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Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda

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This episode covered a case that probably garnered more publicity than most of Kenda's cases: the murder of Dianne Hood by Jennifer Reali. It was revealed that despite his wholesome Christian married man/father image, Dianne's husband Brian was having a hot and heavy affair with Jennifer Reali, the wife of a military officer. Hood convinced Jennifer that killing Dianne was less of a sin than divorce would be. He also told her that Dianne was very sick with lupus - a gross exaggeration. Dianne had been diagnosed with lupus but was doing very well on medication and her doctor had recently said she could expect to live a normal life. 

Jennifer Reali, I became convinced after watching this episode, is a manipulative person who grossly underestimated the competence and intelligence of the police. As a murderer, she was clever in some respects including the disguise she wore. And she was stupendously stupid in others. Especially her choice of weapon: a very unusual, valuable, antique gun that was part of her husband's collection. I think she was used to manipulating people, including her husband, to get what she wanted. And then she came up against the cops, including Kenda, and she wasn't in control of events anymore. 

I was also convinced that Brian Hood was a twisted manipulator who set up his lover to kill his wife. I thought it was unfair that he was convicted of a lesser offense than Jennifer.

I'm not sure if this was addressed in the episode: Colorado governor Bill Ritter commuted Reali's sentence in 2011, to make her eligible for parole at about the same as Brian Hood. Both had parole hearings during 2011; the parole board denied parole in both cases. I believe each of them will next be eligible for a parole hearing in 2016. Story here: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_18474060. BTW, Brian Hood escaped from prison in 1997 and was recaptured a few days later. 

Back to the episode. I savor Kenda's narration. As they locate the owner of the killer's clothing and the murder weapon: "Not only are we in the right ballpark, we're in the right two seats." After hearing from the crime lab that Jennifer's husband's gun was the murder weapon, "I told my men, 'Cancel her dinner plans.' And I arrested her for murder." When Brian's friends whom he'd tried to enlist to kill his wife decided they should call the police and talk about it: "Good. Our lines are always open." Summing up the crime: "Human nature at its worst. From people who had no reason to behave that way."

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I'm beginning to understand the system around here. I think. The "Small Talk" topic here is for "off topic" stuff, like introducing ourselves, and not intended for general show discussion. 

So, I'm starting this "General Discussion" topic as the place where we can have the kind of general show discussion that doesn't focus on a specific episode. 

I'll kick it off by what's pretty much a cut and paste of my show-related comments the other day in the "Small Talk" topic, updated up a bit:

I'm glad they are presently shooting episodes for a Season 4 of this show! Best thing the ID Channel's offered in recent years, IMO.

In the months until Season 4 airs (I think it starts in October), I'll be following the show's official facebook page, "Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda" - for current info, photos, and comments by Kenda. Just FYI to avoid confusion: there's also a fan page on fb called "Lt. Joe Kenda: Homicide Hunter," which I stumbled on before I found the official show page.  I also follow the facebook page of Carl Marino - the actor who plays Kenda in the dramatizations.

I just re-watched a few episodes - the joy of owning the series on Amazon streaming or iTunes. Somehow, more than other shows on ID these days, this show often leaves me mourning the senseless violence that wiped out the lives of the victims. Maybe someone can put their finger on why that is. Maybe it's the way Joe talks about the victims. 

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Somehow, more than other shows on ID these days, this show often leaves me mourning the senseless violence that wiped out the lives of the victims. Maybe someone can put their finger on why that is. Maybe it's the way Joe talks about the victims.

 

Joe has the gift of telling a story where the characters come alive, and that is always evident to me when he speaks of the victims with compassion and a sense of quiet but determined moral outrage.

I fell for him hard in the very first episode, but the one that sealed my love for Kenda forever was when the little boy and his dog were dropped off at a police station by spy-daddy.   Kenda would not let Animal Control take the dog, and said he'd take the boy and his dog home himself before seeing them separated.  (sniff)

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Carl Marino posted on his Facebook page "back hard at work..." and then what I assume is twitterspeak, #season4 #homicide hunter.

