Breaking News
More () »

'Blue Light Rapist' dies from COVID-19 in Arkansas prison

Robert Burmingham, known as the "Blue Light Rapist" after using a flashing blue police-style light to pull over his victims, died from COVID-19 while in prison.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that Robert Todd Burmingham, who was known as the "Blue Light Rapist" because he used a flashing blue police-style light to pull over his victims, has died after contracting COVID-19 in the Cummins Unit.

Burmingham was convicted on multiple counts of rape, kidnapping and other crimes after pulling women over by impersonating a police vehicle, and then threatening his victims with a gun and raping them.

In July 1997, Burmingham kidnapped and raped Shannon Woods, who was 17 years old at the time of the attack. Woods testified in court that he blindfolded her, drove her over 90 miles and left her face down in a bean field.

RELATED: Real-time updates: 130 new COVID-19 cases in Arkansas, over 4,300 total cases

Two months later, DNA evidence was found while investigating Woods' rape, which led to his arrest.

Woods testified against Burmingham in court, saying, "I knew that it was kind of on me to seal the deal and get him put behind bars so he couldn't do it to any more women."

RELATED: 'I want to know, is my child fine?': Mother calls for more transparency for inmates at Cummins Unit

He was sentenced to life plus 80 years for his attacks against women.

Woods reached out to THV11 and said Burmingham was placed on supervised hospital leave on April 27.

"I had many different emotions but I am relieved he is deceased," Woods said.  

In 2017, a bill was passed concerning the illegal use of blue police lights named Shannon's Law.