By Luaine Lee McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Retired homicide detective Joe Kenda is the last person on Earth you’d imagine a TV star. With straight gray hair, a hounded look in his eyes and a minimalist way of speaking, he never would be chosen at a casting call.
But Kenda is the star of Investigation Discovery’s “Homicide Hunter,” returning for its new season Oct. 1, in which Kenda narrates re-enactments of the crimes he covered.
It’s not so much the cases Kenda recalls from his years on the force in Colorado Springs, Colo., it’s the way he handled them.
He never raises his voice, he said. “I never ever get upset, never raise my voice. That’s intentional because that scares people.
“When I arrested somebody I’d have a gun in one hand and a badge in the other. I say very quietly: ‘My name is Kenda. I’m with the police department, and you’re under arrest for murder. If you don’t do what I say I’m going to kill you right here and right now,’” he said.
Kenda spent 19 years on the force, and was commander of the major crime unit when he retired at 52.
It was Kenda’s brief official appearances on local TV that attracyed producer, Patrick Bryant.
At the tryout Bryant instructed him to talk to the camera about murder.
“So I did, for about an hour, whatever came into my head,” Kendra said.
“‘Is that what you had in mind?’ And everybody’s ‘Oh, yeah.’ And here we are,” Kendra said.
New season of “Homicide Hunter” airs at 9 p.m. Oct. 1 on Investigation Discovery.