It’s important to understand that for Shreveport homicide detective Rod Demery there was only one profession for him. It’s also important to understand that solving homicides, for him, is much more than a job—it’s a calling and that clue is in the title of his critically acclaimed show Murder Chose Me which is in its third season on the Investigation Discovery channel.
If you’ve never heard of homicide Detective Demery that might be a very good thing perhaps because murder has never touched your life. But for many his name rings. He’s considered a legend and his show Murder Chose Me reflects this fact; the show is riveting viewing.
In season three Demery returns to reflect on more cases of murders that have deeply impacted him. This is the real stuff. Gritty from top to bottom. He pulls from his extensive case files and from his 14 years as a homicide detective. The result is arresting intimate first-person storytelling with the darker side of Shreveport, LA as the backdrop.
Now, remember the title of the show Murder Chose Me because for Demery that’s a stone cold fact. When he was just three years old his mother was brutally murdered. The loss and the reason behind it ignited something deep inside his being. In his twenties, his brother was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Understand how the vicious cycle was swirling around his life? But Demery stood up and simply said, no, and instead of succumbing to the cycle, he resolved to do everything in his power not to repeat the mistakes of the past and pursued a career in criminal justice.
In so many ways Demery is a real-life superhero sans the cape and his record speaks for itself. In his 14 years with the violent crimes unit, Demery solved or assisted in more than 250 homicide cases – and earned an unprecedented 100% confession and solve rate in the more than 60 cases on which he was the lead detective.
Impressive? I would say so. There is more. Demery’s clearance rate, coupled with his determination and no-holds-barred approach to get a confession has made him respected in the department. Now retired from the Shreveport Police Department (2016) the proud Navy veteran recently relocated to Atlanta.
The Los Angeles Sentinel caught up with the very busy Rod Demery for a phone conversation last month. Here is an edited conversation with the retired Shreveport homicide detective.
Los Angeles Sentinel: I hope this does not sound odd but Murder Chose Me (on Investigation Discovery) is my type of show. I enjoy watching homicides being solved. I know it can’t bring the person back but like many African-American and Latino people, in this country, I’m also touched by murder.
Rod Demery: I understand completely.
LAS: Murder chose you? What does that mean?
RD: Actually the title of the show is scripture based. I’m a religious guy. In Jeremiah 1:5 it says I knew who you were before you were born.[The Bible says ‘Before I formed you in the womb’] which means basically before you were born your life was charted out for you. So when I was being interviewed and they asked me about the title, I told them it was just the circumstances surrounding it all [it was clear] it was my purpose and my calling.
LAS: Push in about the religious part of your life?
RD: My mother was murdered early in my life and I was raised by my grandparents and they relied on their faith so much. At the age of three, I grew up in the church. As I got older I would drift away a little bit but I would always come back. Knowing right from wrong is what it all boils down to.
As far as my work obviously going to college and being trained and working as a Police Officer, all that helps. But if you believe that you’re doing the right thing by people, not necessarily for you and your ego or not what you [might] think is right or wrong then you can’t help but succeed.
LAS: Now as a person of color, like many, when you mention the Police and our justice system I go cold.
RD: That’s a natural response. The reality is that we [Police Officers] are supposed to serve the public and there are those, especially in recent years you see a lot of it, that is not actually doing what they should be doing. That’s really true but the reality of is that there are actually people that dedicate their lives to it and will give their lives for it. We accept that some of the people [Police Officers] that we work with aren’t the right type of people and we accept that. That doesn’t deter your will. It didn’t for me. Police Officers are supposed to police and serve and they serve at the will of the people.
LAS: Why is this show important and why is solving a murder important?
RD: Well I think that solving a murder case is not just for the victim. It’s also for the survivors. When someone has lost a loved one you want to give them so sort of closure. You want to give them some sort of justice for the person that they love. Not only that, it kind of ripples throughout the community. If something happens [they need to feel] that the police are going to handle it well.
LAS: What happens when you don’t solve a murder case?
RD: What happens when we don’t? People start to distrust and they have less faith in the police. I think the worse thing that can ever happen is the people of the community fear the criminals more than they respect the police.
RD: Exactly. That’s a problem. When you see all these people out here who say that they didn’t see or hear anything they actually have. They just don’t want to say anything because they don’t have enough respect for law enforcement or Police Officers feeling that they are safe. They fear retaliation. They fear betrayal. There is a whole bunch of stuff going on there and that’s across the communities across the country.
LAS: How many episodes of Murder Chose Me in your third season?
RD: There are ten episodes in the new season.
LAS: Have all ten episodes been solved?
RD: (laughing) Of course.
MURDER CHOSE ME is produced for Investigation Discovery by Jupiter Entertainment. Investigation Discovery (ID) is the leading crime and justice network on television, delivering the highest-quality programming to approximately 85 million U.S. households.
For exclusive web content and bonus material, fans can follow ID on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook or check out the network’s true crime blog, CrimeFeed.
MURDER CHOSE ME airs on Thursday, at 9/8c, only on Investigation Discovery.