Sunday, January 19, 2020

Happy New Year! Our Vision for 2020

Happy New Year! It's been a long time since I've posted, and I have to apologize for my absence. Personally, I've had a lot going on at home with my Dad's health and my day job, but it doesn't mean I'm not still here. In fact, quite the opposite! My coauthors and I never left, nor will we.

Linda Groundwater and I are getting ready to record our next episode of our podcast, Flipside: The True Story of Bob Crane (based on our work of Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography). We are also outlining future episodes. 

While you wait, you can check out the latest episode here:

I also wanted to share a little bit here of why we researched Bob Crane, wrote his biography, and carry on despite the book having been published.

Ever since I was a kid growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia in the 1980s, I have loved Hogan's Heroes and its star. Way back then, I was so sad when I learned of his murder, and my little 14-year-old self was determined to make a difference. Long before the Internet, I would go to the library, spending hours upon hours in the microfilm/microfiche room, trying to learn more. I still have my notebooks from my childhood research, and when I look at how diligent I was then, it's no wonder to me that I'm still here, all these years later, caring so much about the truth of Bob Crane's life.

Bob Crane is continually misunderstood and unfairly judged by the public. In the decades since his death, he has become known for three things, and three things only: Hogan's Heroes, his murder, and the scandal that came to light during the murder investigation. Very little or nothing is mentioned about his tremendous career in radio, that he was a talented drummer, that he made countless charitable contributions to society and nonprofit organizations, was "kind to those he worked with and kind to those he knew" (q. Leo McElroy, KNX colleague), was devoted to and loved his family and friends, was driven to success in all that he did (radio, acting, music), adored his fans and always made time to go out of his way to sign autographs, and sought to better his life by battling his addiction in the weeks leading up to his murder, and sadly, just didn't live long enough to see it through.

Auto Focus is the "source" most people have based their knowledge on. But be warned. Auto Focus misses its mark. Director Paul Schrader went further by stating in an interview to the New York Times that the film was meant to be a distortion and not entirely true because the truth is boring and who cares about the truth. So the film is exaggerated at best and completely inaccurate at worst. 

It would be very easy to give up, and I've been told to give up often over the years for all sorts of reasons: 1) I'm not a flesh-and-blood member of his family, and therefore, have no right to say anything; 2) my book won't sell because nobody cares; 3) nobody wants to hear "nice," they only want the dirt; and 4) the hateful comments I've received over the years from people who think they know the truth and feel empowered through anonymity (aka, trolls). I've been called names. I've been told that I "know nothing" and should just give it up.

But despite these shallow and often hurtful attempts to derail the work my friends and coauthors Linda Groundwater and Dee Young and I have done, we will not give up. We may not put a podcast episode out every week, or write a blog post every day, or post on social media as much as we used to, but we will not give up.

We are Bob Crane's official biographers. We are proud of the work we've done and honored to represent Bob through the people who knew him better than most. We have talked with 200+ prominent individuals from Bob Crane's life — family; friends; colleagues in radio, television, theatre, and film; and the counselor who was helping Bob overcome his addiction at the end of his life. We've become very close to and grown to love many people from Bob's life. It has, for us, become personal, because these beautiful people are now a part of our lives. We count them as our dear friends, and we continue our work not just for Bob, but also for all of them.

We understand that people who don't know about us or our work or have read our book have no idea about the truth about Bob Crane. It is never brought to the surface in the mainline media, and it's like a broken record that is on play-repeat. But it's a record we're happy to break so we can share what we know. The truth about Bob Crane.