The twisted saga of the police officer who staged his suicide to look like a murder continues.
On Wednesday, the already complicated case of suburban Chicago police officer Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, who killed himself because he feared his embezzlement of city funds was about to be uncovered, took another dark turn. His wife, Melodie Gliniewicz, was indicted by a grand jury on felony counts of money laundering and misuse of the charitable funds her husband stole.
Joseph Gliniewicz spent years stealing money from a police training program that he ran, called Fox Lake Police Explorer Post. Just as his crimes were about to be exposed, authorities say he committed suicide, but staged it to look like a murder in an apparent effort to distract from his wrongdoing. The shooting prompted a massive manhunt by local, state and federal officers for imaginary suspects. In the meantime, Gliniewicz was praised as a “hero” and was honored with an 18-mile long funeral procession.
More than two months after his death, investigators announced that Gliniewicz was at the center of the entire plot.
“There are no winners,” Lake County Major Crime Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko said at the time. “Gliniewicz committed the ultimate betrayal to the citizens he served and the entire law enforcement community. The facts of his actions prove he behaved for years in a manner completely contrary to the image he portrayed.”
Now, his wife — who served as an adviser to the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post program — is facing felony charges of “money laundering and disbursing charitable funds without authority for personal benefit,” according to The Associated Press.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said Melodie Gliniewicz turned herself in when she learned of the indictment, the AP adds. Bond was set at $50,000.
Gliniewicz has four children.