Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 19 years
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 6/30/1985
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: Exonerated in 1999
Assistant Warden Virdeen Willis was shot and killed while off duty by a suspect who had been incarcerated at the Pontiac Correctional Center where he was the assistant warden.
The suspect saw Assistant Warden Willis leaving a bar in Chicago, walked up to him and shot him. The suspect was twice found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. On February 19, 1999, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed his conviction outright on the grounds of insufficient evidence, exonerating the suspect who was released from prison. The governor granted an absolute pardon on August 1, 2002.
Assistant Warden Willis had served with the Illinois Department of Corrections for 19 years. He was survived by his mother.