Husband accused of murdering his wife staged bizarre car accident to cover up alleged crime

And for a while, it seems, Tom Kendhammer thought he might get away with it

Todd Kendhammer’s story started to show holes the very morning that he allegedly beat his wife to death and then staged a freak car accident to cover up the suspected homicide. But it would be months before police finally built a strong enough case against him to press charges.

The Wisconsin-based Lacrosse Tribune recently published a detailed account of the bizarre and sketchy story about the alleged coverup, based on previously unreleased police records about the suspect homicide. According to the report, Kendhammer was driving with his wife Barbara in a small Wisconsin town on September 16 when he called 911 to report that a long metal pipe had crashed through the windshield of his car, striking Barbara and causing grave injuries. But the very same day, he contradicted himself on the details of the crash, and was later found to have been lying about where he and his wife were supposedly going that morning. Barbara Kendhammer died on September 17 but her husband wasn’t charged with her murder until December. Mr. Kendhammer is currently under house arrest awaiting a Feburary 2 court date.


Barb and Todd Kendhammer/Faceboook

Barbara’s autopsy, eyewitness accounts, Kendhammer’s autopsy, evidence collected at the scene, and multiple police-led recreations of Kendhammer’s crash story all pointed to the same conclusion: That Kendhammer killed his wife and thought he would get away with it by blaming her death on a metal pipe that fell from a flatbed truck riding in front of them — a flatbed truck that police were never able to place on the same stretch of road anywhere near the same time the Kendhammers were there.

Further, Kendhammer had scheduled himself for work for the days following Barbara’s death, though the couple had planned to go on a camping trip — suggesting he knew in advance that the trip wasn’t going to happen. And friends interviewed by police after Barbara’s death reportedly described the suspect as a “snake in the grass” and a “chauvinist pig from hell” who was capable of violence.

But this all took some time for investigators to put together, despite Kendhammer’s questionable behavior from day one. An extensive crime lab report found that Barbara was likely not inside the car when the metal pipe — which had no traces of blood on it — struck the windshield, and indicated that she had been beaten.

Barbara and Tod Kendhammer had been married for 25 years. Beyond what friends told police about his disposition, his motive for allegedly killing his wife is unclear. Maybe the truth will come out at his trial … if he tells the truth this time.


Photo: Lacrosse County Sheriff’s Office