Lamar Advertising is trying to help solve a 2002 double homicide at a Dolly Madison Bakery outlet store in Great Bend.

The company is donating at least one, and possibly as many as three, billboards showing the composite drawing of a man seen in the area where Mary A. Drake and Mandi K. Alexander were killed on Sept. 4, 2002. The sign also will give a detailed description of the “person of interest” authorities are seeking.


Lamar Advertising is trying to help solve a 2002 double homicide at a Dolly Madison Bakery outlet store in Great Bend.

The company is donating at least one, and possibly as many as three, billboards showing the composite drawing of a man seen in the area where Mary A. Drake and Mandi K. Alexander were killed on Sept. 4, 2002. The sign also will give a detailed description of the “person of interest” authorities are seeking.

“We appreciate the assistance of Crime Stoppers in trying to clear this,” Great Bend police detective David Bailey said.

J.W. Jaco, a Great Bend resident and vice president of Kansas Crime Stoppers, learned about Lamar’s program offering free billboard space for homicide cold cases when he attended the spring meeting of the Kansas Crime Stoppers board.

The last break in the bakery case came in November 2007, when Great Bend police used new technology to enhance an image of a blonde-haired white male from a surveillance camera near the bakery. That person was quickly identified, but the lead was a dead end.

The lure of a $17,000 reward hasn’t prompted anyone to identify the killer.

Brian Henry, creative director at Lamar’s Kansas City, Mo., office, told Jaco about the company’s program of donating billboard space. It began after 19-year-old Ali Kemp was raped and killed at a neighborhood swimming pool in the Kansas City suburb of Leawood in 2002.

As leads in that case fizzled, her father asked for a billboard showing a composite drawing. Four billboards resulted in over 3,000 leads. Two tips resulted in the arrest and conviction of Benjamin Appleby.

Since the program started, 16 people have been arrested for murder, Henry said. The success of the program has spread nationwide, with the industry’s Outdoor Advertising Association promoting it.