Officer Charles Gliniewicz’s death has been ruled a suicide, 2 months after the 52-year-old officer staged the scene to make it look like a homicide, then shot himself in the chest with his own gun.
An extensive investigation into Gliniewicz’s death uncovered stolen funds from a youth group that he was in charge of.
Gliniewicz was hailed a hero cop and a good family man to his wife and four grown sons. But an extensive investigation into Gliniewicz’s death on September 1 uncovered funds that he diverted to for his own use to pay for vacations and to visit x-rated websites.
On Sept. 1, Gliniewicz radioed that he was in pursuit of 2 white men and a black man before he was found dead in a field in Fox Lake outside Chicago.
Hundreds of federal and local law enforcement officers pursued the 3 phantom cop killers in the air and on foot for days before the search was called off.
Even before he was found dead, Gliniewicz was under investigation for embezzling a large sum of money from the Explorers youth program he headed.
Commander George Filenko called Gliniewicz’s actions the “ultimate act of betrayal.”
Investigators pored over 40,000 emails and 6,500 text messages (many of which were deleted by Gliniewicz).
Police recovered text messages exchanged between Gliniewicz and an unidentified individual that detailed his crimes.
One text message referred to a youth program administrator who suspected Gliniewicz of wrongdoing. “If she gets ahold of the old checking account, im pretty well f*****,” he wrote according to ABC7 Chicago.
George Filenko, commander of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, held a news conference to announce Gliniewicz laundered money to finance his extracurricular activities.
Reporters criticized Filenko for continuing the search for suspects even though Gliniewicz was under investigation for money laundering.
“We completely believed from day one that this was a homicide,” he said.
The search for the phantom suspects cost taxpayers $300,000.
Gliniewicz’s wife, Mel, refused to believe he took his own life.