Rest in Peace Lt. Gliniewicz By all accounts a good officer, husband, father, community member. Read full obituary HERE.
As an author, when I am seeking storylines for my novels, I often get ideas from items I read in the paper about real people and real events. I study those, research them, research similar stories and people, glean from them what I will, and then combine them with other ideas to create a story that is truly my own. I also like to set those stories in places I know about, because the more real I can make the setting, events, and characters in the novels, the more compelling those novels become. It is art imitating life in a very real sense. So it was when I came up with the storyline for the first book in my DeLuca Family series, heartbeats, and why I set some of the story near Fox Lake, Illinois, the small town I grew up in and which I still live only a couple of miles away from.
However, when I wrote in heartbeats about my FBI agent flying over Fox Lake toward the cornfields northwest of the village in a frantic search to find my endangered heroine, little did I know that some years later I would be sitting on my patio listening to the eerie chop of police helicopters flying over that same town in a desperate search for a cop killer.
Nor did I realize, when I wrote the third novel in the series, TRUE blue, that the storyline about a police officer gunned down in his car while investigating a crime, would hit so close to home; or that my somewhat sleepy little town, a little over an hour’s drive from Chicago (provided the traffic is light, which it rarely is) would be suddenly thrown onto the twenty-four hour national news scene by a similar story. It has been ten days since Lieutenant Joseph Gliniewicz was gunned down in a wooded area in Fox Lake. It would appear now that the investigators have no solid leads in the case. When I decided to write TRUE blue, the continuing story of a Chicago cop family, I was touched by the stories I’d read about fallen police officers and how the killing of an officer hit hard the brotherhood of the police and the families of the officers; and how it continued to hit hard long after the killing, tearing lives apart, especially when the case could not be solved. But a cop killing doesn’t just hit the police force and the families hard, it affects all of us as it rocks the foundation of our security.
That is what we feel now in Fox Lake and the surrounding area. No one is really safe, not anywhere, not anymore. Our innocence is lost—not that Fox Lake was ever really innocent. It’s had its problems, and it is well known that in the 1920’s the town was a hangout for notorious mobsters and bootleggers, including Al Capone and his gang. But still, Fox Lake is a village of people who work, go to school, and enjoy the weekends boating on the lake the town is named for. It a pleasant place to grow up and raise a family. Sure we get the Chicago news feeds, and we are aware that some of the neighborhoods in Chicago are War Zones—over the past Labor Day Weekend alone there were eight people killed and forty-six wounded in shootings in Chicago (CBS news)—a terrible tragedy in itself which needs to be addressed; but we’d watch the nightly news, sigh, turn off the TV, and then go to bed, often forgetting to lock our doors.
Not anymore. There is a cop-killer on the loose. Maybe he or she is still in the area, maybe not. Until we have more answers nobody will feel completely safe. But even if the killer is found, Read more…