The Kansas City Star from Kansas City, Missouri on December 6, 1990 · 20
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The Kansas City Star from Kansas City, Missouri · 20

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Location:
Kansas City, Missouri
Issue Date:
Thursday, December 6, 1990
Page:
20
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A-20 The Kansas City Star Thursday December 6 1990 Violence scars past of man accused in women’s deaths Continued from A-1 wives He has not been charged in the West case Irvin pleaded not guilty to the murders and long ago denied involvement in West’s disappearance His lawyer won’t discuss the case and Irvin’s father Walter Irvin a church deacon declined to be interviewed But a brother Doyle Irvin contends Irvin was set up Even so records and interviews portray Irvin as a man with a good line but a cold heart who pursued women compulsively then humiliated them One ex-wife recalled that he forced a woman to crawl and baric like a dog as he kicked her repeatedly in the stomach His alleged crimes never grabbed headlines In St Joseph’s neighborhoods as elsewhere stories of mistreated women often are recorded only in court files For instance in 1978 Jenny Lee Ousley said she’d had enough and took her kids to Colorado Irvin swore he’d change On Valentine’s Day he wrote: “Damn girl if only you would look into my heart or read my mind I’ve found out Jenny there’s no substitute for true love” In response she sued him for child support through the Buchanan County prosecutor’s office in St Joseph Irvin fought the case and it was dropped in 1983 But at the same time he was defending that suit Irvin was named in a second paternity case by a woman in California and was having an affair with a teen-age woman who bore him a third child and accused him of abuse The Irvin family was respected when it lived in Doniphan County Kan near White Cloud in the 1 960s The family was poor but Irvin’s parents made sure the eight children went to school and had warm clothes to wear in winter One snowy Thanksgiving Highland Community College students delivered a turkey dinner to the family In 1970 Irvin was accepted as a St Joseph police officer an attainment that earned teasing from his brothers But within months he resigned Police are vague on why saying it was a personnel matter Not long after on April 17 1 97 1 he pulled a gun during a bar fight in Hiawatha Kan and tried to flee police He was fined $50 By 1973 when his mother died Irvin’s life was spinning out of control He was convicted of an assault and was known for cruising St Joseph in his blue Corvette and picking up girls In April 1 974 he was accused of picking up a 1 5-year-old girl at a Skaggs Drug Store in St Joseph driving her to Kansas and having sex with her The charge was indecent liberties with a minor But prosecutors dropped the charge when the girl declined to testify Younger women became Irvin’s forte Another woman honey-blond Ruth West said she grew up in an alcoholic family and was primed for abuse when she met Irvin in 1974 and at age 1 5 had a baby by him “You know he was a grown man and he said all the right things He could tell me the moon was purple and I could look right up at that sucker and see it was white and say ‘Yeah it’s pur-Ple " She said the relationship was abusive from the start ‘He’d cry and show all this remorse And the next week he’d do the same thing again” In early 1979 Ruth left for California to find work along with her brother Calvin West and his wife Micki Jo West To her surprise Irvin followed Ruth to the Coast and in March they were married in Ventura Calif In early summer they returned to St Joseph where the marriage flopped By August she fled after complaining to friends that Irvin beat her She and her 4-year-old son secretly took a room at the Pony Express Motel in Elwood Kan She said she told only her mother a sister the couple who drove her to the motel and Micki Jo West Despite these measures Irvin found her on Sept II 1979 Breaking into her motel room Irvin and two buddies forced the screaming woman and her son into a car witnesses and police reports say and drove them back to St Joseph Earlier that morning Micki Jo West had started from her mother’s house to catch the bus to her state hospital job in St Joseph She never arrived Police have since looked for a link between the two events “I believe the way he (Irvin) found out where I was he found it out from Micki I always believed that” Ruth West said She said she told police that Micki Jo West had complained to her mother and to her sister-in-law Ruth West that Irvin was following her Once said Micki Jo’s mother Burnita Wolfing Irvin had come to their house demanding to know where Ruth was Wolfing gave her daughter a hammer to put in her purse It was clawed with a rubber grip “The night before Micki Jo disappeared she said she was scared to death” Wolfing said Irvin was a suspect from the start but not a “prime” suspect until several months had passed police said Micki Jo West’s father Arden Locke remains See MURDER A-21 Col 1 Great Rate Short Term World's 4-Month T-Bill Acc ount ANNUAL YIELD’ ANNUAL RATE” ns ooo Minimum Deposit Valuable extras — Get FREE checking with interest a FREE safe deposit box’ and more Total safety — The New York Times says we re “the nation’s 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