A corrupt property developer sentenced to serve more than 11 years in prison for bribing city officials in Berwyn was found dead in a Forest Park cemetery, the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The body of Clifford Josefik, 72, was discovered by a woman visiting a gravesite in the Woodlawn Cemetery on Cermak Road, according to police, on the very same day that Josefik was expected to turn himself over to federal prison authorities. Shortly before 11 a.m. on April 15, Forest Park police were called to the cemetery where the woman said she saw Josefik slumped over on a park bench. She went to check on the man, realized he was bleeding from the head and noticed a handgun on the ground.
Deputy Police Chief Tom Aftanas said a medical examiner ruled that Josefik shot himself in the temple with a .22 caliber revolver. Initially, authorities believed Josefik may have killed himself after becoming despondent over the deaths of several family members. The bench on which Josefik’s body was found had been moved so that it was closer to four gravestones, all bearing the victim’s family name, said Aftanas.
However, authorities investigated further into the man’s background and learned he was due to report to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to begin serving a 135-month sentence.
“He was supposed to turn himself in that day,” Aftanas said.
Josefik was indicted in 2005 for bribing and intimidating a mayoral aide in Berwyn back in 2003.
According to the deputy chief, suicide attempts in the village’s many cemeteries are highly unusual. During the 1990s an officer patrolling a cemetery discovered an idling vehicle with a hose running from the exhaust pipe into the car. Medical personnel were able to revive that individual, said Aftanas.