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Kendhammer, La Crosse County murder case to be profiled on “48 Hours” on Saturday



For the second time in a decade, a popular CBS News show is devoting an episode to a dramatic murder case from La Crosse County.

In 2013, “48 Hours” investigated the case of Eric Koula, who was convicted of killing his parents at their Barre Mills, Wis., home for their money.

At 9 p.m. Saturday on CBS, 48 Hours airs “Mystery on County Road M,” about the 2017 trial of Todd Kendhammer, whose wife, Barbara, was killed during a car trip near West Salem in September of 2016.

Kendhammer claimed a metal pipe fell from a truck and crashed through the car window.

Investigators found that Barbara was beaten and strangled, and the pipe accident was staged.

The jury found Todd guilty of murder.

CBS reporter Erin Moriarty hosts the 48 Hours episode, telling WIZM the show will look at evidence supporting Todd Kendhammer’s version of events.

“What we do is, I think, show the audience more of what was shown at the evidentiary hearing, including that interesting pipe demo that was never shown at trial,” Moriarty said, adding the video shows “it is possible that a pipe could have bounced and hit the windshield.”

Moriarty said if Todd Kendhammer did kill his wife out of anger, as prosecutors argued, he would have had about five minutes to come up with the pipe story and stage an accident before police arrived at the scene.

“What’s interesting about this case is the state never identified the murder weapon, never could pinpoint the crime scene, couldn’t even pinpoint a motive,” Moriarty said.

Todd Kendhammer had a new evidence hearing last August, in hopes of appealing his conviction and prison sentence. Judge Todd Bjerke has not made a ruling yet on his appeal.

The case also was the subject of a documentary last month on the Headline News cable channel.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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