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Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father's Unsolved Murder

Series: Screen Classics
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 352
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    On June 29, 1978, Bob Crane, known toHogan's Heroesfans as Colonel Hogan, was discovered brutally murdered in his Scottsdale, Arizona, apartment. His eldest son, Robert Crane, was called to the crime scene. In this poignant memoir, Robert Crane discusses that terrible day and how he has lived with the unsolved murder of his father. But this storyline is just one thread in his tale of growing up in Los Angeles, his struggles to reconcile the good and sordid sides of his celebrity father, and his own fascinating life.

    Crane began his career writing forOuimagazine and spent many years interviewing celebrities forPlayboy-- stars such as Chevy Chase, Bruce Dern, Joan Rivers, and even Koko the signing gorilla. As a result of a raucous encounter with the cast of Canada'sSCTV, he found himself shelving his notepad and tape recorder to enter the employ of John Candy -- first as an on-again, off-again publicist; then as a full-time assistant, confidant, screenwriter, and producer; and finally as one of Candy's pallbearers.

    Through disappointment, loss, and heartbreak, Crane's humor and perseverance shine. Beyond the big stars and behind-the-scenes revelations, this riveting account of death, survival, and renewal in the shadow of the Hollywood sign makes a profound statement about the desire for love and permanence in a life where those things continually slip away. By turns shocking and uplifting,Craneis an unforgettable and deeply human story.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6076-4
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Author’s Note
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Robert Crane
  4. 1 Reveille, 1978
    (pp. 1-4)

    On Thursday, June 29, 1978, I was twenty-seven years and two days old. I had just interviewed the hottest star in Hollywood for Playboy’s new Euro-hipOuimagazine. I was living in Westwood, California, the epicenter of movies, nightlife, and all things cool in Los Angeles. Life was almost perfect for a young man in my position—almost, because twelve hours earlier, someone had crept into the room where my dad, TV star Bob Crane, was sleeping and bashed in his head with a blunt object. I was about to find that out.

    It was 3:00 in the afternoon. I...

  5. 2 Oh, Pioneers, 1955–1956
    (pp. 5-11)

    In 1955 Bridgeport, Connecticut, was a working-class town. My mom and dad had a two-story apartment in a drab brick complex that looked like some kind of institutional housing project.

    My dad was on the radio—WICC in Bridgeport. He had started as a staff announcer but evolved into the morning personality because of his catching sense of wildness and fun. Listeners preparing for another humdrum day wanted a laugh, a smile to help kick things off. My dad provided giddiness, humor, and perhaps even the motivation to get out of bed. I was too young at four years old...

  6. 3 No Good-byes, 1978
    (pp. 12-14)

    Transcribing tape requires lots of breaks. A little past 3:30 p.m. on June 29 I had to leave the apartment to pick up my grandmother, my dad’s mom, and take her out to Tarzana in the San Fernando Valley to visit my mom, Anne, and stepdad, Chuck Sloan. Chuck and my mom had been married for five years. Chuck was an only child and had no children of his own, though he had previously been married for twenty years. He grew up in Boyle Heights, East L.A., when it was a white neighborhood. High school graduate. Air force, stationed in...

  7. 4 One Happy Little Family, 1956–1964
    (pp. 15-33)

    I was five when we moved to California, so I started school in the City of Angels. The highlight of my six-month tenure in kindergarten at Dixie Canyon Elementary was seeing a kid come to school one day in his pajamas. “Wow. We’re not in Connecticut anymore.”

    It was the three of us as the little family unit. My dad was doing his morning show as well as 250 luncheons a year all over his Southland listening area where he would speak and do his comedy routine using his tape recorder. Those appearances were all done gratis as an opportunity...

  8. 5 CSI: Crime Scene Ineptitude, 1978
    (pp. 34-40)

    Every four weeks, a new stage production opened at the warehouse-like Windmill Dinner Theatre at 10345 North Scottsdale Road in an unattractive commercial section of Scottsdale, which otherwise is an upscale Phoenix suburb. The productions were retooled Broadway dinosaurs or, in the case of Norman Barasch and Carroll Moore’sBeginner’s Luck,something that never got close to Broadway but somehow spoke to its leading man, my dad. He had made it his own vanity project, which he also directed, and he could recite the lines backward and forward. A cast of four, a couple of sets, ninety minutes, and time...

