Refusing To Be A Victim
Ali Kemp died in her father's arms after he found her brutally beaten in the summer of 2002
Roger Kemp's worst nightmare was realized when he held his dying daughter, Ali, in his arms after discovering her brutalized body on June 18, 2002. Roger found Ali, 19, bloodied and barely alive underneath a tarp at the Leawood, Kan. pool where she worked as a lifeguard. She had been beaten to death.
But despite the incredible suffering he and his wife Cathy had endured after their daughter's death, Roger Kemp refused to be a victim. Just days after the murder, Roger was knocking on the door of a Kansas City advertising agency armed with a police sketch of his daughter's attacker. He wanted to get the killer's face up on a billboard high above the city for everyone to see.
Fortunately, the billboard did the trick. Thanks to two tips -- one to the billboard's tip line, and one from AMW's hotline -- Ali's accused killer, Benjamin Appleby, was arrested on Nov. 9, 2004. Roger had completed his own personal mission to find justice for Ali, but he didn't stop there.
Seeing the incredible potential of billboards to help catch the worst of the worst, Roger and Lamar Advertising decided to expand the project. Lamar donated the billboard space, and what followed was a seven-for-seven takedown of some of the area's worst fugitives.
But Roger Kemp still wasn't done.
Empowering Young Women
Roger and Cathy Kemp founded The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation (TAKE) after their daughter was killed
Although the billboard had helped the Kemps catch their daughter's killer, they wanted to do something to help other young women like Ali take control of their lives and protect themselves. So they started TAKE -- The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation -- which provides self-defense training for women throughout Kansas and across the country.
TAKE offers weekly self-defense classes for women of all ages and has a volunteer program. To date, more than 4,000 women have completed the TAKE program, which is something the Kemps can be proud of. Someone else is proud of Roger and Cathy Kemp too: John Walsh.
John spoke at the annual Ali Kemp Memorial Dinner and shared his experiences as a parent who has also lost a child to violence. He told the Kemps he understood that their endeavors would never bring them full closure, but that their efforts had already touched so many.
And now fueled with inspiration from the Kemps and other families affected by violence, AMW continues to publicize the heinous crimes and criminals that threaten our communities.
The Power of Publicity
Roger Kemp meets AMW's John Walsh
Another AMW Billboard Fugitive Captured »
No More Need For Fugitive Billboard -- Capers Caught »
The First Billboard Fugitive -- Benjamin Appleby »
There's no denying how incredibly important the role of public awareness is in apprehending fugitives. Kansas City's crime-stoppers billboard program is proof of that. And according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, "wanted" posters in Philadelphia have led to arrests in three murder cases within six months, making billboards an incredibly valuable weapon in the fight against crime.
AMW launched its own partnership with the OAAA to put up fugitive billboards. In May 2005, the first collaborative billboard was erected in Detroit, featuring Phillip "Hollywood" Williams -- a man arrested 41 times for charges ranging from pandering to rape.
Williams was finally apprehended on May 28, 2005, after a multimedia assault by AMW. Besides the billboard, Williams was also on AMW Radio -- and just days after AMW aired his case on television, police were slapping cuffs on the career criminal.
William's poster in Detroit was just the beginning, however. Months later, a billboard in New Jersey and AMW tipsters helped take down Rashawn Capers, who cops say killed a police officer's son. Exactly five months after Phillip Williams was arrested, police were taking Rashawn Capers into custody on October 28, 2005.
With the ongoing help of the OAAA, AMW hopes to help more families like the Kemps find justice and fight back.