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Who is Lee Dutton in Yellowstone, and What Happened to Him?

What Happened to Lee Dutton

Unlike the other Dutton Children: Kayce, Beth, and Jamie, many Yellowstone fans don’t know much about Lee Dutton. He is a character shrouded with mystery because of lacking information, be it deliberate or not, from the side of the show’s creators. 

That’s why fans are eager to learn more about John’s oldest child, even if he didn’t survive the series’ pilot episode. In light of that, we’re here to talk about what happened to Lee and answer some of the questions you might have about him. 

What Happened to Lee?

Lee is the oldest child of John Dutton and Evelyn Dutton. He was heavily involved with the operations of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch.  

During Yellowstone’s first season premiere, Lee Dutton (played by Dave Annable) gets killed after trying to recover stolen cattle from the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. He received a fatal gunshot wound after getting caught in the crossfire. The gunshot came from Kayce’s brother-in-law, Robert Long. 

Although Kayce tries stopping Robert from shooting at his brother again, he fails. In the end, Lee dies, and Kayce kills Robert in return. 

The Duttons buried Lee at their family gravesite located on the ranch. There, they bury him alongside other Dutton family members, including Evelyn, his mother. 

Why Did the Duttons Dig Lee’s Body Up?

After a few days after his burial, the Duttons dug Lee up. They did it out of fear that medical examiners would perform an autopsy on his body. 

If that happened, the authorities could establish a link that would pin Kayce as Robert Long’s killer. So, the Duttons had Lee’s body cremated to protect Kayce and ensure that his involvement with Robert’s death won’t come to light. 

Why is Lee Missing from the Dutton Family Photos? 

Yellowstone fans noticed that Lee Dutton doesn’t appear in the Duttons’ family photos throughout the series. In many pictures shown inside the Dutton’s home, only Kayce, Beth, and Jamie appear. On top of that, during flashbacks of events when Lee was still supposed to be alive, he doesn’t appear. 

Since the show’s creators didn’t present any reason for this, fans have started speculating why that’s the case. It leads to fans coming up with plenty of theories to explain why his presence seems lacking inside the Dutton household. 

Some fans believe Lee was the man behind the camera, taking photos of his family. Others think he was away for school during those flashbacks, while some believe that his absence from the pictures and flashback has a deeper meaning. Of course, some simply think everything results from the sloppy writing of Lee’s character. 

Kayce Had a Vision of Lee, What Did It Mean? 

Kayce’s three visions during his Lakota ceremony, known as Hanbleceya or “crying for a vision,” he had one about Lee. 

During the vision, Lee appears and tells Kayce, “You’re not doing what he asked. He (Mo) said pray for a vision, but I don’t see you praying.” Lee then says he can help Kayce if he just lets him in, but Kayce states he can’t do it. 

After that, Lee aggressively shouts while blood pours out of his mouth. He tells Kayce, “Let me in, you F**** child, look at me! This is your vision, this is your destiny!” Kayce starts screaming until the vision ends, and a new one begins. 

The visions seem to depict the guilt and hardships of Kayce’s past, but their true meaning is unclear, especially the one where Lee appears. The fans can only speculate what they mean for Kayce’s future. Some fans believe Kayce might have to choose between being with the Duttons or Monica and Tate.

It’s a shame that Lee’s character didn’t survive the show’s pilot episode. Many Yellowstone fans are interested in getting to know him more, especially how he would’ve interacted with his siblings and how things could’ve changed with his presence on the ranch. 

Hopefully, you found some answers to your questions about Lee Dutton. While he’s already gone, there is still a chance that the show’s future episodes will shed more light on his character. So, if you are interested in knowing more about him, keep tuning in to the show. 


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