"GI" Joe Gliniewicz in Fox Lake eight weeks ago. Not for lack of looking but the men simply did not exist. Originally Joe Gliniewicz was viewed as a fallen Hero, a Police Officer who was shot in the line of duty September 1st, but in the last 24 hours he went from Hero GI Joe to a criminal himself & a man who betrayed the department he served. Today it was determined it was all a “carefully staged suicide.”
- 150 investigators spent 25,000 hours on the case.
- More than $300,000 spent on investigation with $196,000 paid in overtime.
- They followed 430 leads, looked at 250 pieces of evidence.
- Reviewed 3,000 telephone numbers, 4,000 emails, and 6,500 pages of text messaging from Gliniewicz's personal and work cell phone.
On September 1st Gliniewicz radioed in a (made up) foot chase and claimed three male suspects looked suspicious and 15 minutes later he is found dead. He was 50 yards from his squad car staging the scene spacing out his pepper spray, baton and glasses far away from him trying to indicate a struggle. Later it was determined the two shots fired were from Gliniewicz's own weapon and surprisingly his gun wasn't found for over an hour and it was just three feet from his head.
What is terrible is that a man who was employed to protect and serve ended up putting a lot of people in danger because of the way he choose to exit this world.
It was later found out that Gliniewicz stole from the police department he worked at for the last 7 years. He embezzled thousands of dollars for travel expenses, mortgage payments, personal gym membership, adult websites, facilitating personal loans, and unaccounted cash withdrawals.
On top of that, he forged signatures to requisitions for equipment in the Police Explorer program. Pages and pages of text messages, which he thought he had deleted, included evidence of his crimes were found and also his disdain against a Fox Lake administrator — including thoughts of burying her in "the Volo Bog" a state nature preserve in the area.
PDF: Joseph Gliniewicz text messages
Before fatally shooting himself, he tried to camouflage his suicide as a homicide by leaving a staged trail of police equipment at the crime scene. His pepper spray, baton and glasses were all spaced out trying to create a crime scene. To make himself look like a shooting victim, he also fired a first shot from his handgun into his abdominal area and bullet-resistant vest, but not puncturing his skin because the vest absorbed most of that impact.
Glinieqicz betrayed the public's trust and put hundreds of officers at risk creating the unnecessary manhunt. Thousands of taxpayer dollars were wasted on the search for suspects that didn't exist. He was given a hero's memorial service which police officers from 1,000 police forces came all across the country to pay their respects.
Will we be quick to judge? We should instead let this be a reminder that the way to approach these unfortunate instances is with our hearts & minds open.
Some people lie, cheat and steal, but not everyone is Bad. Continue to have faith in humanity and let this bring us closer to doing what is right. #WeCanDoBetter
FROM A FALLEN HERO TO A VILLAIN: GLINIEWICZ TIMELINE
- Tuesday, Sept. 1: 7:52 a.m. — Gliniewicz, who is on his way to work, radios to say he has spotted suspicious individuals and is checking them out.
- Tuesday, Sept. 1: 7:55 a.m. — He radios again to say the three men — two white and one black — ran into a swampy area and he is pursuing. He asks for backup.
- Tuesday, Sept. 1: 8:09 a.m. — Officers find Gliniewicz's body about 50 yards from his squad car.
- Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, officer 6740: "6740 I'm going to be out at the old concrete plant checking on 2 male whites, a male black, umm, by the equipment off of Honing."
- Dispatcher: "10-4 did you need a second unit?"
- Gliniewicz: "Negative at this time. ..."
- officer 6732: "732 we've got an officer down, an officer down. 6732officer down at the swamp."
- Wednesday, Sept. 2: Hundreds gather at a Fox Lake park for a vigil for Gliniewicz. Authorities use dogs and aircraft to search for suspects.
- Thursday, Sept. 3: Authorities use at least 100 investigators to broaden the hunt from the initial 2-square-mile perimeter.
- Friday, Sept. 4: $50,000 reward offered for capture and conviction of those suspected of killing Gliniewicz.
- Saturday, Sept 5: Lake County Sheriff's Office detective says investigators have recovered new piece of 'significant' evidence.
- Monday, Sept. 7: Hundreds of police officers from around the country attend Gliniewicz's funeral with a mile-long procession through Fox Lake.
- Tuesday, Sept. 8: The Lake County Major Crime Task Force holds a news conference to say a promising lead didn't pan out but that they are trying to identify DNA left at the crime scene.
- Wednesday, Sept. 9: The Lake County coroner says Gliniewicz died of a 'single devastating' gunshot wound, but that it can't rule whether his death was a homicide, suicide or accident.
- Thursday, Sept. 10: Police leading the investigation call the coroner's release of Gliniewicz's cause of death inappropriate and potentially harmful.
- Saturday, Sept. 12: Former Chicago police officer Joseph A. Battaglia is charged with a felony for allegedly threatening the Lake County coroner and investigators unless they categorized Gliniewicz's death as a suicide.
- Wednesday, Sept. 16: Gliniewicz's son, Donald 'D.J.' Gliniewicz, says his father 'never once had a single suicidal thought in his life.'
- Monday, Sept. 21: Police say they received the results of gun residue and ballistics tests but that they don't support or exclude any theories in Gliniewicz's death.
- Thursday, Oct. 1: Police hold a news conference to say Gliniewicz was shot twice with his own weapon and there were signs of struggle at the scene.
- Wednesday, Oct. 13: A woman from a nearby community pleads not guilty to falsely telling police she saw suspects wanted in Gliniewicz's death.
- Tuesday, Nov. 3: The Lake County Sheriff's Office calls a Wednesday news conference to announce the results of its investigation into Gliniewicz's death.
- Wednesday, Nov. 4: Authorities say Gliniewicz elaborately staged his own death and had embezzled thousands of dollars over seven years from the Fox Lake Police Explorers club, which he oversaw. They say he spent the money on mortgage payments, travel and adult websites, among other things.
- Wednesday, Nov. 4: The Gliniewicz family issues a statement. "Today has been another day of deep sorrow for the Gliniewicz Family. The family has cooperated with the Task Force’s investigation and will not comment at this time. The Gliniewicz family requests that their privacy be respected as they continue to cope with the loss of the beloved husband and Father."
- Wednesday, Nov. 4: Wife & son of Lt. Joe Gliniewicz are under criminal investigation.