In honor of Investigation Discovery’s newsstand special issue, Unsolved, we share Lt. Joe Kenda’s insights on three cases that rocked the nation. Read excerpts of the Homicide Hunter’s expert take on these chilling cases:
TARA CALICO: A POLAROID OF A GAGGED WOMAN RESEMBLING A MISSING TEEN SURFACES. BUT HER BODY, LIKE HER KIDNAPPER, HAS NEVER BEEN FOUND
Kenda’s Take: Tara was obviously the victim of a kidnap homicide. Hollywood would again have us believe that physical evidence solves all crime like it does on CSI. That could not be further from the truth. On occasion, the killer(s) is not clever, just lucky. The theory of the sheriff Rivera works best. Murders are simple, not complicated. Time may loosen someone’s tongue. It often does.
JONBENET RAMSEY: NEARLY TWO DECADES AFTER THE 6-YEAR-OLD BEAUTY QUEEN’S MURDER, THE WORLD IS STILL BAFFLED BY HER DEATH
Kenda’s Take: I had just retired from the CSPD when this crime occurred in Boulder, Colorado. I was approached and consulted with well after the event by the Boulder Police Department, so I am quite familiar with facts not known to the public. In my opinion, gross deficiencies occurred during the initial stages of this investigation by the Boulder Police Department. These deficiencies were so great they produced fatal errors and preclude any possibility of this matter ever being presented in court. Murder cases are like a spinning top on a table: One should admire it first and study it carefully before proceeding. Touch it too soon, and it goes off the table. And you never get it back. That little girl remains in her grave, and no one will pay for it.
THE ZODIAC KILLER: AMERICA’S MOST FEARED KILLER IS TECHNICALLY STILL AT LARGE, STILL VEXING LAW ENFORCEMENT
Kenda’s Take: This deeply disturbed individual stopped his crime wave suddenly and without explanation which gave rise to conspiracy theories. In my opinion, he or she stopped because they were unable to continue. They did not suddenly realize the error of their ways and stop killing. Given the depth of their mental illness, the most likely reason remains suicide.
Get the full issue of Unsolved on newsstands or Amazon –featuring more than 50 cases and 100-plus photos, as well as a map breaking down the unsolved crime rates by state, an interview with NYPD’s Cold Case squad, updates from friends and family of the victims and an exclusive interview with Natalee Holloway’s father about how they’re still trying to solve the case.