Tom Henry is a pseudonym created from the first names of Henry Hillenbrand and his fugitive alias, Tom Elliott.
Henry Hillenbrand, was born to a working class family in the blue-collar town of Streator, Illinois. His father was a TV repairman and his mother was a homemaker. Henry was the oldest of three children.
As far back as he can remember, Henry loved to hunt. As a young boy he hunted in the fields across from his house. When he was a high school freshman, his family moved to their new home by Marilla Park on Streator’s north edge and, when he got his first gun, Henry “burned up the barrel” shooting squirrels and birds in that park.
By the time Henry graduated from high school, he had been dating the love of his life for five years. During high school, Henry applied himself, all right—but to Patty, not to school. He graduated 481 out of 487, “and all the guys from me to the end were my buddies.”
Shortly after Henry finished heating and air conditioning repair school, Patty became pregnant, causing the young couple to elope to Joliet. He worked, she tended the home, and they had a baby girl. “Those were the happiest days of my life,” Henry would later say.
After a while they returned to Streator, where their relationship fell apart, culminating in the disastrous morning when a very troubled Henry entered the house where Patty and her lover were sleeping and killed them both.
A few months later, he pled guilty, then escaped from jail and began 13 years as a fugitive. During that time he took on the alias “Tom Elliott,” moved to Missouri, married, divorced, remarried the same woman, fathered two boys, twice defended himself in civil court, attempted suicide, converted to Christianity, and was recaptured by the FBI.
Henry has been in Menard Prison since 1984. His next parole hearing is scheduled for March of 2013.