The “Hometown Homicide” investigation uncovered investigates horrific cases that take place in small towns and affect local communities. The series uses archival footage from local news outlets to give viewers a better understanding of the story behind the case and the aftermath. The episode “I’ll Find You” tells the story of Ali Kemp’s murder during his summer job in 2002. It chronicles Ali’s father’s extraordinary struggle to finally catch the perpetrator. If you’re curious about this case, you’ve come to the right place.
How did Alicamp die?
Alexandra Elizabeth “Ali” Kemp is a 19-year-old girl from Leawood, Kansas. In the summer of 2002, Ali graduated summa cum laude from Kansas State University as a freshman and took a summer job at a local swimming pool. Her brother also works there. As an ambitious girl, she dreams of going to Russia to help children in need. But on one fateful day in June 2002, everything fell apart for her.
When Ali’s brother came to the pool one night to make up shifts, he didn’t find her there. He then called her father Roger to help him find her. As soon as Roger entered the pool house, he found Ali brutally beaten and strangled under a tarp. She eventually died in the hospital. Police pointed to evidence that Ali had tried to repel her attackers.
Another credible clue police obtained was that Ali’s friend Laurel, who saw someone coming out of the pool house, waved at Ali when she came to visit him that afternoon. Laurel had waited for her for a while before going home. Police then released a composite sketch based on Laurel’s description of the man, hoping it would lead them to the killer. Although they initially received some tips, none were returned. It wasn’t until 2003, when a brilliant idea gave it a much-needed boost, that the hunt for Ali’s killer ran into trouble.
Who killed Alicamp?
Months passed and the road started to get cold, but Roger never gave up. His tireless efforts to bring Ali’s killers to justice led to a rather unusual idea: He wanted to use highway billboards so anyone passing by would see the assembled sketches. He was lucky when an ad agency gave him one to use.
Phil House, Ali’s friend of five years, also helped. He launched a “virtual” manhunt and emailed students at the university. He urged her to watch the assembled sketches and watch an episode of “America’s Most Wanted,” which highlighted Ali’s case. There is a $50,000 reward for any information that leads to capture.
As a result, Ali’s case reached more people, and a large number of clues flocked to the police. Ultimately, the two identified the man in the composite sketch as Benjamin Appleby, who at the time was living in Bantam, Connecticut, under the name Teddy Hoover. He was arrested in November 2004. Investigations revealed that Benjamin was working as a pool attendant when Ali was murdered.
Benjamin has had numerous conflicts with the law, ranging from robbery to sexual misconduct. Connecticut police arrested him on a previous warrant that accused him of “embarrassing himself.” When asked about Ali’s murder, he confessed to police. He told them he was going to flirt with her, but she didn’t respond that way. When he tried to touch her, she pushed him away, causing Benjamin to lose his temper and hit her. Benjamin was later charged with murder and attempted rape. He was convicted on two counts.
Where is Roger Kemp now?
Roger Kemp’s original idea of using billboards to reach more people was very successful. Several states across the country have followed a similar approach with high success rates. Later, he started a self-defense program for girls and women of all ages. Ali Kemp Educational Foundation or T.A.K.E. Appeal to teach women how to protect themselves in danger. Roger also received the 2011 Presidential Citizenship Medal for his work at the Foundation. He believes that if his daughter knew how to protect herself, he should still be alive, so he hopes to teach other women the same way.
Where is Teddy Hoover now?
Teddy Hoover, also known as Benjamin Appleby, initially pleaded guilty to Alicamp’s murder, but later opted to go to court. He was quickly sentenced to death and attempted rape, only to be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 2054, in addition to serving 19 consecutive years for attempted rape. The rape conviction was later overturned. In 2019, Benjamin’s lawyers appealed the reduced sentence, which was dismissed. He remains in custody at El Dorado Correctional Facility in Butler County, Kansas, according to prison records.