Man arrested in Burke County for murder of Hollywood producer 34 years ago

Burke County man arrested in cold case murder of CA director

BURKE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Officials arrested a man in Burke County Thursday for the murder of a Hollywood producer 34 years ago.

According to the Burke County Clerk of Court, Edwin Jerry Hiatt II was arrested in connection to the murder of producer-director Barry Crane. Officials say Crane was bludgeoned and strangled to death in California 34 years ago.

On Friday at Hiatt’s first court appearance, he appeared shackled in a wheelchair. He told reporters that he couldn’t remember exactly what happened in 1985.

According to the Associated Press, the body of the then 57-year-old producer-director was found wrapped in bedding in 1985 in the underground garage of his Studio City townhouse by Crane’s maid.

Crane was the producer of such television series as ″Mission: Impossible,″ ″Police Story,″ “The Incredible Hulk” and “Loveboat,” to name a few. He was also a world-class champion Bridge player who competed across the country.

Investigators say in July 2018, Hiatt was confirmed as a forensic match to Crane’s suspected killer. He was interviewed in March in NC and the evidence was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who ultimately filed the murder charge.

Hiatt was advised of his charge on Friday but explained that he could not make a decision at that time regarding his extradition to California because he had not taken his medication and was not of the right mind to do so.

Hiatt is being held without bond in Burke County and the judge has appointed an attorney to appear with him for his next scheduled after court date on June 7.

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