Update: Evidence mounts in Fox Lake cop investigation
11/19/2015 5:39 pm PST
Fox Lake, Illinois, is a town divided by the dirty secrets lying just below the surface.
The man known as "G.I. Joe," a 32-year veteran of the suburban police department, turned out to be a fraud.
Investigators say Lt. Joe Gliniewicz staged his own suicide just moments after calling headquarters to say he was chasing three suspects. He was later found dead, shot twice in the torso.
But not only did Gliniewicz fake his own murder, he'd apparently been stealing from a police Explorer youth training program for years, cheating the very kids he claimed to be mentoring.
Police now confirm the lieutenant repeatedly broke the law he was sworn to uphold. Allegations of sexual harassment and public drunkenness in his personnel file have rocked the small town to the core.
In the days following his death, a motorcade of 4,000 police officers attended a daylong funeral for G.I. Joe.
More than 25,000 man hours were spent on finding his killers. Supporters, neighbors and townspeople donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help the search and the family he left behind.
That money hasn't been returned, but other accounts are frozen now that all evidence points to suicide.
Crime Watch Daily had an independent forensic expert look at the details of Gliniewicz's death.
"Both of the gunshot wounds were to the torso and were survivable," said forensic pathologist Dr. Judy Melinek. "There's no other sign of struggle, including his duty belt still intact, that's what tipped them off that something was amiss about this alleged homicide."
Now, new details including Lt. Joe Gliniewicz's text records show the dark side of this once beloved officer, and why he may have chosen to end his own life.
Text messages Joe Gliniewicz thought he deleted before his death show a growing fear the Explorer program he ran would be audited by a new village administrator.
Joe's widow Melodie Gliniewicz has not been formally implicated in any wrongdoing, but the case against her husband reveals a shocking betrayal of public trust. Investigators are now left to piece together everything that led up to his death.
Just over one month ago, in an exclusive Crime Watch Daily interview, Mel Gliniweicz and the grieving family described Joe as a devoted father, husband and cop.
But now, Mel Gliniewicz has lost much more. Her husband's gone and so is his "G.I. Joe" reputation, erased by revelations of embezzlement and scandal.
Even more so now. Lt. Joe Gliniewicz's text messages continue to reveal an even more chilling side to this rogue cop who, investigators say, considered taking down the woman he said was out to get him -- Fox Lake Village Administrator Anne Marrin.
Police found evidence at the Fox Lake Police Station, and also discovered an excessive amount of surplus military equipment stockpiled in the explorer's storage area. The potential discovery may have been the last straw for G.I. Joe.
One month after his death, Mel insisted her husband was devoted to the Explorers program.
At the time, Mel also told us she was outraged anyone would consider her husband's death a suicide.
Now the Gliniewicz estate and the Village of Fox Lake are named in a federal lawsuit claiming the lieutenant had been harassing a man he pulled over in a traffic stop. Locals fear there may even be more bad news to come.
According to the mountain of evidence stacked against him, the man known as G.I. Joe was apparently living a lie in every sense of the word. And in trying to fake his own suicide, pretending he died honorably, his final betrayal was also his last.