Just when you thought the tragic death of Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph “Joe” Gliniewicz could not get any sadder. It does. Police now believe that Gliniewicz staged his own death to avoid being exposed as an embezzler of thousands of dollars from a youth program. Police say it was a “carefully stage suicide” that led to a massive manhunt for the assailants. To make matters worse, his wife and son who appeared devastated by the murder of Gliniewicz by unknown assailants are now under investigation themselves. There is even an allegation that he might have sought out a hitman to kill the official who was close to uncovering the the embezzlement.
Police have said evidence “strongly suggests criminal activity on the part of at least two other individuals.” It appears that they were referring to the wife and son.
Gliniewicz’s wife Melodie and son D.J. allegedly are suspected of playing a knowing role in the scheme of their husband and father. Police say that they have discovered text and Facebook messages from Gliniewicz in which he discusses his fear of exposure with this family members, though they are only identified as “Individual #1” and “Individual #2”. Police say that Gliniewicz used money for personal purposes that were meant for Fox Lake’s Police Explorer program, including a Hawaii vacation with his wife that cost up to $9,000. The pressure came after Fox Lake hired its first professional administrator, Anne Marrin to audit all the village departments, including the Explorer program.
It is unclear how much knowledge and involvement the wife and son had in the scheme. The wife is most in peril as an alleged beneficiary of the funds at this point. If the son merely had knowledge, his failure to come forward is understandable. Indeed, prosecutors will sometimes threaten charges against family members to force a plea from a parent or spouse — a practice often denounced by defense counsel. However, it is not certain if the son had more than knowledge. Clearly, both remained silent during the aftermath of the shooting while either knowing or suspecting that the shooting could have been a suicide (and without revealing the possible criminal conduct).
The result is a horrific tale and a deep sense of betrayal not only for this small town but the nation at large, which rallied around the family.