  9. 6 Uncle Daddy, 1964–1965
    (pp. 41-52)

    My dad, dubbed the KNXtrovert Bob Crane by the radio station, enjoyed most of his guests, though actor Glenn Ford once asked no one in particular, “What am I doing here?” A relationship developed with some of them leading to multiple appearances every year: composers Henry Mancini and Bronislau Kaper; comedians Bill Dana (aka Jose Jimenez), Phyllis Diller, and Steve Allen; singers John Gary, Carol Lawrence, and Wayne Newton. He looked forward to having one guest in particular—Carl Reiner, the writer, producer, and actor who had just createdThe Dick Van Dyke Show.

    My dad, like millions of other...

  10. 7 Round Up the Usual Suspects, 1978
    (pp. 53-55)

    When we left the Scottsdale morgue, detectives Ron Dean and Dennis Borkenhagen, who were put in charge of the red-hot case, swapped possible murder scenarios with us. It wasn’t quite a sit-down interview, just a trading of information. I ran through a list of people I thought were possible suspects. My first thought was there was a jealous boyfriend or husband out there, but then again, the women my dad fooled around with were not really the kind of women who had jealous boyfriends or husbands. Maybe my dad just fell into bed with the wrong woman this time. The...

  11. 8 Zero to Ninety, 1965–1966
    (pp. 56-59)

    My dad was on autopilot as his recognition factor went from zero to ninety in a month, which naturally impacted the rest of the family. A dramatic change was in the air for the Crane household. Walking through a crowded Du-Par’s to get a hamburger suddenly became disconcerting as we heard tittering, whispering, or even a rebel yell—“Hogan!” My dad was less concerned.

    Soon, too, we had strange people showing up at the Vanalden house. An electric gate was installed. One attractive woman in her thirties somehow got through the gate and rang the front doorbell. The fact that...

  12. 9 Seeing Orange, 1978
    (pp. 60-62)

    After seeing my dad at the morgue I knew I had to call home. This was as close as I would ever come to being a war correspondent calling the international desk, reporting on the day’s casualty count. I could only imagine how many tears had already been spilled in anticipation of the worst. Certainly, there had been no phone call from my dad to my mom and Chuck clearing up the police blotter rumor. How did military messengers deliver the bad news? I’d much rather have done it in person. There is a coldness to a voice traveling through...

  13. 10 Living la Vita Hogan, 1967
    (pp. 63-69)

    After shooting the first two seasons at Paramount Studios, theHogan’s Heroescompany moved west a few blocks to the smaller Desilu Cahuenga lot.The Andy Griffith Show, That Girl,andThe Dick Van Dyke Showall maintained soundstages and offices there. My dad had a small dressing room onstage, filled to bursting with a drum set, turntable, stereo equipment, and hundreds of albums. Between takes or while the crew was lighting the next scene, he would crank up the volume and drum to his heart’s content. It was a stress release for him as well as the other actors...

  14. 11 Happy Father’s Day, 1978
    (pp. 70-72)

    I don’t recall ever going to bed on the night following my dad’s murder. I was sitting out by the pool of the Hellhole Motel on the fringe of Scottsdale, staring at the stars and thinking about the impact of my dad’s death on Patti and her son and daughter and how the whole radioactive scene of her divorce from my dad had just been hosed down, demagnetized like so much used videotape. And all of it to Patti’s advantage.

    My dad had phoned me the day after Father’s Day, June 18. “Bobby, you’ll never believe who showed up here...

  15. 12 Divorce, Tarzana Style, 1968–1969
    (pp. 73-78)

    The role of the lothario had hovered over my dad’s career since his walkon inThe New Internsas Drunk Guy at Party with up-and-coming contract players like George Segal, Michael Callan, and Stefanie Powers. That epic was shot at Columbia Pictures at Sunset and Gower across the street from his morning gig at KNX and was an early opportunity for him to spend a few hours on a set. From there it was the break offered by Carl Reiner to appear as a philandering husband onThe Dick Van Dyke Showfollowed by two seasons as Carl Betz’s good-time...

