There have been a number of books written about the grisly 1978 murder in Scottsdale, Ariz. of Hogan’s Heroes star Bob Crane.
Robert Graysmith’s The Murder of Bob Crane, published in 1993, was the basis for 2002 movie Auto Focus starring Greg Kinnear and Willem Dafoe. Crane’s son Robert Crane Jr. added, in 2015, Crane: Sex, Celebrity and My Father’s Unsolved Murder. And now, yet another book, sparked by Crane Jr.’s original publicity tour, is set to arrive next week.
The crux of the new tome by John Hook, a longtime TV anchor and reporter with Fox 10 in Phoenix, is the same idea that he pitched Crane Jr. two years ago: to apply modern-age DNA testing to samples found in the rental car of prime suspect John Carpenter (the character played by Dafoe). Carpenter was acquitted in a 1994 murder trial and passed away in 1998.
Who Killed Bob Crane: The Final Close-Up is Hook’s first book. Some related reporting aired last fall generated huge renewed interest. The book features a forward by Crane Jr. and, as the author revealed over the weekend during an interview with radio show Coast to Coast AM, he initially expected to title the book Case Closed. From a summary by Hook on the book’s official website:
For days after that [March 2015 Crane Jr.] interview, the story consumed me. I’ve witnessed executions, covered murders, and seen some amazing things in my career, yet I found myself thinking about the “Crane case” non-stop. …
I set out to track down the original blood evidence and have it retested at one of the top DNA labs in the world. This required unprecedented cooperation from prosecutors. Bode Cellmark Forensics says to their knowledge, a reporter has never been granted this kind of access to evidence.
The DNA findings outlined in the book are shocking, and as such, are likely to generate substantial coverage in the coming weeks.
Jacket cover courtesy: Get Hooked Media