Unsolved Casebook is reader-supported. As soon as you purchase through web links on our site, we might earn one affiliate commission.This does not influence opinions within any kind of content.

You are watching: Bob crane how did he die

The gibbs Bob Crane, well known for his function as Colonel Hogan in Hogan’s Heroes.

The murder of Bob Crane in 1978 shocked a nation. Was he killed by his ideal friend? or go his sordid secret life obtain him killed? ideal known for his role on Hogan’s Heroes, Crane was eliminated in his sleep on June 29, 1978. Come this day, over 40 year later, the instance has never been solved. Right here Unsolved Casebook bring away a look in ~ the murder of Robert Edward Crane.

Early Career and also Hogan’s Heroes

Bob Crane began his working career in the early on 1950s obtaining a gig as a DJ at a minor new York radio station. By the moment the at an early stage ’60s rolled around Crane had come to be the organize of the fight breakfast present on KNX radio in LA and also was earning a $150,000 a year.

The fact was though the Crane was looking to end up being an even bigger star, setup his sights ~ above an exhilaration career. Bob Crane took on several roles in little theatres during his free hours to shot and garner part attention. His duty as hold on the morning show likewise helped him to make relations thanks to few of his guests.

One such guest to be Carl Reiner. Whilst Reiner to be a guest on Crane’s radio present Crane speak Reiner into giving him an illustration on the cock Van Dyke Show.

During his guest duty on the penis Van Dyke Show, Crane to be spotted through Donna Reed and she proceeded to provide him a recurring function on the Donna Reed Show. Crane functioned on the show for about a year, together his breakfast show, before quitting in 1964.

Not lengthy after Bob Crane would record his large break in the civilization of acting. Crane was readily available the main duty in upcoming war comedy TV series Hogan’s Heroes. The was persuaded this was his huge break and also handed in his notification at KNX. Crane was right.

Cast together Colonel Robert Hogan, the function would check out Bob Crane become a nationwide star. Crane was twice nominated for an Emmy because that his function in the show, i beg your pardon had end up being a vast hit.

It was during his time ~ above the display that Bob Crane would satisfy the man he would certainly forever be linked with.

Bob Crane and John Carpenter

John Henry Carpenter was a salesman functioning for the large Japanese firm Sony. Carpenter had many celebrity clients including such names as Elvis Presley, Alfred Hitchcock and Richard Dawson.

Dawson might not be as well known or well known as Hitchcock or Presley however the factor I encompass him is that Dawson was also a cast member in Hogan’s Heroes. Dawson, who played Peter Newkirk in the show, would present and assist to begin the friendship in between Bob Crane and John Carpenter.

Despite his marital relationship to his teenage sweetheart ann Terzian and the couple’s 3 children, Robert, Deborah and also Karen, Bob Crane had a sordid side to his personal life.

Sex, Lies, and also Videotapes

Crane had regularly cheated on Terzian transparent the couples 20-year relationship. Not only was Crane a serial cheat however he was likewise in the habit that taking pictures of his plenty of sexual encounters.

After informing Carpenter that his exploits Crane’s brand-new best friend offered him some advice. Carpenter didn’t recommend him to protect against cheating ~ above his wife yet instead concentrated on just how he might film himself having sex through the use of a video clip recorder.

Due to his fame, Bob Crane had no trouble when it came to attracting woman attention. In addition to John Carpenter, the pair would frequent the bars and also clubs in pursuit of the following women they could sleep with. Crane would introduce Carpenter together his manager to aid his pal to choose up females too.

Bob Crane and also Sigrid Valdis (Patricia Olsen) throughout the couple’s time on Hogan’s Heroes.

By 1970 Bob Crane would separate from his mam Ann Terzian after ~ just brief of 21 year of marriage. Simply 4 months later he would marry for the second time, this time come his Hogan’s Heroes castmate Patricia Annette Olsen, that was far better known through her stage name Sigrid Valdis.

The pair would have actually a son, who they named Scotty in early on 1971 (Scotty would be there only birth child but the couple went on to adopt a daughter, Ana Marie). No one of this, however, would placed an finish to Crane’s sexual activities.

Bob Crane’s stable Decline

Hogan’s Heroes would additionally come come an finish in 1971 after ~ 6 seasons. The cancellation of the present would watch the beginning of a decline in Crane’s career.

Disney’s Superdad, in which Bob Crane starred through Kurt Russell and also Barbara Rush.

In 1973, Crane would certainly play the title role in the Disney movie Superdad. Then beginning in late 1974 he returned to TV in his own show, The Bob Crane Show, this would last for just 13 episodes before been cancelled.

Crane would go on to show up in an additional Disney film in 1976 called Gus. It would certainly be his last movie role. He would go ~ above to have actually guest roles in several famous shows including The Love Boat and Quincy M.E. But from this allude on Bob Crane was no much longer a national star and he soon turned come making his life from acting on the dinner theatre tours in the region.

Despite his fame gift on the diminish Crane’s lust for the ladies absolutely wasn’t. Along with Carpenter, Crane would proceed to choose up women and also make sex tapes.

One together filmed encounter verified the friends in a threesome with a woman Crane had actually chatted up. Crane never missed one opportunity and took his video equipment with him everywhere.

It is unclear even if it is the tapes were constantly made with the consent that those involved. In later on years Bob Crane’s eldest kid Robert Crane to be adamant that his father constantly had the consent the those involved.

On the other hand, it has been claimed that several of the women affiliated were never aware of the existence of together tapes. It to be only when the police told them during the investigation right into the killing of Bob Crane that they found out.

Welcome to Scottsdale, Arizona

The poster for what would come to be Bob Crane’s last role.

By 1978 Bob Crane had separated indigenous Patricia Olsen and also was certification in a tour of the beat Beginner’s Luck alongside Australian actress Victoria Berry. By June 6, 1978, the tour landed in Scottsdale, Arizona. It would be the last location Bob Crane would ever perform.

On June 25 Bob Crane to be joined in Scottsdale by his buddy john Carpenter. Carpenter to be there ~ above a four-day organization trip for Akai Corporation, who he now operated for as a sales manager. Crane was fast to present Carpenter a photo album complete of pictures of naked mrs he had actually had sex with during his 3 weeks in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Carpenter went and booked right into his motel, not much from the apartment in i m sorry Crane to be staying, and also then visited the Windmill Dinner theatre to watch his girlfriend perform. As soon as the play had finished the pair, together was the norm, struggle the bars hoping to choose up part women.

On the third night of man Carpenter’s visit, Crane drive Victoria Berry earlier to the apartments in which they where staying after that night’s performance. Whilst v Crane, Victoria Berry heard him having a heated argument on the telephone v his ex-wife Patricia Olsen.

The final Night

Just before midnight passionate for part company, Crane met his sidekick john Carpenter and also the males headed to Bogarts Nightclub in pursuit of a mrs companion for the night.

Around 2 am Crane and also Carpenter found themselves in ~ the Safari restaurant having actually a bite to eat and also a coffee v two women. Carolyn Baare to be a woman who Bob Crane had actually previously met and Crane had actually asked to sign up with him. Carole Newell was a woman the the men had actually met in ~ the Bogarts Nightclub.

Carpenter walk of v Carole Newell and took her earlier his motel room. Despite his advances, Newell rubbish Carpenter and instead asked him the he take her home at about 3 am. Carpenter begrudgingly i agreeed to her request.

Upon his go back to the motel, man Carpenter decided to phone his pal and see if he had had much better look. Just like his friend, however, Crane too had failed through his sexual advances towards Baare.

The complying with morning significant the finish of Carpenter’s visit and 4 days stay in Arizona. Top top waking at about 8: 30 to be he returned his rental car and caught his flight earlier to LA.

Bob Crane’s Death

That exact same day, June 29, 1978, Victoria Berry make her way to the apartment Bob Crane was continuing to be in at approximately 2 pm however failed come get response when knocking ~ above the door.

Sure that he would certainly be there Berry do the efforts the door. Upon finding the unlocked she go inside. Inside the apartment, it was right here Victoria Berry would discover the bloody body of she co-star Bob Crane.

Winfield Apartments room 132A, whereby Bob Crane’s dead body was found.

The police arrived at the scene at about 3 pm and Berry told them the identification of the victim was Bob Crane. Lt. Ron Dean started to take a statement from the Australian actress as soon as suddenly the call rang.

Strangely Lt. Dean said Berry to answer the phone regardless of the phone not been confirm for prints or any kind of other forensic analysis. Berry did together she was told. It would be among several strange decision made in regards to the crime scene.

On the other finish of the phone call was john Carpenter. The Lt. Take it the phone native Berry and informed Carpenter there had actually been an event in the apartment however would give no additional details.

Carpenter called the Lieutenant that he had actually been with Crane the previous night until approximately 1 am as soon as they walk there separate ways. That then notified Dean that he had actually then taken a morning flight earlier to LA.

The phone rang several an ext times. First, a female girlfriend of Crane’s who he met whilst in Arizona rang. Next was his eldest son Robert David Crane, who Carpenter had actually contacted after his early stage call. Finally, man Carpenter would contact for a 2nd time.

Throughout the conversations, a suspicion came down on one of the callers… man Henry Carpenter.

Lt. Ron Dean discovered it incredibly odd the at no point, follow to Dean at least, go Carpenter ask come speak to Bob Crane, view if his friend was yes or enquire as to what crime had actually been committed.

Carpenter, however, said a various story. He claimed that during the initial speak to he was provided no answers. This resulted in Carpenter calling Bob Crane’s son to allow him recognize he was worried something to be wrong.

Murdered In His Sleep

Bob Crane’s human body was discovered curled increase in his bedroom. Wearing a pair the shorts and also his undershirt, that was spanned by a bloody bedsheet. An electric cord had actually been strictly tied about Crane’s throat and also his skull viciously smashed in.

There to be blood on the covers and also splattered increase the walls close to the headstand the the bed. Blood was additionally on the door handle on the inside of the room. Pieces of skull and mind on the pillow.

The medical examiner identified that Bob Crane’s cause of death was the result of blunt pressure trauma. Crane had been struck v an undetermined heavy object, such as a tyre iron or wrench, roughly the next of the head, at least twice.

With no signs of a struggle and from all the gathered evidence around the scene, it showed up Bob Crane had been murdered whilst he slept.

The investigation Begins

Lt Ron Dean and the chief instance officer Dennis Borkenhagen led the investigation. They quickly ruled the end a robbery unable to do wrong as no item of value showed up to be missing. There was likewise no sign of any disturbance or struggle at all.

Neither the prior door or the slide glass door in the apartment showed any signs of to be forced and both were unlocked. Crane was recognized to save the doors locked. This led police to the theory that the killer had a crucial or had previously accessed the room and also made sure the doors weren’t locked somehow. The lead investigators became convinced the killer to be someone Crane knew.

Upon further investigation the the premises, the investigators would lastly uncover Bob Crane’s dark secret. Police found a huge collection that Crane’s an individual pornographic tapes and also photo’s.

A makeshift darkroom was also found in one of the bathrooms. The negative of yet an ext images of naked women waiting to be developed.

Amongst all the result it was later discovered one arsenal was missing. The photograph album i m sorry Bob Crane had displayed John Carpenter when he very first arrived in Scottsdale to be missing.

Several questions have been asked over the years around the early investigation as result of the following:

Berry had actually in she possession a rather huge handbag. Yet, the was never checked by any kind of of the policemans on the scene.Victoria Berry was allowed to price the phone call as previously mentioned despite this being a crime scene.Robert David Crane, Bob’s eldest son, was allowed to remove items native the apartment prior to they had actually been checked for prints.Evidence was gathered in the same bag, possibly enabling for the pollution of evidence.They fail to search the motel room of john Carpenter regardless of him gift there prime doubt from an early stage.

Who killed Bob Crane?

Police spoke to over 50 associates that Bob Crane’s in the days adhering to the actor’s murder. They would soon discover that the look at lovable Crane had more than his fair share of enemies.

A couple of months before his fatality Crane had actually been involved in a violent discussion with a other actor whilst in Texas. The gibbs in question had actually sworn to obtain his revenge following the incident.

Patricia Olsen, Crane’s 2nd wife had additionally been heard saying with Crane loudly in the days prior to his death.

There was additionally the dozens of partners who girlfriends and wifes had actually been seduced and had sex through Crane end the countless years. Might vengeful partner have killed Bob Crane?

The women in the tapes were also feasible suspects. Perhaps among Crane’s conquest didn’t know they had been tape-recorded until ~ the fact. Perhaps they feared been blackmailed and so they had actually murdered Bob Crane. This weren’t motives without merit.

