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Murder in Scottsdale (2003)

Video  |   |  Documentary  |  2003 (USA)
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An overview of the murder of Bob Crane and an assessment of the investigation which was carried out.



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Credited cast:
Stephen Avilla ...
Dennis Borkenhagen ...
Himself (as Sgt. Dennis Borkenhagen)
Diana Carpenter ...
John Carpenter ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Debbie Crane ...
Karen Crane ...
Himself (as Robert Crane Jr.)
Mark Dawson ...
Robert Graysmith ...
Charles Hyder ...
Candace H. Kent ...
Michael Lake ...
Jim Raines ...
Himself (as Det. Jim Raines)
Richard Romley


An overview of the murder of Bob Crane and an assessment of the investigation which was carried out.

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2003 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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This documentary can be found on the DVD of Auto Focus (2002), released in 2003. See more »


Features Auto Focus (2002) See more »

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Murder In Scottsdale
5 March 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Although never an A-List celebrity, Bob Crane was a well-known comedy actor who is best remembered as the star of the World War Two TV series "Hogan's Heroes" in which he played Colonel Hogan, one of the inmates of the ludicrous rather than infamous prisoner-of-war camp Stalag XIII.

There were though sides to Crane that were not so funny, in particular his filming of sexual escapades with random women attracted to him by his celebrity status. It was this – one way or another – that led to his murder at Scottsdale in June 1978.

Crane was bludgeoned to death in his bed, apparently by a camera tripod, and a cord was tied round his neck. There was a principal suspect, his partner-in-sleaze John Carpenter (who is not to be confused with the Hollywood film director John Carpenter). Today, forensic evidence would undoubtedly have either convicted or cleared Carpenter for sure, but at the time there was no DNA testing.

More than a decade later, the case was reopened, and Carpenter would eventually stand trial for Crane's murder. He was acquitted, which along with the murder of Jill Dando and several others on both sides of the Atlantic makes this one of those cases that will be debated endlessly by future generations.

This almost hour long documentary is nearly all interviews – with police officers, Crane's son, Carpenter's widow, and many others - but it contains among other things footage of Carpenter's acquittal. Carpenter died in June 1998 aged seventy; an interesting observation made by one contributor is that he came from a family noted for its longevity, several near relatives living well into their 90s and beyond. Clearly the stress of the finger of suspicion pointing at him for so long, the trial, and perhaps his conscience, took a heavy toll on him.

Alas, we will never know for sure.

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