Roger Kemp Cause of Death: How a Father Turned Tragedy into a Legacy

Roger Kemp, the father of Ali Kemp, a 19-year-old woman who was brutally murdered in 2002, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 77. The cause of his death has not been revealed, but his legacy lives on through the foundation and the self-defense program he created in honor of his daughter.

The Murder of Ali Kemp

Ali Kemp was a bright and beautiful young woman who had just graduated from high school and was looking forward to attending Kansas State University in the fall. She was working as a lifeguard at a neighborhood pool in Leawood, Kansas, when she was attacked by a stranger on June 18, 2002. She was beaten and strangled to death in the pool’s pump room. Her body was discovered by her father, Roger Kemp, who had gone to pick her up from work.

The police launched a massive investigation, but the case went cold for months. There were no witnesses, no DNA evidence, and no suspects. Roger Kemp was determined to find his daughter’s killer and bring him to justice. He decided to use an unconventional method: billboards.

The Billboard Campaign

Roger Kemp approached Lamar Advertising, a company that owns billboards across the country, and asked them to display a sketch of the possible killer, based on a description from a witness who had seen a man near the pool on the day of the murder. The company agreed to help and put up the sketch on hundreds of billboards in Kansas and Missouri, along with a phone number for tips.

The billboard campaign generated a lot of attention and media coverage, and eventually led to a breakthrough. In February 2004, a man named Jeff Mason called the tip line and identified the sketch as his former co-worker, Benjamin Appleby. Mason said he had recognized Appleby from the billboards and remembered that he had left town abruptly after the murder. He also said that Appleby had confessed to him that he had killed a girl in Kansas.

The police tracked down Appleby, who was living in Connecticut, and arrested him. He was extradited to Kansas and charged with capital murder and attempted rape. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus another 19 years for the attempted rape.

Roger Kemp had achieved his goal of finding his daughter’s killer, but he was not satisfied. He wanted to do more to prevent such tragedies from happening to other women and girls. He decided to use his daughter’s memory as a motivation to create a foundation and a self-defense program that would empower and protect women.

The Ali Kemp Foundation and the T.A.K.E. Defense Program

Roger Kemp and his wife, Kathy, founded the Ali Kemp Educational Foundation in 2002, with the mission of providing free self-defense classes to women and girls across the country. They partnered with Jill Leiker, a martial arts instructor and a friend of Ali, to create the T.A.K.E. Defense Program, which stands for The Ali Kemp Educational Defense Program.

The program teaches women and girls how to avoid, escape, and fight back against potential attackers, using simple and effective techniques. The program also educates them about the risks and realities of violence against women, and encourages them to be confident and assertive. The program has trained over 70,000 women and girls, ranging in age from 12 to 90, in various locations, including schools, colleges, churches, and community centers.

The program has received national recognition and acclaim, and has been featured on several media outlets, such as Oprah, CNN, and ABC News. Roger Kemp has also received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilian honor in the United States, which he received from President Barack Obama in 2010.

Roger Kemp was a man of courage, compassion, and conviction, who turned his personal tragedy into a public service. He was a loving father, husband, and friend, who touched the lives of many people with his kindness and generosity. He was a true American hero, who made the world a better and safer place for women and girls. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on through the foundation and the program he created in honor of his daughter, Ali.

Doms Desk

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