Suicide suspected minutes after veteran Fox Lake, Ill., cop found dead

By Amy R. Connolly  |  Jan. 5, 2016 at 6:45 AM
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FOX LAKE, Ill., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- At least one Fox Lake, Ill. Police officer suspected Lt. Joe Gliniewicz killed himself while others quickly dismissed the idea the cop's death was a suicide, newly released documents showed.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force reports show three of the officers first at the shooting scene reported hearing at least one gunshot. One officer, Lt. Mark Schindler, broke down seeing Gliniewicz's body, saying "Why Joe, why?" Another officer, Russell T. Ebbing, noted bushes around the shooting did not appear disturbed and Gliniewicz's right hand looked like it had been holding a gun.

But Sgt. Dawn Deservi dismissed the idea Gliniewicz killed himself, saying the veteran cop who went by the moniker "G.I. Joe" was too vain to do so.

"Sgt. Deservi observed the hand, and knew officer Ebbing was referring to a possible suicide due to the position of Lt. Gliniewicz's right hand finger positions," investigative reports said. "Sgt. Deservi believed officer Ebbing's analysis of the hand finger positions was wrong and she attributed it to the normal way the hand/fingers came to rest upon death."

Schindler "spontaneously" told investigators, "This is not a suicide. Joe would not kill himself."

Gliniewicz, 52, was found dead on Sept. 1 after he radioed he was pursuing three suspicious men on foot. Police launched a massive days-long manhunt to apprehend the suspects before determining the officer killed himself to coverup embezzlement.

Investigators found Gliniewicz staged his death to look like a murder, leaving equipment around the scene. GPS data from the night he died showed he was on foot near the crime scene for about 20 minutes before calling in suspicious activity.

Investigators later found Gliniewicz tried to hire a hitman to kill Anne Marrin, the village manager who was auditing the Fox Lake Police Explorers unit. Investigators later found Gliniewicz embezzled some $50,000 from the youth training club over a period of seven years to pay for travel, gym memberships and adult websites.

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