This anniversary came and went, and I’m glad it’s gone.
News outlets sometimes commemorate the anniversary of big stories – often the most tragic ones. But we kind of collectively shrugged about the Sept. 1 anniversary of the suicide death of Fox Lake police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz.
For a moment, I’d forgotten it again until I took a call Thursday from a cable news network producer seeking permission to use some of our coverage content and speak with a few of our journalists.
Probably because Gliniewicz played us all, particularly the news media, for a bunch of suckers. And although he certainly is the most responsible for the charade, he couldn’t have done it alone.
Some who were sick of news reports where cops were being run down deservedly and undeservedly wanted a hero cop. You don’t have to die to be a hero cop. They surround us every day.
But mostly, we took the Lake County authorities at face value. They told us Gliniewicz was shot by unknown assailants, and most of us bought it. Media access during an active investigation isn’t a cakewalk.
Some, not close to the investigation, say they knew it was a hoax all along. But many of them also are the type who aren’t so sure about what really happened on 9/11 or whether the moon landing was legit.
Sept. 1, 2015, was an intense day for local police, media, the people of Fox Lake and the greater law enforcement community, and the intensity didn’t let up much for the next few weeks, including last Labor Day when Gliniewicz received a hero’s funeral at Antioch High School.
One year later, the anniversary felt more worthy of burial than observance.