In the episode of “Evil Lives Here: Something Is Different About Robbie” on Investigation Discovery, Robert Hawkins’ father Ronald Hawkin and stepmother Candace Sims speak about Robert on camera for the first time ever. The episode is titled “The Evil Lives Here: Something’s Different About Robbie”. In December 2007, Robert opened fire in front of a Von Maur department store in Omaha, Nebraska, killing eight people and injuring four others. In this episode, we learn about Robert’s troubled childhood, as well as his lifelong struggle with mental health issues that may have prompted him to do the butchering. Shall we then continue our investigation into this matter?
Who exactly are Robert Hawkins’ parents?
Robert Arthur Hawkins was born at RAF Lakenheath station in Suffolk, England on 17 May 1988 to parents Ronald Hawkins and Maribel “Molly” Rodriguez. Ronald once served in the United States Air Force. When Robert was just three years old, his parents divorced, and according to court records, he went to live with his father in LaVista after the divorce. His biological mother had very little involvement in Robert’s life during this time. According to the episode, he had a very turbulent upbringing at home, which may have contributed to his ongoing aggressive behavior in preschool when he was only 4 years old. Both post-traumatic stress disorder and attention deficit disorder were identified as present in his case.
Through the efforts of the Sarpy County Juvenile Court, Robert was able to spend about four years in a nursing home. Both of his parents, Ronald Hawkins and Candace Sims, his stepmother at the time, said he was intellectual to some degree but was deeply troubled. After spending more time in a facility, he received a diagnosis that included “parent-child relationship problems,” oppositional defiant disorder, and a mood disorder. He was also told that he had “parental problems.” Robert reportedly made “death threats against his stepmother” the day after his 14th birthday, which took place on May 18, 2002. He was then admitted to the Piney Ridge Center in Waynesville, Missouri.
This marked the beginning of a five-year journey through a maze of youth service programs that included a residency at Cooper Village, an inpatient treatment facility for youth in north Omaha, from 2003 to 2005. Robert received a comprehensive treatment plan that included drug counseling, family therapy, and individual psychotherapy, among others. According to the latest official figures, the total amount the state of Nebraska spent on his care exceeded $265,000. Maribel paid Robert a visit in July 2005 after the two had not communicated for about 2.5 years.
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Robert went back to living with his parents after being released from Cooper, where he remained until the latter half of 2006, when he moved out and into a home in the Quail Creek neighborhood of Bellevue in southern Omaha. He had a brief stay with a friend’s family, but was otherwise homeless and kept getting into trouble with the law wherever he went. Robert applied to join the army in the summer of 2007, but his application was denied due to the long history of mental health problems on his medical record. In November 2007, he allegedly threatened to physically harm a young woman after he suspected she had stolen his CD player.
Robert was placed in foster care when he was convicted of a drug crime as a juvenile. On November 24, 2007, he was suspected of contributing to a youth crime and was charged with two alcohol offenses. These allegations were leveled against him. On December 19, 2007, he was due to appear in court for an indictment. About a fortnight before the mass shooting, his then-landlady stated that he had recently been fired from his job at McDonald’s for allegedly stealing $17, and that he was also going through a breakup at the time. Both events had taken place about a month earlier.
Where can Robert Hawkins’ parents be found in the present?
Robert and Maribel had dinner together on December 4, 2007 at Maribel’s ex-wife’s house. According to her, Robert even went so far as to fill out an online application for a position at a care facility in the area. Maribel added that she felt something was wrong with her son and when she examined her ex-husband’s gun cabinet, she found that one of the firearms had been stolen. She suspected that Robert had taken it with the intention of pawning it or selling it to make some money.
In an interview that took place in 2007, Maribel remembered her son and offered her condolences to the families of those harmed by his son’s violent behavior. As far as we know, Candace had already divorced Ronald prior to the incident that led to the shooting, and she had since severed all ties with the father and son. She has since remarried and is likely now living in Papillion, Nebraska with her new husband and family while continuing to work at an electronics manufacturing company in Omaha.
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