By: Wilma Smit | Thu 30 Apr 2015, 12:27
Joe Kenda, our favourite Homicide Detective, is back on our screens for another thrilling season of Homicide Hunter, which premiered 24 April at 21:00 exclusively on Crime + Investigation (DStv Channel 170).
Lieutenant Kenda served over 23 years at the Colorado Springs Police Department, conducting criminal investigations on violent crimes, sporting a 92% conviction rate.
We caught up with the retired homicide detective and family man Joe Kenda to talk about the show and his profession.
When asked to explain the genesis of the show. Joe answered: "I have been in the United States on news broadcasts on many occasions to include national news. A producer saw me, remembered me, and approached me by letter. I threw the letter away. I threw a couple of them away, and finally my wife insisted that I call him back. We can blame her for all of this. I called him back and here we are.”
He is a compelling story teller, giving us a detailed account of the violent crimes he and his crime unit have to solve in the upcoming series of Homicide Hunter. When asked what it is about the format that has appealed to such a wide audience over the years, Joe said: “I think a good part of it is the fact that I have no script. I say whatever comes to mind about a case. It is all extemporaneous speaking, and I think it comes across that it is very, very real and people appreciate that."
Lt. Joe Kenda investigated thousands of violent crimes and violent deaths, but only 387 resulted in filing criminal charges. Although he is not part of the selection process in the cases that are revisited, he will discuss with the producers the specifics of the particular murder case.
He explained the legal aspect for a murder case to be approved for TV: “In Colorado, they have a law called the ‘Open Records Act’ meaning if there is a major offence - like a homicide, and the case has been resolved, the person responsible has been taken to court and found guilty, they have been adjudicated, and all appeals are exhausted, and there are therefore no jury issues - then a case report is a matter of public record. You, or anyone can walk into a Police Department and purchase a copy of the report, and read it to your heart’s delight,” said Kenda.
When asked if there are any cases that stood out, he replies: “Oh, I think they all do. If you do this kind of work, it becomes part of you, whether you like that or not. You cannot forget, even if you want to. You live with these cases for periods of time. You live with the families of the victim, you never get over that. It is a price you have to pay to do this kind of work."
Questioning his fame and the feedback he gets from viewers and fans he notes: “There is an enormous interest in it which absolutely shocks me to death. I cannot believe it, but it is true. I get recognised every place I go."
If you’re a liar don’t be around this guy! "I know when I'm being lied to" - Joe Kenda.
Some of our favourite Homicide Hunter - aka - Joe Kenda Quotes:
- "Time for a little payback."
- "Part of the nature of this work is that you get dirty."
- "When you do what I do for a living, in some ways you develop a heart made out of rail road steal."
- "I used to tell my detectives there are only 3 motives for murder - money, sex, revenge."
- "We’ll solve no crime before it’s time."
Make sure you don’t miss Joe Kenda the Homicide Hunter on Fridays at 21:00 CAT on Crime + Investigation (DStv Channel 170).