ID’s “Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda” draws on a detective’s haunted past

In so many ways, murder is the most unbearable of crimes. Certainly there’s no getting over it for the victim, but it also permanently impacts the victim’s family, loved ones and the community at large. And for the investigator who assembles the evidence to solve the crime and put the killer away? It’s often one more traumatic experience catalogued amid many others. It’s this backlog of disturbing memories that’s at the heart of Investigation Discovery’s new series Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda, premiering Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 10pm ET/PT.

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Psychologically and emotionally, homicide investigators must have one of the most taxing careers on the planet. There’s always another case — many running concurrently, unlike the neat and clean TV procedural shows that tidily solve one crime and quickly move on to the next episode — and the raw brutality they witness from day to day is enough to drive anyone to despair. Lt. Joe Kenda saw it all in his 23 years on the force with the Colorado Springs Police Department, and not even 13 years of retirement could quell the emotional turbulence that’s still a part of his daily life. Homicide Hunter is his chance to try to get back some of the peace he’s lost over the years, by opening his case files and revisiting these heinous crimes.

“I developed a heart made of railroad steel for these moments,” Lt. Kenda says, describing what it took to get through investigations that brought him in contact with such savage behavior. “I worried about that sometimes. This process has allowed me to come to terms with a lot of these memories. I don’t want to tell these stories. I need to.”

Each one-hour episode of Homicide Hunter finds Lt. Kenda returning to his “Murder Books” to review one of the 387 investigations that his team solved and tracing, in detail, the process of how they went from examining evidence at the crime scene to finding and interpreting clues, drumming up leads and eventually determining and capturing the killer. It’s a fascinating process for the viewer, and a powerfully cathartic personal journey for Lt. Kenda as he gives air to the stifling nightmares that have been locked inside him for decades.


Photo: Kim Cook/Investigation Discovery


  1. I love the homocide detective show starring joe Kenda! You can tell that this retired detective was put on earth to solve these murders and put bad guys away! I only wonder if mr Kenda put any of his daughters boyfriends throught the same intense interrogations that he gave to his alleged suspects?!

  2. We’ll, my my my…I type ode Dective Kenda’s name in my post, and he is one of my favorite people on TV. Wow, I must have had a crazy day that day.

  3. Finally…new episodes of Homicide Hunter. I love this show! Please keep this show on ID. I have been waiting for a new season to start. I was afraid there wasn’t going to be another season. It seemed to take for ever for new episodes to be shown.
    Dective Tenda is awesome and the show is great. I tape the series without fail.
    Thanks for bringing this show back for another season.

  4. Will there be another season of homcide hunter? This is one of the all time tv show that I have ever seen. Walter

  5. If there were an address I would personally write to him to thank him for his tireless work and diligence. He is haunted by these cases even yet. I don’t know how he, or any detective for that matter, can sleep at night without seeing the horrible images they must witness and solve. Thank you Mr. Kenda for your hard work and sacrifice.

  6. HOORAY! Lt. Joe Kenda is back with all new episodes starting on October 2, 2012! Welcome back! 🙂

  7. It’s a very well put together show and Lt. Kenda has a great connection with his audience. I feel badly that anyone has to investigate crimes like he did and I hope that these episodes will allow him to let go of the memories. But I doubt that anything could do that for him. He seems like a very diligent, professional, patient human being. We wish him the best.

  8. Yesterday I read of a case in the Colorado Police files which took place in 1983 a mother and her two children were brutially murdered and Lt. Kenda made the statement that “this case would be solved shortly” but was it ever solved….. is there an answer to this question….

  9. Ask the question “what happened to the show” – enjoyed following the detailed process in solving a crime. Will the show return at some future date?
    Is there a personal reason that Lt. Kenda has been unable to film future shows? Do enjoy the logical process in crime solving and the humor that Lt. Kenda demonstrated as he explained the logistics in crime solving.

  10. My favorite ID investigative shows. Lt. Kenda’s experienced narration and dry, sometimes sarchastic style make it great!!

  11. I think Mr. Kenda is fantastic. He is so funny. I love listening to him. I really hope his show continues!!!!

  12. The show should be back sometime in February, I think, when the new season starts. I’m looking forward to it!

  13. Shades of Joe Friday from the old Dragnet. Except these cases are real. Love this show. But I don’t see it listed anymore. Did they take it off the air?

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