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Joe Kenda New Show: American Detective With Lt. Joe Kenda

Joe Kenda New Show: American Detective With Lt. Joe Kenda

Joseph Patrick Kenda, a former Colorado Springs Police Department detective lieutenant, was engaged in 387 murder investigations over the course of his 23-year career, solving 356, for a 92 percent closure rate.

Ismaeel Delgado
Jul 28, 2021

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Joseph Patrick Kenda, a former Colorado Springs Police Department detective lieutenant, was engaged in 387 murder investigations over the course of his 23-year career, solving 356, for a 92 percent closure rate. He has a program on Investigation Discovery called Homicide Hunter, where he tells tales about crimes he has solved.

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Joe Kenda Early Life

Kenda grew up in Herminie, Pennsylvania, which is approximately 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Pittsburgh. His paternal grandparents came to the United States from Ezsoa, Slovenia, in 1913; his grandfather Josef, after whom he was named, died in a coal mining accident in 1933. His father, William, was a United States Army intelligence officer during World War II and subsequently managed a trucking company.

Virginia (née Morrissey), his mother, was born in Colorado Springs. Kenda has always been intrigued by crime, particularly murder, since she was a child. He remembers a childhood excursion to the Pittsburgh Zoo, where a sign near the monkey house said, "Around this corner lies the most deadly animal on Earth," and Kenda found himself looking into a mirror after rounding a corner.

In 1964, he received his diploma from Greensburg Central Catholic High School. He went to the University of Pittsburgh and married Mary Kathleen "Kathy" Mohler, his high school sweetheart, in 1967. Kenda received a master's degree in international relations from The Ohio State University in 1970 after graduating with a B.A. in political science.

After a secret briefing with the Central Intelligence Agency, he decided against pursuing a career in the Foreign Service. He used to work for his father's trucking company. Kenda, his wife, and their two children relocated to Colorado Springs in 1973, when he joined the police force.

Joe Kenda Law Enforcement Career

Kenda rose through the ranks of the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) to become a murder investigator. He spent almost 19 years in the CSPD's murder squad, ultimately becoming the department's chief. He stated, "I liked the job." "Not so much with my wife." He looked at 387 murder cases and solved 356, for a 92 percent closure rate.

He attributed his ability to conclude cases to his knowledge of human nature and his ability to detect deception. He looked into the case of Dianne Hood, who was killed during a lupus support group meeting in 1990 by an assailant who stole her handbag. The case "matched the criteria for a Hollywood narrative," according to Kenda, and garnered a lot of media attention, including a People magazine article and numerous books.

Kenda's wife grew certain that he would be killed on the job towards the conclusion of his career. One night, when he returned home late from work, she questioned him about it. Kenda retired three years after his family relocated to Falcon, Colorado, in 1993.

Kenda later explained in his book and in an interview in 2018 that his decision to retire was prompted by an incident in August 1996 involving a 74-year-old man who sexually assaulted his five-year-old grandson. Because no open interrogation rooms were available that day, Kenda had the man brought to his office.

Kenda said that he "wanted to just murder this person" and placed his hands on him before other police intervened. Kenda had the man removed from his office after the man attempted to excuse his assault by claiming the kid "came upon him." He then went down to his keyboard and wrote his resignation letter, which was to take effect on September 1, 1996.

Kenda was dissatisfied with retirement for the following few years and went through a withdrawal period.

Beginning in 1998, he worked as a special-needs school bus driver for a decade. In The End, the last episode of Homicide Hunter, both his departure from the CSPD and his time as a bus driver are portrayed.

Joe Kenda Television Career

Patrick Bryant, a Denver television series editor, has worked as a freelancer for numerous production firms for over 10 years, editing over 200 episodes of different series for networks such as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, HGTV, Food Channel, and TLC since 2008.

He also edited sizzle trailers for production companies' development teams, assisting them in their attempts to sell new series to television networks. Bryant decided to try his hand at producing his own series independently in 2009. Reenactment with no script The popularity of American crime shows at the time made it a natural option for Bryant's debut.

When Kenda was head of the Major Crimes Unit, Bryant resided in Colorado Springs and worked at a local TV station. Bryant had interviewed Kenda for a TV program about the local drug trade, which was linked to an increase in homicides.

As a superb interview subject, Kenda made a lasting impact on Bryant. Bryant approached Kenda in 2009 to explore the potential of creating a TV show based on his work as a murder investigator. Kenda was reluctant to react, but ultimately reached an arrangement with Bryant to continue developing the series.

