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by Peter Moskos

November 4, 2015

Fox Lake cop killled himself in "carefully staged suicide"

When I was on Bill O'Reilly, he used Lt. Joe Gliniewicz's death as a lead-in to asking: "Do you believe that the black lives matter crew and other radicals are igniting violence against police officers?" I didn't. The next day I pointed out that Black Lives Matters doesn't have a strong foothold in Fox Lake, Illinois, which is less than 1 percent African American. That works out to all of 80 black people.

Well, it turn out the cop wasn't even murdered. A police investigation revealed he killed himself in a "carefully staged suicide." Normally I'd have a bit more sympathy for this guy, but it also turns out that he was stealing and laundering money for the past 7 years (something in the "5 figures"). He stole some of the money from a police youth training program he helped run. What a prick. He had 30 years on. He could have just retired. Classy.


David Squier Jones said...

Thank goodness these are mostly aberrations. 5 figures. Really? All this was worth killing yourself for? Yes he could have retired, and faced some jail or prison time, instead of becoming national news and wasting another 6 figures in the phantom man-hunt that ensued.

john mosby said...

I dunno, Prof. Perhaps we could make this a teaching/learning moment on how to avoid the "walls closing in" phenomenon that makes cops not only kill themselves in the extreme cases, but also cover up, avoid reporting, or just avoid working.

A lot of problems start because someone thinks "I could lose the job over this," with "this" being something relatively minor. Then they start doing worse and worse stuff - the coverup's worse than the crime, and all that.

And as you have discussed on previous posts, the other cops may see something of concern, but hold their tongues, because the result of reporting may be way out of proportion to the actual offense. Then after the first time they don't report, they are part of the conspiracy and definitely won't report thereafter, because they themselves could lose the job over this.

And a certain amount of the police service will just stop working in order to minimize the chance of making mistakes they could lose the job over.

And of course the tendency in modern times is to hold the police to tougher and tougher standards, so there's more and more stuff you could lose the job over.

What can we do to make that first mistake (or even n'th mistake, depending on what it is) survivable, and just as importantly, what can we do to make the police population know that the first mistake's survivable?

About the only thing we've managed to do it with is alcoholism, thanks to Bill W.

Maybe someone needs to be the Bill W of financial mismanagement, borderline use-of-force, racism/sexism, etc?

One may say, "a racist/thieving/baton-happy/alcoholic copper has no place on the force." Of course not, but the current system of incentives and counterincentives is keeping lots of them on the force because no one wants to get help for themselves or their sibling coppers.

A more merciful system, by encouraging early reporting, may actually cut down on the number of people and acts that require mercy.


Adam said...

I very much agree, John. I think the same problem exists with Fourth Amendment violations and "testilying." Police often have to make split-second decisions about whether to stop, search, or arrest someone, and they don't always have the time to determine with complete confidence whether their observations meet the reasonable-suspicion or probable-cause threshold. When they have time to pause and retrace their steps, they sometimes realize (or another cop tells them) that they probably didn't have enough evidence for a stop/search/arrest, and that's where they feel they have to fill in the gaps and say they saw things they didn't see. I wish departments would teach their officers that it's okay to say "oops, I'm sorry, I jumped the gun" and just release the suspect. Admitting an honest mistake -- especially a mistake of law -- shouldn't get a police officer in trouble, and I think in most cases, it wouldn't. (Baltimore is the exception. There, if a cop makes a reasonable mistake of law, Marilyn Mosby will charge him with false imprisonment.).

IrishPirate said...

This guy was scum. It goes beyond the theft.

This is more akin to a form of rape than some stupid comment or inappropriate workplace stuff.


Talked about hiring a hitman to kill the village administrator who was investigating him.


He led the Police Explorers group locally. I hope the theft of money is the worst thing that comes out about that aspect of his life.

His wife and one son are under investigation for the being involved in the theft of money from the Explorer group.

This is like an episode of Law and Order. This was a criminal with a badge.

This goes beyond screwing up. His whole life was wrapped around being Supercop and when it started to come down around him he did the worst thing possible.

Right before he killed himself he saw two white guys and a black guy in the area. He radioed them in as being suspicious.


Given outlying Chicago counties history of arresting and prosecuting the wrong individuals in high profile cases that act was pure evil on his part. This man made sociopaths look bad.

I refuse to hyperlink.

Fuck him.