Monday, November 9, 2015

The 'Hogan's Heroes' Photo that Launched a Book

I first saw this picture when I was just 14 years old. I was in a Borders bookstore, and I was flipping through this big, green, heavy book—The Great TV Sitcom Book. I had recently discovered Hogan's Heroes, and I didn't know anything about the cast. But I knew Bob Crane was my favorite. I turned to the section on Hogan's, and I found this picture.

At first, I was thrilled because in the mid-1980s, there was no such thing as the Internet, Me-TV, or classic TV shows on video tape, DVD, live streaming, or YouTube. I got my Hogan's "fix" on a little 17-inch B&W TV, and finding just one little Hogan's Heroes picture in a random book was like striking gold. But it was what was written under the picture that stunned me. See, this is when I learned of Bob Crane's murder, how and when he was murdered, and that the crime was still unsolved. My heart was broken!

This picture always reminds me of that moment. That's when my little 14-year-old self said, "I'm going to help make this right. I don't know how I'm ever going to do that because I'm just a kid. But I promise I'm going to do something!" So I started researching Bob Crane...and I never stopped. And thirty years and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears later...and with the help of my friends...I wrote and we published a book. 

I'm often asked how and why I decided to write Bob Crane's biography. There is never an easy answer. It's not like I just woke up one day and said, "Hey! Here's a neat idea..." The journey was long, and with many twists and turns in the road. But it's always been a big part of my life to discover Bob's full life story, and now that I have, I will always want others to discover it, too.