Tragedy struck a small town in Alabama when a beloved wife and mother was murdered, her killer still walking free. Kathleen Dawn West, 42, enjoyed a simple but happy life with her husband and twelve-year-old daughter in Calera, Alabama. West, originally from Florida, loved her duty as a housewife, however, that was not was not her sole profession. She had a very active online presence on social media and was also an adult entertainer. Her murder is tragic. Police are working to determine if her double life could have attributed to her death.
West was found murdered outside her home at around 5 A.M on January 13 when a neighbor located her body and notified police. She was wearing only a sports bra and had appeared to have suffered a severe head injury. Authorities have determined a cause of death, but have not released such information to the public, nor whether there was sexual assault involved.
West was a very attractive mature woman and loved to be celebrated for it; Marilyn Monroe was her idol and she aspired to portray a similar style. Her Facebook profile contained mostly innocent content, often featuring West’s husband and daughter. She was, however, a member of a group called “The Cougar Club,” which glamorized “the beauty of older women.”
On Instagram and Twitter, however, West, who went by “Kitty Kat West,” promoted the link to her adult site on the domain OnlyFans. On the site, West gained followers, who, for $15.99 a month, had unlimited access to West’s provocative content. She also offered specialty content as requested, and provided the link to an Amazon wish list for novelty items she would feature in future photos and videos, such as lingerie.
It is unclear how long West had been an adult entertainer, however, it appeared to be a somewhat new career choice, at least publicly. West’s Internet fame began when she sold women’s clothing beginning in early 2016. In August 2017 that all changed when West released her first suggestive tweet posting “Happy Frisky Friday – Let’s get this party started” along with the link to her OnlyFans profile. Her online business continued until the night before her death, when West posted her last tweet on January 12.
The murder is extremely worrisome for residents of the small-town community, where crime is reportedly rare. Neighbors are on high alert in the event that the killer will strike the neighborhood again. The probability of this, however, depends on whether West’s death was related to her online activity or if it was a random homicide. As of now, police have no leads.
West’s family and community have come together in supporting each other during the aftermath of the tragedy. West’s mother, Nancy Martin, created a fund to help pay for funeral expenses, the Facebook campaign already raising $2,300 of the $10,000 goal in only 46 donations over three days. West was an active gym member, as well, where she will also reportedly be deeply missed.
The Alabama community has provided only nonjudgmental and loving support, especially from those who knew Kathleen, despite her choice to work in a controversial industry. There are obvious dangers in doing so, however opinions aside, the murder is being treated as a tragedy, “regardless of what she was doing in her private time,” investigating officers commented.
Social media users have been equally vocal, however, those who did not know West personally have been undeniably harsh and insensitive, referring to her business as prostitution and leaving other vulgar comments. Without reaching out to West’s subscribers, there is no way of determining whether any of her actions could be considered prostitution, however, they appear to be scandalous nonetheless, especially shocking given that she had a pre-teen daughter who deserved a wholesome role model.
Regardless, West lost her life to cold-blooded killer, and the threat to the community is still active. Hopefully, it is not determined that West’s online business caused her death; however, if it proves to be, other women can use the incident as a valuable lesson in Internet safety and the dangers of revealing private content and information to strangers.
As police said, this incident “left a man without his wife and a child without her mother.” No matter her career, ethical or not, West, nor her family, deserved to endure such a tragedy.