Westchester family court activist apparently dies by assisted suicide during battle for kids, cancer diagnosis

Catherine Kassenoff beat breast cancer twice, but it was a battle in Westchester County Court for her kids that ultimately was too much.

Blaise Gomez

Jun 1, 2023, 9:47 PM

Updated 323 days ago

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Catherine Kassenoff beat breast cancer twice, but it was a battle in Westchester County Court for her kids that ultimately was too much.
The former federal prosecutor-turned-family-court-activist sent an email to supporters Saturday. 
“I cannot survive this torment and the grief that comes from such a prolonged separation from my children,” it read.
Kassenoff said she chose assisted suicide in Switzerland after the court allegedly denied her visitation with her three girls during a terminal cancer diagnosis. 
No one has heard from her since.
Davidoff is an attorney who became friends with Kassenoff after his own divorce in Westchester County and shared concerns with some of the same court officials and attorneys.
"She had her home taken away, her personal belongings," said Davidoff. "Her husband wouldn’t even give her her coats for the wintertime.”
Kassenoff’s final email says she was “treated like a criminal” and forced out of her children’s lives due to alleged unfair rulings and forensic evaluations allegedly performed by experts with conflicts of interests.
News 12 interviewed her in 2021 as a family court legal expert for "Empty Home for the Holidays," our report about protective parents who’ve lost custody of their children.
“People’s rights are being held in the balance while they are awaiting hearings," said Kassenoff.
Kassenoff sent links to what she says are more than 3,000 court filings that never ended in a divorce settlement or being able to be with her kids.
Dr. Amy Neustein has written several published works on the family court system and knew of Kassenoff’s case.
"No matter how much a woman accomplishes, she cannot overcome what I am now clearly seeing as organized crime. This is a criminal enterprise," said Neustein.
Representatives for the New York Offices of Court Administration and Judicial Conduct declined to comment.
News 12 reached out to Kassenoff’s estranged husband for comment. He took down our information for his attorney, but News 12 hasn't heard back. 
In the meantime, Kassenoff’s final message included a warning to other parents with divorce or custody cases."If this could happen to me," wrote Kassenoff, "it can happen to any woman. Don't let it."


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