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In "Ultimate Betrayal" After Massive Manhunt, Illinois Cop's Death A "Carefully Staged Suicide"

The Illinois cop, whose death sparked a massive manhunt in September, fatally shot himself in a "carefully staged suicide" after committing "extensive criminal acts," police said Wednesday according to NBC News. Initially hailed as a hero after his death, Fox Lake, Illinois, police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz is now likely to be remembered by another label: a betrayer. As the local police commander told CNN, the officer placed his equipment at the scene in an "attempt to mislead first responders and investigators to believe this was a homicide," and far from being a hero, Gliniewicz "committed the ultimate betrayal" with his actions over the past several years which included stealing and laundering money from a program that mentored young people.

Gliniewicz's death on Sept. 1 has been shrouded in mystery and become fodder for conspiracy theorists as police released limited information, saying they didn't want to compromise the investigation. As NBC News reported,

When the Lake County coroner released new details a week after the shooting — that he couldn't rule out a suicide and Gliniewicz died from "a single devastating gunshot wound" — authorities blasted him publicly for being "irresponsible."

 

Police had released this much: Gliniewicz was patrolling a remote area of Fox Lake when the officer saw three men and stopped to question them at 7:52 a.m. He radioed for backup about three minutes later, with the trio described as two white males and one black male.

 

But by the time other officers arrived, Gliniewicz was found dead at the scene. In less than 15 minutes, the men managed to vanish on foot, police said.

 

...

 

Last month, following a massive manhunt that at its height included several SWAT teams, federal agents and helicopters, Lake County officials said that they were continuing to treat his death as a homicide — although other possibilities were still on the table.

Meanwhile, Gliniewicz — nicknamed "G.I. Joe." — was remembered by mourners as a married father of four, dedicated to his job and mentoring youth through the Explorers program.

 "When we were growing up, we always knew he was a hero — but now the whole nation knows him as a hero," his brother, Micheal Gliniewicz, said at his funeral.

 

Not so much any more (as CNN reports)... What once appeared to be the killing of an officer in the line of duty turns out to have been "a carefully staged suicide," George Filenko, Lake County Major Crimes Task Force commander, said Wednesday.

"This staged suicide was the end result of extensive criminal acts that Gliniewicz had been committing," Filenko said, announcing the conclusions of the investigation into the officer's September 1 death.

Gliniewicz was under increasing levels of stress from scrutiny into what the investigators found to be criminal activity, Filenko said.

The officer had been stealing and laundering money from a police department program that mentored young people hoping to become law enforcement officers, Filenko said. Gliniewicz, a leader in that program, had been stealing money for at least seven years, he said.

 

The investigation found that the officer -- who had experience creating mock crime scenes -- staged his suicide to make it look like a homicide.

 

The officer placed his equipment at the scene in an "attempt to mislead first responders and investigators to believe this was a homicide," Filenko said.

 

 

 

The initial assumptions shifted when investigators "didn't see anything to indicate there was a struggle physically" in the officer's death, Filenko said.

 

Investigators then found that the village of Fox Lake, north of Chicago, had started "a thorough internal audit of all of their assets" that Gliniewicz was concerned might unearth proof of his illicit financial activities, Filenko said.

 

The investigation indicates at least two others were involved in criminal activity, though that inquiry is ongoing, and police are not commenting further for now, he said.

*  *  *

Not exactly helping the cause of the 'American police states enforcers' public relations efforts as the local police commander concludes,

Far from being a hero, Gliniewicz "committed the ultimate betrayal" with his actions over the past several years, Filenko said. "He behaved for years in a manner completely contrary to the image he portrayed."