Murder of police officer Brian Klinefelter by Thomas Kantor investigated on Dead of Winter

Officer Klinefelter poses with his baby daughter
Police Officer Brian Klinefelter was survived by his wife and baby daughter. Pic credit: Investigation Discovery/Facebook

Dead of Winter visits the frozen landscape of Minnesota to investigate the fatal shooting of Police Officer Brian Klinefelter, who was murdered after responding to calls of a robbery.

On January 29th, 1996, a bitterly cold night, three hoodlums, Thomas Kantor, Michael Roering, and Brian Ederhoff, robbed a liquor store in Albany, MN, and took off in their pickup truck. Unfortunately, their night of crime had only just begun.

Aerial shot of theFreeway Liquor store, seen in snow.
Freeway Liquor in Albany. Pic credit Stearns County Attorney’s office 

Approximately 15 miles to the east in the small town of St. Joseph, 25-year-old Officer Brian Klinefelter heard of the robbery and volunteered to stay late after his shift to help apprehend the thugs.

Shortly after 9 pm, he pulled over a pickup truck that matched the description of the one used at the robbery in Albany.

As Klinefelter approached the driver’s window, Kantor, who was the driver, shot the young officer several times and sped away from the scene. Officer Klinefelter was shot twice in the chest, once in the stomach, and twice in the neck; he bled to death on the frozen pavement.

Thomas Kantor kidnapped a homeowner to help him flee

In St. Cloud, MN, the three criminals ditched the pick-up and went their separate ways. Kantor burst into the home of Doug Thomsen and kidnapped him at gunpoint.

Kantor forced Thomsen to drive him out of the neighborhood past the multiple cops now combing the area. Outside of town, Kantor forced Thomsen into the trunk of the car and took over the driving.

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Thomsen’s Thunderbird was eventually spotted by officers in Benton County, and they managed to force Kantor to pull over. However, the murderer refused to go quietly, and he was shot dead by the officers.

In the meantime, the police found his accomplices Roering and Ederhoff cowering under some decking in St. Cloud, and they were both put in custody and charged with murder.

Ederhoff pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a minimum of 24 years behind bars. Roering had two mistrials before he was eventually sent to the slammer for 13 years.

More from Dead of Winter

Follow the links to read about more murders committed in the Dead of Winter.

At first, the police suspected that teenage couple, Shawn Cerniglia and Carrie Heiden, had run away; however, when they failed to appear, they realized they were dealing with a homicide.

When Viktor Gunnarsson was found shot dead in the Blur Ridge Mtns. in North Carolina, the police wondered if he’d been the victim of a political assassination. It later transpired that Lamont Underwood saw him as a love rival and murdered him.

Dead of Winter airs at 11/10c on Investigation Discovery.

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