Fox Lake residents react to Gliniewicz news with mixed emotions
Anger, shock, doubt and surprise were among the reactions in Fox Lake to the release of investigation details that showed Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz killed himself and stole money from an organization for teenagers who want to become law enforcement officers.
While some support for Gliniewicz remained visible Wednesday on store marquees and signs posted in windows, there also was anger.
Club G and S in downtown Fox Lake featured a sign that read, "Embarrassment!!! Low-Life Scumbag." The message was written on the back of a placard that offered support for the man known as "G.I. Joe."
Bartender Maureen Kelly said seeing the support signs for Gliniewicz after the serious accusations became known prompted her to make a statement Wednesday night.
"It did strike a nerve because I really didn't want it to happen this way," Kelly said during a break in her bartending duties.
Others can't believe the findings.
Judy Field knew Gliniewicz and said the revelations won't change her high opinion of him.
"It's like a slap in he face," said Field, who lived many years near Fox Lake in Ingleside and now resides Round Lake. "The truth will come out. They may put it in like that now, but it will come out. Truth tells itself after so long."
Cynthia Mach of Fox Lake said she also knew Gliniewicz and disagrees with the findings. She said the village could wind up divided between Gliniewicz supporters and detractors, unlike when the community rallied immediately after his death.
"I don't buy it at all," Mach said of the report Gliniewicz ripped off Fox Lake Law Enforcement Post 300. "People that knew him and knew what he did and knew what type of person he was and kind of knew about him probably would find it kind of hard to believe."
However, Gary Rabine, a Fox Lake paving business owner, said he was angered to learn the details of the investigation against Gliniewicz. He said had been considering donating $10,000 to a fund that offered a reward for information leading to Gliniewicz's purported killers but is glad he didn't write the check.
"I thought he was always a brave man, but now he's a coward in my opinion, to do that and put his family and the town and everybody through this," Rabine said after eating breakfast at Whistle Stop Cafe.
At the Village Bakery, co-owner Felcja Duda said she was shocked. She said Gliniewicz used to visit her bakery periodically.
Village Bakery customer Christine Miller of Spring Grove said she doubts the police version of events about Gliniewicz.
"I think they're protecting somebody higher up," Miller said. "There was just too much going on."
Gary Jacobson, who was waiting for a Metra commuter train in downtown Fox Lake, said he has sympathy for the officer's family.
"There's always two sides to people," said Jacobson, a former Round Lake Heights resident now living in Roscoe. "Obviously, the other part you're not going to know. I'm not going to judge him until I see everything and then I might not, anyway, because I haven't walked in his shoes."
Wednesday's announcement also surprised some people.
Andrew Duchaine of Spring Grove said it was a turn of events he didn't expect. Looking back, he said, the manhunt is now bothersome because it was "a waste of time."
Officials from Fox Lake Law Enforcement Explorer Post 300 were not offering any opinions about Gliniewicz.
"I don't have any comment at this time," said Explorer adviser Amy Serafin, parks and recreation coordinator for the village of Fox Lake.
Fox Lake Village Administrator Anne Marrin said she understands the clashing opinions and emotions in town.
"This was a horrific thing that happened to this community, to this administration, to all of the employees and all of the residents," Marrin said. "I'm sure there's people that are going to say, 'I just can't believe it.'
"And I can tell you that the major crime task force has worked hard and diligently. We immediately began working with them on this. And they would not present this in the way they did if they were not 100 percent sure."
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