Lt. Joe Kenda Shares His Top 5 Episodes Ever of "Homicide Hunter"

Over the course of his 23 years with the Colorado Springs Police Department, Lt. Joe Kenda became known for solving 92% of the 350 murder cases that crossed his desk. That’s one of the highest solve rates ever recorded.

With the series finale of “Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda” behind him, Lt. Kenda reflected on the episodes that have stayed with him the most.

August 21, 2019
By: Mike McPadden

Photo By: Screenshot from "Chance Encounter" [Investigation Discovery]

Photo By: Screenshot from "Avert Your Eyes" [Investigation Discovery]

Photo By: Screenshot from "I Now Pronounce You Dead" [Investigation Discovery]

Photo By: Kathy Kenda in screenshot from "Married to the Job" episode [Investigation Discovery]

Photo By: Screenshot from "My First Case" [Investigation Discovery]

"Chance Encounter" — Premiered November 29, 2011

Synopsis: Ronald Lee White was the most notorious serial killer in Colorado history, and when he crossed paths with Lt. Kenda, he got caught. The episode begins with firefighters discovering Victor Woods stabbed to death in his burning apartment. Before going cold, the trail led to a popular nightclub and a Hollywood-handsome suspect driving a souped-up muscle car. When a series of new murders are connected to the Woods case, Lt. Kenda must convince White to confess or see him walk free.

Lt. Kenda's Thoughts: "Ronald Lee White was the first serial killer I ever ran across. He was an absolute monster. For normal people, there are three motives for murder — money, sex and revenge. The exception is the serial killer. White killed because he liked it."

Watch "Chance Encounter" on ID GO now!

"Avert Your Eyes" — Premiered August 23, 2016

Synopsis: After Pamela Edwards is fatally shot in her home, the first task is to shield her two young daughters from the horrific crime scene. From there, Lt. Kenda follows the clues from a U.S. Olympic training facility to a seedy roadside diner. When the killer catches on, he leads police on a car and foot chase across Colorado Springs.

Lt. Kenda's Thoughts: "There were two young girls in that house, and their mother had been murdered. They were very small. I was able to prevent them from seeing her body by playing a game where I'd cover them with a blanket. They remember that. On the show, Pamela's daughter, Tenayia Adair, said, 'They rescued us that night.' You don't realize sometimes the effect you have on people, and you try to do your best, but you don't know if it's enough or not. Her saying that meant a lot."

Watch "Avert Your Eyes" on ID GO now!

"I Now Pronounce You Dead" — Premiered October 2, 2012

Synopsis: On her way home from a support meeting for Lupus patients, Dianne Hood, a mother of three, was shot to death by a masked assailant. Investigators deduced it was a robbery gone wrong, but Lt. Kenda believed the gunman intentionally targeted the victim. In the course of the case, Lt. Kenda uncovers a sordid web of lust and greed, exposing a particularly cold-blooded crime.

Lt. Kenda's Thoughts: "This was evil. Here was a woman, a mother of three kids, with an illness, and her husband had a girlfriend. He decided she needed to be dead so he could collect insurance money. So, the husband and his girlfriend plotted for eight months to murder this woman. We got to the truth in three days."

Watch "I Now Pronounce You Dead" on ID GO now!

"Married to the Job" — Premiered February 5, 2019

Synopsis: Back when he was a sergeant, Kenda and his fellow officers faced off against a hostage-taking gunman. When Kenda's wife, Kathy, called the precinct with an emergency at home, dispatch inadvertently patched her through to her husband in the heat of the standoff. Kathy overheard shots being fired, which led to her grappling with the life-and-death realities of him being on the frontline of crime — a job she had encouraged him to take.

Lt. Kenda's Thoughts: "That was a family effort. My wife and kids appeared on that show, which I never thought they'd do. I was surprised! The show provided insight into how other people in a police officer's life suffer. It showed that [the] police are like everyone else. Police are human, too."

Watch "Married to the Job" on ID GO now!

"My First Case" — Premiered November 18, 2014

Synopsis: In 1977, after veteran murder investigators deemed a grocery store shooting "unsolvable," Kenda, then a rookie burglary detective, saw a chance to advance to the homicide squad by finding the gunman. With a generic charm bracelet as the only clue, Kenda worked tirelessly to solve the case, and along the way ran into plenty of dead ends and self-doubt.

Lt. Kenda's Thoughts: "Well, that was it. I had been a laughingstock. The other detectives teased me because I was a 'college boy.' I put everything on the line when I volunteered to take that case. It was all or nothing, and I bet it all. If it didn't work, the rest of my career would have been spent chasing stolen television sets."

Watch "My First Case" on ID GO now!