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Father, son accused of killing West Memphis cops were coming to Clearwater

CLEARWATER — Jerry Kane, 45, and his son Joseph, 16, crisscrossed the country educating people about mortgage fraud and how to keep their homes.

They were scheduled to facilitate a two-day seminar in Safety Harbor beginning next Saturday.

But on Thursday, they were gunned down after a routine traffic stop turned into a bloodbath that left two West Memphis, Ark., officers dead and two other top law enforcement authorities wounded.

The toll from the gunbattles was the greatest suffered by Memphis-area law enforcement agencies in a single day, according to the Commercial Appeal in nearby Memphis, Tenn.

Arkansas State Police have not identified Jerry and Joseph Kane as the suspects in the shootings, but a Clearwater woman who said she is the common-law wife of Jerry Kane has told the Commercial Appeal that the men in videos and photographs taken at the crime scene and available on Memphis media websites are her husband and stepson. Florida has not recognized common law marriages since 1968.

Donna L. Wray lives on Madison Avenue, just north of Drew Street.

Calls to Wray's telephone number rolled to voice mail and instructed people who wanted to attend "the May 29 and 30 Jerry Kane seminar in Safety Harbor, Fla.," to leave their name and number.

No one answered the door at the home and a note on the door said: "NO VISITORS. THIS MEANS YOU!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING."

The home, Pinellas court records indicate, is in foreclosure.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds and staff writer Drew Harwell contributed to this report. Rodney Thrash can be reached at rthrash@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4167.

Father, son accused of killing West Memphis cops were coming to Clearwater 05/21/10 [Last modified: Saturday, May 22, 2010 12:18am]

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