Officer Kenneth DeKleine [Holland PD]: Allgations that he placed recording devices in his ex-wife's [Lori's] backpack, on her phone, and under clothing in her bedroom.
Allegations were never criminally investigated by the Holland PD, where Lori's PPO was filed. After Lori's murder the Holland Police Chief stated that he had never reviewed Lori's PPO.
In January 2008, Officer DeKleine murdered Lori. He was convicted in July 2008 and sentenced to life in prison.
On January 31, 2007, Lori DeKleine obtained a personal protective order against her ex-husband [Officer Kenneth DeKleine]. A copy of Lori's PPO was filed with her ex husband's police department / the Holland PD.
Lori DeKleine wrote in her PPO that she found several recording devices in her backpack, on their home phone and under some clothing in their bedroom.
Although the Holland PD received a copy of Lori's PPO, they never criminally investigated Lori's claims that Officer Kenneth DeKleine had illegally planted listening / recording devices on Lori / at Lori's home.
Holland Police Officer Jose Mendoza testified at Officer Kenneth DeKleine's trial [for the murder of Lori], that he was aware that Officer DeKleine had placed a tape recorder in Lori's backpack [just as Lori had claimed in her PPO].
Holland Police Officer John Weatherwax testified at Officer Kenneth DeKleine's trial [for the murder of Lori], that Ken had admitted to him that he had placed a tape recorder in Lori's backpack [just as Lori had claimed in her PPO].
However, Chief John Kruithoff [Holland PD], never criminally investigated Lori's claims that Officer DeKleine was illegally recording her. After Lori was murdered by Officer DeKleine [January 10, 2008] Chief Kruithoff admitted that he didn't even know what was contained in Lori's personal protective order [that had been filed with his police department in January 2007]
Victim was 'terrified' of husband, records show
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Lori DeKleine was aware of the danger signs around her, according to court records.
"I have become increasingly terrified and afraid for my life," she wrote in a personal protection order filed in Ottawa County Circuit Court on Jan. 31, 2007, against her husband, Holland police Officer Ken DeKleine.
Less than one year later, Lori DeKleine, 43, was found strangled Thursday night in the basement of her Holland home.
"Ken has been a sexual and emotional bully throughout our marriage, beginning on our honeymoon," she wrote.
Lori DeKleine indicated she wanted to prohibit her husband from purchasing or possessing a firearm, but noted: "I do not object to his use of a firearm while he is on duty at Holland Police Department."
The final straw that apparently led to the protection order filing was an episode during the weekend of Jan. 27, 2007, while the couple was still living together.
"I believe Ken broke into the locked room I have been sleeping in to stay safe," she said. "I believe he broke in through the window in the room, leaving glass all over the bed and blood stains throughout the room and house."
Lori DeKleine wrote that she found several recording devices in her backpack, on their home phone and under some clothing in their bedroom.
She also wrote in the order that shortly after Ken returned from Iraq in February 2006 where he had been part of a group training Iraqi police, he became even more angry and controlling.
"I was afraid that he might harm himself or return and harm me," she wrote.
Ottawa County records indicate Ken DeKleine filed for divorce on Jan. 8, 2007. Meanwhile, a notice of the protection order was sent to Holland Police Department the day it was filed, court records show.
Terms of the divorce, mostly concerning child custody, kept the case open through the end of the year. The original terms called for joint custody of the children, but Lori did not want to oblige, which sent the case to Friend of the Court for a ruling, according to court records.
Officer testifies that DeKleine put tape recorder in wife's backpack
Posted by John Tunison
Grand Rapids Press
July 09, 2008 15:28PM
GRAND HAVEN -- Testimony today revealed that former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine had talked with many co-workers about his marital troubles, even telling one that he put a recorder in his wife's backpack.
"He was very open about it," Officer Jose Mendoza said, testifying about how DeKleine had mentioned that his estranged wife had gotten a personal protection order against him.
DeKleine told Mendoza he thought his wife was having an inappropriate relationship with her therapist and was upset about it.
