1 of 6 - Lt. Joe Kenda Sept. 2016 in Maryland
Colorado Springs-based “Homicide Hunter” sets finale as Lt. Joe Kenda eyes next TV project
By this point, you might think Joe Kenda would be tired of recounting the gory details of the murders he investigated for 23 years as a Colorado Springs Police officer. Kenda said the catharsis and sagacity extends to some of his viewers, who hang on his every clue, quip and breakthrough. But there are only so many cases to cover, and Kenda feels the show has run its course. There are certain cases he vows never to talk about on TV due to their graphic or disturbing nature. He prefers to add insight where he can, and leave the rest for history. The act of self-destruction is an act of insanity, because the strongest human instinct is to survive at all costs. It can make 30 years ago feel like this morning.
His uncle, father, and grandfather were coal miners. His mother was originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado. At a young age, Kenda was fascinated with crime, especially murder. He recalls a childhood trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo , where a sign near the primate house declared, "Around this corner is the most dangerous animal on Earth"; turning a corner Kenda found himself staring into a mirror. He worked in the CSPD homicide unit for over 19 years and eventually led the homicide department. According to Kenda, the case "met the standard for a Hollywood plot" and received a great deal of media attention, including a People magazine story and several books. Near the end of his career, Kenda's wife became convinced that he would be murdered on the job.
This episode covered a case that probably garnered more publicity than most of Kenda's cases: the murder of Dianne Hood by Jennifer Reali. Hood convinced Jennifer that killing Dianne was less of a sin than divorce would be. He also told her that Dianne was very sick with lupus - a gross exaggeration. Dianne had been diagnosed with lupus but was doing very well on medication and her doctor had recently said she could expect to live a normal life. Jennifer Reali, I became convinced after watching this episode, is a manipulative person who grossly underestimated the competence and intelligence of the police. As a murderer, she was clever in some respects including the disguise she wore.
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Click here for tickets. But such is now life for year-old Lieutenant Joe Kenda, whose Investigation Discovery series Homicide Hunter has made him a bona fide true crime star. Homicide Hunter , true stories from his and-a-half years on the job in Colorado Springs, attracted nearly two million viewers per week last season, its seventh, and shows no signs of slowing. He refuses scripts for his parts in Homicide Hunter , choosing instead to recall his cases from memory. With murders in his files, Kenda has no shortage of material — and as his series heads into its eighth season, the unlikely star is happy about both the thrills that ID viewers get from his dark stories, and the opportunity that discussing them affords him to exorcise some demons of his own.
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