May 11 (UPI) — Los Angeles police on Friday charged a North Carolina man with murder nearly 35 years after the slaying of prominent television director Barry Crane, law enforcement officials said.
The Los Angeles Police Department said Edwin Hiatt, 52, confessed in March to killing Crane on July 5, 1985, at his Studio City home.
The 57-year-old director of shows such as Mission Impossible, Dallas and Mannix, was found dead in his garage by his housekeeper. Officials said he had been beaten to death and strangled before being wrapped in sheets and left in his garage.
Crane’s car was missing from his home and police later found it abandoned. Though the case was unsolved, police carried out forensic testing on cigarette butts and items with fingerprints left in Crane’s car in 2006 and again in 2018.
The most recent testing showed a forensic match to Hiatt, who lives in North Carolina.
“On March 8, 2019, [the LAPD Robbery Homicide Division] traveled to North Carolina and interviewed Hiatt,” the LAPD said. “During the interview, Hiatt admitted to killing Barry Crane.”
Police arrested Hiatt on Friday and charged him with murder. He was being held in North Carolina pending extradition to California.
Mannix star Mike Connors, who died in 2017, told UPI in 1985 that Crane was “a very likable guy.”
“He was a good problem solver for TV shows. He was expert at bringing a TV show in with the most production values for the least amount of dollars. He was very popular with the actors he directed.”