Robert Burmingham: Arkansas 'Blue Light Rapist' who posed as a cop to rape women, dies in jail of coronavirus

He attached flashing blue lights to his car to pull over, kidnap and rape victims back in 1997


                            Robert Burmingham: Arkansas 'Blue Light Rapist' who posed as a cop to rape women, dies in jail of coronavirus
(Arkansas Department of Correction)

LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS: The infamous "blue light rapist" who pretended to be a policeman in order to lure female victims and rape them, died in UAMS hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas, after contracting coronavirus.

Robert Todd Burmingham, 54, died on Wednesday, May 13 while serving a life sentence for rape, Arkansas Department of Correction spokesperson Solomon Graves confirmed last week. According to his death certificate, the inmate died from acute hypoxic respiratory failure and viral pneumonia secondary to coronavirus. It was not immediately known if Burmingham suffered from any pre-existing health issues that could have left him increasingly vulnerable to Covid-19, which is known to attack one's lungs. In the recent past, he has been in and out of the hospital due to different health problems. During his daily Covid-19 briefing, Governor Asa Hutchinson told that Burmingham had tested positive for coronavirus before his death.

He was dubbed the "blue light rapist" because back in 1997, he attached flashing blue lights in his car to pull over, kidnap and rape his victims. He was convicted of rape, aggravated robbery, and kidnapping the next year. Even after his conviction for raping two women including a 17-year-old girl, Burmingham maintained his innocence. It was believed that he raped two more victims through his ruse of a police car, he was never charged with those rapes and he did not stand trial because of them.

One of the rape victims, Shannon Woods, helped to get the "Shannon’s Law" passed in 2017, years after her horrifying experience. The law made it illegal for civilians to have blue lights on cars or carry fake police badges. She told KATV that she was not sorry to hear that Birmingham had died since it was torturous to read about him in the news every time he was taken out of prison on hospital visits in the past.

"While not everyone may agree with me, I’m happy that he has passed," she said. "Every few months I would get notifications that he had been released under supervised hospital release. It’s just another part of the closure — and it would bring me full closure if he had confessed and that information was passed on to me. I believe this would bring full closure to all of his victims."

The Cummins Unit in the Arkansas Department of Corrections has become the hotbed for the spread of coronavirus, infecting 900 inmates so far and claiming the lives of eight of them, according to Arkansas Online. Due to the fact that a large number of prisons have become breeding grounds for the virus, an alarming number of inmates have been given early release amid the pandemic, including seven "high risk" sex offenders in California and two child rapists in Massachusetts. And the virus did not only affect the prisoners but also the staffers working in the prisons.

A sheriff's jail commanders and a deputy in a medical unit died in a prison in Detroit after authorities said back in March they had no diagnostic tests to gauge the spread of the virus inside the cells. But the toll became clear as deaths mounted. "Working in the Wayne County Jail has now become a DEATH sentence." the head of the deputy sheriffs' union, Randall Crawford, wrote on Facebook recently.

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