Tom Henry was released from Menard Correctional Center in Chester, Illinois, Friday morning, April 26, 2019. His son, Thomas Elliott, picked him up and they quickly interrupted their five-hour drive with a stop at Walmart, where Henry was outfitted with white sneakers, blue jeans, black belt, long-sleeve button-down shirt, and a huge smile, all under a gray baseball cap.
Derek Barichello of the Streator Times reported. “The Prisoner Review Board voted 14-0 in favor of Hillenbrand’s parole … According to documents, the board, after ‘reviewing all factors available at this time,’ concluded Hillenbrand is a ‘good risk for parole.’ In documents, Hillenbrand said his long-term plan is to move to Missouri to live with his 41-year-old son, who owns a logging business. Hillenbrand would need approval to move out of state.
“In the short term, he’s been accepted at the Bridge to Freedom halfway house in Chicago, but also has kept in touch with his sister, Rosemary, and her husband, Richard, who live in Granville. They have agreed to support him ‘in every way possible.’
“Documents in favor of his parole said Hillenbrand’s ‘faith had deepened, his work ethic strengthened, and he has worked every day to be the best person he can be and to try to atone for the horrible crime he committed so many years ago.’ The documents also stated he had a strong plan and support group after he was released from prison.”
Henry tried to call me three times Thursday evening, without success. This often happens, due to problems with the company who manages the prison collect phone-calls. It was then I got the call from Henry’s sister, Gloria, telling me of the PRB’s unanimous vote to grant him parole.
I have received a number of requests for Henry’s contact information. When the excitement has settled down and he’s settled in at the Bridge to Freedom halfway house in Chicago, I’ll ask Henry for his permission to give his contact number to well-wishers requesting it. I’m sure he’ll whole-heartedly agree, but I need to hear him say so. I’m sure you’ll understand.
Thank you, all who have cried, hoped, prayed for, and written to Henry!
If you have read my book, Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer, you’ll know the derivation of the two first names in the title. I wonder, when he finally re-settles in McDonald County, Missouri, which name he’ll use. If I were a betting man, my money would be on “Tom.”
I can’t wait to visit him there and find out.