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Homicide Hunter Joe Kenda: A Look at Murder Cases Through the Eyes of a Retired Detective

Updated on September 21, 2015
A Discovery Promotional photo for Homicide Hunter
A Discovery Promotional photo for Homicide Hunter | Source

The Second season of Homicide Hunter recently premiered on Investigation Discovery, Canada and for those who haven’t watched the show before I highly recommend it. Loyal watchers can look forward to more of the same straight forward approach to homicide investigation from Lt. Joe Kenda, a retired cop reliving and retelling various cases from his perspective as a head investigator years later. It appears that the new season will be as entertaining as the previous season.

The first three episodes have unveiled what seem to be some unlikely murders, an Eagle Scout, a seemingly sweet army wife, and a retired army official who once had top government clearance. As usual Kenda doesn’t assume anything and only makes observations that may later prove useful in catching the killer. After watching Homicide Hunter, it shouldn’t be a surprise if you find yourself anticipating Kenda’s discoveries. In the second episode of the season when re-interviewing a witness for a homicide, he realizes the way in which the killer carried his victim’s purse is a vital clue. From that point on, the case falls neatly into place.

The endings so far this season have been bitter sweet. The killer from the first episode commits suicide, rather than surrendering to the police, the second leaves three children without parents (as their father was involved) and two little girls from another family without a mother. The third episode leaves a boy with only his dog, after his father kills his mother. In case you missed them, here are the summaries for the first three episodes.

"You want to make it right but you can't. You can punish those responsible. But you can't make it right."--- Lt. Joe Kenda, Homicide Hunter Season 2, The Spy Who Killed Me


Last Call For Murder

A bar in Colorado Springs is set on fire and upon arrival firefighters discover three people dead. The firefighters soon realize that the victims were not killed by the blaze but by gun shots. Kenda and his team are called in and soon after two young women are found shot dead at the convenience store around the corner. Kenda believes that whoever murdered the three people at the bar also committed the robbery and murders of the two young women at the store. Using an image from the store’s security camera, the police canvas the local area. After an exhaustive search, they finally find a woman who knows the name of their suspect. After looking up the suspect’s information, the SWAT team is called in and the man’s apartment building is evacuated before they make their move. When the negotiator calls the apartment, Kenda and those with him are surprised when a woman answers the phone. Instead of using her as a hostage as Kenda had feared, the man turns the gun on himself, permanently ending his crime spree.

I Now Pronounce You Dead

After attending a lupus support meeting a mother of three is robbed and shot. She later dies in hospital. Kenda and his team arrive at the scene and interview the victim’s friend and fellow group member, Karen, who witnessed the robbery and shooting. Unfortunately Karen is unable to give much of a description as the perpetrator wore a mask. However, she is able to tell Kenda that he was wearing camouflage and is shorter than she is. Kenda searches the area for traces of the killer and enlists a K9 unit to pick up the scent. The dog hits on a garbage can, which contains the shooter’s clothing. The clothes are submitted to the lab, where a brown hair is discovered. Unable to come up with any other leads Kenda and his team turn to police canvassing. While talking to people in the neighbourhood they hear of a man nicknamed “Homicidal Dave” by the locals. Dave who is a Gulf War Vet at first seems like a good suspect due to his strange behaviour. However, Dave is soon ruled out when it is determined that he has an alibi for the time of the shooting.

After visiting the victim’s husband, Kenda goes to the man’s gym, where after talking to a couple of young ladies at the desk, he discovers that the victim’s husband is very friendly with a woman who also attends the same gym. Meanwhile the bullets from the crime scene have been sent to the lab and the results reveal that the weapon is a very rare gun that is often sold at antique gun shows. The woman who is having an affair with the victim’s husband is named Jennifer. It turns out that Jennifer’s husband, Ben, happens to collect antique guns. While being interviewed Ben reveals that he and his wife were living apart. He also tells detectives that his wife had turned up after the shooting with the gun, insisting he keep it there without any explanation. Putting this together with the way the perpetrator grabbed the victim’s purse, Kenda concludes that Jennifer is responsible. In her own interrogation, Jennifer reveals that her lover came up with the plan to kill his wife.

The Spy Who Killed Me

In Colorado Springs Kenda and his team are called to the scene of an extinguished house fire, where an arson investigator has found a woman dead under suspicious circumstances. Kenda and the team, including detective Graham, who is new to homicide, go into the house where the arson investigator leads them to the basement. While examining the body Kenda determines that the victim was shot in the head from less than 1 inch away. Unfortunately much of the evidence has been destroyed by the fire not leaving much for Kenda and the team to go on.

A neighbour tells Kenda that she saw a van leave shortly before she noticed the smoke and the fire, and called 911. However, the neighbour did not see who was driving. Kenda gets a break when a police station in a neighbouring town calls and says that the victim’s 10 year old son, William Jr., had been dropped off by his father and is claiming that foreign agents are after the family. William Jr. and his dog Kirby are driven back to Colorado Springs, where he recounts the story that he told at the other police station. William Sr.’s background reveals he is a retired military intelligence officer who had access to valuable government information. When William Sr. turns up at another police station demanding protection from foreign agents, Kenda and detective Graham travel there to interview him. William Sr. claims he had the car packed ready to take Jr. on a camping trip and went back into the house, where he came upon a man holding his wife at gun point, and that his wife urged him to save their son. However Kenda suspects, William Sr., as William Jr. had told Kenda that his father had given him an emergency contact list two days before his wife was murdered. William Sr. eventually confesses and pleads guilty to 2nd degree murder so that his son won’t have to testify and is sentenced to 48 years.

You can catch Homicide Hunter on Wednesday nights at 10pm ET, 9pm Central, and 7pm PT on Investigation Discovery Canada.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      In this particular episode I noticed the boys dog was extremely thin with his ribs showing. Owner needs to feed it more.

    • a girl and a pen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lauren Darroch 

      5 years ago

      Thanks. I enjoy the show very much myself.

    • Leslie Ramos profile image

      Leslie Ramos 

      5 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Very good article, I love his show!


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