Bob Crane, The Story
Bob Crane was probably best remembered for his role as senior ranking, Colonel Hogan on the 1960’s television series, Hogan’s Heroes.” The popular series originally aired from 1965 to 1971. Colonel Hogan was a prisoner of war (POW), during the war with Nazi Germany. He had the ability to escape but he, and his entrusted comrades, remained captive in German POW camp, Stalag 13, in an effort to advance the American cause. In short, Colonel Hogan and his men made fools of the German officers that were in charge of them.
Despite the image and thoughts that come to mind about Bob Crane and Hogan’s Heroes, there was much more to the actor. He was also a musician, a radio host and a disc jockey. Prior to the series, “Hogan’s Heroes,” he had been seen on “The Donna Reed Show” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” His celebrity acquaintances, including Johnny Carson, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope, most definitely didn’t hurt his image. Crane appeared on popular shows (at the time) including “The Twilight Zone” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” He became very well-known as a result of his connections. After “Hogan’s Heroes” was cancelled, Crane appeared in a couple of Disney productions, and dabbled in some other projects, but never really accomplished anything else very notable.
According to people who knew him best, Crane was no doubted talented, although, less of an American hero and more of a kinky lover. He was known for being a womanizer, both on and off screen, although there is no evidence that he was ever inappropriate with any of his acting colleagues. He was Crane made no apologies for exploiting his celebrity status and good looks for his own sensual pleasures. He was known to be a very sexual man and enjoyed filming his sex-capades. Crane had a close friend who worked for Sony Electronics that assisted him with his recording needs. He enjoyed revisiting his sexual experiences. Still today, it is unclear which of his sexual partners, if any, knew they were being filmed.
In 1978, Bob Crane was living in Scottsdale, Arizona while involved in an acting engagement. When he didn’t show for a business meeting, a concerned friend/business associate went to his apartment. He would soon discover Crane’s dead body, with an electrical cord wrapped around his neck. Despite the cord being wrapped around his neck, it was determined that he had been bludgeoned to death. It was never confirmed, but the object/weapon that was used to kill Bob Crane was thought to be a camera tripod… how ironic (or was it?) since he had been known for filming his sexual encounters.
Eventually, a Sony representative, and friend to Crane, was suspected of his death. The main suspect, John Carpenter, was possibly thought to have had homosexual interests in Crane. Crane reportedly attempted to end the friendship and relationship with Carpenter just prior to his death. It couldn’t be disputed, however, that the killer may have been a jealous husband or boyfriend of one of Crane’s sex partners.
At the time of the investigation, Scottsdale, Arizona didn’t have the manpower or the technology to properly handle the murder case. In the end, Carpenter was acquitted of the murder of Bob Crane. To this day, the identity of the murderer remains a mystery.
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