron Park Airpark single handedly and was praised for setting the place right.  Flight engineers who met there praised Rachel for her amazing intelligence and her grace in hosting their meetings.
  10. Grief in children finds different expressions as time passes.  I have not discussed Rachel’s death with her children.  I let them initiate questions and then decide what to say.  About one year after the murder, Eva offered “I hope he (daddy) does not do that to any little boys or girls.”  She later reflected “how could he do such a thing.”  A few weeks after these words, I heard Eva screaming in her bedroom at night “mommy don’t leave me, mommy don’t leave me, mommy don’t leave me!”
  11. Baby Alex to this day cannot tolerate sudden movements or loud noises.  Alex was in the room while his mother was being attacked and killed.
  12. Rachel’s children are exceptional, and they are her legacy.
  13. Through therapy, love, constant care, and Christian oversight, Rachel’s children will prevail in this life.  But they will never see their mother again……gone forever is the tender breast, the loving stroke, the encouragement, the compassion, the wisdom, the constant care of their natural mother.    These beautiful children were orphaned in one cruel deed.  How will I ever explain, or even comment on the question “why did daddy kill mommy?”
  14. Throughout all of this ordeal, I did not hear one word of regret from Todd Winkler.  I see no compassion for his children,  no remorse.   But the mountain of grief that engulfed me smothered any rage I had against Rachel’s killer.  As a father I always thought I could protect my children. But when the hour of Rachel’s death was upon me, I had only one thought – that I will never hear her say again on the earth, “Hi Dad.”
  15. In the end I have no rage, no thoughts of revenge – only sorrow.  Rachel’s ashes are with me in my studio where I work every day.  Where Rachel would often peer in and say “wow Dad, I really love that painting!”  Rachel was a gifted oil painter, and we used to paint on the mountainside together.  She used to twirl on the grass as a little girl, chanting “God loves me so much.”
  16. I still hear her voice from time to time.  I still feel the press of her sweet hand in mine, every time I walk one of her children to school.  Her little Ariel, now 5, is an exact replica of her mother.  They even share the same birthday, January 31st.  Rachel was so thrilled when Ariel was born.  She said “now Eva will have a little sister – I always wanted a little sister.”
  17. I look every day at the young mothers at the kids’ school and think “I wish they had known Rachel.”  Strangely enough, a number of them feel they do know Rachel, and have charged themselves with loving her children.
  18. Her body is gone, but her spirit is moving around with her Heavenly Father, and I will at some point hear her say again, face to face, “Hi Dad.”
  19. The magnificent promises of my Faith, along with the hope and anticipation they generate, do not obviate the need for swift and sure judgment for wrong on this Earth.  I am grateful to Judge Melikian, Lisette Suder, the members of the jury and the law enforcement people that worked so hard on this case, to bring justice for Rachel.  I felt a great weight lift from my heart when the guilty verdict was delivered.
  20. I will always believe that no restitution, no apologies, no words can undo the murder for which Todd Winkler was convicted.  I have only one request:  that the maximum penalty allowed for this crime be imposed.  I would hope that he will live out his days in prison confinement, and never walk among the innocent and unsuspecting again.  May God have mercy on his soul.