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Bob Crane was the star of the TV sitcom Hogan's Heroes in the 1960s, a role that won him two Emmy nominations.
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By the end of its first season, Hogan's Heroes ranked among the top ten most popular television shows. In 1966 and 1967, Crane earned Emmy nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.
However, Crane's success was overshadowed by his personal indiscretions. His extramarital affairs with Hogan's Heroes costars Cynthia Lynn and Patti Olsen, culminated in the end of his 20-year marriage. In June of 1970, Crane divorced his first wife Anne, and in October of that year,
he married Olsen in an elaborate ceremony on the set of Hogan's Heroes.
Around the same time, Crane befriended video salesman John Carpenter. The two men shared an affinity for electronics, and for video taping their sexual encounters. The two scouted out partners, becoming regulars at various strip clubs around Los Angeles. Crane's secret life began to take a toll on his career. In 1974, he landed his first lead role in a major motion picture, Disney's Superdad. As the film was ready to be released, knowledge of Crane's voyeurism surfaced, forcing Disney to distance itself from the actor. The following year, Crane attempted to boost his flagging career by executing his own short-lived TV show, The Bob Crane Show, which barely survived long enough to air a dozen episodes.
On June 29, 1978, Crane was found brutally murdered in an apartment in Scottsdale, Arizona. He had been so badly beaten that he was hardly recognizable. As the police tried to piece together the murder, the secret life of Crane began to unravel. Although no clear motive was established, John Carpenter served as the prime suspect. Nevertheless, without a weapon or an eyewitness, the local county attorney's office felt there wasn't enough evidence to convict.
Crane's murder remained untried until a newly appointed state attorney, Rick Romley, re-opened the case in 1990. As evidence was re-examined, a previously overlooked photo showed a piece of human tissue in the interior of Carpenter's car. Two years later, Carpenter was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. A trial commenced in September 1994, in which the prosecution based its case on the idea that Carpenter murdered Crane in a fit of rage. However, the jury acquitted Carpenter, citing lack of evidence. The Crane case remains unsolved.
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