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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

[IL] Article: "Why did law officer take his own life?"

By Leah Thorsen
When Robert Wingo, a 17-year veteran of the Illinois Secretary of State's police force, committed suicide a year ago, little was said about why a respected lieutenant with two young children would take his life... Questions still remain more than a year later, although a Secretary of State's investigative report shines some light on the troubles he faced. The findings of that probe, obtained by the Post-Dispatch through a public records request, show that Wingo had been accused of a list of misdoings that included harassing a young woman at her job to the point she was fired and billing the state for at least one hotel stay by claiming he had been working when he had actually competed in a triathlon. Also, investigators found about 3,000 drivers licenses and state identification cards in his office after his death... Wingo's ex-wife, Angela Wingo, declined to comment. (Full article)

The body of Investigator Lt. Robert N. Wingo of Collinsville was found September 27th, 2006 just before noon by two bicyclists on a nature trail that runs through the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus - his ex-wife's employer. He had left a phone message for her - "I can't live like this." He killed himself a day after being suspended while being investigated by State Police & the FBI. I have him with my domestic files because killed himself at his ex-wife's work, left her frantically trying to find him help before it was announced that his body was found, and left her and their children to live with this forever. It isn't physically violent to his family, but it's shattering to them on many levels - and all his call. I'm not judging him. He very well could have been under the weight of clinical depression - at least while being investigated, and just about every suicide is tragic - including his. And as bent as it may sound, documenting SO MANY murders and murder-suicides, I feel a sense of thanks for those men who don't rationalize taking others with them into death. And after documenting so many who HATEFULLY make family members watch their suicides or familicides - that his doing it alone is a relief too.
His family lives - able to continue on. Selah.

Lt. Wingo was an investigator lieutenant with the Secretary Of State's Office supervising 20 investigators, he was on the Illiniois Secretary of State Police SWAT team, a member of the Fraternal Order of the Police Lodge 95, and regularly competed in Ironman competitions for his SWAT team - winning. His domestic life? That's not made public.
The photo above is from a photo archive posted while Lt. Wingo was still alive. Caption: "Bob Wingo with his SWAT Ironman trophy and his SWAT gear in Belleville, Ill. The 39-year-old Collinsville man placed first among 150 SWAT team members at a national SWAT Ironman competition."



  2. Bob stood out as a dedicated and caring officer - he was well liked and respected among his peers.
    He was a member of the FBI National Academy Associates
    and a graduate of the 220th class.

  3. Bob was my little brother and will forever be missed and loved by me and my family. This article outrages me in the sense that whomever wrote it has no clue what they are talking about. There are only a few who know the 'real' reason my brother committed suicide...one of these days, I hope the rest will know! There is one person out there though, who does know the truth, and to her I say, Karma is a bit*h and one of these days, she will get hers...I have a feeling, she is already beginning to experience that. To my brother I say, we will meet again one day, in that place you now call your home... I love you and miss you with all of my heart.

  4. How do you blame someone else for what a grown man decides? That alone seems to diminish him. I understand the desperation to make sense of it - and anger & blame are expected / normal stages of grief - but hopefully eventually the stage of acceptance will be reached too.

    He had options, and this is the one he chose.

    I wonder if harboring that hate is what he would want for you. Or if wanting anyone else blamed for what he decided is what he sought.

    Later on, accepting the choice he selected is going to be a part of loving him.

  5. Karmas a bitch huh? Wow your a great aunt to write this shit that your own family could read. Some real big sister and aunt you are to talk about it that way.

  6. I was Bob's BEST FRIEND!! I WILL ALWAYS MISS HIM!!!! Everyone handles their own troubles differently...it is SAD he could not have handled this differently, but no one knows what was going through his mind. Don't judge people!!!!

    I miss you!!



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