‘Anything’s Possible’: Suspect Gives Cryptic Answer When Asked if He Killed Prolific TV Director

Edwin Hiatt was arrested in Burke County, North Carolina in the 1985 murder of famous TV director Barry Crane. Did he do it?

“Anything is possible back then,” Hiatt said as he was being escorted in handcuffs. “I was big into drugs.”

Those who currently know him insist he’s a great person, but the details of Crane’s death remain ugly by any standard. Police in Los Angeles, California said a housekeeper found the victim dead, wrapped in bedding. He had been beaten and strangled to death. Crane was known as a director and producer on shows like “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Wonder Woman,” and “Hawaii Five-O.” Remarkably, he also made time to become the most dominant bridge player of his era.

Hiatt told reporters Thursday that he had no memory of the murder, though “bits and pieces” were brought back to him by “suggestion.”

Investigators at the time said Crane’s car was stolen from the property, and found July 5, 1985 near Frazier Park, California, according to The Morganton News-Herald. Los Angeles police said they broke the case last year when a fingerprint specialist ran prints from Cranes car, and found one that matched Hiatt. They tracked him down by issuing search warrants to Facebook and Verizon.

FBI investigators claimed to find the defendant working at a car repair shop, where they saw him threw away a coffee cup and cigarette butts in the parking lot. They picked it up. Authorities said DNA from two of the items records matched DNA from five cigarette butts in the ashtray’s of Crane’s vehicle.  The outlet mentioned previous, unrelated criminal cases: for getting caught with a stolen car in Utah in 1985, and a 1997 domestic violence charge in which he allegedly attacked his ex-wife so violently she vomited.

Hiatt appeared in court on Friday using a wheelchair. Authorities want to extradite him back to Los Angeles, California where’d face the criminal case, but he told the judge that he could not make a decision about this because he didn’t get medication.

An extradition hearing was set for June 7. His attorney Steve Cheuvront told Law&Crime in a phone interview that if Hiatt didn’t get better, he would have a local expert examine him out of an abundance of caution, and make sure his client is competent to make a decision about extradition.

The defendant has his share of defenders. Coworker Jason Smith told the News-Herald that Hiatt was a better father to him than his actual dad.

“He wouldn’t hurt a flea,” coworker Dee Hall said, according to USA TODAY.

[Screengrab via WSOC]

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