July 26, 2018

Man Suspected of Killing Wife Then Himself Was Longtime Chicago Police Officer

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The man who fatally shot himself moments after his estranged wife was found slain nearby was a longtime former Chicago police officer who had threatened to harm her before, according to her request for an order of protection against him years ago.

Police was trying to make contact with Raymond Zene at his Plainfield home early Saturday afternoon when they heard a gunshot and later found him dead in his garage from a self-inflicted wound, according to a Plainfield police news release.

About a half-hour earlier and a few miles away, Zene’s estranged wife, Elaine Zene, 65, was found lying on the ground bleeding to death in a Jewel-Osco parking lot on Route 59. Police said witnesses described the offender as an older male.

Authorities had been sent to Raymond Zene’s home to check on his welfare after one of his relatives reported receiving a “disturbing text,” police said.

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Elaine Zene, of Woodridge, was pronounced dead of multiple gunshot wounds shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday.

Authorities are continuing to investigate the incident they have described as a murder-suicide.

Raymond Zene spent 30 years as an officer with the Chicago Police Department, from 1966 to 1996, and a month after he retired he took a new job with the Cook County sheriff’s office, officials confirmed. He retired from that department in 2008 as a deputy chief investigator.

The Zenes were in the midst of a divorce, court records show, and years ago Elaine Zene wrote in a court filing seeking an order of protection against her husband: “I am very afraid of him.”

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She filed for divorce last year in Will County and, at a hearing on Oct. 17, her attorney argued that an amendment to the couple’s prenuptial agreement, waiving Elaine’s rights to her husband’s Cook County sheriff’s pension, was invalid. The amendment was made after the couple married in 1999, according to court documents. The case was set to be heard again Tuesday for a “prove-up,” which typically signals both parties had reached an agreement in the proceedings.

Court records in the Zones’ divorce indicate he reported earnings of about $6,700 per month from his combined Cook County and Chicago pensions.

Elaine Zene’s and Raymond Zene’s respective divorce attorneys declined to comment when reached Monday.

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Court records show the couple had a troubled past.

Elaine Zene filed in 2004 for divorce but later dropped the case. She requested an order of protection in 2004 and was granted a temporary order that only last a few days.

In a request for an order of protection, Zene described her husband as violent and verbally abusive. She wrote that he kept loaded guns in the home and she feared for her safety.

“I just can’t take any more chances,” she wrote. “No more threats. No more mental abuse.”

She also said he threatened to shoot her and her daughter and then later stated he told her no one would believe what she claimed he said because “he is who he is.”

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