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Just saw the promo with Joe:

"Well, my, my, my.  The new season of Homicide Hunter is coming this August.  Only on Investigation Discovery."

 

Squee.

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walnutqueen

I can't wait for the new season. The show he was on tonight was a bust. I see why he doesn't do cue cards.  It wasn't Joe at all.

I pretty much refuse to watch it since I think it glorifies criminals but I tried since Joe Kenda was "on" it.

 

And failed.

 

Can't wait for August!

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So much love for this, Suz.  Now love my little story - pulling out of my driveway I was accosted by some churchy types who made the fatal error of asking me if I'd given any thought to who should rule the "new world order" (they wanted God or Jesus as the answer).  Imagine me rattling off name after name of really great people I'd put up for the job until they nearly fell over themselves trying to back away from my most excellent tirade.  Whose name came up?  JOE. FUCKING. KENDA.  And I said it just. like. that.  HEE!

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Yeah, I finally saw that promotional spot yesterday and it all made sense.  If that was Karl, Joe is taller than I thought he was.

Real Joe in a scene would be cool...

Like Hitchcock doing cameos in his movies.  And Hunter Thompson showing up in a scene in "Fear and Loathing..."

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Suz - you know exactly how to get to a girl's heart.   Keep those awesome pics coming - they're keeping me going until the season premiere.   :-)

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I just saw a promo with Joe in it.  He's drinking coffee out of a mug that says "my, my, my", and he says "My, my, my, I've got a store."  I really want that coffee mug.

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it's amazing how Kenda presents himself as a detective who always gets his man

Hey Joe what Jon Benet Ramsey, who'd you catch and charge with that one?

As for his ego stroking new commercial where he says "No such thing as a perfect murder" must be meant for people who don't ask the question "What about Jimmy Hoffa?"

Let's see episodes about ALL the cases he couldn't solve... That way the viewing public can see him in a way he apparently can not.... Human

Here's a guy who rides stories of murder and tragedy all the way to the bank. Plenty of better detectives then him without TV shows. They are content just having delivered justice

While Ole Joe the walking ego thinks other people should pay him for the Justice he found for people. Probably used to investigate cases with the sound of a cash register going off in his over sized head

Conclusion? Jon Benet Ramsey, his most visible and public case.. Epic failure! Let's see an episode about that case. His ego would crumble and his head would explode

Funniest part is... This post will be deleted quickly, swept under the rug in order to make the second coming of Sherlock Holmes look bad.... Just like the Ramsey case

Ever here him do interviews about the Ramsey case? According to him he had all the answers and EVERYONE else was wrong. To bad what he knows isn't grounds for an Arrest or conviction in the world outside his head. Keep racking up those TV dollars Kenda

Any man who thinks he's right and other 99% of the world is wrong... Just might have it backwards

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Let's move on. It's annoying when people create accounts just to start crap, but since this is the only post by this poster we can move on and enjoy our show.

ETA- I posted something else earlier. I tried to delete that and accidentally deleted one of you guys' posts instead. It was not intentional. There was nothing said that was inappropriate or wrong. I sincerely apologize.

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Thank you. I enjoyed what you wrote. I appreciate you summarizing it again. I will be more careful in the future!

I love this show. I discovered it about a year ago and watched all of the episodes available in Netflix. I don't think Joe has ever said he was perfect, just the opposite IMO. I love his straight-forward, take no crap approach. Looking forward to the new season!

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My love for Kenda is definitely rooted in his storytelling, delivery, and old fashioned sense of dogged justice, rather than his purported status of super homicide solving cop.  Perhaps I'm just old enough to appreciate the ability to speak clearly, concisely and with purpose about a subject that so many others manage to cock up (i.e. true crime).  Or maybe I have a secret lurve for old guys who look like jowly sad-eyed bloodhounds from my cartoon youth.  :-)

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@GenL, and anyone else who doesn't know it, do look at The Shift, now on Reelz, 799 on Uverse.   It'a like First 48, but only Indianapolis, and you get to know the cops.
ETA, I didn't mean right now, now, but rather I think it started life on ID, but is shown on Reelz currently.

