The disappearance of Robert Bee may have the most detailed timeline to date.
Episode two of the docuseries “The Disappearance of Robert Bee” premiered on Monday, Dec. 2 with the goal of setting the events leading up to the disappearance of the teenager in stone.
Interviews include a conversation with former Pekin Daily Times reporter (and current contributing writer) Michael Smothers, who covered the Bee case, as well as an on the record sit-down with Lisa Bee, Robert’s mother.
As a dog sat perched between Bee and producer-director Ash Patino, she explains how Robert’s path began to change from mama's boy to limit-pushing teenager.
“He started hanging out with kids that are too old for him,” she said. “Here he is, 13, and you’ve got kids, 16, 17 year old kids that want to hang out with a little 13-year-old kid.”
The interview, and much of the episode itself, is a peek behind the curtain of a family dynamic, and the city in which that family lived. Smothers and fellow former Daily Times reporter Sharon Woods Harris speak on Pekin as a town, and Bee provides a subject for what it’s like to actually live there.
It also places Bee’s story in the context of what others have been saying on social media, and additionally articulate in the episode.
As Lisa explains that Robert’s early experimentation with substances were met with resistance, others state that Robert shared often that those recreational choices were met with no such resistance.
For instance, Lisa Bee details catching Robert smoking and immediately halting the action, removing him from the situation. Alternatively, Stephanie Bee, Robert’s sister, relays that Robert had informed her that he was allowed to engage in acts of that nature. A disagreement between family laid out on the record.
It’s uncomfortable at times to take in this information, how much about the private life of a 13-year-old and his mother do we need to know? Should we know? Perhaps, though, these questions don’t matter as much when discussing the death of said young person.
This episode may seem like a chapter of a book you wish you’d never read, but it lays out a clearer picture of the whole story.