Pillar Of Local Law Enforcement Fights Battle Of His Life

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

During his 20-year career as Homicide Chief for Wichita’s police department, he has faces some of the cruelest aspects of humanity during his 20-year career: BTK, the Carr brothers, and hundreds of murderers. Now, Kenny Landwehr faces possibly the biggest demon of all.

Just weeks after his much-celebrated retirement comes word that Lt. Landwehr has a serious form of cancer. In an exclusive interview, the police department’s Deputy Chief says it’s a monster Landwehr will beat and will not face alone.

The head of Homicide Division for over 20 years announced his decision to retire over a year ago. On his last day, his retirement “send-off” packed City Hall.

Deputy Chief Tom Stolz says, “He’s a local kid who went to a local high school, local church…has a very unique, one-of-a-kind career…high-profile cases and runs into some extremely high city- impacting cases: BTK, Dr. Tiller’s murder. He sees those through - supervises and manages those.”

Those cases put Lt. Landwehr’s detective skills on the national stage.

That’s why police were silent when word first spread that this stoic, strong, one-of-a-kind homicide detective had been diagnosed with cancer. Now, for the first time, Lt. Landwehr has given his colleagues the okay to talk about his illness.

"He’s going to need a lot of support to get through this,” says Stolz. “He’s mentioned that he’s fought a lot of demons in his life with Dennis Rader and other horrific things he’s seen, but he hasn’t fought a monster like this.”

Although Stolz won’t get into what type of cancer it is, he says Landwehr has great local care and is also making trips to M.D. Anderson in Houston.

Stolz says, “And that's where the ancillary expenses begin to mount. We decided to do a fundraiser for him.”

The plans for a benefit golf tournament were just finalized two days ago.

“Without any marketing, any strategy whatsoever, we were just inundated, have been inundated with people calling wanting to donate, “ Solz says.

Stolz says because Landwehr has worked homicides all his life, he has a realistic view of life and death and knows death and even serious illness is a part of life.

“This by no stretch of the imagination is a death sentence here. His goal, like a goal any of us have, is to fight this, to battle it, and to beat it,” Stolz says.

For more information on the Kenny Landwehr Benefit Golf Tournament, call (316) 268-4407. The deadline for registration is June 16.

To donate to the Kenny Landwehr Fund, send contributions to the following address:

Kenny Landwehr Fund
PO Box 3381
Wichita, KS 67201

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