Investigation Discovery’s “Hometown Homicide” examines the grisly instances that occurred in small towns and shook communities that were affected due to them.
The series utilizes archive video footage of local news media to provide viewers with an idea of the background of the case and the events that followed. The episode “I Will Find You” examines the death of Ali Kemp at her summer job in 2002.
The episode chronicles the incredible struggle Ali’s father waged to find the perpetrator. If you’re interested in this particular case, we’ve got your back.
How Did Ali Kemp Die?
Alexandra Elizabeth “Ali” Kemp was a 19-year-old girl who lived in Leawood, Kansas. In the spring of 2002, Ali completed her schooling with high marks from Kansas State University and went to work working as an attendant at a pool in the neighborhood she lived in.
It was also an area where her younger brother also worked. An ambitious young woman with many dreams, one of which was to travel to Russia and help needy children. But one crucial morning in the month of June, everything went downhill for her.
When Ali’s brother walked into the pool to begin the shift at night, the pool attendant could not locate her. Then, he phoned his father, Roger, and asked him to help find her. After Roger was inside the poolhouse, they found Ali covered in a tarp and brutally attacked and strangled.
The victim later died in the hospital. Police noticed evidence of a fight, which indicated that Ali was trying to fight off her attacker. Another reliable clue that police could have based on was that Ali’s girlfriend, Laurel, saw someone leaving the poolhouse and waved to her at some point in the afternoon while she was waiting to meet Ali.
Laurel had waited for a few minutes before she left to go back home. The police released a sketch that was based on Laurel’s description of the suspect, hoping it could lead them to the perpetrator.
While they did receive some tips at first, nothing worked out. The hunt for Ali’s killer stalled until an inventive idea provided it with much-needed momentum in 2003.
Who Killed Ali Kemp?
As time went by, as time went by, the trail began to get colder. However, Roger did not give up. His unstoppable desire to see Ali’s killer prosecuted led him to an idea that was quite unique: using the billboards that lined the highway to ensure that everyone who drove by could see the sketch.
He was lucky that an advertising agency gave him one to use. Ali’s long-time boyfriend, Phil Howes, helped in the investigation as well. For his part, Phil Howes organized a “virtual” manhunt, sending emails to all of the school’s students.
He encouraged students to read the sketch of the manhunt and take a look at an episode of “America’s Most Wanted,” which brought attention to Ali’s case. The reward was $50,000 for information that led to his capture and acquittal.
In the end, Ali’s case was picked up by more people, and a flood of information was thrown at the police. The investigation culminated with two witnesses who identified the man in the sketch composite as being Benjamin Appleby, who at the time was living in Bantam, Connecticut, under the name of Teddy Hoover.
The man was arrested in the month of November 2004. The investigation revealed that when Ali was killed, Benjamin was working as the pool maintenance worker. Benjamin had had several run-ins with law enforcement, which ranged from robbery all the way to sexual assault.
The police in Connecticut took Benjamin on an earlier warrant that charged him with exposing himself. In the course of questioning him about the murder of Ali, he confessed before the authorities.
He told the police that he had gone close to her to have a flirt, but she didn’t react in the same manner. If he tried to kiss her, she pulled him away, causing Benjamin to become angry and assault her. Benjamin was later accused of capital murder and attempted sexual assault. Benjamin was found guilty on both charges.
Where is Roger Kemp Now?
Roger Kemp’s ingenuous idea of using billboards to connect with many more people was extremely successful. States across the country tried something similar with great success as well.
Kemp later launched a self-defense program specifically for women and girls of all age groups. It is called the Ali Kemp Educational Foundation, or T.A.K.E. in short. The foundation teaches women how to safeguard themselves from danger.
In addition, Roger was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2011 for his contributions to the foundation. Roger believed that his daughter would have lived if she had been able to defend herself, and consequently, he hoped to help other women learn the same.
Where is Teddy Hoover Now?
Teddy Hoover, also known as Benjamin Appleby, had initially admitted to murdering Ali Kemp but later chose to stand trial instead. He was swiftly found guilty of capital murder, attempted rape, and murder.
He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 2054. This was in addition to an additional 19 years of prison for the attempted rape that was to be followed by a sentence of consecutive.
The conviction for rape was later thrown out. Benjamin’s lawyers sought a reduction of his sentence, but were rejected. According to prison records, Benjamin remains in prison at El Dorado Correctional Facility. El Dorado Correctional Facility in Butler County, Kansas.