Ed Hiatt is charged in the death of well-known television director and producer Barry Crane. (Photo: WSOCTV.com)
Photo: (Photo: WSOCTV.com)
Photo: (Photo: WSOCTV.com)

North Carolina man arrested in 1985 murder of Hollywood TV producer

>> Read more trending news 

Ed Hiatt is charged in the death of well-known television director and producer Barry Crane.

Federal agents said the 1985 murder of Crane in Los Angeles sat cold for decades, but new evidence led them across the country to Hiatt.

Crane had a hand in some of television’s most iconic shows, including “The Six Million Dollar Man,” "Mission: Impossible," "Wonder Woman," "Dallas," “Chips” and “The Streets of San Francisco.”

Crane was also a world champion bridge player.

Hiatt was arrested at a repair shop where he worked in the town of Rutherford College. Friends said he lived in a camper there. 

The FBI staked out Hiatt and collected his discarded cigarettes and a foam cup to get DNA.

Hiatt was 18 years old when Crane was beaten and choked to death inside his Studio City home in L.A.

Crane’s body was found wrapped naked in some sheets in his garage in July 1985. 

Nothing was missing from the condo except Crane's wallet and Cadillac.

LAPD detectives ran prints on the car last year for the fourth time and one of the prints belonged to Hiatt, according to warrants.

The FBI and LAPD linked Hiatt to the crime through the DNA they gathered.

Hiatt was taken into custody by the FBI and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

Channel 9 caught up with Hiatt as he was being escorted to jail by police.

“Did you ever think they would catch up with you?” reporter Dave Faherty asked Hiatt on Thursday.

“I didn’t have any clue what was going on when they first met me,” Hiatt said.

“You had no idea?” Faherty asked.

“No,” Hiatt replied.

“This is a shock to you?” Faherty asked. “It’s a different life today.”

“Do you not remember what happened in 1985?” Faherty asked.

“I don’t have a really good memory,” Hiatt said.

“Could you have done this murder in 1985?” Faherty asked.

“Anything is possible back then because I was big into drugs,” Hiatt admitted.

The FBI tracked Hiatt through social media to North Carolina where he was working at the auto repair business in Burke County.

“Do you remember Barry Crane?” Faherty asked.

“I don’t remember the guy until they told me his name, and then I didn’t remember his picture” Hiatt said.

What we don’t know tonight is the possible motive for the murder or when Hiatt will be extradited back to California. 

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X