One Hour Before Murder


The ID channel last night had a program entitled “Evil Lives Here” which was a recounting of the life of mass murderer Robert Hawkins. Or was it?

Wikipedia says the mother of Robert Hawkins gave Omaha, Nebraska police his murder/suicide note one hour before he walked into a department store with an AK-47 type gun. His murder/suicide note said he was going to kill other people. He wrote it in much cruder words than those. The TV show said nothing about a note, or that the police had the note.

On TV, Robert Hawkins father Ron said his son had a job.

Wikipedia said he had been fired from McDonald’s.

On TV Robert Hawkins father said he had a girlfriend.

Wikipedia said she had broken up with Robert a couple of weeks before.

We seem to have a variety of reports where you can pick and choose what you want to believe, even conflicts about how much psychiatric treatment he received.

The TV show said he was in a group home with psychiatric treatment from the age of 12 until he was 17. Wikipedia says he was receiving treatment for four years at that time.

Both agree that he received psychiatric treatment at a very young age. The TV show said he tried to hit somebody with a chair in pre-school when he was four, got kicked out of pre-school, and received psychiatric treatment at that time.

I’m not a psychiatrist, but I do know they have a tremendous amount of education, and many have extensive knowledge in their practices. They should have known that Robert Hawkins was a threat to kill somebody at some time in his life. They had to see that. Psychiatrists are the people who connect the dots in disturbed minds.

Were his parents at fault, both sets of them, a mother, stepfather, father, stepmother? According to the TV show Robert’s father and stepmother divorced so that Robert could come back to his home after getting out of the group home. Robert hated his stepmother. I’m not sure that was a good criteria. Robert seemed to hate everybody.

According to Wikipedia he stole the gun used in the department store massacre from his stepfather. Whether his mother was aware of that when she turned the murder/suicide note over to the police is not mentioned.

According to the TV program when Robert entered the department store, his father, for whatever reason, was only a few doors down from the department store. Was Robert’s father aware of the murder/suicide note at that time? Was he looking for Robert? That aspect was not mentioned in the TV show or Wikipedia.

Both Robert’s father and stepmother were surprised, or it seems, that Robert was the shooter in the department store. Was there no communication between his mother and father about the murder/suicide note prior to the shooting? Whether Robert’s father could be contacted by phone by the police about the murder/suicide note was not made clear, but it seems his stepmother was available to be contacted by police about the murder/suicide note.

Robert Hawkins killed six store employees on that day, and two customers. This was December 5, 2007. I’m sure the store was festively dressed for Christmas, maybe even Christmas songs were being played, while the shots rang out. You could hear some of the shots on more than one 911 call.

Those eight people when they got up on this morning had no idea they would not be celebrating Christmas with their families, but would be in a cemetery thanks to one psychiatric nut named Robert Hawkins.

Did Robert Hawkins have any connection to the department store? Had he had a bad experience in that store? That might be difficult to judge because Robert Hawkins seemed to have a bad experience twenty-four hours a day.

His note indicated he would be killing more than one person. The police had to know it involved a place that had a large number of people.

Gunmen are psychopaths, but they always have enough normal sense to walk into a place where they play the percentages. Those percentages are that a number of people will escape, but they will still be able to kill enough to satisfy them before they kill themselves, which is what Robert did.

Maybe the police targeted the McDonald’s where he had been fired. Maybe they had no clue it was the department store.

Surely when Robert Hawkins lost his job at McDonald’s, his father Ron would have known about it. He should have known Robert Hawkins lost his girlfriend. Then again Robert Hawkins had left the home of his father and moved into a home that a lady allowed him to share with her and a couple of other people, according to Wikipedia. The TV show indicated that Robert Hawkins had a better line of communication with his father than anyone else, albeit that was not saying a great deal.

According to Wikipedia the lady who allowed him to stay at her house with others was a nurse. Surely she had seen some psychiatric nuts in her years of practice. Did she think anything was wrong, and that the mass murder was about to happen? She can’t be blamed, because she was not related to him, and had no legal standing in doing anything.

I can’t emphasize this enough, all of this maelstrom of people knowing, not knowing, denying his condition, not denying his condition, did absolutely nothing for those eight people who died. They were still dead at Christmas. Their families would forever be without them. Employees at the department store who might have been working to provide money for their families, or some might have been working to put food on the table. And two customers. No mention was made of how they happened to be in the store at the time, perhaps only doing some Christmas shopping.

Who is to blame for these massacre/murders? I don’t think I have ever seen such a number of people who could possibly qualify—mother, stepfather, father, stepmother, psychiatrists, police, the state of Nebraska?

Why do I say the police? According to the TV show, the police hauled him away to jail at least one time for threatening to kill his stepmother before her and Robert’s father divorced. The state of Nebraska, because based on what I have heard about mental health issues in a number of states, I’m saying that Nebraska probably fell in that same category, and should have had some place to hold him. I’d say care for him, but I’m not sure any care in the world would have done anything for his twisted mind.

Even though there were some errors of omission in the TV show, I do think they were correct in portraying Robert Hawkins as an evil person who had sadistic thoughts forever and a day, and expressed those thoughts whenever he wanted to scare the living daylights out of whomever he happened to be around at the time.

Maybe the luckiest person in all of this tragedy is his girlfriend who broke off with him shortly before the murders. Normally a psycho kills the girlfriend first and branches out from there, before anyone is totally aware of what he’s doing. She’s a young lady now. If I were she, I would thank somebody tonight, God or somewhat Deity she calls upon.

She must have found some way to communicate with him that they would no longer be a couple without angering him, and being killed herself. Maybe she is the one that could have reached to the bottom of his mind, and found out why he hated everybody. She might have been the only one.


    • Thanks for your comment.

      A psychopath is never going down to the police station and report to them that he is about to kill 8 people, innocent people.

      There are signs they often exhibit that tells those closest to him, he is about to do something very horrible. Sometimes subtle signs, but if you consider the totality of his personality and behavior up to that point, sufficient to take a closer look at what is happening in front of their own eyes before he commits murder.

      He pulled the trigger, but you’re telling me there are not now family members or close friends sitting there today saying they saw this coming and did nothing?

      I hope you never run into a psychopath shooting people, but if you do, and choose to tell him it’s his fault, I wish you well.