Willie A. Johnson, blind Larry Hill's prison escape accomplice, nabbed in Chicago

Willie A. Johnson, who vanished from a Stillwater halfway house last June, is back in custody and being held at the Cook County Jail in Chicago. He was last seen in Stillwater on June 3 when security cameras recorded him withdrawing $3,000. The Strib reports that U.S. Marshals picked him up at about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. Extradition proceedings have begun.

Johnson is perhaps best remembered for his role in helping blind murderer Larry Hill escape from Stillwater State Prison in 1989 -- a prison in which Johnson had already spent five years on an aggravated assault rap.

After tying up two guards and a doctor during an eye exam away from prison grounds, the pair made for the home of an acquaintance, Lois Platt, in Apple Valley. Police tracked Hill and Johnson to Platt's home, and began a two-day stand-off involving more than 100 officers. Hill was eventually shot dead as he held a knife to the throat of one of Platt's two children.

Later, police discovered that Platt had been bound and sexually assaulted during the stand off. Johnson was convicted of 13 counts and sent back to jail. He was released to the halfway house last April.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >