Monday, August 30, 2021

Bob Crane: Family Videos

During the course of what is now nearly two decades, my coauthors—Linda Groundwater and Dee Young—and I have seen and heard just about everything there is relating to Bob Crane's life and tragic death. As his official and authorized biographers, we have been granted exclusive permission to view and entrusted with Bob's personal belongings. Perhaps one of the most important pieces of research we've reviewed, however, is a movie reel. 

When you say the words movie reel in the same sentence as the name Bob Crane, how many of you thought of one thing? For the record (again), Bob engaged in amateur pornography with adult, consensual women who agreed to be filmed. (Yes, it's been investigated by the authorities, and yes, the women knew they were being filmed. Enough said—until the next time we have to say it.) 

Now that you've gotten that out of your system... 

The simple truth is that Bob recorded everything. He audio recorded. He photographed. He filmed. He journaled. He catalogued. He chronicled. And he did this with every single aspect of his life from the time he was a teenager throughout his entire life. When you put it all into perspective, the "naughty bits" constituted just a small piece of a much larger collection that was primarily composed of Bob's every day life.

In our opinion, one of the most important pieces of footage Bob Crane filmed was on Father's Day—June 18, 1978, just ten days before his murder. His wife Patty (Sigrid Valdis) and their son Scott had arrived in Scottsdale on a surprise to visit him. Reports claim he was upset by their visit. Bob and Patty were separated at the time and on the brink of divorce. However, Bob invited them over to his Scottsdale apartment. Because it was Father's Day, they gave him cards and a gift. Bob could never have imagined that in just under two weeks and right before his 50th birthday, his life would be cut short in that very same location, just a few yards from the living room where he received his cards and gift from Scotty, then just seven years old. 

To this day, Bob's murder remains unsolved. A great deal of speculation surrounds the murder of Bob Crane and who may have killed him, with much emphasis on John Henry Carpenter (different from the film director) as the primary suspect. In 1992, he was arrested. A trial followed, and in 1994, Carpenter was found not guilty. Arm chair detectives have a field day with this unsolved case, discussing their theories, making their jokes, deciding who they believe must have done it. 

Back to Father's Day 1978. I watched the Bob's family video taken on Father's Day 1978 for the first time while visiting Scott in 2013. I sat in Scott's living room with him, his then-soon-to-be wife, and his children, and we watched. And as I watched, I was mesmerized. Here was Bob Crane, the regular guy—a husband and father who didn't want his marriage to end. Not famous Colonel Hogan or radio personality; not murder victim; not tabloid headline. Since then, I have wished more people could see what I was seeing. This footage showed me, without question, how much of a loving father Bob was. It showed me how much he adored his family—just absolutely cherished his family, especially his children. And it proved without a doubt how much in love he was with his  wife—and how much she loved him, too, despite their marital troubles. 

When Linda was interviewed for the Autopsy episode about Bob Crane in November 2020, which aired in June 2021, she mentioned this video to the producers when talking about Bob as a family man who loved his family. They were astonished. They asked Linda, "How do you know about this video?" And Linda responded bluntly, "Because I have seen it."

Scott Crane has now made this video available to the public. I am so very happy he has done so because now you can see for yourself. This is not play acting for an audience. This is family. 

These are Bob Crane's home movies of himself and the people he loved: his wife, his children, his parents, and his friends. Bob Crane was a human being. He was also murdered. And his family and friends are still deeply affected by and mourn his loss.

No unauthorized use of any portion of this video—audio or video—is allowed without written permission of Robert Scott Crane. 
For all permission requests, click here.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

'Hogan's Heroes' Revue: The Pilot — How It Differed from the Series

Hogan's Heroes is often considered the older cousin of MASH. When studying the two shows, you can see very clearly how MASH was allowed to evolve in a much more dramatic way than Hogan's Heroes ever could. But that doesn't mean Hogan's Heroes didn't evolve. It did, and by quite a bit.

After the pilot episode was filmed and then picked up by CBS for broadcast, drastic changes were made to the series. In the latest episode of 'Hogan's Heroes' Revue, Linda Groundwater and Carol Ford discuss the pilot episode. They offer a comparison to MASH, as well as other episodes, to provide insight into how pilots are vastly different from the series, as well as how a series can grow and evolve. They discuss Hogan's Heroes casting, set, and style changes, and they also talk about the purpose of pilot episodes in general and the importance of character actors.

Obviously, the series was produced by the company Bing Crosby Productions. However, Edward H. Feldman was the Executive Producer who needed to answer to the head of CBS—first James Aubrey, and after his dismissal in 1965 (very soon after Hogan's Heroes was picked up), John "Jack" Schneider. Without the approval of CBS, Hogan's Heroes would not have been picked up and aired, no matter which company produced it. Through his tenacity, Edward Feldman was able to make changes to the series that CBS granted, including the switch from black and white to color, among other style, actor, and set changes.

We hope you enjoy this episode of 'Hogan's Heroes' Revue!

Listen to "03. The ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ Pilot: How 'The Informer' Differed from the Rest of the Series" on Spreaker. Listen to "04. Commentary Series — ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ Episode #1: ‘The Informer’" on Spreaker.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Happy Birthday Bob Crane!

Happy Heavenly Birthday Bob Crane! 

Today, July 13, 2021, Bob Crane would be 93 years old. 

Bob was not only the star of Hogan's Heroes, but he was an accomplished drummer and gifted musician, a broadcasting pioneer who was described as a radio genius by those who worked with him, a dear friend to many, a loving father, a humanitarian who genuinely cared about others, and a complete and complex human being, no different than the rest of us.

"Everybody has a history to his or her life. Let’s not paint Bob’s life by—what shall we say?—the moments in his life. I say these things that are the flaws are like specks on the Parthenon. Let’s look at the Parthenon and let’s not look at the specks. Let’s lift our eyes up to the man’s eyes and soul and life, and not look down on the gutter." —Joe Cosgrove, former staff announcer, KPOL, Los Angeles, and owner, KTHL, Lake Tahoe, CA; the first person to greet Bob when he arrived in Hollywood in August 1956. © Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography

And with that, we also say Happy Enarc-Drof Week! Don't know what that is? Listen to our birthday celebration podcast episode to find out! 

Listen to "012. The Lucky Number 13" on Spreaker.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Review of 'Autopsy: The Last Hours of Bob Crane' [Podcast]

Today, June 29, 2021, marks 43 years since Bob Crane's tragic murder. A few weeks ago, Linda Groundwater was featured in the Reelz program Autopsy: The Last Hours of Bob Crane as one of Bob's official biographers. In this episode of our podcast, Flipside: The True Story of Bob Crane, we provide an in-depth review of this 'Autopsy' episode.

Special thanks to Robert Scott Crane, who is our featured guest in this podcast episode, and to another source who has chosen to remain anonymous at this time.

Rest in peace, Bob. As long as we can continue to help people see and understand your true story, as Linda says in our podcast, "We'll keep working."

Listen to "011. Review of ‘Autopsy: The Last Hours of Bob Crane’" on Spreaker.

Subscribe to Flipside: The True Story of Bob Crane on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio, Spreaker, YouTube, and everywhere podcasts are found.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Autopsy: The Last Hours of...Bob Crane [Preview of Episode Review]

Autopsy: The Last Hours of... Bob Crane, featuring Linda Groundwater as an expert on Bob Crane's life and coauthor of Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography, premiered last night (Sunday, June 13, 2021). Now that the episode has aired, we have some things to say. 

To recap, Linda did a fantastic job in the episode. She provided some perspective about Bob's life and balanced out some of the negative stuff. Kudos to Linda! TV interviews are tough, and she was brilliant.

Autopsy got a lot of things right, and for that (as well as the scientific nature of the program), it was one of the more evidence-based shows that Reelz typically produces. 

But Autopsy also got some things wrong, and those parts need clarification and addressing.

Mind you, just because we don't like to focus on Bob's murder and sex addiction in our work about him, it most certainly does not mean we don't know the details about it or thoroughly understand it.

We'll be discussing all of this in our next episode of Flipside: The True Story of Bob Crane. Stay tuned.


Sunday, June 6, 2021

Autopsy: The Last Hours of... Bob Crane [Reelz Network; June 13, 2021]

Autopsy: The Last Hours of... Bob Crane
Date: Sunday, June 13, 2021
Time: 9:00 p.m. EDT
Featuring: Linda J. Groundwater, co-author of Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography and official Bob Crane co-biographer

On June 13, 2021, Autopsy: The Final Hours of... with Dr. Michael Hunter, will show the episode delving into the life and death of Bob Crane. Although we all know how Bob died, a bit of insight into his life and his struggles and successes would help give a bit of a fuller picture. The English production team interviewed Linda Groundwater in Australia as part of the larger program last November, and Linda spent a bit of time dispelling myths and correcting long held false information.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

'Hogan's Heroes' Revue — A New Podcast

It should come as no surprise that in Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography, the chapter focusing exclusively on Bob Crane's work on Hogan's Heroes is over 100 pages in length. Although Bob was hailed as a radio genius by those who worked with him in the broadcasting industry, Hogan's Heroes put him on the international stage. After its initial success and six-season run, Hogan's Heroes made Bob Crane and the rest of the cast super stars of their day.

When researching Bob Crane's life, we talked with as many people from his life as we could, and this included many prominent individuals from Hogan's Heroes—co-creator Albert S. Ruddy; cast members Robert Clary and Cynthia Lynn; guest stars Arlene Martel, Robert Hogan, Victoria Carroll, Jon Cedar, and Ruta Lee, among others; and directors, including Bruce Bilson, Robert Butler, and Jerry London. We also researched countless published contemporary articles about Hogan's Heroes and the cast, and had exclusive access to Bob Crane's own Hogan's Heroes scrapbooks and files.

Combine all of that research with the fact that we love Hogan's Heroes, and you've got the groundwork for another podcast.

Linda Groundwater, Dee Young, and I currently produce Flipside: The True Story of Bob Crane. But we wanted more. (We can't help it if we're greedy...!) And a podcast about Hogan's Heroes was begging to be produced. So we have launched a second podcast, 'Hogan's Heroes' Revue, where Linda and I will talk about each episode, starting with the pilot; include details from series insiders; and produce some of what is considered the best Hogan's Heroes fan fiction out there.

There's also a reason why we named it 'Hogan's Heroes' Revue, but you'll have to listen to our preview episode to find out!


Listen to "01. Preview of 'Hogan's Heroes' Revue" on Spreaker.