Murdered Teacher Was Trying to Leave Bad Marriage

Husband had been stalking her, even showing up at her job in order to see former wife.

Kim Conover was trying to leave a bad marriage, but was confronted with a partner who was not willing to let her go and had started stalking her, including showing up at the school where she worked, according to a family member.

“She was trying to raise her kids and being with him was not the best way she could do that,” said a family member who did not want to identify herself in order to protect her privacy. “She was doing her best to get away from him and just trying to put her kids first.”

Conover, 43, was Kevin Conover, 41, Sunday outside her attorney's office on Keller Street. On Monday her divorce attorney Jeffrey Zimmerman told Petaluma Patch that Kim had put in an application for a restraining order at the Sonoma County Superior Court, but that it had not yet been approved at the time of her murder.

The family member who spoke to Patch described Kevin Conover as a negative influence on Kim, someone who had not held a job for many years.

“He couldn’t just kill himself, he had to take her too,” said the family member, fighting back tears. “What he did speaks for itself to what kind of a person he was.”

Both Kim and Kevin graduated from Petaluma High School and met through Kevin's sister. They had been married for about two years and leave behind 18-months twins, a boy and a girl. Conover also has two daughters, 12 and 15, from a previous relationship.

Reached by phone Monday morning, Kevin Conover's mother, Jean, declined comment, but the family later issued a statement, saying they were devastated by what happened.

"Our hearts go out to the Baucom and Sullivan (the last name of Kim's ex-husband) families for their senseless loss; especially to Kim’s daughters. We appreciate and are eternally grateful for the love and support being shown in the community for all of us impacted by this tragedy."

Friends described Kim Conover as fun, energetic and whip-smart, a second grade teacher at Meadow Elementary, a position she has held for the last 12 years. Conover loved her job, in part because it gave her the chance to teach kids how to read.

“She was really smart, kind, a lot of fun and somebody set high goals for herself,” she said. “And she was a great teacher.”

Grievance counselors are at Meadow Elementary today to help students deal with the sudden loss, said Waugh District Superintendent Robert Cmelak, and will stay on campus “as long as necessary.”

Conover’s class will be taken over by first grade teachers at the school in order to give the students a familiar face as they cope with the new.

“Kim has taught hundreds of kids at Waugh,” said Cmelak. “She had an amazing smile that lit up the room. She will be greatly missed."

