In June 1972, Wills was working as a private security guard at the Watergate office building, the location of the Democratic National Committee headquarters. On the night of June 17, he noticed a piece of duct tape on one of the door locks when he was making his rounds. He removed it, and continued on his patrol. One of the five burglars — Frank Sturgis, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, Bernard L. Barker and James W. McCord — noticed that the tape had been removed, and replaced it with another piece of tape on the door (the tape was placed over the latch to prevent the door from locking). When Mr. Wills returned, he saw that the tape had been replaced and called in the police. The five men were found in the building and arrested. This triggered the chain of events which exposed the Watergate scandal and eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Wills played himself in the movie version of the book All the President's Men, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's account of Watergate. He lived in relative poverty most of his life. Wills died of complications from a brain tumor on September 27, 2000, at the age of 52 at University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia.
Spike Lee incorporated Wills' story into Lee's 2004 film, She Hate Me. In the film Forrest Gump, Wills is the guard who takes Forrest's call complaining about men with flashlights across the street disturbing his sleep while he is staying in the Watergate Hotel.
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