  16. 13 Loose Nukes, 1978
    (pp. 79-84)

    On the morning of July 1, I woke with a start. In an instantaneous and regrettable flood of consciousness I realized my dad was still dead and there was a stranger in the next room.

    It turned out that the guard hired by my stepmother, Patti, was there because she was paranoid I might clear out the apartment. While there was a lot of equipment there that now technically belonged to her, that wasn’t what she was really worried about. Patti was afraid that I would get my hands on video footage and photos that revealed her in some very...

  17. 14 Love in a Time of War, 1969–1970
    (pp. 85-93)

    The summer of love for the graduates of Taft High School in Woodland Hills was 1969, even though the official Summer of Love was the summer of 1967. That was the year of Haight-Ashbury, Griffith Park love-ins, and the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.” I was still too young, too naïve, and too inexperienced in 1967 to appreciate what that season meant. The highlight of my summer of love in 1969 was our all-night grad party held for L.A. high schools at Disneyland. My girlfriend, Chris Klauser, my friend Chris Fryer, and his date, Sandee Ericsson, and I cut...

  18. 15 Don’t Make Waves, 1970–1971
    (pp. 94-101)

    My folks divorced in June 1970, and four months later on the Stalag 13 set my dad and Patti were united in something less than holy matrimony. My dad’s parents attended the celebration. Feeling sympathetic toward my brokenhearted mom, my sisters and I did not.

    My dad enjoyed Patti as his confidante and the female pal he never had. He felt he could talk to her about anything, and to him that just eradicated the traditional boundaries of “husband” and “wife.” From my cynical perspective, I think Patti saw from the outset that my dad was a pliable subject. I...

  19. 16 War Is Over, 1971–1972
    (pp. 102-106)

    In 1971 CBS cleaned house on its primetime schedule, eliminating past favorites likeGreen AcresandHogan’s Heroes. Ed Feldman was informed of the cancellation a month before his team was to have started shooting its seventh season. Everyone involved felt there was at least one more season left in the tank. But as a result of CBS’s action,Hogan’sdidn’t get to make a series’ finale episode. Hogan and the POWs could have been liberated and poor Klink and Schultz could have been captured and sent to an Allied forces’ POW camp, but we’ll never know. Still, as it...

  20. 17 Beacon in the Storm, 1972
    (pp. 107-108)

    Through 1972 Diane and I still dated and even slept together occasionally. I knew she was seeing other men; she knew I was seeing other women. Life was full of possibilities, but she and I still had a connection that didn’t exist with other people, at least as far as I was concerned.

    One day Diane called me at my apartment. We were cordial, dancing around the heaviness of the recent past. I was anticipating an invitation to her latest school art show. I never expected an announcement that she was pregnant. I couldn’t say for sure that I was...

  21. 18 Heeeere’s Jackie!!! 1972–1975
    (pp. 109-116)

    In 1972 I was in my third and final year at USC. I was feeling confident that I wasn’t going to become GI Bob because the draft was winding down. It ended completely with the close of June 1973. I was still fascinated with film and filmmakers, but I was having problems with my other classes. Basically, I was underperforming in everything but my performing arts curriculum, and the notion that I still had to take a biology course or some kind of math class to graduate made me feel like I was back in high school.

    FC Enterprises, my...

  22. 19 The Family Photo Album, 1975
    (pp. 117-121)

    Patti was not about to interfere with my dad’s seemingly unquenchable thirst for women. In one instance that I was privy to, Patti even acted as pimp for her priapic husband. The setting was a Sunset Boulevard strip club called the Classic Cat, where my dad often sat in and played drums with the jazz combo that accompanied the real entertainment. For him it didn’t get much better than beating the skins while simultaneously ogling some. At least not until his forty-seventh birthday.

    The headliner at the club was a monumentally well-endowed ecdysiast named Angel Carter. My dad and Patti...

