A story coming out of Alabama has ended up in shock for the local community, and a murder charge for the husband of a late housewife and adult film star, who it appears had been murdered.
Some weeks ago, on the morning of January 13th this year, 42-year-old housewife Kathleen Dawn West was found lying face down across the street from her house. She was partially clothed, had her cellphone next to her body, and a bottle of absinthe balanced on top of her. She had died of blunt force trauma to the head.
These circumstances were suspicious to say the least, and it was clear that the woman had been murdered – but who could have done such a thing, and why?
Kathleen was well-known to the local community. Before she passed away, West was known to most people as a wife and mother in her quiet Alabama town. She was liked and respected by those who knew her. However, in the days following her death, details began to emerge of a secret alter-ego that locals knew nothing about.
In her spare time, the suburban homemaker had been running a private Instagram account that had nearly 52,000 followers – some of whom went on to pay for her subscription-only adult website, where she went by the name “Kitty Kat West”.
Most porn actresses tend to change their name completely when going into the industry, but oddly, Kathleen West chose a name that was very similar to her own.
Shortly after her death, a number of Facebook groups were set up with the intention of finding out who may have killed Kathleen. The groups which joined by thousands of people who were familiar with West, a great deal of whom were probably fans of her erotic material from around the world.
In a now-deleted post on one of the groups, a man who claimed to be a friend of West’s husband, Jeff, said that the widower believed his wife had died as a result of excessive drinking.
“I was able to talk to my friend Jeff last night in length. In the upcoming days true facts will be coming out,” the post said. “And everybody will find out that this was a terrible accident, that involved excessive alcohol consumption …. Absinthe!”
Presumably, his contention was that Kathleen might have been so drunk on absinthe, a highly potent french liquor, that she fell, caused a fatal blow to her head.
However, the authorities didn’t buy this theory, and now, weeks later, after the post-mortem and other formal procedures have been carried out, Jeff has been arrested and charged with the murder of his wife.
Others on the Facebook groups had criticized police for not acting fast enough in Jeff’s arrest, but Calera Police Chief Sean Lemley said that, in fact, West’s husband “was the suspect from the very beginning” – but the fact that she was found outside her home, semi-nude, did confuse officers for a while.
For a time, local residents of the area accused the Calera PD of not conducting a thorough enough investigation, and a neighbor of West’s said that forensic teams didn’t even tape off her household or driveway when looking for clues about her death, which is the usual standard procedure.
What’s more, they never appeared to search local areas for other leads about the murder – not even the nearby woodland.
“I saw one officer searching Kat’s yard with a flashlight – that was about it,” said Kevin Wachs, the neighbor.
In retrospect, we shouldn’t read too much into the neighbours’ concerns, given that they have now made a murder charge and arrest. Sometimes, these things take a while.
Still, the whole of the neighbourhood was on edge for a while, especially as they still didn’t know who had killed Kathleen.
“The general consensus is everyone wants answers. We are all a little nervous, we are on edge: do we have a killer in the neighborhood? Is he going to strike again?
“I don’t know if the police are in over their heads, or if they don’t know what they’re doing, or if it’s a cover-up. If they just said they had a person that would settle everybody down.”
Since his arrest, it is believed that Jeff West probably did know about his wife’s alter ego, and his motivation for murder is not known at this time. Kathleen is survived by her 12-year-old daughter, who was not at home at the time of the killing, or at the time of her father’s arrest.