Here is an excerpt of an email I received from a mutual friend regarding Joe’s death
“Apparently, Joe had been in the basement of his home in Minooka, hanging Blackhawk posters in his gun-room. This happened on June 1st (my birthday). He had all his guns on a table, laid out as if he was ready to clean them. The best that investigators can tell, as he was alone at the time, is that in the commotion a gun that was in its case slipped off the table and fired. The round struck him under his jaw on the right side and seemed to have exited the top right side of his head. This caused massive damage, but his wife found him soon after and doctors were able to save some brain function. Although he never regained consciousness the outlook was positive that eventually he may wake up. Last week at some point the swelling dramatically increased and caused permanent brain stem trauma, causing his passing. His Dad said the police investigation is ongoing and they don’t expect a final recreation of what occurred for some weeks yet, however, a break in and/or foul play are the farthest situations from the event that anyone might guess. The weapon was found pointed in Joe’s direction and was still in its case, across the room.
I gotta tell ya, seeing him there was without a doubt mind-boggling. Here’s the kid we grew up with that couldn’t sit still for a fucking second, absolutely silent. This experience was and still is crushing. Looking at the wall of pictures from Canton, and SHS, and vacations, and weddings, and kids – I found that our childhood ‘partner in crime’ (ha-ha) had done quite well for himself over the years, we are lucky to have been a part of his life.
I feel the same as you, cheated. Joe and I fell out of touch a good 10 years ago. We reconnected on FB back in April, I believe, and had planned to talk more, at some point. He had married into a huge family and fathered 2 kids w his wife Sam, who had 5 of her own. WOW, that’s a lot of kids! He had convinced Fran to move to the area, as she had retired to Valparaiso, IN some years back. She was helping them, and they – her.”
It is that bolded section that gives me peace. I’m happy to have found that out the truth (thanks to Jeremy Copley), and am happy to reconnect with some old friends, as unfortunate as it is. It really is a heartbreaking tragedy.