  23. 20 Take the Bunny and Run, 1976–1977
    (pp. 122-126)

    In 1976, I was perusing an issue ofOuimagazine, which was still part of Playboy and based in Chicago. I found it refreshing in design, international interviewees, out-of-the-mainstream writers, and foreign models, so I picked out a name from the magazine’s masthead for a full-frontal assault. John Rezek, senior editor, had an important-sounding name but somehow seemed approachable to me. Using my finely honed coldcalling skills I dialed the 312 area code and number.

    “Playboy Enterprises,” said the perky voice at 919 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

    I envisioned a blonde coed with a bunny dip figure. “John Reezik,...

  24. 21 Scottsdale Redux, 1978
    (pp. 127-136)

    On the afternoon of June 29, 1978, at approximately 2:00, after my dad’sBeginner’s Luckcostar Victoria Berry ran screaming from unit 132A, the Windmill Dinner Theatre’s “star apartment” at the Winfield Apartments in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Scottsdale Police Department was called. Investigators entered the dark dwelling and in one of the two small bedrooms, atop a queen-size bed, found a body lying on its right side, right arm straight out, perpendicular to the body, left arm bent, left hand tucked under the chin. The body was clad in boxer shorts and wore a watch on the left wrist. There...

  25. 22 Heeeere’s Bobby!!! 1979
    (pp. 137-142)

    A year after my dad’s murder, I attempted to do something I’d never had the cajones to do while he was alive—host my own radio show. Operating under the one star per family theory, and with fear of my dad’s criticism and skepticism now out of the equation, it was time, not to be a star—I had no interest in that—but to reexperience the creative outlet I had enjoyed as a kid, being on the radio, being in a windowless room with a microphone and nobody looking at you. I set myself the challenge to produce, book...

  26. 23 There Ain’t No Stinkin’ Closure! 1979–1980
    (pp. 143-149)

    As the ’70s drew to a close, the interest in my dad’s murder case seemed to diminish exponentially. As far as district attorney Charles Hyder was concerned, the Scottsdale Police Department investigation led by Ron Dean and Dennis Borkenhagen had failed to produce enough compelling evidence to lead to an arrest and trial of John Henry Carpenter—or anyone else, for that matter.

    It was just a pity there was no Columbo to winkle out the facts, no Barnaby Jones to put two and two together, no Joe Mannix to swoop in in his Olds Toronado and save the day....

  27. 24 For Members Only, 1981–1982
    (pp. 150-157)

    BeforeOuimagazine started hopscotching around the country, my original editor there, John Rezek, had seized the opportunity to jump from Hefner’s rowboat (Oui) to his yacht and moneymaker,Playboy. Even though circulation was down a bit from its peak of 7 million copies a month in the ’60s, the bunny was still moving upward of 5 million units a month in the early ’80s.

    While everyone’s first thoughts aboutPlayboyare almost always centered on the centerfold, Playboy has always offered long interviews with newsmakers like Martin Luther King, Fidel Castro, and Malcolm X, musicians including the Beatles, Sinatra,...

  28. 25 Kari, 1982–1985
    (pp. 158-170)

    I had become a peripatetic freelance writer, scratching out what I called a living. Most of my possessions were left in trunks and boxes, safely stored in my mom and Chuck’s garage. I lacked a steady enough income to rent my own apartment, so I lived at my mom and Chuck’s, ready and available to serve as somebody’s house sitter at a moment’s notice.

    Through Diane during our days at USC, I had gotten to know a wonderful figurative painter named D. J. Hall and her husband, Toby Watson, a modernist architect. During that very dark summer of 1978, Diane...

  29. 26 Bobby Ten Hats, 1986
    (pp. 171-178)

    The first time I met and interviewed John Candy forPlayboyhe told me he was aHogan’s Heroesfan. He was fourteen whenHogan’sdebuted, the prime demographic. John was a fan of my dad, and I was a fan ofSCTV, which I had discovered thanks to my dad. Since that first meeting in Edmonton on the set ofSCTVI had met with and interviewed John in Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles. I used the material like a fine, creative chef, not wanting to waste any of the wonderful product. As a result, one interview might...

