'Hogan's Heroes': Bob Crane's Tragic Unsolved Murder

Sigrid Valdis and Bob Crane in the 1965 sitcom Hogan's Heroes

27. August 2019 - 12:45 Uhr / Laura Pérez

The Hogan's Heroes star Bob Crane was murdered in the late 1970's and as of today -40 decades later- there are still some unsolved mysteries regarding his death. 

Bob Crane came to prominence during the 1960's for his role as "Colonel Robert Hogan" in the 1965 American sitcom Hogan's Heroeswhere he shared credits with stars like Sigrid Valdis and Werner Klemperer, among others. But it seems that the actor gained even more public attention after his death, due to the unsolved details and mysteries that still surround the case.

Nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards, Bob Crane appeared in several films and more than 20 television shows; he was found dead on June 29th 1978 in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the age of 49, after local cops responded to a call from the Winfield Place Apartments complex, where they found him with wounds on his ear and with an electrical cord knotted around his head.

Bob Crane as "Colonel Robert Hogan" in the 1965 sitcom Hogan's Heroes

What happened to Hogan's Heroes' star Bob Crane?

In the past years a series of investigations have revealed that the actor was reportedly obsessed with sex; owned several pornographic pictures, negatives and films; and loved to meet porn stars, which at some point of his life affected his personal relationships with former wives Anne Terzian and Patricia Olson. The Hogan's Heroes star had a very close friend named John Henry Carpenter, a video-equipment salesperson, and together they used to go to bars, meet women, and eventually videotape their sexual encounters with them. According to Bob Crane's son Robert, all of the women were aware of it and consented it.

Shortly before Bob's death, his friendship with Carpenter reportedly started to have some ups and downs, and the actor actually wanted to end the relationship with him. Two days before dying, he called one of his sons and told him that he wanted to make changes in his life, which involved divorcing from his wife Patricia and losing people like John Henry Carpenter. The next thing that happened was that Crane was found dead at his home in Arizona, but it was surprising to learn that a couple of eyewitnesses previously saw him  having an argument with Carpenter at a night club.

Late actor Bob Crane who starred Hogan's Heroes and his wife Anne Terzian somewhere between the years 1949 and 1970

Bob Crane's death is still an unsolved murder

DNA testing was not available back in the 1970's but all roads led to Carpenter. Apart from the fact that the pair was seen having an argument, there were no signs of forced entry into Crane's home, which suggested that he knew his murderer. Police investigations also found rests of Crane's blood type in Carpenter's car, and although some people are 100% sure that Carpenter was the one who killed Crane, in the end there was not enough evidence to convict him and he was acquitted; eventually he passed away in 1994. 

As of today the still-unsolved murder of the actor has spawned a film called Auto Focus, released in 2001, as well as five books and three more investigations, but mostly a series of speculations. His son published a book called Sex, Celebrity, and My Father’s Unsolved Murderwhich provides more details about the late actor's personal life, professional career, and his relationship with John Henry Carpenter.

Bob Crane as "Colonel Robert Hogan" in the 1965 television show Hogan's Heroes

Crane's funeral took place on July 5th 1978 at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Westwood; 200 family members and friends reportedly attended it. His remains are located in Westwood Village Memorial Park