EVER since a neighbour’s daughter came upon the half naked body of Kathleen West in Calera, Alabama, the small town has been abuzz with rumour.
The young woman was reportedly leaving for work on the morning of January 13 when she found Ms West lying face down at the foot of her family’s garden, half of her body sprawled on the lawn, the rest spilling onto the road.
Next to the 42-year-old’s body was a mobile phone and a green bottle of alcohol, which the witness said was sitting on top of the device. The witness told local media the victim was wearing only a sports bra and was bleeding from a wound to the head.
Police have ruled the death murder and many locals are now convinced Ms West’s “double life” as a self-described online “exhibitionist” and webcam girl had something to do with it.
Ms West, who bore a striking resemblance to Marilyn Monroe, lived directly across the street from the crime scene in a two-storey brick house with her husband William “Jeff” West and their 12-year-old daughter.
— kitty (@kittykatwest75) January 12, 2018
Growing speculation about how she ended up dead just metres from her home has inspired online sleuths to set up two private Facebook groups to share theories about how she met her brutal end.
Over the past few days, members have suggested the culprit could have been anyone from an online admirer turned stalker, to her husband or another man’s jealous wife.
Ms West, who was known as MeowMeowKittenChow75 on Instagram and @kittykatwest on Twitter, posted countless photos of herself posing in lingerie and bikinis to her more than 50,000 followers.
She also had a private site on OnlyFans.com where subscribers could view uncensored images for a monthly subscription fee and was a long-time member of The Cougar Club, which posted a tribute to her after she died.
Then there was her Poshmark account, where she sold mainly women and children’s clothes and shoes, and an Amazon wishlist featuring lingerie and swimwear patrons could buy for her.
It is unclear how much Ms West’s family knew about her online alter ego, but if her Facebook account is anything to go by, it was hardly a secret.
Her page is filled with photographs of her embracing her husband and child, but alongside the pictures of domestic bliss are racy shots of her in underwear and sexy role-play outfits.
Her husband, a 21-year army veteran and unsworn officer for the Birmingham Southern College campus police, has deleted his Facebook account in the wake of his wife’s death.
“It’s shocking that it happened so close to home, so all you can do is worry and think about your family, and that’s all I’ve been doing,” Xavier Lee, who lives two door down from the Wests, told WIAT-TV.
“(Their) child doesn’t have their mother anymore, don’t know why, don’t know what happened, that led up to the incident, but to wake up to that news, it makes you think.”
Investigations are continuing.