Assistant Warden Virdeen Willis, Jr.

Assistant Warden Virdeen Willis, Jr.

Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois

End of Watch Sunday, June 30, 1985

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Virdeen Willis, Jr.

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.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Exonerated in 1999

Most Recent Reflection

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To all those claiming that the courts failed you are wrong. You want to hear the real injustice? Its this: the State’s Attorney has affidavits from Robert Langford that he killed Warden Willis and they refuse to investigate. And further Langford was free to kill the warden and others because the States Attorney office framed others for a murder they knew he committed. Had they prosecuted Langford as they should have he would not have been free to murder Warden Willis.

US Citizen, Employer of public servants

May 13, 2018

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