Where is Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell Now? 2024 Update & Background

Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell was born and raised in Arkansas, where she grew up and attended school. She maintained a relatively low profile throughout her early life and into adulthood. O’Donnell was known for her involvement in local politics and her dedication to the campaigns she supported. This commitment to political work eventually led her to become closely associated with Linda Collins, a prominent state senator from Arkansas.

O’Donnell’s relationship with Linda Collins extended beyond professional boundaries. She was introduced to Collins by her then-fiancé, Tim Loggains, who had been friends with Collins. O’Donnell and Collins quickly became close, sharing similar political views and interests. Their bond grew stronger over the years, and they were often seen together at various events and political functions.

Political Involvement and Relationship with Linda Collins

Rebecca O’Donnell played an integral role in Linda Collins’ political career. She was deeply involved in Collins’ campaigns for the Arkansas Senate, particularly during the 2014 and 2018 elections. Her efforts were crucial in helping Collins secure her seat in the state legislature. O’Donnell’s dedication to Collins’ political endeavors earned her a reputation as a loyal and hardworking aide.

The close friendship between O’Donnell and Collins extended into their personal lives. They often referred to each other as “sisters,” and their bond was well-known within their community. O’Donnell was also a witness during Collins’ contentious divorce proceedings with her husband, Philip Smith. This involvement further solidified the perception of their inseparable relationship.

The Murder of Linda Collins

In June 2019, Linda Collins returned to her home in Pocahontas, Arkansas, after a visit to Washington, D.C. Her family became concerned when they did not hear from her for several days. Collins’ son, Butch Smith, and her daughter, Heather Tate Williams, eventually went to her home to check on her. Upon arrival, they discovered Collins’ body wrapped in a tarp in the driveway. She had been brutally murdered, and the initial investigation revealed signs of a violent struggle inside the house.

The investigation quickly focused on Rebecca O’Donnell, who was seen on security footage tampering with Collins’ home security cameras while holding a bloody knife. O’Donnell was arrested while en route to Collins’ funeral, which she was attending with her fiancé, Tim Loggains. The arrest was a shock to the community, given O’Donnell’s close relationship with Collins.

Legal Proceedings and Sentencing

Rebecca O’Donnell initially pleaded not guilty to charges of capital murder, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. She maintained her innocence, claiming that she had been set up and that the true culprit was Collins’ ex-husband, Philip Smith. However, the evidence against her was overwhelming. In 2020, O’Donnell changed her plea to guilty of first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse. She also pleaded no contest to charges of solicitation to commit capital murder for allegedly attempting to arrange the murders of Collins’ ex-husband and others from jail.

O’Donnell was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the murder of Linda Collins, with additional sentences for the solicitation charges. This plea deal spared her the possibility of facing the death penalty. Her conviction brought some measure of justice to Collins’ family, though the emotional toll of the crime and the betrayal remained profound.

Motive and Impact

The motive behind the murder of Linda Collins was financial. It was revealed that O’Donnell had been embezzling money from Collins, and when confronted about the theft, she resorted to murder to cover up her crimes. This betrayal by someone Collins trusted deeply added another layer of tragedy to the case. The community of Pocahontas and the state of Arkansas were left reeling from the loss of a dedicated public servant and the shocking circumstances of her death.

Rebecca O’Donnell is currently serving her prison sentence, with her incarceration providing a sense of closure for Collins’ family and friends. The case highlighted the potential dangers inherent in political and personal relationships and underscored the importance of justice and accountability in the face of such heinous crimes. The legacy of Linda Collins lives on through her contributions to her community and the ongoing remembrance of her life and work.


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Ryan Gill

Ryan is a passionate follower of true crime television programs, reporting on and providing in-depth investigations on mysteries in the criminal world.

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