New Gliniewicz docs show officer on scene suspected suicide

  • Charles Joseph Gliniewicz

    Charles Joseph Gliniewicz

 
 
Updated 1/4/2016 11:09 PM

Three Fox Lake police officers told Lake County Major Crime Task Force investigators they heard the gunshot that took the life of Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, according to a document released Monday by village officials.

The information was contained in the first set of documents stemming from the initial investigation into the Sept. 1 death of Gliniewicz in a swampy area east of Honing Road. The 18-page document contains multiple interviews with three patrol officers, Sgt. Dawn Deservi and Lt. Mark Schindler conducted over several weeks after Gliniewicz was found dead.

 

According to the document, the three officers were called out to help Gliniewicz after he contacted an emergency dispatcher to say he was chasing three suspects into the swamp. The three officers met up on the gravel road near the old Fox Lake cement plant when they heard a muffled "pop." One officer asked another if that was a gunshot, according to the document.

The officers found Gliniewicz face down near the edge of the swamp, the document read, and they saw dark blood on his chin when they rolled him over. They checked for a pulse, didn't find one and took up a security position around the body looking for a gunman. They never located one.

Deservi, a trained paramedic who once worked at the Fox Lake Fire Department, arrived at the scene and could not find a pulse on Gliniewicz's neck or wrist, according to the document. Another officer insinuated the death was a suicide because of the position of Gliniewicz's hand, the document read, but Deservi discounted it because she said it was the normal way hands and fingers come to rest upon death.

The document also describes how officers found Gliniewicz's body, how long the search for the body took, how signs of a struggle were noticed, and that Gliniewicz's radio was knocked off his shoulder.

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After Gliniewicz's death, officers began a prolonged and intense manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies. In the days that followed, there was an outpouring of community support, which included a lakeside vigil attended by several hundred well-wishers who hailed "G.I. Joe" as a hero. His death made national headlines.

Two months later, authorities ruled Gliniewicz had killed himself and staged the event to look like it was a homicide. Authorities said Gliniewicz took his own life to cover up an embezzlement of money from the Fox Lake Law Enforcement Explorer youth program.

Deservi and Schindler both told task force officers during their interviews they didn't believe Gliniewicz would take his own life. Deservi said Gliniewicz was "too vain of an individual" and added that if "he missed and caused himself to be paralyzed, he wouldn't be able to live with himself in that condition."

According to the document, Deservi and Schindler both said Gliniewicz was not liked by village administration and other officers, and that Gliniewicz spent more time working on Explorer functions than on police duties.

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