5 Things To Know About Murder Chose Me's Detective Rod Demery
When he was in his twenties, his brother was convicted of a murder and sentenced to life in prison.
For legendary former Shreveport Police Department homicide detective Rod Demery, the new season of Murder Chose Me is kind of like Jaws: He's back — and this time, it's personal.
Once again, Demery pulls from some of the most memorable case files taken from his 14 years as a homicide detective.
1. He has a 99 percent confession rate.
During his career with the Shreveport Police Department in Louisiana, Demery was known for solving almost 100 percent of the 60-plus cases on which he served as lead detective.
He's also notable for his unique ability to get suspects to confess — and his skills are put to the test in different ways in the new season.
“Season three has a lot of different types of stories,” Demery told CrimeFeed. “Some are very personal, and I had to re-evaluate myself … in some ways, I think I became more human.”
Demery has said that while some shows like CSI showcase "scientific intricacies" or rely on "tells" to determine who is lying, he believes that his communication skills — and his non-judgmental attitude — are the keys to getting suspects to spill their secrets.
2. Demery's family has been shattered by murder.
When Demery was just three years old, his mother was murdered. Decades later, Demery took a fresh look at the cold case and tracked down her killer.
When he was in his twenties, his brother was convicted of a different murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Demery’s background has played a key role in the development of his methodology when it comes to tracking down killers and getting inside their heads.
In the series, this is tracked via Demery's first-person narrative juxtaposed with flashbacks from his childhood, as well as scenes from the case being discussed.
3. Demery has a history with at least one suspect in season three.
The premiere episode of season three tells the story of a hardworking family man who is shot in cold blood while doing a favor for a friend.
Demery told CrimeFeed that this case hit particularly close to home when he was unexpectedly confronted with someone from his past. While investigating the murder, the nickname “Hammer” came up. Demery used the moniker to track down the suspect, whom he identified as 25-year-old Sirdarien Jackson.
But Demery had met Jackson before — when Jackson was 19 years old, and had been wounded in the shoulder during a shootout.
In the premiere, Demery explains how he visited Jackson in the hospital while working the case, and tried to talk him out of a life of crime. He contrasted this with his later image of the now-grown man he was trying to get to confess to murder.
“When I saw Hammer, it was easy to see the person inside him that I knew from back in the day,” Demery said. Still, he said, he didn’t hesitate. “I put Hammer in jail for the rest of his life.”
4. The fact that Demery's brother is a killer has shaped his entire approach to dealing with murderers.
Demery said that he believes that his ability to empathize with the suspects sitting across from him has been the key to his high confession rate. “I think that is what has worked in my career. I was able to see how people actually were and not just their crimes. I was able to look past that.”
He believes that this ability to see both sides of a crime began with his brother.
"I could still see him as a kid, playing with BB guns and GI Joes, and at the same time he's a man who has done this horrific thing," Demery said.
5. The same abilities that have brought him great success have taken a toll on his personal life — and his love life.
His ability to connect with criminals has brought him stellar success, but Demery has always been open about the cost that he has paid in his private life. “I think that the fact that I can see them as the people they were, and not just suspects, does make it emotionally harder in some ways.”
Last year Demery told CrimeFeed that job success has, at times, also come at the cost of his romantic relationships. "I think it's a singular obsession. It makes it kind of difficult to maintain any sort of relationship. If today is her birthday, or she made some sort of special dinner, but someone gets shot, that has to take priority,” he said.
He admitted that more than one girlfriend has "asked me if she has to get killed for me to pay attention to her." But now, Demery says that while he once "gave everything to the job," he now has "a better balance between my work and personal life.”
Though he declined to provide specific details, Demery now says that his love life is “in a good place.” He recently relocated from Louisiana to Atlanta, which he says he’s enjoying. “I love Atlanta because it’s this big metropolis, but you can go out into the woods in like 10 minutes,” he said. “I’m a southern boy at heart.”
Murder Chose Me returns for its third season on Thursday, May 2 at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.