“CRUTCH”: THE CONCEPT
Log Line: CRUTCH is a series based on the actual cases of Don Crutchfield from the 60s to the present. These cases involve celebrities plus a healthy dose of numerous shady and colorful characters.
CRUTCH will be 22nd Century modern yet be able to segue seamlessly back into the colorful 1960s. The PI to the Stars, as Don Crutchfield is known, has cases involving his clients such as Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Carroll O’Conner and Charles Bronson to name a few of big name celebrities he handled. In recent years Crutchfield has become involved in investigations concerning O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson and other recognizable names. Crutchfield is continually being asked by the media to comment on various cases from Princess Di’s death to the latest scandal or crime reported daily in the LA Times. He has appeared numerous times on national TV with well known media figures including Diane Sawyer and Bill O’Riley.
CRUTCH is somewhat unique in that the series will flow from today to the 60s and back, depending on story lines. In the 60s Crutch operates from his home base, which in Steve Crane’s Luau. Crane was a famous restaurateur who was twice wed to Lana Turner. Their daughter Cheryl Crane was arrested for the stabbing death of Johnny Stompanato who was her mother’s gangster lover. Across the street from Crutch’s office at 430 N. Rodeo in Beverly Hills, the Luau was the watering hole of the majority of Hollywood’s elite, professional athletes, journalists and a number of LA organized crime figures.
The retro 60s segments will be populated by very colorful characters. The Wheelmen are such characters, a ragged, seldom sober, band headquartered at a gas station and repair shop on Fairfax Avenue. They are surveillance drivers extraordinaire. PIs of the day hired them to tail subjects. In their meticulously mechanically maintained muscle cars, they were a colorful but dying breed. They became extinct when no-fault-divorce became California law.
The tough noir PI Crutch adapts with the changes in the business and the new challenges. Crutch’s operation today is very sophisticated for a non-public, sole owner company. His Beverly Hills office covers a good 2,000 square feet. This includes a small state-of-the-art forensic laboratory. He also has the equipment and technical ability for computer analysis and counter-electronic surveillance.
KELLY RILEY, Crutch’s right hand, was a CSI supervisor for the Boston Police Department. Her ex-husband is a prominent Massachusetts’s judge. The divorce was bitter and the husband has been able to blackball her from being hired by government agencies.
She came to LA to get as far away as possible from Boston and eventually was hired by Crutch. She is extremely skilled thus Crutch had his tiny lab upgraded and now he has a forensic capability that is the envy of the private investigation industry in Los Angeles.
CRUTCH covers the guts of Hollywood and LA. There is Violence and danger but there is also an abundance of humor. Like most cops, Crutch has a macabre and biting sense of humor. The series will vividly recreate the music, fashion and feel of the 60s as well as 2008. It will be a series that is the best of two worlds and will have popular appeal.
“CRUTCH” – SERIES STORY CAPSULES
The Paparazzi Caper
Crutch assists his old friend Ron Galella, perhaps the most famous of the paparazzi, who is being threatened because of a photograph he took of a young married society woman having an affair in the 60s with Mickey Cohen, the gangster. A baby is born out of the union, but the society woman’s husband thinks the girl is his. The woman’s daughter today is now the senator from Nevada and is running for her party’s presidential nomination. A death bed confession reveals that Cohen is her father. If this breaks in the tabloids, much less the main stream media, her campaign could be derailed. Crutch finds himself embroiled in a high power case involving wire taps, blackmail, violence and death threats.
Wrong Door Caper
Joe DiMaggio suspects that his wife, Marilyn Monroe is meeting a lover in an apartment house. Frank Sinatra and assorted “muscle” types assist him in knocking down the door but it is the wrong apartment. They all are in a possible world of trouble for knocking down the wrong door in their search for Monroe. Crutch is hired because there is a blackmail attempt. Crutch finds that Monroe has been having a lengthy affair with a prominent and very well known married Washington politico. Crutch not only has to protect his client, but has to try to keep Marilyn Monroe from being murdered.
(This is loosely based on the actual case Wrong Door Raid.)
Talk can Kill
On a current book tour, Crutch finds himself on the highest rated morning radio talk show in Phoenix. Rick & Don (Think John & Ken KFI) are number one because they are able to offend everyone including their station cohorts. Crutch is more than holding his own with the “dynamic duo” when the station is suddenly taken over by armed terrorists. The variety of guests in the green room plus the colorful station staff contribute to the drama. The hostage station is forced to air propaganda messages while Crutch discretely works to defeat the hostage takers.
In the sixties there was no Transportation Security Administration screening passengers and baggage. The Beatles manager Brian Epstein manages to smuggle in the British rock stars’ stash of cocaine. The group checked into a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Epstein regularly kept contracts, money and drugs for the Beatles in his brief case. An ex gay lover of Epstein broke into the bungalow and stole brief case. Panic ensues when Epstien discovers the stolen brief case.
At this time early in their careers, the Beatles projected a squeaky clean image aimed at teen aged girls. They are not the Rolling Stones, at least not as portrayed by their public persona. Epstein soon finds himself and the Beatles the targets of a blackmailer. Crutch is hired to find the stash and the contract papers in the briefcase. Even more importantly he’s to keep the lid on what could have been a career ending disaster in the 60s.
(Based on an actual case involving the Beatles.)
Crutch is hired by Larry Flynt who is a very wealthy publisher of a porn magazine empire. Flynt is despised in the 70s by a variety of groups for being the prince of porno. His hedonistic life style has been the subject of a number of congressional hearings not to mention untold Sunday sermons.
Dysfunctional hardly describes Flynt’s life style. He lives in a mansion. It is an isolated area of Bel Air and is a self-contained fortress. Flynt has been shot and left paralyzed. His fourth wife is bisexual and they both are addicted to drugs.
Crutch is hired because Flynt, rightly, suspects that one or more members of his staff of 25 body guards are cooperating with members of his family to have him committed and accomplish a “palace coup”. Crutch has to deal with a myriad of weird and sick personalities including a group of bodyguards. Two of the bodyguards are hit men.
One night all communications are cut. There is a 51 man swat team raid on the mansion. Crutch has to defend his client.
(Larry Flynt actual case)
Charles Bronson ranked as a box office star in the 70s and 80s. He played tough guy parts and lived the role. The exception was his family. He was devoted to his adopted son and wife Jill Ireland. The son became a drug addict along with his close friend, Hugh, who was Carroll O’Conner’s son. Crutch is hired to locate the drug supplier to the boys. Neither actor wants to go to the police because because of possible publicity and incarceration of their sons. Crutch tries disparately to save them but to no avail. One dies of an overdose. The other blows his brains out. The tracking of the “connection” now becomes personal.
These are just six of over 200 actual cases that can provide vivid material. CRUTCH, the series will never lack for colorful, original and exciting story lines.
The creative group behind “CRUTCH” is currently working on a documentary involving “Missing Screen Writer” — Gary Devore. This was a Crutchfield case that also can be a segment for the series and/or a feature film.