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Assistant Warden Virdeen Willis, Jr. | Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois

Assistant Warden

Virdeen Willis, Jr.

Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois

End of Watch: Sunday, June 30, 1985

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 45

Tour: 19 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Exonerated in 1999

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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.

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Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.
Thank you for your heroism.
GOD Bless

Detention Officer A.Zambito
Texas
July 4, 2015

 

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