Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Convicted Rapist Charged With Murdering 73-Year-Old Woman

CPD Says Convicted Rapist Killed Elderly Woman Then Used Her Rings To Propose
Re-printed from a story at WBBM-TV Channel 2 on December 7th 2011

Raymond Harris was released from prison 17 years early after raping a woman, slashing her throat then setting fire to her home in Chicago in 1998.

A parolee only 6 months out of prison was indicted on murder charges Wednesday for allegedly beating and robbing an elderly nurse in Bridgeport, then using the dead woman’s engagement and wedding rings to propose to his girlfriend.

Prosecutors said Raymond Harris, 36, showed the rings off at a party just hours after he attacked Virginia Perillo in her garage in the 3300 block of South Parnell, assistant state’s attorney Melissa Howlett said at Harris’ bond hearing last month. In addition to her rings, Harris stole Perillo’s purse, Howlett said.

Perillo, 73, was discovered by a neighbor in a pool of blood with severe head injuries and defensive wounds to her forearms on the night of October 22nd 2011 The brain-dead woman died at Stroger Hospital two days later.

Harris, of Carpentersville, was arrested after investigators were able to match his DNA to a bloody watch that he left inside a car in Perillo’s garage, Howlett said.

Harris is charged with first-degree murder and robbery. On Wednesday, he was indicted on the charges and arraignment was set for Dec. 28, Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.

Perillo had just returned from visiting her ailing husband at an area hospital, sources said. She was allegedly found lying face down next to a car that was still running.

Harris went to a party with brand new clothes on the night of the attack and presented the stolen rings to a friend, asking which one he should use to propose, Howlett said. Harris allegedly used both pieces of jewelry in his proposal five days later. But his fiancĂ© later turned the rings in to detectives and Perillo’s family identified them, Howlett said.

Harris was paroled in May after serving 13 years of a 30-year sentence for his 1997 attempted murder and aggravated arson convictions, Howlett said.

In that case, Harris broke into a woman’s home, raped and beat her for several hours, Howlett said. He also threatened that victim at knife-point, cut her neck and set three separate fires in her home, Howlett said. The woman woke up with her legs on fire and suffered third-degree burns.

Just three weeks before the 1997 attack, Harris had been released from prison for a 1993 conviction for armed robbery, vehicular invasion and burglary. In that case, he brandished a gun at a woman getting out of her car outside her home, Howlett said.

References:
WBBM-TV Channel 2, Man Indicted For Kill Elderly Woman
WLS-TV Channel 7, Man Indicted For Kill Elderly Woman
Huffington Post, Raymond Harris, Convicted Rapist, Kills Elderly Woman