For those of us who grew up watching Hogan's Heroes
and idolizing its star Bob Crane, the site of Crane's murder and his last residence -- Room 132A at the Winfield Apartments in Scottsdale -- is perhaps the Valley's most macabre tourist attraction. Crane was living there while he performed in the play Beginner's Luck
at the Windmill Dinner Theatre (now The Buzz nightclub), and it was there that he was found bludgeoned to death with his own camera tripod on June 29, 1978. For anyone who hasn't seen the film Auto Focus
with Greg Kinnear portraying the troubled actor, Crane was obsessed with sex and with videotaping and photographing his numerous conquests. So the killer's choice of weapon was ironic to say the least. Suspicion centered on an associate of Crane's, John Carpenter (played by Willem Dafoe in the film), but a trial in 1994 acquitted Carpenter of the much-delayed charges, and Carpenter has since died of natural causes. Some believe Crane was instead killed by a jealous boyfriend or an enraged father (likely there were many), so the case remains unsolved. Interesting aside: Bob Crane's son Scotty now peddles pop's homemade porn via the Internet. So if you're interested in seeing Colonel Hogan boffing babes, check out the site at www.bobcrane.com
But we digress. The Winfield Apartments are now the Winfield Place Condominiums, and someone else occupies the space. Still, more than one Bob Crane fan has cruised by the condos to have his or her picture taken before the sign for the complex.