By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who murdered retired University of Alabama Professor Kate Webb Ragsdale in her home in the Highlands neighborhood in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama Governor Bentley said, “The Tuscaloosa Police Department is working hard to solve this brutal crime. Someone may have seen or heard something that could be the tip detectives need. I hope this reward will encourage people to come forward and provide the information that will help bring Ms. Ragsdale’s killer to justice.”
The 73 year old professor was found dead on Sunday, February 24, 2013. She was last seen by friends a few days prior. A formal suspect has not been identified, but police suspect that the brutal assault and slaying was carried out by youth(s) likely living nearby, though no formal suspect has been identified and no possibilities have been ruled out. Governor Bentley is joining with local authorities in urging anyone who may have information on the crime to come forward. Gov. Bentley practiced medicine for many years in Tuscaloosa prior to his election as Governor.
Ragsdale is survived by two sons, Hugh Appleton Ragsdale III “Terry” and his wife, Alexa, of Pelham, New York, and James Webb Ragsdale of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. She leaves three grandchildren and a brother, William Norwood Webb of Amelia Island, Florida.
Kate was born in Durham, North Carolina. She received her B.A. in Religion from Sweet Briar College. She earned her M.L.S. from the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama.
Ragsdale has worked at the University of Alabama since 1979. She was the University Libraries’ Planning Officer and gained the rank of associate professor. She received the Library Leadership Award for faculty in 2004. In 2012 she received the Distinguished Alumni Award. She served on many campus-wide committees. She was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church. Ragsdale was involved with many civic organizations. Including the Friends of the Library Board, the West Alabama AIDS Outreach, the Junior League and the Colonial Dames. She was an avid fan of University of Alabama athletics including football, basketball, gymnastics, baseball, and softball.
Gov. Bentley said on Facebook, “I hope this reward will encourage anyone with any information to come forward and help authorities solve this case and bring Ms. Ragsdale’s killer to justice.”
Anonymous tips can be provided by calling Tuscaloosa Crime Stoppers at (205) 752-STOP (7867).