Man Arrested in Cold Case Killing of Hollywood Director Known for Dallas and The Love Boat

Barry Crane, a popular director and world class bridge player, was found dead by his housekeeper in his Studio City, California, garage on July 5, 1985.

The 57-year-old Crane, who produced and directed numerous television shows such as Dallas, The Incredible Hulk, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Police Woman, Police Story, and The Streets of San Francisco, was wrapped in his bedding and had been bludgeoned with a ceramic statue and also strangled.

According to the News-Herald of Morganton, North Carolina, Crane had been at a bridge competition the night before his death.

His Cadillac was missing from his home and later discovered on a mountain road, the paper reports.

His case remained unsolved for more than three decades — until this week, when Los Angeles police announced the arrest of Edwin Hiatt on Thursday.

The arrest came after police retested cold case evidence and received a forensic match to a fingerprint found in Crane’s abandoned car, according to the News-Herald and a LAPD press release obtained by PEOPLE.

In November of 2018, an FBI Fugitive Task Force began surveilling Hiatt, who was working at an auto repair shop in North Carolina. While he was under surveillance, the agents grabbed a disposable coffee cup, lid and cigarette butts he tossed, the News-Herald reports.

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In January, Hiatt’s DNA was allegedly matched to cigarette butts found in the ashtray of Crane’s stolen Cadillac, according to the News-Herald.

Los Angeles detectives interviewed Hiatt in North Carolina on March 8, and he allegedly admitted to killing Crane, according to the police press release.

Asked by a WSOCTV reporter if he committed the murder, Hiatt responded: “Anything is possible back then because I was big into drugs.”

Dee Hall, a friend and former co-worker of the suspect, told the News-Herald that Hiatt “wouldn’t hurt a flea.”

Hall added, “This is something that supposedly happened 30 years ago, the man’s changed. He ain’t the same man. Christ has come in and he’s become a new creature. If God’s forgiven you, you’re forgiven. That’s it.”

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has filed one count of murder against Hiatt. He extradition to California is pending.

He has a court appearance scheduled for June 6, WSOCTV reports.

It was not immediately clear if Hiatt has retained an attorney or entered a plea.

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