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The investigators had their last shot at John Carpenter on the evening of July 14, 1978. By now, the thin wall of civility that had marked most of their meetings had cracked.

Carpenter finally brought the mutual animus out into the open.
"When you sit across from me and accuse me of killing my best friend, one of my best friends. . . ." he said.

"Well, I'm still thinking that you did," Dean spit back at him.
"Then, fine, I'm not going to say another word. I'm sorry."
"What do you mean, you're sorry? You're sorry you killed him, are you? Or do you think he deserved it? Why don't you tell me about that? What happened in Scottsdale, Arizona, to cause you to kill Bob Crane? Let's hear about it."
Carpenter said nothing.
Borkenhagen tried a slightly different tack: "You know that at this time, we don't have enough to arrest you or we'd arrest you. . . . But it's getting close and it's going to happen."

Carpenter nodded. "Thank you," he said. "Can I leave now?"
"Certainly," the detective replied.
Carpenter stepped out of the police station into the cool, California night. His home was about three miles away. He walked there, he says, in a daze.

Almost 14 years later, police arrested him for murder.

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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin