Career criminal William J. Gallagher came to Milwaukee last year with a single goal in mind: get sentenced to one of the Wisconsin prisons he had heard great things about while doing time on the East Coast.
Six months after finishing a 20-year prison stint in New Jersey for attempted homicide, Gallagher in October hopped on an Amtrak train to Chicago, took another train to Milwaukee and went to a Chase Bank "with the sole motivation of going to prison," Charles Roozen, Gallagher's public defender, said during a hearing in December when the ex-con and Vietnam War veteran pleaded guilty to attempted robbery of a financial institution.
Gallagher, 68, had heard that health care in Wisconsin prisons was superior to other institutions and better than the care offered through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
During his robbery attempt, Gallagher made it clear that his plan was to get caught. After informing a teller at the Chase Bank on East Wisconsin Avenue that his name was Bill, Gallagher demanded cash in the form of $100 bills and said he had a bomb, according to a criminal complaint against him.
Then, the robbery took a turn for the weird. Gallagher asked the teller to "please call the police," the complaint states. The bewildered teller responded, "Bill are you serious" and initially said she didn't want to call the cops, though she complied with the request. Gallagher sat down until the police arrived and arrested him, the complaint says.
Read more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.