Man convicted in exotic dancer's death says he committed 50 burglaries
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A man convicted in the beating death of a Louisville exotic dancer is back in custody after police say he was caught breaking into a woman's home, then showed officers dozens of other homes he had allegedly broken into.
Bridget Sipek says her part of the nightmare began Monday morning when she was trying to sleep in her home on Grinstead Drive.
"I heard some noises and I thought it was maybe my cats or my roommate had come back home," she said.
It wasn't. Sipek recalled, "Then all the sudden, he opens my bedroom door and it's this guy I've never seen in my life."
Police said that guy was Kevin Lee Underwood, 49.
Underwood pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2000 beating death of Louisville exotic dancer Sandra Baker. Baker's family had to go on national television following her death to help police hunt Underwood down. They say he stalked Baker at her job at the Thorobred Lounge on Poplar Level Road.
He was charged years ago with sexual battery of a 15-year-old in Idaho.
Since being out of jail, police said Underwood confessed he committed at least 50 burglaries across the Highlands, Old Louisville and several other areas.
Louisville Metro Police Detective Tom Yokom said, "The suspect stated he would take the proceeds from the stolen property and use the money gained to hire prostitutes."
The burglaries began in June and ended Monday inside Sipeck's home when police took him into custody on Sept. 22. Luckily an alert neighbor saw Underwood going in Sipeck's front window and called police.
The neighbor said, "It was sheer luck that I walked out on the porch at the very moment he (Underwood) was climbing in the window, otherwise, I probably wouldn't have seen anything."
The neighbor said within five minutes police had the home surrounded.
Officers said they found Underwood inside the house with gloves and a pair of scissors. They said that's when he confessed to dozens of burglaries. Sipek said police also cuffed her for a moment until they realized she was the victim and not working with Underwood.
"It was definitely terrifying," she said.
After hearing Underwood had been convicted in a woman's death, she's thankful for her neighbor's actions.
"I already felt lucky and I feel very lucky now that it all got taken care of and nothing bad happened," she said.
Police said following Underwood's arrest in the burglary case he rode around in the police cruiser with detectives and pointed out different homes he had burglarized.
Officers said he took small electronics, jewelry, cash and drugs in some cases. Some of the stolen items were recovered and detectives are contacting victims. Police believe Underwood acted alone, but the investigation is on-going.
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