Bridge superstar Barry Crane won his last championship Saturday--the day after he was bludgeoned to death at his home in Studio City.
His team had been leading in the finals of the Knockout Team Championship at the annual regional tournament in the Pasadena Convention Center when his body was discovered Friday afternoon in the underground garage of the town house where he lived.
Announcement of the slaying sent a wave of shock through the ranks of players at various regional tournaments in progress during the weekend. Players who had seen and talked to Crane during the tournament in Pasadena were questioned by detectives, and entry slips filled out by tournament players were impounded as evidence. No suspects are in custody.
Team a Winner
Tournament play continued nonetheless, and Crane's team--with Kerri Shuman sitting in for him--emerged victorious.
Friends called it a fitting tribute to Crane, whose television career (he was producer for such successful series as "Mission: Impossible" and "Police Story") was to some extent overshadowed by his position in the bridge world.
Crane had been at the head of the American Contract Bridge League's lifetime master point list since October, 1968, with 35,084 master points to his credit at the end of June. His nearest rival was Paul Solway of Seattle, with 23,631 points.
He was also a six-time winner of the trophy awarded annually to the player accumulating the most master points during the year, and ACBL officials said it has been suggested that the award be known henceforth as the Barry Crane Trophy.
Other members of the Crane team were John Sutherlin of San Francisco, Billy Miller of Menlo Park, George Mattos of Las Vegas and Dennis Sorenson of Portland, Ore.
In other results of the 10-day tournament, Jim Robison of Los Angeles topped all contestants by winning three events--the Swiss-Style Teams held the final Sunday, an earlier Team Championship held the previous Sunday and an Open Pair Championship held Friday.
Robison's teammates on the final Sunday were Eddie Kantar of Los Angeles, Pamela and Jon Wittes of Los Alamitos, and Ross Grabel of Huntington Beach; on the previous Sunday, Bill Sides of Arcadia, Blair Sedder of Costa Mesa, and Harold Guiver of New Orleans; and his partner in the Pair Championship was Grabel.
In other tournament championships, Pamela Wittes and Randi Montin of Whittier won the Master Women's Pairs, tied by Kerri Shuman and Joan Stone of La Habra. Richard Hunt of Djakarta, Indonesia, and Joe Kivel of Corona del Mar won the Master Men's Pairs. Beverly Rosenberg and Stelios Touchtidis, both of Sherman Oaks, won the Open Pairs; Tobyann and Stan Strachan of Yonkers, N.Y., won the Alacbu Pairs, smoking division; Leda Danzig and Marcia Spears, both of Tarzana, the nonsmoking division; Hazel Donner and Joani Collins, both of Arcadia, won the Women's Pairs; Charles Brenner of Venice, and Louis Levy of Los Angeles, the Men's Pairs; Ted Aivazian of Belmont, and Jim Lord of Walnut Creek, the Master Pairs; Harold Guiver of New Orleans, and George Ateljevich of Los Vegas, the Senior Citizen Pairs; Jon Brissman of Huntington Beach, and Syd Levey of Clovis, the Super Open Pairs. Rhoda Walsh of North Miami, Barbara Hamman of Los Angeles, Darlene Hammond of Escondido, and Martha Beecher of Las Vegas, won the Women's Swiss-Style Teams; Ed Davis of Los Angeles, Ed Piken of Palos Verdes Estates, Steve Cohen of Panorama City, and Ron Feldman of Redondo Beach, won the Men's Swiss-Style Teams, tied by Rob Anthonisen of Altadena, Mike Flanigan of Westlake Village, Jim Kirkham of San Diego, and Bob Etter of Stockton.