8-Year-Old Boy Who Got Tied To Tree, Set On Fire Gets Justice Thanks To Last Words On Deathbed

In 1998, an 8-year-old boy, Robbie Middleton, endured a horrific attack when he was tied to a tree, doused with gasoline, and set on fire in Splendora, Texas. Despite severe burns covering 99% of his body, he survived after numerous surgeries and a remarkable display of optimism.

Robbie initially identified his attacker as Don Collins, who was 13 at the time of the incident. However, due to lack of evidence, Collins was acquitted. Years later, in a deposition recorded while Robbie was dying from skin cancer caused by his burns, he revealed the motive behind the attack: Collins had raped him 17 days prior, aiming to silence him.

Robbie’s testimony led to a renewed investigation. Though he passed away in 2011, his death was classified as a homicide due to the burns’ contribution. His family filed a civil lawsuit, resulting in a historic $150 billion compensation. Collins, now an adult, was sentenced to 40 years in prison, finally facing justice for his heinous act.

This tragic case underscores the importance of victims’ voices and the pursuit of justice, even when obstacles seem insurmountable.