Paroled double-murderer arrested with gun last week hangs himself in county jail

Patrick Tullis hanged himself while in custody at the Cook County Jail. | CPD; Google

UPDATE 12:05PM — The Cook County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed Tullis’ death. We have updated our original report with some new details from a sheriff’s office spokesperson.
Patrick Tullis, who was on parole for killing two gay men in Lakeview in 1987 when cops arrested him last week for firing a handgun in Uptown, hanged himself in the Cook County Jail last night, according to multiple established sources.

A jail attendant who was making their rounds discovered Tullis’ body shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday, according to the source. Tullis was on his knees, hanged from a bunk bed rack with a bed sheet, sheriff’s records show. His ankles were bound with a second bed sheet.

Jail personnel performed CPR until fire department paramedics arrived. Tullis was pronounced dead at the jail at 9:30 p.m., according to sheriff’s office spokesperson. His age was listed as 58 by the Illinois Department of Corrections, but 55 by Chicago police and the sheriff’s office

The Illinois State Police is conducting a death investigation, but foul play is not suspected, the spokesperson said.

Tullis was arrested near his Uptown home at 1 a.m. on June 25th after neighbors reported shots fired and a man with a gun in the 4700 block of North Beacon. CWBChicago first reported on Tullis’ latest arrest later that morning..

Prosecutors said that police approached Tullis for questioning, but he hid his right hand and ran into his apartment building. Officers caught up with him and found a loaded handgun in his back pants pocket, according to charges. Two shell casings were found in front of his apartment complex.

Police said Tullis waived his right to remain silent and told them, “I got a little toy from a friend. I was celebrating the [Fourth of July] and began firing it into the air, but I didn’t shoot at anybody. I was just shooting it in the air.”

Tullis was charged with one count of Class X felony armed habitual criminal; being a felon in possession of a weapon; reckless discharge of a firearm; and two counts of resisting police. He had been held without bail.

In April 1989, Tullis was sentenced to 45 years in prison for murder and a consecutive fifteen years for voluntary manslaughter after he pled guilty to killing two gay men in 1987. He was released in July 2017 after serving half of the 60-year term.

Tullis, who lived in the 3000 block of North Sheffield at the time of the murders, tied 25-year-old John Tolbert’s hands and feet, then strangled him to death with a telephone cord on April 5th, 1987, according to a contemporaneous report by the Chicago Tribune. Tolbert’s body was found in a dumpster on the same block where Tullis lived.

Then, on April 29th, Tullis stabbed 43-year-old Raymondo Hernandez twenty-one times and dumped his body under the Brown Line tracks at Ashland.

Tullis told prosecutors that he killed the men because they asked him to have sex.

The victims were killed about two months after Tullis was released early from prison after serving 2-1/2 years of a four-year sentence for aggravated battery. The Tribune reported in 1989 that Tullis had been ordered to serve three extra months in prison during that sentence because he stabbed another inmate who made sexual proposals.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is