Bryant and Kenda produced a 5-minute sizzle trailer, which was presented to FOX21 Studios in Los Angeles, who marketed the series to various TV networks. Investigation Discovery bought the show in 2010, and it premiered in February 2011.

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When television executives asked Kenda to read a screenplay, he was taken aback. He was adamant in his refusal, saying, "I'm not a performer. I work as a cop. I'll tell you about this case if you want me to. Get someone else to read it if you don't want me to. " The producers were captivated by his 15-minute impromptu speech, which he delivered without a script.

For the remainder of the series, he worked without a screenplay. The series, dubbed Homicide Hunter: Lt Joe Kenda, premiered on the Investigation Discovery network in September 2011 and quickly became a top viewer ratings performer. Kenda was known for his unerringly flawless, matter-of-fact, deadpan delivery of the sometimes gruesome facts of the murders he investigated, as well as his catchphrase, "Well, my my my..."

Producers were given 30 of Kenda's previous cases to read, and they chose the 10 they thought were most suited for television viewers. Although the first season was shot in Hollywood, all subsequent re-enactments have been shot in Knoxville, Tennessee and the surrounding region. Actor casting calls are conducted in the Knoxville region on a regular basis.

Carl Marino, a former deputy sheriff in Monroe County, New York, played the younger Kenda. Kenda acknowledged that he went through the case papers before filming, although he claimed to have "perfect recall." It took four hours to film each episode.

The popularity of the program, which lasted nine seasons and was broadcast all over the globe, has humbled him. Kenda stated in May 2019 that the ninth season of Homicide Hunter would be the last one, feeling that the number of cases left were "too easy or just too nasty to be on television," and choosing to leave the series "at the top of my game." On January 29, 2020, the series finale, fittingly named "The End," aired.

He would, however, continue to appear on other Investigation Discovery shows. Kenda informed an interviewer in early 2020 that he was shooting a new series but that he wasn't ready to provide any details. The new series, American Detective with Lt. Joe Kenda, premiered in December 2020, with Kenda examining the cases of various murder investigators throughout the United States in each episode. With the introduction of the new Discovery+ streaming service on January 4, 2021, it launched.

Joe Kenda Personal Life

Kenda married Mary Kathleen "Kathy" Mohler, his high school sweetheart, on December 26, 1967. Dan, a former United States Navy captain, and Kris, a retired United States Air Force major, are their two children. They were all featured in the Homicide Hunter episode "Married to the Job," which aired on February 6, 2019, as well as the series finale "The End," which aired on January 29, 2020.

He has lived in the Tidewater area of Virginia since 2017, and his part in the series was shot in Colorado Springs.

American Detective Joe Kenda New Show

Lt. Joe Kenda, one of ID's toughest and most experienced murder investigators, returns with an all-new series exclusively on Discovery+. Kenda has heard of instances that defy logic and reveal human depravity throughout the years: investigations with twists and turns that seem more written in Hollywood than in real life.

In American Investigator, Kenda foregoes his own case files in order to offer viewers incredible investigations from around the nation, with each episode focusing on a different murder detective whose persistent efforts helped catch a perpetrator and deliver justice to the victim. Kenda, the captivating raconteur whose gruff voice and gritty attitude have us hanging on his every word, takes us through the intricacies of each case and the relentless investigative work depicted in American Detective.

In the first episode, Vermont cops come upon a car abandoned on the side of a dark rural road. The proprietor is a well-liked young schoolteacher, and her 2-year-old kid is still sleeping in his car seat. Captain Robert Cushing is tasked with leading the investigation, and his men quickly locate the victim's corpse in the cold waters of a neighboring lake.

The quiet Vermont hamlet of Waterford is rocked to its core, and even a seasoned detective like Cushing is caught off guard by the killer's depravity. A young realtor whose body was found at the bottom of a Miami high-rise, where clues lead the investigation to a second victim; a young woman murdered next to an infamous homeless encampment in Seattle, where the lead detective notices a clue they've seen before, sparking a city-wide hunt for a depraved serial killer; and a young woman murdered next to an infamous homeless encampment in Seattle.

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Ismaeel Delgado | Ismaeel Delgado has been working for the Ministry of Information and Communications as a Technical Officer for the past five years. He is an Electronics and Communication Engineer with a Masters in Information and Communication Engineering. He is involved in the review, revision, redesign, and expansion of the required structure, legislation, laws, and technically relevant national planning and program for spectrum management based on ITU radio regulations as a technical officer in the Ministry of Information and Communications' Frequency Management Department.


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