  30. 27 Crane in the Hutch, 1986
    (pp. 179-188)

    Despite Kari’s protestations, I continued to write forPlayboy. At least I could count on a semiregular paycheck (I was competing with at least a half dozen other Q&A monkeys jockeying for the twelve “20Q” slots a year). From her workroom, Kari could hear me lowering the volume on my phone voice as I pitched names to Rezek. The giveaway was when I periodically exploded into hysterical laughter as John weighed in on my proposals. Anything even remotely related to scantily clad Playmates always brought a frown to Kari’s otherwise wrinkleless face.

    “How about Jamie Lee Curtis?” was my first...

  31. 28 Going to War, 1986–1988
    (pp. 189-196)

    After three years paying the reduced apartment rent, thanks to Chuck, and scraping together some savings, Kari and I approached our bank’s loan officer with the intent of chasing the American Dream. We were going to purchase our first home. Suits behind desks scrutinized the assets and salaries of these two questionable, freelancing, high-risk citizens as if we were trying to obtain papers to travel out of East Germany during the cold war. My mom and Chuck pushed the Sisyphean down payment over the top when they loaned us some money to complete the $30,000 down on a fourteen-hundred-square-foot, three-bedroom,...

  32. 29 Full-Fledged Chongo, 1989
    (pp. 197-203)

    Kari’s spirits rebounded. She was back at work, in control, designing landscapes, transforming mundane yards into visually exciting environments where families, hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees could all thrive.

    One afternoon I got a phone call from John Candy. Fresh on the heels of the success ofPlanes, Trains and AutomobilesandThe Great Outdoors,John was about to star in another John Hughes film,Uncle Buck,which was to be filmed on Hughes’s home turf in Chicago. John wanted me to reprise my role as protector of publicity and to liaise with the Universal Pictures publicity department and the eager...

  33. 30 Groundhog Day, Scottsdale, 1990
    (pp. 204-205)

    Chinese and Jewish calendars notwithstanding, Planet Earth was now in the 1990s. Richard Romley came to bat as the third Maricopa County district attorney since my dad’s murder. On January 30, 1990, Romley declared that a new team of investigators and prosecutors as well as an appointed review panel would reexamine the many volumes of files pertaining to the unsolved case. My new best friends became Jim Raines, an investigator with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, and Barry Vassall of the Scottsdale Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Bureau. This was the very same Barry Vassall who on June 29 twelve years...

  34. 31 Bob’s Candy Shoppe, 1990
    (pp. 206-212)

    With the Two Johns (Candy and Hughes) enjoying another box office hit withUncle Buck(which would turn out to be their last film together as actor and director), John envisioned big things for his Frostbacks Production. The rapidly filling slate of projects necessitated a move out of a two-bedroom condo cum office in Brentwood into a real working space. John’s attorney/business manager at the time, Clair Burrill, informed the landlord, actress Shelley Fabares, that Frostbacks was on the move. That was the same Shelley Fabares who had worked with my dad onThe Donna Reed Show. Frostbacks moved its...

  35. 32 John, John, Jack, and Johnny, 1990–1991
    (pp. 213-220)

    The closest John Candy ever got to an Academy Award was handing one out in 1990.* Bruce Vilanch and his staff of edgy writers came up with the idea of Candy presenting the Best Live Action Short Film. A big fat man presenting an award in the shorts category? Funny stuff, no? John, instinctively, sidestepped that bomb of a joke and said he would present with formerSCTVmate Rick Moranis, who was also to be on the telecast. He had just starred in the remake ofThe Little Shop of Horrors. Working together created a comfort zone for both...

  36. 33 Murder Cases Never Close, 1991
    (pp. 221-222)

    In June 1991, I received a telephone call from Maricopa County investigator Jim Raines asking about my awareness of “an eight-millimeter camera and tripod that was owned by the victim.” In 1978, eight millimeter meant film, not video, and I told Raines about my dad’s various video cameras and recorders but also that he hadn’t used movie film, to my knowledge, since we had produced our home movie classic,I Was a Teenager for the FBI, in the ’60s or, perhaps, at my sisters’ high school graduations in the ’70s. I told Raines about his Nikon still camera as well...

