An 18-year-old first-year student named Alexandra Kogut was found dead in her dorm room, with blood spattered throughout the room, in 2012 during a standard welfare check. Upon arriving at the grisly crime scene, the investigators were certain that there was foul play involved. In the episode titled ‘After Midnight’ of ‘Dateline NBC,’ we get a detailed account of the life of Alexandra, all the events that led to her brutal demise, as well as the investigation that followed. So, if you are intrigued to learn more about this gruesome and mysterious case, including the identity of the perpetrator and his current whereabouts, let’s delve into the details together, shall we?
How Did Alexandra Kogut Die?
Alexandra “Alex” Gerace Kogut was brought into the world by Mark and Becky Kogut on January 19, 1994, in New Hartford in Oneida County, New York. She grew up in a supportive household with her parents and her loving sister, Sydney Kogut. She was also blessed with a long extended family, including her paternal and maternal grandparents, namely John and Barbara Kogut and Frank and Marion Gerace. She was a student at New Hartford High School, where she was a varsity swimmer and the captain of the swim team. Given her swimming skills, she used to teach swimming at Learn to Swim in New Hartford and was a lifeguard.
Alexandra also received the Citizenship Award for her unselfishness, kind-heartedness, and leadership. Apart from swimming, she indulged in snowboarding, water skiing, boating, and ice skating. The kind and gentle teenager was an example to everyone around her and was eager to join college. After graduating high school in 2012, Alexandra joined the State University of New York Brockport for higher studies. On the night of September 28, 2012, her mom, Becky Kogut, could not get in touch with her daughter for several hours. Feeling stressed and worried about her, she called the college authorities and asked them to do a simple welfare check on Alexandra.
Unfortunately, Becky’s worst fears came true when her daughter was found brutally beaten to death in her dorm room number 108 of McLean Hall at SUNY Brockport. The 18-year-old girl had such a bright future ahead of her, and to the surprise of her family and other loved ones, it was snatched away from her. When the University Police arrived at the crime scene in the early hours of September 29, 2012, they found Alexander lying facedown, covered in blood along with the bed and pillow.
Who Killed Alexandra Kogut?
Upon the discovery of Alexandra Kogut’s body, the police wasted no time in launching an investigation. They collected all the available pieces of evidence from the crime scene and interrogated her family members, peers, and other acquaintances in order to get a clearer picture of the case and get a lead. The police knew for certain that Alexandra was with her 21-year-old boyfriend, Clayton Whittemore, on the night of her murder, as she was with him when he had been ticketed for having an open container on campus just after midnight. Clayton was her boyfriend from home, and they had been dating for about a year and a half at the time.
Trying to make their long-distance relationship work, Clayton had come to visit her to spend some time together. Although the young couple seemed loving and perfect for each other on the surface, the investigation revealed something sinister in their romance. According to Clayton, the two had gone to dinner and a party that night, but as the night progressed, he began to feel disrespected by Alexandra. He was already enraged when he got the ticket on their way back to her dorm. Once they were in the dorm room, the pair started fighting and brought up old arguments before she pushed him, he claimed. That’s when he snapped and pushed her against the wall and began hitting his 18-year-old girlfriend.
Clayton reportedly beat Alexandra with his fists, a travel coffee mug, and an Old Spice can before strangling her and stabbing her with pens and pencils. Once he stopped, he realized that Alexandra was barely breathing and said that it was much like “watching an animal suffer.” So, he picked up a clothing iron and beat her again until she was dead. Moreover, he said that the thought of getting help for her severely injured girlfriend didn’t even occur to him. A while after fleeing the scene, Clayton reportedly told about his horrific deed to his father, Scott Whittemore, who called 911 around 3 am and informed the authorities.
After trying to locate Clayton with the help of his parents, the authorities got a call from the perpetrator himself around 3:44 am, letting them know his location. When the police arrived, they found Clayton with bloodied hands and bloody sneakers while they arrested him. Later, when he confessed his crime to the detectives, he was charged with second-degree murder and went on trial two years after Alexandra’s fateful night.