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Sunday, January 13, 2008

[MI] Officer's wife, Lori DeKleine, murdered

Friend says slain woman feared husband
Chronicle News Service
Posted by John Tunison and John Agar
January 13, 2008

HOLLAND --The wife of a Holland police officer now accused of murdering her was afraid of him and had a personal protection order to keep him away, a neighbor said... Officer Ken DeKleine, 44, is expected to be arraigned Monday in Holland District Court on a charge of open murder for his wife's death... "If somebody would have ever said, 'Is Ken DeKleine even capable of something like that?' I'd have bet him a million dollars, no way," [retired Sgt Mark] Bos said. "It's tragic. It's a shame. Now, we've got two teen-agers and no parents"... Lori DeKleine took out the protection order against her husband several months ago...
[Full article here]

Holland Police Chief John Kruithoff:
"It's tough when it's one of your own. As law enforcement officials, we have to put that aside and we did that. It doesn't make it easier"... Kruithoff said Friday night that he was aware the DeKleines were having marital problems. He said that for the past several months, DeKleine had not been living with Lori and their two children and that the separation had a "traumatic impact" on DeKleine...

Brad Ward, spokesman for the family and elder in the DeKleine's church, Holland Heights Christian Reformed:
"Both sides of the family have come together and are really trying to work through this and make sure they're doing what's in the best interest of the kids."

From the Holland Heights Christian Reformed Church Bulletin
... Please pray for Ken, Bre, & Christopher DeKleine as they grieve the loss of Lori this past Thursday...
[Full article here]

Holland officer accused of killing wife
Posted: Jan 11, 2008
Updated: Jan 12, 2008
...Officers responded to a 911 call placed by one of the couple's children... They found Lori DeKleine, 43, the wife of Officer Ken DeKleine, dead in the basement... An autopsy was performed Friday and her death was ruled a homicide. Ken DeKleine, 44, was arrested later in the evening after investigators followed possible leads, interviewed many people, and collected various items of evidence. He will be arraigned Monday, January 14 on open murder charges...
[Full article here]

Slain wife feared officer, friend says
By John Tunison jtunison@grpress.com
and John Agar
The Grand Rapids Press
Sunday, January 13, 2008
To neighbors and fellow officers, Holland police Officer Ken DeKleine was almost perfect -- polite, sociable, a devoted Christian and good at his job. But to his estranged wife, he had become a threatening presence, a friend and neighbor of Lori DeKleine said... Lori was a member of Focus Plus, a support group for attention-deficit disorder, served on the Holland Christian Schools Tuition Assistance Board and had been a teacher at Borculo Christian School...
[Full article here]

Holland cop arrested in wife's death
By Nate Reens
The Grand Rapids Press
January 12, 2008
..."Ken and Lori had a strained relationship and had been separated," [Holland Police Chief John] Kruithoff said. "It was a troubled marriage. The problems, I don't know, and we'll never know what happened to bring this on." Ken DeKleine was at the department headquarters downtown when a 911 call was placed by a family member [their teenage son]... The chief contacted the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department to conduct the investigation... He would not disclose how the mother of two died... "Everyone's stunned, shocked and in disbelief. Ken's been everybody's friend and a very recognizable part of this community." Kruithoff said inconsistencies in his officer's story raised suspicion. "It's tough when it's one of your own," he said. "As law enforcement officials, we have to put that aside and we did that. It doesn't make it easier."
[Full article here]

Police officer charged with killing his wife
Created: 1/11/2008
Updated: 1/12/2008
...Holland Police Chief John Kruithoff says the couple had been having marital problems and may have been separated. He says it's been difficult for everyone involved, "When people find out about this, it will be disturbing to everyone who knows Ken, because this absolutely is a person you wouldn't expect this from"... Ken DeKleine is a 1987 graduate from Calvin College. He recently served a one year tour in Iraq as an International Police Liaison Officer. Lori DeKleine is a 1986 graduate from Calvin College. The couple have two children together...
[Full article here]

Many wonder what went wrong
Police officer in custody for wife's death
Holland Sentinel
Sunday, January 13, 2008
..."The family is going through a tremendous amount of shock and grief right now," said Brad Ward, an elder for the Holland Heights Christian Reformed Church and family spokesman. Lori had been a part-time secretary for the church, in charge of putting together its newsletter... Principal Troy Stahl described Friday as "a difficult day." He said a school-wide prayer was held Friday morning... Lori had been a part of the high school's Theatre and Arts Program for several years, becoming its board president in the past year. "She was very involved in anything her kids were involved with," Stahl said. "She was someone who wanted to be a part of their lives"...
[Full article here]
Police officer held for murder of wife
Lori DeKleine found dead in home; Holland's Ken DeKleine faces open murder charges