Victoria Berry likewise revealed she had lied come police throughout her early statements. Berry had actually told policemans Crane was prefer a brother to her but it actually turned the end that she too had actually a sexual relationship with the actor. Why walk Berry lie to the police?

None that this yes, really mattered though as investigators had made up there mind that there chief doubt was and that person was man Henry Carpenter.

Prime Suspect

Investigators knew the Carpenter had spent the early on morning with Crane. They also knew that he had spoken to him on the call that exact same morning at roughly 3 am.

Police traced the Chrysler Cordoba rental car which Carpenter had driven during his time in Scottsdale. Investigators uncovered a little bloodstain was within the vehicle on the passenger side. Could this it is in the command Dean and also Borkenhagen wherein looking for?

The blood sample was sent out off because that testing. Once the outcomes came ago is was revealed that the sample to be from an individual through blood group form B which to be only found in 10% that the population. Bob Crane remained in that 10% the individuals.

Sadly though this was method before DNA trial and error is whereby it stands today, therefore there to be no method to prove the blood discovered in Carpenter’s rental automobile definitely belonged to Bob Crane.

A additional lead and glimmer of hope came from a maid functioning at the Sunburst Motel, the place Carpenter had stayed throughout his visit. The maid stated that whilst clean Carpenter’s room she uncovered a bloody pillowcase and also washcloth.

Unfortunately because that Dean and also Borkenhagen, the maid said she had got rid of the items. Despite an additional tantalizing lead, the pair to be again left with no hard evidence versus Carpenter.

Interview through John Carpenter

Dean and Borkenhagen chose they essential to speak to man Carpenter. After ~ escorting the suspect ago to Arizona indigenous LA they again failed come gather any proof that would connect Carpenter come the murder of Bob Crane.

The only possible clue that come from the interview was in relation to the missing photo album. Carpenter declared that the album the naked pictures Crane had displayed him was existing in the apartment the day prior to Crane’s murder, however, it wasn’t amongst the items at the crime scene.

Did the album genuinely exist? or was it a story fabricated through Carpenter? all we know is that the album was never ever found.

The funeral that Bob Crane took location in Westwood, Los Angeles in ~ the St. Paul The Apostle Catholic Church top top July 5, 1978. In attendance were end 200 friends and also family members. Bob Crane was buried at Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth.

Police speak to Carpenter again top top July 14, 1978. Again man Carpenter to be adamant the he had actually no involvement in the killing of his finest friend. Carpenter was also willing to take a polygraph test to prove his innocence, despite police turned under the offer.

During the interview, Carpenter made clean why to him death Bob Crane would have actually made no sense, saying:

“He to be my friend and also he was the goose who laid the golden egg because that me, in terms of meeting ladies.”

Request Denied

Dean and also Borkenhagen didn’t purchase Carpenter’s story. Both guys were confident the Carpenter was the male responsible because that the killing of Bob Crane.

The investigators took their proof to the State attorney Charles Hyder. They hope to it is in granted an arrest warrant for Carpenter. Hyder refused. There just wasn’t any considerable evidence versus Carpenter.

Over 2 years after Bob Crane’s death, police once more went come the State lawyer looking to prosecute there chief suspect john Carpenter with Crane’s murder.

The State attorney was now Tom Collins, who had replaced Charles Hyder in the role, however the verdict remained the same. There just wasn’t sufficient evidence with which to charge john Carpenter.

John Carpenter Arrest

12 years later, in 1992 police would finally get over there wish. Top top June 1 john Carpenter was arrested and also charged with the killing of his friend Bob Crane.

From 1989 the instance had to be reviewed under the orders of the new State attorney Richard Romley. The continuous review lastly uncovered brand-new evidence which brought about the arrest the Carpenter.

Detective Barry Vassell and Court lawyer Investigator Jim Raines believed that Crane had come to be tired of Carpenter and also was around to reduced the cord on the pair’s friendship.

Distraught that the man he had actually openly admitted to be the gold Goose to be no longer going to it is provided Carpenter with numerous women, he took the decision to death Bob Crane.

The investigation team had uncovered several witnesses confirming your belief. This included one that saw the men saying outside among the nightclubs they had visited in the days before Bob Crane’s death.

The attempt Of man Carpenter

On September 12, 1994, the attempt of man Carpenter, charged v the killing of Bob Crane, began.

The first piece that evidence against Carpenter that the prosecution confirmed was a picture of the blood uncovered in the rental car which Carpenter had driven.

Prosecutor’s stated that the only human with blood form B who had actually been a passenger in the vehicle with Carpenter to be Bob Crane. They also presented proof from experts claiming that the blood to be from mind tissue, likely from Bob Crane’s skull.

The defence countered the evidence. Firstly there was nothing come prove the the blood wasn’t indigenous a vault rental that the car (the speck of blood was just one-sixteenth that an inch in dimension so can have been missed once cleaned).

Secondly, there to be no method of learning it belonged come Bob Crane. Remarkably, regardless of it to be the main piece of evidence, in the years adhering to Bob Crane’s death the sample had been lost.

The murder Weapon

Prosecutors then revealed evidence pointing towards a camera tripod to be the murder weapon. A wound very comparable to the one found on Bob Crane’s skull was recreated in a forensics lab with the use of a tripod

Patricia Olsen likewise stated come the jury the her husband constantly took his camera equipment with him, consisting of two tripods. Only one tripod was situated at the crime scene.

A blood splatter expert also revealed his findings. The blood fads on the bedsheets were continual with the sample you would intend from a tripod.

To more prove the the tripod existed a additional piece of evidence was displayed. A videotape reflecting Carpenter and also Crane having actually a threesome v an unnamed woman was displayed to the jury which featured both tripods.

The Prosecution then laid the end their theory for the jury. They thought that Bob Crane had come to be tired of his friendship with John Carpenter and was around to finish it. Carpenter couldn’t except this decision and thus killed Crane.

Bob Crane’s kid Robert David Crane testified that his father had said simply as much to that in the weeks prior to his death, adding that his dad feel Carpenter had come to be a nuisance.

Pure Speculation

Stephen Avilla, the defence lawyer of man Carpenter, was fast to allude out the there was no a single piece of difficult evidence versus his client. Avilla proclaimed the Prosecutions whole situation relied top top speculation. He to be right, everything the prosecution had actually was all simply circumstantial.

The defence team also laid into the investigation as a whole. Lock painted the snapshot of one inept police force, especially pointing the end the mishandling of proof which contained the most crucial piece – the blood sample from the rental car.

Avilla also called the end the emphasis on Carpenter throughout the investigation. He asserted the sex tapes were just as likely to have revealed the killer.

The defence lawyer discussed that females who had actually been taped might have feared blackmail and also committed the murder. Husbands and also boyfriends the the women should also have been very closely looked at together they might have eliminated in an action of revenge. Avilla also spoke that the actor who had actually sworn vengeance on Crane.

A crucial Witness

Matters were made worse for the prosecution when the defence referred to as their first witness. Walter “Lee” Fetty.

On the morning of Bob Crane’s murder, Fetty had been working. The was moving furniture in ~ the apartment complex where Crane had been staying. Fetty told the jury he had seen a man, who he explained as roughly 5 ft 9 and also had black color hair with grey streaks, coming the end of Bob Crane’s apartment. The male took a look at around and also then re-entered the apartment.

Walter “Lee” Fetty then said a brief amount the time passed before the male left the apartment because that a second time. Fetty speak to the male briefly when he asked because that a light because that his cigarette prior to the man complained the Fetty’s truck was obstructing his car. When asked if Carpenter was the guy he had talked with the day Fetty said:

“That ain’t the male who come out of the apartment, and that ain’t the man I lit the cigarette for.”

Final Verdict

John Carpenter was acquitted on the Halloween the 1994 ~ a six-week trial. After 16 years together a suspect, john Carpenter had actually been found not guilty. He remained in the eye of the law innocent of any type of involvement in the murder of Bob Crane.

See more: Can You Get Your Hair Wet After A Perm, Can I Wet My Hair After A Perm Without Washing It

After the decision Carpenter’s lawyer Stephen Avilla provided his stinging think on the outcome:

“They may have actually bungled this case so bad they’ll never discover the killer.”

Four year after been uncovered not guilty of Bob Crane’s murder man Henry Carpenter passed away. Carpenter was 70 year old as soon as he passed away on September 4, 1998. Nobody else has actually been charged and the murder stays unsolved.