Senior Citizen Killed at Harrah’s Joliet, Illinois Was Stabbed 26 Times in Frenzied Attack

Posted on: March 27, 2019, 05:53h. 

Last updated on: March 28, 2019, 09:28h.

A 76-year old man who was robbed and killed Sunday in a hotel corridor of the Harrah’s Joliet Casino in Joliet, Illinois was stabbed 26 times in a horrific assault, police said Tuesday.

Harrah’s Joliet
Robert Watson is accused of murdering a 76-year-old man in a hotel corridor at Harrah’s Joliet on Sunday. He has a criminal history for burglary, robbery and aggravated robbery in several states. (Image: TMJ4)

Chicago man Robert Watson, 25, was charged with the murder of hotel guest Emanuel M. Burgrino, who was visiting from Wisconsin with his girlfriend.

Watson appeared in bond court Tuesday via video link from the Will County jail and was held on $5 million bail. He is also charged with armed robbery and robbery.

Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Chelsea Selvey said Watson — who was not a guest at the hotel — had been loitering around Harrahs Joliet for most of Sunday, presumably looking for a victim.

Suspicious Behavior

A key witness said he had taken the elevator up to the fifth floor with Watson, who had asked him to hold the elevator door when he entered from the lobby. The witness had used his key card to access the elevator, while Watson had not. The witness became suspicious when Watson exited on the same floor as him and so he turned around and took the elevator back down to the lobby.

After returning to his room a short while later, the witness heard a commotion in the corridor and went outside to find Watson on top of Burgrino, attacking him. He shouted and Watson fled towards the fire escape.

Burgrino had been viciously stabbed in his neck and chest. At around 10pm, he was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries at around 11pm on Sunday.

Blood Money Backpack

Watson was arrested less than 24 hours later at the Joliet Public Library, just two blocks away from the casino. He was carrying a backpack, matching one he was seen carrying in surveillance videos. Inside was bloodstained cash.

Prosecutors did not say how much money was stolen during the robbery during Tuesday’s hearing.

Watson has a long criminal history of burglary, robbery and aggravated robbery in Illinois, Arizona, Texas and Wisconsin.

“Detectives were able to determine that Watson was the person who fatally stabbed the victim at the Harrah’s Casino Hotel hallway,” Joliet Police announced. “Detectives are still investigating what led Watson to attack and fatally stab the victim.”