Chris Kelly's dying message: 'Tell them they won'

Web Exclusive
November 24, 2009 (CHICAGO) By: Chuck Goudie and Barb Markoff In a new disclosure, Mr. Kelly first tried to take his own life on Sept. 8 by rigging a hose from the exhaust pipe of his S-U-V into a storage trailer where he had been sleeping. The report, obtained from Country Club Hills police by the ABC7 I-Team under the Freedom of Information Act, states that Kelly attempted to take an overdose of pills that day but that he failed to kill himself. READ full police report here

It was earlier in the day of that first suicide attempt that Chris Kelly was in federal court on corruption charges. He had pleaded guilty and was looking at prison time. Federal authorities were believed to be pressing Kelly to testify against his former boss, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

During a court break that day, Kelly told reporters that his life was over. A few hours later would be his first known attempt to make that a certainty.

According to the police report, two of Kelly's friends and his lawyer attempted to line up help for the one-time behind-the-scenes superstar of the Blagojevich administration. It didn't work.

Three days later, near the same location of his first suicide attempt in Country Club Hills, Mr. Kelly downed another jumble of painkillers. He sent a text message to his girlfriend Clarissa Flores-Buhelos that read "Come get me asap yard" according to the police report.

When Flores-Buhelos arrived at the parking lot she discovered him slumped over the wheel of his SUV.

According to the police report Kelly told his girlfriend, "It's my life. Tell them they won, tell them they won."

There was no further discussion quoted and nothing else in the report to indicate who Kelly was talking about when he said "tell them they won." However, it was widely known that Kelly felt intense pressure to flip and take the witness stand against his friend and confidante Rod Blagojevich. The impeached governor has been charged in a racketeering conspiracy and is due to go on trial next June.

The 47-page police report also offers some details about whether Kelly took rat poison the night before he died as Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch said. A Kelly friend told police that he had found empty boxes of rat poison at the scene of the suicide but discarded them to protect his friend.

The police report states that Kelly told Flores-Buhelos while she was driving him to the hospital that "he had taken aspirin, Tylenol and rat poisoning." An autopsy report ruled the suicide was by an overdose of painkillers and that rat poison wasn't found in Mr. Kelly's system.

But considering the previous attempt in which he had rigged an exhaust hose and taken pain pills, it seemed that Christopher Kelly was determined to take his own life one way or another.

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.