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Chaos Strikes On A Quiet Saturday Morning in West Hills

Image courtesy LA Daily News. 
If this were Sylmar or Pacoima, I would chalk this up as another typical day in the hood but since we are talking about West Hills, I felt the need to bring more attention to this tragic story which goes like this.

Michelle Ann Kane, 43, was hiding at a friends house in a quiet West Hills neighborhood nearby Valley Circle and the West Hills Baseball fields. On Saturday June 15 around 8 AM, the LAPD responded to a radio call for an assault with a deadly weapon. 

Image courtesy LA Daily News
Michelle's estranged husband, Michael Rodney Kane, 46, had decided to take matters in his own hands that Saturday morning and somehow tracked the location of where Michelle was hiding in fear. Kane stormed the front door in the 7100 block of Deveron Ridge Road, a 1960's ranch home measuring 4 Beds/3 Baths on 3,163 sqft (shown above), and bypassed the only male resident of the home who was injured by Kane and eventually reached his wife of 10 years and repeatedly stabbed her to death outside the home. The Kane's two children were also at the home but uninjured and are with Michelle's family (I hope they didnt witness the stabbing). Michael fled the scene to hide in a motel in Joshua Tree but was later arrested on Monday June 17 which almost proves that you cant really hide these days.

While domestic abuse and homicides unfortunately go hand in hand with higher incident rates in a large city like Los Angeles, Michelle recognized danger and tried to avert it.  Michelle visited the LAPD's Topanga station one day before her death to report that her husband had violated a temporary restraining order. According to her attorney Steve Mindel of Feinberg, Mindel, Brandt, & Klein, "She went to the police station Friday, twice and later called again to seek assistance from what she considered an imminent threat to her life and the lives of her children." 

The irony of this story is that Michelle had taken the necessary steps within the law to protect herself and kids and it still wasnt enough. She had recognized that danger was lurking and sought to seek refuge in a friends home which wasnt enough. She had filed the proper restraining order documentation within the LA County Court system and still wasnt enough. She had contacted the LAPD the day before her death to report a violation of a restraining order and the potential threat literally knocking down the door and it still wasnt enough. 

So with an incident like this shaking up a quiet West Hills neighborhood which has one of the lowest crime rates, why is it that the LAPD didnt respond to Michelle's plea for help and her claim of a violation of the restraining order? Why did the LAPD not provide proper protection when she needed it the most? Would owning a gun helped prevent this incident from occurring (a challenge to the proposed gun control laws today)? If you are a female out there in a domestic abuse relationship, do you feel safe after learning about this incident? What this incident proves is that when a person is determined to do anything, they will not let anything get in the way of their mission. Do you think a home alarm system would have helped where it probably would have taken the Security company and the LAPD at least 10 minutes to respond after they confirm that this is not a false alarm? Maybe living in a gated community is worth the extra expense. 

While Michelle is in a better place now and Michael hopefully faces the death penalty or at least life in jail, the kids will forever be scarred from this incident. They have lost their mother who lovingly cared and protected them. A mother's love is irreplaceable which I know first hand after losing my mom to breast cancer when I was 12. I wish them the best and they have a challenging journey ahead of them which I know will be aided by Michelle's family. I know the family is probably still in shock but this might be a good time to setup a memorial and/or scholarship fund for the kids. 

On two separate notes that may not matter, Michael worked for the LAUSD since 1997 where he was last teaching at Nestle Avenue Charter Elementary in Tarzana since July 2008. The second random note is that Michelle and Michael purchased a 4 Bed/3 Bath on 2,224 sqft townhome (shown below) back on September 27, 2002 for $373,636 which was about a couple of blocks away from the Topanga Police station. 
Image courtesy Google Maps

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Marty Mcfly

Anything and everything about the San Fernando Valley. This blog will take you back in time when the valley was covered with dirt and orange groves to a leader in the space race to its current status as America's suburb. Come along and join me on this adventure, I guarantee you have been influenced/impacted by the San Fernando Valley in one form or another even if you have never visited or heard of the SFV.

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