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Jury Selection Begins in 1978 Murder of Television Actor

September 7, 1994

PHOENIX (AP) _ Jury selection began Tuesday in the trial of the man accused of murdering ″Hogan’s Heroes″ star Bob Crane 16 years ago.

John Henry Carpenter, 66, walked into court relaxed and holding hands with his wife. The former electronics dealer, a resident of the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, has been described as a longtime friend of Crane’s who shared the actor’s taste for the swinger’s life. He is free on $98,000 bond.

Carpenter is accused of killing Crane in 1978 in the Scottsdale motel room where the actor was staying while performing in a dinner theater production.

Investigators said Crane was killed by blows to the head with a blunt object, most likely a camera tripod. The murder weapon was never found.

Crane, 49, starred as the wisecracking Col. Robert Hogan in the CBS series from 1965 to 1971.

A panel of 28 potential jurors was selected Tuesday from a initial pool of 99. Selection of the 12 jurors and four alternates was to resume Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Prosecutors are expected to argue that Carpenter was angry because Crane wanted to end their friendship, which had allowed Carpenter to participate in Crane’s sexual escapades.

Carpenter maintains his innocence. His lawyer, Stephen Avilla, says Crane could have been killed by a jealous husband or lover.

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