According to his parents, due to a confession he gave on his deathbed, the boy received justice years after an attacker set him on fire. Prosecutors said that the boy who attacked him was taken to jail and the boy’s family received $150 billion in a civil lawsuit. On his 8th birthday, then-13-year-old Collins tied Robbie to a tree, poured gasoline on him and set him on fire in the woods. Despite the flames that ate away at his body, the young boy stumbled home, collapsing on the street in a ball of fire.
Robbie’s mom found the 8-year-old child close to death, with severe blisters covering his whole body and skin hanging off his ankles. The burns covered 99 percent of his body and left him without eyelids. Only the soles of his feet were unharmed. While hospital staff told the family that Robbie wouldn’t survive, he got stronger after countless skin grafts and more than 150 operations.
The boy was severely traumatized and disfigured, but he quickly became known for his relentless optimism. “The past is the past,” Robbie, who raised money for burn victims and frequently flirted with girls in his ward, would say, according to reports. He named his attacker as then 13-year-old Collins, but the court was unable to find a motive and acquitted the boy. When he turned 20, Robbie’s third degree burns turned into deadly skin cancer. Dying in a hospital bed, he sought justice and recorded a deposition, yet again naming Collins as his attacker.
In this video, however, Robbie also made clear Collins’ motive: to keep him silent. According to Robbie, just 17 days before he was lit on fire, Collins ra-ed him. “He grabbed me by my shoulder and threw gas in my face, after that I don’t really remember anything,” Robbie says. When Robbie died, investigators ruled his death a homicide, since he died from the burns. His family was then awarded $150 billion in damages. His family took his case to court. Ultimately, the jury sentenced the 29-year-old Collins to 40 years.