On Nov. 5, Raymond Harris, 40, was convicted by a Cook County jury of the October 2011 killing of 73-year-old Virginia Perillo. The murder and robbery reportedly occurred in the garage of Perillo’s Bridgeport neighborhood home.
Harris murdered Perillo, but what was more shocking was the motive the investigators revealed during the trial.
Harris knew that Perillo had a set of wedding rings, so he planned the robbery to steal the rings and then murdered Perillo in the garage of her home. Harris then took the rings to his girlfriend and proposed to her.
“We think it’s a little demented, creepy,” Virginia Perillo’s eldest son John Perillo told WFLD. “Mr. Harris has no morals … All he cares about is himself.”
The verdict brought “legal closure,” John told DNAinfo Chicago, but he admitted that “there’s never really closure to the whole event. I mean, we’re still feeling the effects of what happened to our mom. There will always remain a gap in our life, and her life was taken away way too soon.”
Virginia’s other son, Mark Perillo — who turned 39 on Friday — stated that the guilty verdict was “an early birthday present.”
This crime was not one of passion but rather one of opportunity. Harris saw that Virginia Perillo arrive home after grocery shopping and then formulated his plan quickly.
“He was there, and he was on her,” Assistant State’s Attorney Amy Watroba said during her closing arguments. “He pummeled her face. He beat her. He pounded her… until she was laying lifeless on the ground.”
Harris murdered Perillo and then, in a shocking turn, went to a party to ask friends which of the stolen rings he should use to propose to his girlfriend. A few days later he did propose.
His girlfriend said “yes” to Harris’ proposal and it was weeks later before police discovered Harris’ girlfriend wearing Perillo’s rings, the Chicago Tribune reported.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this was not the first violent crime that Harris committed. In 1997, Harris broke into another woman’s home and violently raped her. Then, he tied her up and lit her on fire. The woman in that case suffered third-degree burns and was in a Chicago burn unit for six weeks.
Harris was sentenced to 30 years in prison for that crime but he served less then 15. After being released, he murdered Perillo. He is now facing a life sentence.
We sincerely hope that the judge punishes him to the fullest extent of the law.
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