Lt. Gliniewicz's son: 'He was planning a future'

Second of two parts

D.J. Gliniewicz hears the rumors that have been brought up in the news media and in hushed voices regarding the death of his father, Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz.

D.J. has read articles about the day his father was killed, and he's seen the comments posted by readers on those stories and in social media.

He is irritated by the comments, but also shows the maturity to let them roll off his back.

The son of a soldier and a soldier himself, D.J. said he and his family remain strong knowing they don't need forensic evidence or a special study to confirm what they already know in their hearts — that Joe Gliniewicz did not take his own life.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko said investigators are proceeding as if Gliniewicz's death was a homicide, based on the 30-year police veteran's final radio transmissions before he was found shot to death Sept. 1 at the east end of Honing Road in Fox Lake.

Filenko said investigators will not discount other possible causes — such as a self-inflicted wound or an accidental shooting — unless forensic tests require them to do so.

D.J. said he supports “100 percent” the way the investigation into his father's death is being handled, and believes the people leading it eventually will incarcerate whoever killed his father almost three weeks ago.

What follows is the rest of an edited version of a conversation I had with D.J. Gliniewicz on Friday.

Q: People are speculating about what happened to your father.

A: The people who are starting these rumors, and I know of the rumors we are speaking about, it was after (Lake County Coroner Dr. Thomas) Rudd released some information that shouldn't have been released, and a lot of the media and a lot of the people have taken that and construed it into their own story to fill in holes. I knew my father ... and I knew him very well. He was one of the nicest and most caring individuals I've ever known in my entire life. Regardless of who you were and your background, he treated you like a human. So the people want to start rumors and they want to slander his name and our name. It's rude. It hurts us. I just can't believe it. They are attacking our family and our name. Let us have our time to remember my father. My father has never once had a suicidal thought in his life.

Q: How would you know that?

A: We know because he was planning a future. I talked to him the Friday before he passed away. And all he could talk about was he couldn't figure out if he wanted to go to Vermont or Lake Tahoe for Spartans (races). And, he's applied for several different police chief positions at police departments. Someone who wants to take a life, they don't plan a future. They don't go around and say, “I can't wait to do this” and “I can't wait to do that.” That's why I know.

Q: Have you encountered people who have been hurtful?

A: I ran into one individual who had said some certain comments and everything like that. And I politely got up and I just walked away. I'm not there to start a fight. I'm not there to try and argue with an individual, especially if that individual never knew my father. I can't stop people from thinking and saying what they want ... it's an inevitable habit of a human. But, it's like I've said multiple times so far, I knew my father, everyone who personally knew my father knew him as the greatest guy they have ever known.

Q: Do you want more information released to stop the rumors?

A: I am completely OK with what they are releasing and I understand the silence and the reason why they are doing this. It's because it's an investigation. I don't want them to go out and say this is what they are doing and have it possibly be a false lead or something, and then you're going to have the same issue we've had since the first information leaked out. And I don't want people to start filling in holes and making up their own stories. I'd rather it stick between the people doing this investigation.

Q: Have investigators released any information to you?

A: The major crimes task force has pretty much told us ... pretty much this is what happened, and there's that. You see all the rumors of a ballistics report, but they haven't told us anything. They keep a lot of it private, which they should. Because it's not our business. It's their job and I have full 100-percent belief they are going to do this job and do it well and come to the proper conclusion of what happened.

Q: Do you believe these guys will be caught?

A: I know these guys on the major crimes task force are working day and night around the clock to find the people that did this to my dad.

Q: Are you prepared to wait for someone to be brought in?

A: I'm willing to wait until I'm 85 years old in an old folks home, and someone says, “Hey, we finally caught them. They got charged.” I'll probably smile and say, “All right, right on, here we go.” And I believe the court system in and of itself will dispense the proper justice for the crimes they committed.

Q: Your father was exceptionally well trained. So how did this happen?

A: The investigation, the major crimes task force, has not released a lot of information about this. In fact, they haven't released any information because it's an ongoing investigation. Pretty much, from what I knew what happened, is from reading news articles. Every day, I have replayed it in my head over and over and over again. I try not to dwell on it, I try not to think about it. There's nothing I can say, there's nothing I can do. There's nothing anyone can say or do that will change what happened.

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  D.J. Gliniewicz, son of deceased Fox Lake police officer Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, talks about his father and the investigation into his death. Steve Lundy/
  D.J. Gliniewicz, son of deceased Fox Lake police officer Lt. Joe Gliniewicz. Steve Lundy/
  Fox Lake police officer Lt. Joe Gliniewicz participated in multiple Spartan races and other physical activities. Steve Lundy/
  D.J. Gliniewicz got a tattoo for his father, deceased Fox Lake police officer Lt. Joe Gliniewicz. Steve Lundy/
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