 

Edited by auntjess
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I think I started watching that on Netflix. I didn't stick with it, not because of lack of interest. I just got busy and forgot about it. I think I'll take another look. Thanks @auntjess!

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A park ranger discovers the corpse of amateur boxer Corey Edge floating in a shallow creek. Lt. Joe Kenda investigates a rogue’s gallery of hustlers, thugs and career criminals. Kenda realizes the real killers have been hiding in plain sight.
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Yes, I noticed that clock when it showed 23+ hours and counting.  I'm watching the old Kenda episodes as an amuse bouche to prepare for the new episode, sort of to inoculate myself against the awesomeness.  ;-)

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The anticipation is always better than the event, Suz

 

I think you're right, though, and ID is pimping Joe out like a two bit whore.  This may not end well.

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I've been watching the marathon this afternoon.  Love this show and love me some Joe Kenda.  Look forward to the new season.

 

The troll must have had a friend or family member arrested by Kenda.  No other reason to be so testy.

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I didn't watch it yet.  You guys are ALWAYS welcome (and encouraged) to start episode threads!  Was it any good?  I can't wait to see it.  I think I had conflicting recordings, though, because it's not on my Tivo yet.  :(

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Well, that was sure the anti-CSI episode. A riff on the typical cold case story, where many years later they finally get a hit on DNA from the crime scene. No DNA there, no computer popping up a result to solve a cold case for the cops. Instead, Kenda's mind made the connection a decade later. (I think it was 10 years later, correct me if I'm wrong.)

Per the show, Kenda was specifically informed when a Sanchez relative was arrested for knifing Daddy Sanchez. That makes me think that he must have kept some kind of notes or alert active in the department's records office, to alert him if any of the family members (sons, mom, and dad) popped up (arrestees, victims, suspects, witnesses, etc.). It would be interesting to know for sure.

When first thinking about the episode, after it was over, I was wishing Kenda had really tossed that basement the first time he set foot in it, shortly after the body was found. Then I remembered that the whole fam damily had already cleaned it by then, leaving nothing to find.

I assume they must not have overdone the bleach, otherwise Kenda or the detective who was with him on that first visit, would have smelled it.

Another thing I wonder, is if there's something behind Kenda's comment about the family near the end of the episode. He said that acting together to cover up a murder takes a toll on a family in the long term. Of course, they all ended up arrested, charged and convicted or pleading guilty, but I sensed there was more to it that wasn't mentioned. Drug trouble is the obvious possibility, given that the whole stupid senseless murder was over one kid wanting more crack to smoke. Suggests his cravings for the stuff were unlikely to just quietly fade away (unless it was shocked out of him that day). And of course, the case was cracked after dad's brother stabbed him. Not indicative of "they lived happily ever after."

Anyway, this was another episode with good old Joe telling the story. He didn't sneer at the victim over the drug dealing. Neither did the prosecutor who appeared on the show. They were respectful of him, and spoke of his potential that was snuffed out by the murder. Remember, these people lived/worked in very conservative Colorado Springs, and I'm sure they weren't indulgent about illegal drug dealing. But obviously they didn't think the kid should have been killed over it.

I did wonder about a family with two grown kids living in their basement and, apparently, smoking crack down there on a regular basis, and the parents don't know? Odd family. I'm pretty sure the presence of a dead body would cause me to call 911, not hold a family meeting to decide where to haul it and what cleaning products to use for the blood.

Joe has a long memory. I think he said it was five years later that there was a stabbing in that family. Well, as he says, "I don't forgive and I don't forget.". Amazing recall.

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Kenda doesn't care who the victim is - he's going to do his best to bring the killer to justice.  He shows a real decency and respect for victims and their families,

 

A good start to the new season.

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My husband, who adores this show, said twenty minutes into the episode, "It was the Sanchez brothers! They live in an effing basement!"
 

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The casting for these shows on Discovery ID always amuses me.  In this episode, it was pretty obvious to the viewer that the boys were involved.  Not only were they adult sons living in the family basement but one of them (the actors) looked like a total tweaker.  No one said, "He's doing the product, guys" -- because no one had to.

