When a mother is killed, Lt Joe Kenda wonders if it’s a robbery gone wrong, until a slew of hateful messages surface. Then, patrols discover a body on a roadway after an evident hit-and-run, but the victim’s true cause of death turns the case on its head. -#1 Suspect, Homicide Hunter (S4,E9)
Lt. Joe Kenda was asked to investigate a dead body in the street in the early morning hours of September 3, 1985 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While on patrol, a police officer discovered the body in the middle of the street. The individual had been dragged by a vehicle for 20 to 30 feet. The coroner indicated that the wallet contained an ID. The dead man was 42-year-old Frances ‘Frank’ Kovaleski. He was a retired member of U.S. military. He lived in the general neighborhood. Police began canvassing the neighborhood but because this incident occurred in the middle of the night, no one saw or heard anything. Frank died of blunt force trauma and was stabbed twice; this was a homicide. No money was taken from Frank’s wallet so Kenda deduced Frank most likely was killed by someone he knew. Kenda went to Frank Kovaleski’s home and learned he had a roommate.
The roommate said Frank lived day to day, picked up odd jobs where he could, and fished a lot. He had a daughter in New York. The roommate said he hung out a lot with a guy named Mike Murphy. Mike was about 20 years younger than him. Officers were dispatched to Mike Murphy’s home and when they arrived, they found a car on the street with blood all over the side of it. Mike Murphy admitted it was his car and he was arrested. Kenda got a search warrant for Murphy’s home and interviewed his family. During an interrogation, Mike admitted knowing Frank but denied knowing anything about his death. But, Mike’s wife Sandra told investigators Mike was with Frank the night before he died. Mike’s mother Joyce said Mike got arrested for a DUI and was angry because Frank wouldn’t post a $40 bond to get him out of jail.
Investigators relayed this information to Lt. Kenda. Mike then confessed that he was with Frank but according to him, he was fine the last time he saw him. Based on the evidence, Kenda theorized the two probably went to a bar, got in a verbal altercation, and Mike stopped the car. Then Mike and Frank got out of the car and fought in the middle of the street. Mike probably wasn’t doing well during the fight so he stabbed Frank twice and left him still alive in the middle of the street. Mike got back into his car and and purposefully ran Frank over him, dragging him 20 to 30 feet and made sure he was dead. Mike Murphy was charged with first degree murder. Kenda noted that Mike Murphy never displayed remorse. Murphy was found guilty and sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of Frances Kovaleski.
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#1 Suspect | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S4,E9)
#1 Suspect | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
#1 Suspect | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
#1 Suspect | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘#1 Suspect’ on ID: Lt. Joe Kenda Investigates Murder of Military Retiree Frank Kovaleski in Colorado (October 21, 2014)
Homicide Hunter: 20 Active Duty Military and Veteran Murder Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery