Re: "Ein käfig voller Helden"
Hier ein paar Facts zu Bob Craine -
Robert Edward Crane was born in Waterbury, Connecticut on July 13th, 1928. In his early teens, he was demonstrating musical talent and had set his sights on becoming a drummer, fantasizing about becoming the next Buddy Rich. At age sixteen, he began drumming for the Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, but was let go after two years for "clowning around during a Bach fugue."
He married his high school sweetheart, Anne Terzian, in 1949. They would eventually have three children: Robert David, Deborah Ann, and Karen Leslie.
Crane began his career in radio-in WLEA in Hornell, New York, WBIS in Briston, Connecticut, WICC in Bridgeport, and Boston's WEEI. His success in the east led to an offer for him to move in 1956 to Los Angeles and host the morning show at KNX. There he became known as "The King of the Los Angeles Airwaves." His show filled the broadcast booth with sly wit, drums, and often, movie stars. His show was the number-one rated morning show in LA and stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, were guests.
But Crane had a higher ambition, and pursued acting opportunities. He subbed for Johnny Carson on "Who Do You Trust?" (and turned down the chance to be Carson's replacement), and acted on shows like "The Twilight Zone," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," and "General Electric Theater." When Carl Reiner guested on the KNX show, Crane persuaded him to book him on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" in 1961. This was where Donna Reed saw him and cast him in the recurring role as neighbor Dr. Dave Kelsey (1963-1965). He also acted small roles in the dramatic films "Return to Peyton Place" and "Man-Trap."
In 1965, Crane was offered the starring role in a television comedy pilot about Allied prisoners in a German P.O.W. camp, "Hogan's Heroes." The character of the wisecracking Colonel Robert Hogan fit Crane like a glove, and the show, which had the rebellious spirit of "Stalag 17" and "The Great Escape," became a hit, finishing in the top ten during the 1965-66 season. The basic concept was that Hogan and his team led the Nazis (well played by Werner Klemperer and John Banner) to believe that the camp was escape-proof so that they could continue their secret activities. There was some controversy at the beginning as to whether this kind of material was appropriate for a sitcom, but that soon passed. "Hogan's Heroes" went on for six seasons, and Crane was nominated for an Emmy twice, in 1966 and 1967. During this time, Crane met Patricia Olsen, who played Hilda on "Hogan's Heroes," under the stage name, Sigrid Valdis. Crane divorced his wife of twenty years, and married Patricia on the set of the show in 1970. They had a son, Scotty, the following year.
After "Hogan's Heroes" was cancelled in 1971, Crane continued to act, appearing in two Disney films, "Superdad" (1974) and "Gus" (1976), and had numerous guest spots on TV shows like "Police Woman," "Ellery Queen," "Quincy," and "The Love Boat." He had his own TV show "The Bob Crane Show" in 1975, but it was cancelled by NBC after three months.
On Wednesday, June 28, 1978, after completing an evening performance and signing autographs for fans in the lobby, Crane returned briefly to his apartment with a longtime friend, Los Angeles video equipment salesclerk John Carpenter. Before they left again, Patricia called Bob, and according to Carpenter, the estranged couple argued loudly on the phone. Thereafter, Crane and Carpenter adjourned to a local bar, where they had drinks with two women whom they had arranged to meet. At about 2:00 A.M., the quartet went to the Safari coffee shop on Scottsdale Road. About half an hour later, John Carpenter left to pack for his return trip to Los Angeles the next morning. Back at his hotel room, he called Crane one final time. Crane was allegedly considering ending his lifestyle of heavy partying, and was therefore tired of hangers-on like Carpenter. During this last phone call, Bob reportedly told Carpenter that their friendship was over.
Crane's co-star in Beginner's Luck, Victoria Berry, knocked on Crane's door at Winfield Place Apartments at around 2 in the afternoon of June 29. The door to apartment 132-A was closed, but Berry told police that she found it unlocked. She entered the apartment and found the room dark. She walked into the bedroom: " At first, I thought it was a girl with long dark hair, because all the blood had turned real dark. I thought, 'Oh, Bob's got a girl here. Now where's Bob? ' I thought, 'Well, she's done something to herself. Bob has gone to get help.' At that time, I recognized blood it was like a strange feeling."
She took a closer look and realized what she was looking at. " the whole wall was covered from one end to the other with blood. And I just sort of stood there and I was numb. He was curled up in a fetus position, on his side, and he had a cord tied around his neck in a bow." Oddly, Berry is the only one who recalled seeing the cord tied in a bow. The crime scene photos and police reports reveal no bow.
No physical signs of a struggle were apparent, and a later autopsy determined that Crane had been asleep when the fatal blow to the left side of his head was struck. The police investigation determined that two separate parts of a camera tripod struck Crane's head, inflicting two separate wounds. Paulette Kasieta, the first Scottsdale police officer to arrive on the scene, immediately secured the area. At approximately 3 p.m., Scottsdale's Police Lt. Ron Dean arrived at the apartment and took over.
The investigator's working theory was that the killer was someone that Crane knew, a person who before the homicide had left the apartment, but then returned through the front door or a window that he or she had left unlocked earlier. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner was able to provide a partial chronology. Somewhere in the early hours of Thursday, June 29, while Bob slept on his right side, his assailant struck a heavy blow on the left side of his head with a blunt object. A second, lighter blow crushed Crane's skull. The killer tied a video-camera electrical cord tightly around the actor's neck, but by that time, Crane was already dead. Before fleeing, the killer wiped the blood off the murder weapon onto the bed sheets and then pulled the sheet up around the victim's head. Cash was found in Crane's wallet, which eliminated any robbery motive.
Investigation of the crime brought to light Bob Crane's secret sex life, which he pursued in Scottsdale, just as he had for several years earlier. He had a longstanding compulsion to videotape himself and his female sex partner (of which there were many over the years) in various sexual acts. (it was rumors of this activity, as well as other penchants like playing drums at various topless bars in LA, that purportedly cost Crane many TV and movie acting jobs; the producers were fearful of having their screen product associated with this two-sided man.)
Approximately 50 pornographic videotapes were found at the Winfield apartment, as well as professional photography equipment in the bathroom for developing and enlarging still shots. A negative strip was found in the enlarger, revealing a woman in both clothed and nude poses. A hefty album of similar pornographic pictures was missing from the death scene. Several items that the police declined to identify were missing from Crane's "Little black bag", a small, multi-zippered carrier that he always carted around with him. (Victoria Berry had seen it when she first discovered the body, but it later disappeared and was never accounted for.)
The initial suspect in the case was Crane's long-time friend John Carpenter. He and Crane were introduced by another star of "Hogan's Heroes", Richard Dawson. The two men shared a common passion: women. They both enjoyed chasing and sleeping with any woman who showed the least amount of interest. But more often than not, Carpenter was relegated to Crane's leftovers since, due to Crane's popularity and legendary charm, there were plenty of women to go around. In return, Carpenter showed Crane how to operate the most up-to-date video equipment.
On the evening before Crane's murder, Carpenter sat with Victoria Berry at the Windmill Dinner Theatre while she wasn't onstage. Berry claims that after the show, she saw Crane and Carpenter walk together to Crane's car, where Crane called to her to not forget "their appointment" the following day.
While Berry wrote out her statement in the kitchen of Crane's apartment at around 3:15 p.m., the phone rang. Lt. Dean told her to answer the phone but not to say anything about Crane. John Carpenter was calling from Los Angeles. The police lieutenant took the phone, identified himself, and told Carpenter that the police were at Crane's apartment investigating "an incident."
Carpenter told Dean he had been out with Crane until around 1 a.m. but later changed the time to 2:45 a.m. He then said he'd driven by himself to the airport later in the morning for his return flight to Los Angeles.
Carpenter called Crane's apartment again at 3:30. Dean said later that he found it strange that Carpenter had not asked him why the police were in Crane's apartment or where Crane was.
In 1978, the Scottsdale Police Department did not have a homicide unit. Dean's chief case officer, Dennis Borkenhagen, commenced the investigation at the apartment. He concluded that nothing of value had been taken. He observed some blood on the inside of the front door, but found no indication of forced entry. The glass door leading from Crane's apartment to the swimming pool outside was unlocked.
Later that day the police interviewed some of Crane's colleagues and friends, discovering that though Crane was personable, charming, and fun to be around, he had made enemies. There was also a fellow actor who had argued with Crane in Texas and later had sworn vengeance. And, inevitably and unsurprising, given Crane's reputation with the ladies, there were numerous angry husbands and boyfriends.
Still, Carpenter remained the prime suspect. Some who had been interviewed claimed that Crane's relationship to Carpenter had begun to show some strain, though actual evidence of any rift was not readily available. Any physical evidence that might have tied Carpenter to the crime was also scarce, as was the motive that would have compelled him to murder his best friend. But the possibility of a loan and one bit of compelling evidence, however slim, seemed to point to Carpenter.
Rumors flourished that Carpenter had borrowed $15,000 from Crane. Crane may have been demanding repayment. Perhaps even more compelling, the police discovered a small blood smear on the passenger side door of Carpenter's rented vehicle. Carpenter had complained about a problem with the electrical wiring with the car and it had been sent for repairs at the Phoenix dealership. Scottsdale Det. Darwin Barrie inspected the vehicle and claims to have noticed a small amount of dried blood in the interior. His commanding officer, Dean, ordered the car towed to the DPI compound in Phoenix. The car was examined and photographed by criminologist Bruce Bergstrom of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Bergstrom's job was to find and process any blood or tissue evidence found in the car. And it was there that the investigation phase of the case began to fall apart even before it really got started
The blood in Carpenter's rental car was tested and determined to be Type B -- the same blood type as Crane. Carpenter had the far more common Type A blood. Type B is found in only slightly more than 10 percent of the population. Though its presence in Carpenter's car was suspicious, the police, in these pre-DNA testing days, had no way of positively identifying the blood as Crane's.
On September 4, 1998, John Carpenter died, maintaining his innocence to the end. The full truth of the unsolved murder will probably never be known.