Man charged in long-running Hollywood murder mystery

A man has been charged with murder in connection with one of Hollywood’s longest-running unsolved real-life mysteries.

Television producer and director Barry Crane was found dead at his Los Angeles home in July 1985. He had been attacked with a large ceramic statue and a telephone cord wrapped around his neck. He had been placed in bed sheets and hidden in his garage.

The 57-year-old was responsible for a catalogue of television hits, including The Incredible Hulk, The Six Million Dollar Man, CHiPS, Hawaii Five-0 and Dallas. He was also a world-renowned bridge player.

His wallet and Cadillac car had been taken from his home at the time of his death but the search for his killer went cold over the years.

Last year cold-case detectives ran fingerprint checks on his car for the fourth time and finally found a match. The FBI then used social media to track Edwin Hiatt to North Carolina, where he was working at a car repair business.

Barry Crane directed five episodes of The Incredible Hulk between 1979 and 1981
Image: Barry Crane directed five episodes of The Incredible Hulk between 1979 and 1981
Dallas - 1978-1991: Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval, Jenilee Harrison
Image: Dallas ran from 1978 to 1991

During their surveillance operation they collected cigarette butts and a coffee cup discarded by Hiatt and linked his DNA to samples found in Mr Crane’s car in 1985.

Hiatt, who was 18 at the time of the murder, was arrested by the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force. Now 52, he was questioned by reporters while being taken away by police.

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He was asked whether he could have carried out the murder. He replied: “Anything is possible back then because I was big into drugs. I don’t have a really good memory. Bits and pieces were brought back to me just by suggestion.

Asked whether he knew Mr Crane, he said: “I don’t remember the guy, until they told me his name. And then I didn’t remember his picture.”

He added: “I just don’t want to remember the past.”

Police have not revealed a motive for the killing and Hiatt is now awaiting extradition back to California to face one count of murder “with a special allegation that he used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a heavy decorative object, during the commission of the crime”.

If convicted, he would face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Source: SKY NEWS

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