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After 34 Years, Arrest Made in Murder of TV Director

Cops say Edwin Hiatt admitted killing Barry Crane
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 10, 2019 5:03 AM CDT
This photo taken from video provided by WSOC-TV shows suspect Edwin Hiatt after his arrest Thursday, May 9, 2019, in Burke County, NC.   (WSOC-TV via AP)
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(Newser) – A man charged with bludgeoning and strangling to death a Hollywood television director more than three decades ago was arrested Thursday in North Carolina after police said DNA and a confession linked him to the crime. Edwin Hiatt was arrested in Burke County for the 1985 death of Barry Crane in Los Angeles. He has been charged with murder in California and will be returned there, police say. A housekeeper found Crane, 57, dead in his garage in his Studio City townhouse on July 5, 1985. He was naked and had been wrapped in bedsheets. He had been beaten with a large ceramic statue and strangled with a telephone cord, the News Herald of Morgantown, North Carolina, reports, citing court documents.

Crane directed dozens of episodes of such hit 1970s and '80s TV shows as "The Incredible Hulk, Hawaii 5-O, and The Six Million Dollar Man. He also produced the show The Magician. Crane's death went unsolved until police said they matched a fingerprint from Crane's stolen car to Hiatt last year, the AP reports. FBI investigators then obtained discarded cigarette butts and a coffee cup from the parking lot of the auto repair shop where Hiatt worked and found a DNA match to cigarette butts found in Crane's stolen car. Police say during an interview, Hiatt admitted killing Crane. Video from WSOC-TV showed Hiatt, 52, being arrested. Asked if he could have killed Crane, he told the station: "Anything's possible back then ... I was big into drugs."

(Read more cold cases stories.)

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