“Blue-light rapist” victim speaks out after his COVID-19 related death

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Robert Todd Burmingham, otherwise known as the blue-light rapist, has died in prison from COVID-19. He was in the hospital for about 3 weeks before he died. 

Over video chat, Shannon Woods, talks through the thoughts she had when she found out the man who kidnapped and raped her as a teenager died of coronavirus. 

“Am I happy? No. Am I sad? No. I am relieved,” Woods said. 

She is one of four victims who Robert Todd Burmingham raped in 1997. Burmingham would use a blue-light to pull women over, then attack them. Burmingham was given a life sentence served out at Cummins Unit. Woods says recently she would get notifications Burmingham was receiving medial treatment at local hospitals. The final notification she got was in late April. 

“Between 3 am- 4 am on April 27th that he’d be released to supervised hospital leave and I didn’t really think anything about it because I have received so many notifications like that over the past year.” 

This week she got word he died of COVID-19. 

“Now I don’t have to worry about him being on hospital leave and potential escaping.”

Since her attack, she has become a survivor and worked to create Shannon’s Law making it illegal for civilians to have a blue light or other law enforcement devices. 

“I would really like to see Shannon’s Law enforced by the courts here in Arkansas because it is a serious situation. I don’t want to see anyone to have to go through what I, as well as the other survivors of the blue light rapist, went through,” she said. 

She say Burmingham’s passing has given her closure. Even with the terror, she’s endured, she still keeps his family on her mind during this time. 

“I am praying for their peace and comfort.” 

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