Silly Little Show-Biz Book Club: An unsolved murder and Nazi comedy can’t make Crane a compelling memoir

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Silly Little Show-Biz Book Club is Nathan Rabin’s ongoing exploration of books involving show business, with a special emphasis on the very bad and the very sleazy.

Bob Crane is best known for starring in the inexplicably popular Nazi-themed sitcom Hogan’s Heroes and for dying in an unsolved murder related to his secret life as a sex addict and homemade pornographer. He may have been murdered by his partner in swinging and voyeurism John Carpenter. No, not that John Carpenter: an entirely different weird dude from the 1970s obsessed with film, or at least amateur, early video.

As far as distinctions go, those are pretty memorable ones. Paul Schrader, a man who knows a thing or two about sex, guilt, and self-destruction, made a fairly engaging biopic about Crane called Auto Focus, starring a perfectly cast Greg Kinnear, who captured both Crane’s glib charm and his stormy …