'Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda' is Reality TV's Best Crime Show


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
I watch a lot of reality crime shows and my standout favorite at the moment is ID Investigative Discovery's 'Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda' that focuses on the case files of retired detective Joe Kenda. The stories span his career while with the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Kenda looks like a saged and somewhat worn detective. He is both seen and heard frequently throughout each hour's drama that is full of reenactments of the crimes and the subsequent investigations. The thing is the real life Kenda not only looks like a seasoned detective who has seen it all, but he speaks well. His tone has some emotion to it, though it sticks to facts quite a bit. However, his curiosity about the twists and turns of a case is expressed like a well narrated novel, full of surprise at times, anger at others, and determination to get to the truth always. It has its tender moments as well, especially when children are involved. Listening to Kenda is part of the fascination, especially when he is recalling his reactions to developments. I read a comment by someone recently where they pointed out that Kenda relays his cases without ego, and I agree with that. He can be matter of fact and clearly he knows he was good at his job, but ego is not part of his demeanor. What does come across is his passion for getting justice for those killed.

Now in its third season, Kenda is portrayed on screen by Carl Marino who has minimal dialog and is usually seen portraying the motions of a much younger Kenda as the stories unwind.

The latest episode focused on a murder that occurred just days before the annual Pike's Peak Marathon and was called 'Run for Your Life.' The murder took place in August 1993 in the parking lot of a mall. Arriving at night, Kenda deduces it was a murder and then reveals that found nearby were 17 condoms. "That's a lot of condoms. What are they doing here?" the real Kenda asks while Marino is shown on screen.

Later, Kenda brings in a police dog to track the scent of the killer and sure enough, the dog heads in the same direction as indicated by a witness. Stated Kenda, "This dog is headed in that direction like a torpedo." Then the dog sat down, practically under a bush and again, the K-9 officer was on target, alerting to a luger that had been placed there. Found nearby were more of the same-brand condoms as had been by the body. Then the dog alerted again where two people were in the shadows. With the dog barking, his handler threatened to release the dog. "Everybody's afraid of the dog," Kenda stated on screen with an amusingly truthful smirk. The two people stopped cold.

In the end, Kenda again gets his man and another satisfying hour of reality crime concludes. This show works and since this is the first go around of Kenda's cases, everything is new and fresh, unlike the often recycled stories that tend to fill up other similar programs.

ID currently airs first run episodes of this series every Tuesday night at 6pm with frequent repeats.