Murdered St. Augustine priest remembered in documentary

Audience moved by film featuring Father Rene Robert

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Family, friends and complete strangers poured into a St. Augustine movie theater Monday evening to watch a feature length documentary about a priest who was kidnapped and murdered by a man he was trying to help. 

The film, "Where There is Darkness," tells the story of Father Rene Robert, a man who made up his mind to forgive years before his life was taken by the hands of another.

In 2017, Steven Murray admitted to kidnapping, murdering and burying Robert's body in rural Georgia. He was sentenced to life in prison.

In a 1995 declaration of life he signed, Robert asked that if he was ever murdered, that his killer would not receive the death penalty.

"It was just wonderful for them to do this for my brother and for other people to see what he is about too," said Debra Bedard, Robert's sister.

The film's creators were happy to have many different people in the movie to tell the story from different perspectives.

"We had detectives with the Sheriff's Office, Father Rene's family, and Steven Murray's sisters," said Sean Bloomfied, co-producer of the film. "It's amazing to see them, talking to each other with so much love."

It's a sentiment Robert exudes, even after his death.

Documentary crew members say they've been working on the film for the past two years, and they hope that one day soon it will be shown nationwide.

About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.