  37. 34 Planes, Cars, and Roller Coasters, 1991
    (pp. 223-231)

    In 1991, Kari developed a rash that resembled sandpaper on an area three inches long by two inches wide at the top of her forehead just past her hairline and into her scalp. We both inspected the peculiar-looking eruption and figured it was some kind of dermatological problem, a bodily backlash to all the chemo and radiation she had endured. We went to the dermatologist who, upon examination and review of Kari’s chart, said very sympathetically, “This isn’t a dermatological matter. I wish it were. You’ve got to see your oncologist.”

    Kari and I were immediately choked with fear. The...

  38. 35 Just a Speck, 1992
    (pp. 232-234)

    On May 29, 1992, deputy county attorney Myrna J. Parker, one of Richard Romley’s top lieutenants, filed a complaint signed by Judge David R. Cole of Maricopa County Superior Court charging John Henry Carpenter with first-degree murder. The trigger for the indictment was the photographs of Carpenter’s rental car’s interior passenger door. These, long forgotten by police, investigators, and prosecutors until Jim Raines rescued them from a county courthouse storage room, provided medical experts in Texas and New Mexico with a glimpse of a one-sixteenth-inch speck of human tissue that they determined to be brain matter.

    At 6:10 a.m. on...

  39. 36 Go and Stop, 1992
    (pp. 235-238)

    One of the more important lessons in work ethic I learned from John was to follow up and follow through. When he got an idea, he’d start calling actors, writers, and producers to help him make it a reality. John would act like the project was a “go” from its inception. The project might be anything, from a script like “Hauling Ashes” withCopsproducer John Langley to anSCTVone-off special for NBC. John would move on the idea with such conviction that anyone on the other end of the phone would already be checkingTV GuideorEntertainment...

  40. 37 The Beat Goes On, 1992–1993
    (pp. 239-240)

    In October 1992 I received a letter from deputy county attorney Myrna J. Parker: Re: robert crane murder investigationstate v. carpenter, cr 92-04718. Having been interviewed by the police and county investigators, I was a potential witness for the prosecution, and my name and address would be shared with the defense, which had the right to speak to anyone on the prosecution’s list. I never heard from any of John Carpenter’s representatives.

    By mid-November Carpenter was still in California. As the jury selection process began in his molestation case, Carpenter wangled a plea bargain down to one count of...

  41. 38 Hostage No More, 1993
    (pp. 241-251)

    As a lark, I threw a surprise party for Kari at Marix, a Mexican restaurant in Encino, inviting twenty friends and family members. We gathered to celebrate, to separate the hell of the recent past from the wishful anticipation of a healthy future. We all crossed our fingers, no one knowing what was going to happen, purely enjoying the moment. John, Rose, Jennifer, and Christopher were part of the observance, clearly at ease and happy as they talked with everybody in the room. We had a great evening. John and Kari talked and shared a lot of laughs together, and...

  42. 39 Adios, Amigo, 1993–1994
    (pp. 252-266)

    The year slipped by, and during my first Christmas without Kari, I received a letter from prosecuting attorney Robert J. Shutts of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announcing that he was assigned the Crane case “due to the unforeseen illness of K. C. Scull.” The trial of John Henry Carpenter was scheduled for March 21, 1994. Happy New Year.

    On the Frostbacks front, John relented to fulfill a long-standing commitment he had with Carolco Pictures. Once a fresh-faced darling of a company with hits likeRamboandTerminator 2, Carolco was now a bruised has-been bleeding too much money on...

  43. 40 Judgment at Scottsdale, 1994
    (pp. 267-272)

    In May, Maricopa County Superior Court judge Gregory Martin ruled that videotaped sexual encounters involving my dad, Carpenter, and various women, shot in differentBeginner’s Lucktour cities, could be shown to jurors during the trial. Martin said, “They are relevant because they establish the relationship defendant John Carpenter had with Crane.” I shuddered at what was coming.

    On June 1, two years after Carpenter was first arrested and charged with my dad’s murder, I, still referred to as “Mr. Robert Crane Jr.,” received a subpoena ordering my appearance on June 20 “to give testimony on behalf of the State...

