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John Henry Carpenter
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Murderer (Alleged)
    (April 24, 1928-September 4, 1998)
    Born in Morongo Indian Reservation, California
    Portrayed by Willem Dafoe in 'Auto Focus' (2002)
    Video equipment salesman
    Friend of actor Bob Crane
    He and Crane shared sexual partners and frequently engaged in threesomes.
    He and Crane videotaped their sexual encounters.
    When he called Crane's apartment the day after the murder, he seemed unsurprised when the police answered.
    Police suspected the murder weapon was a camera tripod that could be seen in several of Carpenter's videos but was missing when police searched his apartment.
    A blood stain in his rental car was B negative, matching Crane's blood type.
    His trial for Crane's murder was delayed over two years because he was being held in California for having sex with an underage girl (1992-94).
    He was a tank commander during the Korean War.
    During his first meeting with police he offered to take a lie detector test and/or be hypnotized if it would help them find Crane's killer.
    Police interviewed at least three witnesses who claimed to have seen a man leaving Crane's apartment on the night of the murder and their descriptions did not match Carpenter.
    Police never conclusively linked the blood stain in the rental car to Crane, since by the time DNA testing was developed the blood samples had deteriorated due to improper preservation.
    The prosecution's main evidence at the trial was a photo of the rental car showing a speck on the interior passenger door that they claimed was brain tissue.
    Since the tissue itself (if that's what the speck was) was never preserved, it was easy for the defense to dismiss it as evidence.
    Given the large number of spurned lovers and cuckolded husbands Crane left in his wake, there were plenty of other potential suspects.

Credit: C. Fishel


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