Death of Illinois officer 'carefully staged suicide,' police say

ByAnne Swaney, WLS logo
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Joseph Gliniewicz

FOX LAKE, Ill. -- Two months after Fox Lake, Illinois Police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was found dead, investigators call his death a "carefully planned suicide."

Officials said Wednesday Gliniewicz staged his own suicide because of "extensive criminal acts." Gliniewicz was "stealing and laundering money" from the Fox Lake Police Explorers Program, which he led. He used those funds for his own personal expenses," Lake County Major Crime Task Force George Filenko said.

On Sept. 1, Gliniewicz was fatally shot in a remote area of north suburban Fox Lake, after he radioed that he was chasing three male suspects. Police launched a massive manhunt, but the men were never found.

He had been shot twice with his own gun - once in his vest and once in the upper chest.

"The trail of equipment... was an attempt to mislead first responders and investigators that this was a homicide scene," Filenko said. Filenko said Gliniewicz had experience in staging scenes for training scenarios.

"This was laid out as though there was an ongoing type of struggle at the scene," Filenko said. However, there were signs the death was staged, including the fact that Gliniewicz's uniform wasn't disheveled, Filenko said.

When asked about the manhunt and length of the investigation, Filenko said "all possible death scenarios were considered."

Marciano Martinez, who lives across the street from the area where Gliniewicz died, said he was ready for the mystery to be solved.

"I think about it every single day. I mean what exactly happened in that field? It's a mystery that needs to be answered," Martinez said.

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