 

As pointed out above -- what family has two adult sons living in the basement and then, when a dead body who was a victim of "frantic" (I would say "frenzied"), bloody violence turns up, they decide on the best way to hide it?  Seriously?  These are not "pillars of the community."

 

But, back to the casting -- one son looks like a tweaker and guilty as hell from the first time we are introduced to him.  While Mom and Dad look like your standard, suburban Ozzie and Harriet.  

 

That disconnect was so large, I was actually distracted watching the rest of the show.

 

I also noticed, the production values are better this season and it's very nice to see more of the partner and reporter.


I did wonder about a family with two grown kids living in their basement and, apparently, smoking crack down there on a regular basis, and the parents don't know? Odd family. I'm pretty sure the presence of a dead body would cause me to call 911, not hold a family meeting to decide where to haul it and what cleaning products to use for the blood.

 

 

Well said -- I referred to this post in my post but I didn't quote it, so ETA.

Edited by Captanne
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So a life sentence for murder just doesn't actually mean life.  It's not that I don't believe in redemption, because I do.  But a person can have redeemed herself before the Lord and still serve out their sentence.  I'm afraid I'd be very angry if my loved one was murdered, and I lived to see the murderer get out of prison and go on with their life.

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So, anyway, I can't hate on Ritter over the sentence commutation. I believe he was among those who felt that Reali and Hood were equally culpable (Hood had, after all, solicited other people to kill his wife, so I doubt Reali acted on her own), and that it was unjust that their sentences were so disproportionate. So he evened them out by commuting hers to match his.

 

Her move to the halfway house is down to the Dept. of Corrections. Those people, I don't have a clue about. 

 

Sure, they were both at fault for the murder, but Jennifer was the one pulling the trigger over and over on a woman begging for her life.  It just seems cheap to me to let her out early and set aside the jury's verdict.  I don't know how Dianne's family feels about it.  I guess if they were in favor of an early release, it would change my mind.

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They didn't seem to do the lumenol on the stairs, just the basement itself.

 

it must be possible to clean it up so thoroughly that no trace remains.  They did say that they even pulled up floor tiles and replaced them.

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I have two thoughts about the standee.

 

1)  If you put it in a window, it might deter crime.  Hee!

 

2)  It must be folded down for delivery, but I'm having fun picturing the mailman carrying a full size standee wrapped in brown paper right up to the lucky recipient's doorstep!

 

Okay--three thoughts!

 

3)  One could fold Joe at the waist and sit him the passenger seat, thus qualifying for the car pool lane.  Though using Lt. Kenda to commit a crime doesn't seem quite right.  :-0

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I only have one editing gripe -- otherwise it was a strong episode and I like the fact that he's not anyone's superhero.  He's a cop -- As he put it to his students, "It's what I do."

 

The editing gripe -- his one liners and catch phrases are great and his delivery is superb.  Except (editing monkeys, this is for you) -- the out of context ones are clearly there so they can be used again out of context.  That's just lazy.  Forward-thinking, sure.  But obvious and indicative of "in the future we are going to be lazy"-thinking.

 

ETA:  More than anything, those snippets are probably with the budget in mind.  I understand that.

 

EETA:  Also, makeup monkeys, less heavy powder.  He looks like Elizabeth I.  (Or just change the lighting.)

http://www.themakeupgallery.info/period/c16/uk/elizabeth/elizabethr.htm

Edited by Captanne
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I have a firefighter standee. His name is Frank and I've been married to him for 22 years, ;)

Edited by GenL · Reason: autocorrect error
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When two young mothers are gunned down behind a crowded bar, Kenda has to first determine who was the intended target. But the case takes a bizarre turn when he learns of a third young woman who was recently murdered under eerily similar circumstances.

 

 

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"Well, Gino, you have a frightening grasp  the obvious".  Heh.

 

It was an interesting twist that Gino was involved in the third murder.  Kenda's instinct were right about that guy.

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