Ace detectives are a mainstay of modern television. These hard-boiled crime-fighting sleuths are almost super powered in their ability to catch the bad guys and solve the crime, and most people watching know it’s just fantasy. However, in real life, there is one police detective whose name has become legend.
Born on August 28th, 1946 in Herminie, Pennsylvania, the retired Colorado Springs police detective was a homicide investigator for 19 years and has a staggering 400 case history with a 92 percent solution rate. That means he has solved 368 of the cases he worked on – which is staggeringly impressive! His incredible career history and numerous cleared cases are the basis of Investigation Discovery’s (IDTV) American documentary television show Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda. The show premiered on October 25th 2011, and has since gone on to air six seasons and over 70 episodes. The sixth season is still airing, having shown 5 of its 20 episode expanded season. During its first season, the show was produced by ITV Studios, but has since been produced by Jupiter Entertainment. Thomas Cutler, Stephen Land, Todd Moss, and Erich Sturm all act as executive producers for the show.
In terms of style, Homicide Hunter adheres to the similar format that IDTV has perfected over the years – namely re-enactments and talking heads. In each episode, Kenda recounts a murder investigation on which he worked during his active duty, going from the 911 call all the way through to the final resolution of the case. Through re-enactments, discussions with investigation teams, and interviews with victims’ families and other involved persons, the show highlights the ways in which Kenda worked through the case to the final resolution. Kenda and Josh Casaubon – who is not seen physically – handle the narration. Actor Carl Marino portrays Kenda in the various episodes’ re-enactments.
So whilst Kenda is no doubt an impressive man with an even more impressive record, is he still relevant to audiences, or is it time that the show followed his illustrious career and went into retirement? Unfortunately, there is no official word from IDTV about a seventh season, but as the sixth is still going strong, that isn’t too much of a cause for concern. In addition, (as is standard for IDTV) the network hasn’t released any viewership and rating figures for the series. However, review feedback has been exceptional, with the show having a stellar rating of 8.9 out of 10 on IMDb and a perfect score of 5 stars out of 5 on content streaming service, Amazon Instant Video. With those sorts of ratings and six seasons under its belt, Investigation Discovery would have to be mad to cancel Homicide Hunter. We think its safe to say that this one is going to make a strong return next year.
There are currently no Bluray or DVD versions available of Homicide Hunter to buy. However, you can stream the show on Amazon Instant Video for $2.99 per episode or each respective season from between $9.99 and $24.99. If you prefer to keep things free, then you can catch reruns of the entire series on Investigation Discovery’s feature channel at 8/7C on Wednesdays. You can access IDTV on SKY: 553 - Virgin Media: 275 - BT: 328 and TalkTalk: 328.
Have you watched the show and have a favourite case that Kendra worked during his career – what was it that really stuck with you? Do you enjoy shows about homicide, or do you think it is glamorising a morbid act?
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