  44. 41 Ninety to Zero, 1994–1995
    (pp. 273-274)

    Much to my surprise, Rose Candy kept me on through 1994, breaking down the Frostbacks offices, packing up and sorting the paperwork. The bar went to a restaurant on Navy Pier in Chicago, and the sound studio was donated to UCLA’s communication department. I sent out eight-by-ten photographs of John without autographs to fans whose requests arrived too late for a signature, and I hosted several of John’s friends and colleagues on a final walkabout through his workspace. The hours, days, months, and years of John’s life and creative output were reflected in the photographs, movie posters, jukebox, bank of...

  45. 42 Yet Another Cold Call, 1996
    (pp. 275-279)

    A year had passed, but my house still radiated Kari. Her spirit imbued the interior and exterior design, creating an aura unwelcoming to the few female visitors who dared cross her threshold. Kari’s essence, her scent, permeated, intimidated, and spooked them all. Diane Haas, rock manager Lori Otelsberg, and actress Christopher Templeton never came over more than once. I had visions of having to tear down the structure and install Astroturf in the yard before I could go on with the rest of my life. That all changed one morning when I was anchored in my dentist’s chair.

    I had...

  46. 43 Same Shit, Different Century, 2000–2001
    (pp. 280-285)

    The new millennium began with a hope of happiness and peace of mind and body, which for me was a one-way road out of the burg of death and sadness. Leslie was looking for a demarcation line from her unpleasant separation and subsequent divorce. She wanted a fresh start, too. Most important, she wasn’t going to raise Meagan in a shack-up situation. Leslie wanted the legitimacy of marriage to help build solidarity in our new family.

    Leslie and I got married on July 15, 2000, after a four-year courtship. The low-key ceremony took place at the Westin Maui a couple...

  47. 44 Out of Focus, 2001–2002
    (pp. 286-302)

    I began 2001 with two priorities: to work hard at being a family man and to succeed as a freelance writer. However, on very short notice everything changed. While being that attentive husband, stepfather, and walker to, respectively, Leslie, Meagan, and Chloe, I was pulled back into a skirmish that I had hoped and prayed was over. The misinformation and tastelessness emanating from Patti and Scotty’s website, chat room, and book, coupled with the announcement in theHollywood Reporterthat a film based on Robert Graysmith’s book about the murder of my dad was in preproduction, propelled me into action....

  48. 45 Nature Morte, 2003–2007
    (pp. 303-306)

    Life was full. I was conducting and writing interviews every month during 2003 for either Rezek atPlayboyor Weiner atHwy 111. At the highly competitivePlayboyI captured seven of the twelve “20 Questions,” my best year ever. I had pieces run with Juliette Lewis, Rachel Weisz, and Nicolas Cage, among others. In addition, I had half a dozen more Q&As with long-gone luminaries forHwy 111, including tête-à-têtes with Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and John Wayne. I really liked interviewing dead celebrities; they were easy to work with, and they never griped about the finished product.


  49. 46 Taps, 2009
    (pp. 307-314)

    After my dad’s murder, one of the things I spirited away from our Midvale Avenue apartment was the uniform he wore onHogan’s Heroes. Comprised of a khaki shirt, leather jacket, and that iconic hat (which will live forever slung insouciantly over the spike of Colonel Klink’s Teutonic helmet in theHogan’send credits roll), the outfit was mustered out of service in 1971 after the show’s unexpected cancellation.

    Apart from a few post-Hogan’spublicity gigs that my day did in character, he never wore these garments again, and after I liberated them from his bedroom closet, they were relegated...

  50. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 315-316)
    R.C. and C.F.
  51. Appendix A. Bob Crane Interviewed by John Carpenter for an X-Rated “Swingers’” Magazine, 1969
    (pp. 317-320)
  52. Appendix B. Robert Crane and John Carpenter Telephone Call Transcript, 1978
    (pp. 321-328)
  53. Appendix C. Robert Crane’s Letter to Sony Pictures Classics Legal Department Addressing Auto Focus Script, 2002
    (pp. 329-330)
  54. Appendix D. Robert Crane’s Piece for Auto Focus Website, 2002
    (pp. 331-332)
  55. Appendix E. HWY III: Bob Crane’s Ten Stupid Questions, 2003
    (pp. 333-336)
  56. Index
    (pp. 337-350)
  57. Back Matter
    (pp. 351-356)