petaluma mourns April 17, 2012 at 03:47 AM
The predicament she got herself into when she left her family? Wow. She didn't leave her family, let's make that very clear. She was getting OUT OF the predicament of being married to an abusive man. THANK YOU MITCH! Way off base indeed!
Anna Hobbs April 17, 2012 at 03:51 AM
so many negative comments about this article... this truly upsets me, as a cousin of her's, to see the negativity coming from certain comments. yes, everyone has their opinions, but this sheds a light on the good and right things she did in her life. just leave it at that.
localmom April 17, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Whoa, whoa...this is getting out of control. Obviously BeeDub is in alot of pain right now, and based on his last comment I think he is referring to the family she had with her husband prior to Mr.Conover. I'm just reading between the lines here, but that's how it seems to me. So let's just all take a deep breath, and focus on how our community can all best help and support all of the branches of this family.
Johnson April 17, 2012 at 04:21 AM
She left her family. She left her second husband (father of the two "older" girls) to be with new husband. You make your own bed. Brian Way can't even do that. Read his side of town VS the other side of town.
Johnson April 17, 2012 at 04:38 AM
She left her family. She left her second husband (father of the two "older" girls) to be with new husband. You make your own bed. Brian Way can't even do that. Read "his side of town VS the other side of town."
BeeDub April 17, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Thank you localmom. That was indeed my point. If these people don't understand that then they don't know the whole picture. Nor do they need to know. That's like slowing down at the scene of an accident, looking for gore. Vulture journalism. Thank you Karina, for opening up a giant can of worms... gossip, trolls... I knew nothing good could come of your sensationalist "journalism". Well done - I hope you sleep well at night. We don't. Don't you have something else to "report"?
3rd Generation Petaluman April 17, 2012 at 05:04 AM
http://guidedtosafety.org/domestic-violence/conover-sullivan-trust-account/ In light of the tragic deaths of the Conovers this past Sunday, April 15, we have established a trust account for the four children left behind. To make a donation: CHECKS PAYABLE TO: GTS Conover & Sullivan Children
Carrie Nae April 17, 2012 at 05:39 AM
beedub you are putting way too much into all of this!!! Kim was above all else a WONDERFUL MOM!! We her family are not upset by the beautiful words about her. I am sorry and very sad that the you are using this to vent your anger.
Mary Cain April 17, 2012 at 06:59 AM
I'd like to know where the hell his family was.... If my son were stalking my daughter in law and grandchildren my car would parked in front of their house 24/7 and I would be by their side constantly. He'd have to kill me first and that might be just enough time for them to get away. What is so wrong with men that they keep killing women?
Honey badger April 17, 2012 at 07:33 AM
Bottom line .....families on both sides are grieving ----and yes bee dub or whatever ur name is-----Petaluma morns----Kim and Kevin both had a lot of friends----this was something unnecessary and yes "selfish" of him to do-----want me to say it again ---"SELFISH" in all caps ....there is anger , sadness, and disbelief in the Petaluma communityi saw nothing wrong with this article---it paints a beautiful picture of a wonderful woman.....and sheds a little light on the "painfully disturbed Kevin" ......Rest in peace Kim
Mary Cain April 17, 2012 at 08:05 AM
Bee Keeping thngs private and people minding their own business is why DOMESTC VIOLENCE happens every day. Too bad you and all your CLOSE friends and family didn't take your heads out of your butts and step up and and circle around and make sure your friend was safe and the sick loser friend got some HELP! Maybe the children would still have some parents. Your comment "family they ruined by getting together" is shamebased and judgmental at the least. You are the one throwing mud and undermining reputations of the dearly departed. Feeling guilty and redirecting it towards others.....?
Xyzzy April 17, 2012 at 09:23 AM
There's no way to even describe how sickening it is to read someone implying that a murder victim "made [her] own bed" by leaving her husband.
Xyzzy April 17, 2012 at 09:38 AM
It's very possible that his family didn't know that he was showing any signs of dangerous behavior... I know that when I decided to leave my ex (whose mental illness is one type that's linked to murder-suicide cases) and he started stalking me, I didn't go to his mom as I knew he'd fly dangerously off the handle if he found out, and she likely wouldn't believe that he wasn't anything more than lazy since he could put on a good act.
Teri Porter April 17, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Summit Bank has a Trust set up through a local non profit on DV.
Concerned Citizen April 17, 2012 at 04:06 PM
It was a Cowardly Act by one person, a Heartbreaking & Tragic Loss of another, and a personal devastation for myself and my family who were all touched by Kim's kindness, warm smile, and amazing ability with kids. Yet Domestic Violence continues, and some would rather it be swept under the rug. We all "own" this problem, and the more educated, informed and outraged we become, the less this will happen IMO.
Happy April 17, 2012 at 04:38 PM
I did not know Kim nor the sick bastard that did this horrific crime, but I do know people that know them and I just happen to live in Petaluma and have a heart and care for all parties grieving. I have two small children and can not imagine every losing them or them losing my husband and I. One of the reasons we moved to Petaluma about 12 years ago from Marin was to be part of a caring community and so far, this is exaclty what I have seen. What upsets me is that NO ONE has really called out "Johnshon" for the most insensitive comment I have read thus far. First of all, the husband she left whom she has older kids with was obviously her first husband, simple math. Second, how you could have enough guts to write something as heartless as "you make your bed" is beyond me. Were you raised without a heart? I am sorry, but I think you need to really consider AND apologize for what you said. You should really be ashamed of yourself. I know I am.
Coach April 17, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Trying to explain the unexplainable or rationalize the absurd only leads to ignorance and regret. Sympathy, love and support is the only way to get through a tragedy like the one that happened Sunday. Much of what is being said, reported and written is hurtful and disrespectful to the families involved. Let's love and support the survivors.