Holland Sentinel
January 12, 2008
...Holland Police Chief John Kruithoff said Friday night that he was aware the DeKleines were having marital problems. He said that for the past several months, DeKleine had not been living with Lori and their two children and that the separation had a "traumatic impact" on DeKleine. The couple was in the process of getting a divorce, he said. Kruithoff said this event has come as a shock to the department. "He always shared his personal issues, but with this he obviously suppressed his feelings," he said. "Because if we had seen alarms going off, we would have taken action"... Kruithoff said DeKleine had never been charged with domestic violence and that the only discipline against him during his time as an officer with the Holland police was "a couple of cruiser accidents." In a 2005 interview, Kruithoff said DeKleine was a well-respected and well-liked member of the department, calling DeKleine, "caring," "compassionate" and a "great cook." DeKleine was a 2nd lieutenant in the National Guard but resigned in 1994 to join the Holland Police Department. On at least two occasions, DeKleine told reporters the hardest part of his experience in Iraq was being away from his wife and two teenage children, Bre and Christopher. In a 2006 interview, Lori DeKleine said she recorded all of the children's activities while her husband was in Iraq. "Not being able to share them with Ken -- that was hard," she said...
[Full article here]

Holland cop arrested in wife's death

The Grand Rapids Press
By Nate Reens
Saturday, January 12, 2008
...Lori DeKleine is survived by her children, Breanne and Christopher, both teenagers. She was the publications editor at Holland Heights Christian Reformed Church. A church leader there declined to speak about her death, and her family could not be reached for comment.
[Full article here]

Neighbors say officer charged with killing his wife had restraining order against him
WZZM News / Channel 13
Nick Monacelli
Created: 1/11/2008 9:19:39 PM
Updated: 1/12/2008 11:39:51 PM
..."There was a restraining order, he did violate that once." Ken DeKleine was taken into custody Friday and charged with open murder. He will be arraigned in the 58th District Court on those charges Monday. The Ottawa County Prosecutor and investigators will also meet Monday to determine more specific charges. Saturday afternoon family gathered outside the home, knowing first and foremost they need to take care of Ken and Lori's children Bre and Chris; both students at Holland Christian High School. "Both sides of the family have come together and are really trying to work through this and make sure they're doing what's in the best interest of the kids," says Brad Ward, a spokesman for the family. And in the face of tragedy, Lori's neighbor also knows the teenagers need support more than anything. "(Lori) lived through her children, absolutely loved them. Just keep them real close to your heart, and many prayers for them because they're going to need them"...
[Full article here]


  1. This was a sad and shocking event! All I can say is that something snapped in his mind, he was a kind man. I give my grievences to the DeKleine Family.

  2. Don't make excuses for this man. LORI IS THE ONE WHO WAS MURDERED. If there is a mention of the man who attacked her, who watched her watch him as he squeezed the life out of her, and then - in a final burst of selfishness - left her bloated, violated body for their son to discover as he perpetrated one last lie - that she committed suicide - if anyone mentions this man in public, it should be to focus on his betrayal of his wife, his vows, his children, and his obligations as a man, husband, father, and human being. There has been a lot of sympathy for and focus on Ken DeKleine by the news, by his church, by the police chief and fellow cops. What is wrong with our society, with us that this is an acceptable response ??!! LORI is the one who lost her life for no other reason than that she achieved the strength to end a horrible marriage that had been abusive for a long time. The FOCUS SHOULD BE ON LORI, on her life, on the many wonderful things she did. Is her murderer worthy of compassion? Yes - and when justice has been done, when we have all considered this brutal act and how it happened among us, when he has taken responsibility for his horrible acts, THEN it will be appropriate for us to consider his healing. But now, we should be considering Lori, the loss SHE is to our community, and the children he left as orphans.

  3. Spouses and ex-spouses don't "snap". They've given it thought before they kill - and choose to not get help for the safety of those around them.

    This is not the sad result of an unfortunate moment.

    This is murder and what murders are made of. He harbored this.
    She knew.
    Who listened?
    Who tried to help her?

    Who could she turn to in a town like this?

    ...Every thought-seed sown or allowed to fall into the mind, and to take root there, produces its own, blossoming sooner or later into act, and bearing its own fruitage of opportunity and circumstance...

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Sorry I didn't meant to approve that comment before censoring it. Regardless of truth if what you say is severe AND unsubstantiated it just isn't right for me to let it be here - so... Redacted:

    December 04, 2013
    "...what about the real motivation Officer DeKleine had. Where are the stories about his issues? Why did the Police try to blame Lori? Ken was the one in an inappropriate relationship, [REDATED]. It’s so much easier for the Police to blame anyone other than a Police officer and make her look bad, gotta find a way to make the Police not look so bad, this is messed up. Where is the truth?!?!?"

    Now me: I remember how the chief had obviously bought into whatever Ken had told him about Lori but feel free to share how you saw the police making Lori look bad. You can email me privately if you prefer.


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