"He felt the therapist was brainwashing her and taking advantage of her. He was trying to get that to come to light so (the therapist) would lose his license."
Mendoza testified DeKleine was frustrated because court dates for his pending divorce and to rescind the protection order were continually being pushed back.
DeKleine is on trial, charged with murdering Lori DeKleine in her home on Jan. 10.
Officer John Weatherwax testified DeKleine told him he put some type of recording device in his wife's backpack to try to record information about the relationship with the therapist.
Ex-cop charged in killing spoke of marital discord
Thursday, July 10, 2008
By John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press
GRAND HAVEN -- Ken DeKleine's broken marriage and frustrations over the divorce process and his estranged wife were almost common knowledge among many Holland police officers.
"He was very open about it," Officer Jose Mendoza said.
Mendoza was one of a handful of officers who testified Wednesday in DeKleine's murder trial.
Mendoza recalled hearing DeKleine talk about his problems, including a time he told one officer about planting a recording device in his wife's backpack before she visited her therapist.
By many accounts, the veteran officer believed his wife, Lori DeKleine, was romantically involved with her therapist and he wanted to get the man's state license revoked. Several said DeKleine seemed obsessed with the issue.
No one thought DeKleine would kill her, though, as prosecutors claim.
During the second day of DeKleine's trial, police witnesses talked about how De-Kleine acted in the hours after prosecutors say he strangled Lori DeKleine with a nylon strap Jan. 10. He was at work later that day -- before anyone had discovered Lori DeKleine's body -- in a police training session that included teaching officers how to put suspects in a choke hold.
Fellow officers noticed a cut on his lip mended with stitches, but he told them the lid from a cast iron Dutch oven fell on him as he tried to retrieve it from a shelf. Prosecutors say the real cause was his wife biting Officers who trained with DeKleine that afternoon noticed little change in his demeanor.
Officer John Weatherwax testified DeKleine earlier confided in him about his frustrations, particularly that his wife had a personal protection order against him.
"He thought the PPO was wrongly obtained," Weatherwax said.
Weatherwax said DeKleine mentioned putting a recorder in his wife's backpack to "get information" about the relationship his wife had with the therapist.
Prosecutors say DeKleine's anger about the January 2007 order, a custody battle over their two teen children and the issue with the therapist all set DeKleine off.
While DeKleine complained about his wife's alleged relationship, testimony showed he had a romantic relationship even before he filed for divorce.
Richelle VanderWal testified she was getting a divorce from her husband, a former Holland police officer, when she started a relationship with DeKleine in fall 2007. They kept it secret.
Police said Lori DeKleine's body was placed in her basement to look like a suicide, with a dangling strap tossed over some rafters.
Ottawa County Medical Examiner Dr. David Start said Wednesday that Lori DeKleine died from an assault and strangulation. He noted bruises on her body.
Detectives who interviewed Ken DeKleine in the first few hours after his wife's body was found said he denied any involvement. When investigators confronted him about blood-splattered clothing in the garage attic, he claimed he left it there while working on a vent in summer 2006 and had cut himself.
Sheriff's Detective Tom Knapp told DeKleine gloves were found, but never said what type. DeKleine volunteered that his son left "medical gloves" up there after playing with them, the exact kind found by police. him as he strangled her.
Officer Ken DeKleine - Murdered ex-wife Lori - Holland PD [Jan 10, 2008]
Officer Ken DeKleine - PPO violations & Abuse allegations
Officer Kenneth Dekleine, PPO violation :January 10, 2008
Officer Kenneth Dekleine, PPO violation: January 08, 2008
Officer Kenneth Dekleine, PPO violation: September 2007
Officer Kenneth Dekleine, PPO violation: August 2007
Officer Kenneth Dekleine, PPO violation: May 2007
Officer Kenneth Dekleine, Breaking and entering complaint: January 27, 2007
Officer Kenneth Dekleine: Allegations he abused Lori
Officer Kenneth Dekleine: Allegations he used recording devices to stalk Lori
Officer Kenneth Dekleine: Allegations he raped Lori