AyurvedicMama April 17, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Beautifully said. Thank you to the above person who posted the link so that we know where and how to help. Obviously there is a lot of hurt, anger, fear and sadness in the above postings. I didn't know the family, but my heart deeply hurts for them. This has shaken our community. There simply are no words. Bless you all, family, friends, close friends, extended family and those struggling to make sense of this as well.
Petaluma Seer April 18, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Karina doesn't make the news. She reports it. Domestic Violence is best not left in the dark. Perhaps other dating women will learn to see the red flags sooner if it is out in the open, rather than kept behind closed doors.
Jimmy Simms April 24, 2012 at 02:36 AM
http://www.petaluma360.com/article/20120418/COMMUNITY/120419499/-1/community?p=2&tc=pg I want to know what people think about these judges defending themselves after turning down this woman for multiple restraining orders, then turning down the police for an emergency order. I know police officers and when an officer asks for a "emergency restraning order" the court rubber stamps it...so why did they turn down multiple orders and then say they did the right thing. If you look at the outcome it is obvious they did NOT do the right thing and I'm a little surprised there is not more anger from the community toward these judges. They are ducking a huge wrongful death lawsuit. I would like to see the judges addresses posted so people can scare and harass them day and night exactly what this woman was going through. Wheres the outrage. We should be calling for their resignations bare minimum. They are not protecting the people who need it most.
Concerned Citizen April 24, 2012 at 03:47 PM
The court may have not "Rubber Stamped" the Restraining Order because the victim wouldn't allow police to arrest her attacker after multiple assaults where police responded unfortunately. Why she did not have him arrested, where he would have been incarcerated, forced into an Anger Management programs, therapy, and jailed for longer periods of time should a repeat offense occur or issued restraining order violated is probably the first question that should be asked....but now it's too late.
Jimmy Simms April 24, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Since when do the police need a victim's permission to arrest anybody. They don't, never have and never will ask a victim's permission to arrest in a domestic violence situation. What town do you live in. Not Petaluma.
Concerned Citizen April 24, 2012 at 04:56 PM
That's not true. there are at least 5 times where police responded to assist the victim of alleged abuse, but she refrained from having her abuser charged. There are nuances in the law that allow the victim latitude in their decisions, save for when visible bodily injury occurs. Do you really think the cycle of violence would have been allowed to continue if it were not for the victims persistence that nothing happen to her husband? I live in Petaluma too, and spoke to a Judge who presided on a Domestic Violence Court, and your ire towards the judges illustrate your lack of acumen on the subject. In these situations, the desire to place blame on anyone is natural, however, the lack of information usually leads to a Lynch Mob attitude.
Jimmy Simms April 24, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Blame it on the victim. 5 times in the last what 30 years. You are obviously involved somehow and trying to cya. Tell it to the children that don't have any parents. If you were paying attention she was trying yet again to get a restraining order when he shot her, after the police asked for a emergency restraining order. I would not call that her allowing the cycle to continue. I would call that a lady scared shi***ss and trying to get away. As far as I can see there is plenty of blame to go around. Calling yourself a concerned citizen is about the biggest joke I think I've ever heard. How about bias jaded citizen.
Concerned Citizen April 24, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Jimmy, I didn't "blame" anything on the Victim. But if you honestly think that Petaluma Police or the Judicial system didn't want to help after the first reported Abuse incident that occurred less that 2 years ago, let alone the subsequent 4 to follow, with the last occurring on Easter Sunday, you are sadly, sadly mistaken. Abuse victims are "scared", but the the vast majority also want to "protect" their spouse. The ONLY blame to place is on the coward who perpetrated this heinous act. He stalked her, and he pulled the trigger. And please look up the statistics where death occurs against a spouse who HAS a protective order in place so you understand how complex this issue really is.The ONLY way a victim can be protected, is if the abuser is in JAIL. Your lack of understanding of the complexities of Spousal Abuse only perpetuates the "blame game", and your Internet fantasy that the courts can control a person outside of the Jail System. http://www.thehotline.org/get-educated/abuse-in-america/ 96% of Females are killed by their intimate partners each year, while 4 out of 10 (43%) ranked fear that the abuser will find the victim as the number one reason a victim would not leave his/her abuser, over a quarter (28%) thought that finding access to money/income to support the victim and/or children was the most important problem.
Jimmy Simms April 24, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Like I said you for sure are involved and trying to cover your ass. The only way you know that much is if you are involved. My suggestion to you is hope that a good attorney does not find this family.
Concerned Citizen April 25, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Jimmy...You're so good at "saying" things, you fail to take the time to even LISTEN. I'm not covering anything. I don't work for the city, judicial system, or anything even remotely close to what transpired. Your Internet conspiracy theory is rather humorous regarding my involvement. If there is ANY impropriety on behalf of any official involved, I hope they do receive consequences, but it's so obvious that's not the case, based on the facts, that it's puzzling you can't understand them. And your continued failure to understand the true nature of Spousal Abuse, even when I provided a bit of info, just feeds your paranoid mind-set. I'm sure you're probably a good person Jimmy, but your efforts could be better spent learning about the subject, rather than looking foolish.
Concerned Citizen April 25, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Half of all American's get divorced. Please show me where they deserve to be brutally murdered for leaving a partner? Your implication is beyond disgusting.
alex May 04, 2012 at 03:50 PM
That's my first grade teacher.....
Mconbub March 08, 2013 at 06:31 AM
Why did you all do this this is stupid and sill especially if you were not apart of anything even if you would like to say you are to get attention. You really all needed to leave everything be and not bash the man that did it this he was somebody's son. Brother. Uncle. Everyone should've just left it alone!


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