(CNN)Initially hailed as a hero after his death, Fox Lake, Illinois, police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz is now likely to be remembered by another label: a betrayer. What once appeared to be the killing of an officer in the line of duty turned out to be “a carefully staged suicide,” George Filenko, Lake County Major Crimes Task Force commander, said Wednesday.
“This staged suicide was the end result of extensive criminal acts that Gliniewicz had been committing,” Filenko said, announcing the conclusions of the investigation into the officer’s September 1 death. The officer had been stealing and laundering money from a police department program that mentored young people hoping to become law enforcement officers, Filenko said. Gliniewicz, a leader in that program, had been stealing money for at least seven years, he said.
The investigation found that the officer, who had experience creating mock crime scenes, staged his suicide to make it look like a homicide. The officer placed his equipment at the scene in an “attempt to mislead first responders and investigators to believe this was a homicide,” Filenko said. Gliniewicz was under increasing levels of stress from scrutiny into what the investigators found to be criminal activity, Filenko said. The veteran officer had planned to retire in August, but he was asked to stay on for another month. The last radio call of his more than 30 years on the job was anything but routine. It would signal the beginning of a mystery that stumped investigators for a time.
Gliniewicz was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time he was shot, according to two law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation. One of the officials said two shots hit Gliniewicz — one stopped by his bulletproof vest, and another entered his torso at a downward angle. The officer’s .40-caliber pistol was found at the scene. A source involved in the investigation told CNN in September that Gliniewicz’s gun was fired, but it wasn’t clear who pulled the trigger.
Lake County officials said the case was being handled as a homicide, but other theories remained on the table during the investigation, including the possibility of a self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound. The coroner said he couldn’t rule out a homicide, suicide or accident. A massive manhunt was launched in the aftermath. More than 400 law enforcement officers raked through the heavy woods near Fox Lake on foot, all-terrain vehicles and horseback. The FBI, U.S. marshals and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also helped in the hunt as well as police from adjoining areas. But eventually they pulled out, saying no suspects or persons of interest had been identified.
I really don’t think it’s possible to be a worse person than this guy was. Levels upon levels of despicable behavior. Stealing from a Police Department (youth program no less), trying to figure out a way to frame public officials to stop your impending embezzlement investigation, staging your suicide to look like a murder so the public can celebrate you like a hero, wasting even more money and possible lives in the ensuing manhunt for the imaginary perpetrators, and finally having the possibility that the police find someone matching the description you provided of your murderers and watching an innocent person jailed or harmed. It’s actually incredible when you think about how awful all of that combined truly is. And the worst part is, it just further adds to the distrust people have in police. There are bad policeman all across the country, just like there are bad lawyers and doctors and accountants. The difference is a bad accountant does something wrong and he loses some money or gets fired, a bad policeman does something wrong and people die. It sucks, I feel for the good police officers out there that have to then deal with this distrust every single day, they don’t deserve the extra burden events like this add to their job, especially when they’re out there putting their lives on the line to keep everyone safe. I just pray that a guy like Joseph Gliniewicz rots in hell.
Who the fuck pays for porn? What a fucking idiot.
Fox Lake police on Wednesday said Gliniewicz’s death was a “carefully staged suicide.” Gliniewicz had been stealing and laundering thousands of dollars from the police department’s youth auxiliary program for personal purchases, the department said. The purchases included gym memberships, porn websites, and mortgage payments.