The News, Framingham - Natick: Saturday October 29, 1966
by Doug Brandon

 

We're with you, Terry Carter.

If it had been pay-TV, this WBZ interview with Gerold Frank, author of the book, The Boston Strangler, would have been worth it.

In effect Carter demanded to know what right Frank had to write such a book, judging the alleged strangler as guilty before there had been anycourt findings.

It's a good question. You and I laugh at the silly TV Westerns where the plot hangs on: "Let's give him a fair trial and then hang him."

"It's ridiculous", we always say, but is it?

Here is a Hollywood writer writing a no-details spared account of the man who may be the Boston Strangler - pouring it on for the public, as if it were sociological history,

"I'm not saying he's the strangler," says Frank to Carter. I'm just a reporter recording what the experts who have been on the case say."

Well, as-a timid little reader, I'd like to say, Mr. Frank you're writing a TV Western.

There's nothing sacred about the beliefs of the police experts that makes this man guilty.

But hold on a minute.--

Carter was not only making his point.

He shone as an interviewer... a field that is notoriously weak around Boston if you've watched any TV;

I had my back turned to the set when he started the interview and suddenly I heard Carter say:

"Now hold on, Mr. Frank, that wasn't the question I asked you. I wish you'd answer what I asked."

Good for you, Terry. Maybe that was a bit rough on Mr. Frank whose only reason, for being on the show was to shill for his book so he'd earn a few more dollars. But it was refreshing.

How many times we've listened to the Casper the Friendly Ghost types who interview politicians, authors and movie stars on local TV.

Yessir, you're the biggest thing that ever happened to us around here. We sure appreciate your coming here to promote yourself. That's the tone.

Carter pressed for the facts and the motives the viewer was interested in.

Maybe you haven't read the book. I have and I wouldn't recommend it.

Its clinical detail is the most frightening I have ever read as a newsman.

I started to read it about 2 a.m. one day and I dropped it at 6, never to look inside it again.

There seems to be something putrid in publishing these days that reaches out for the consumer dollar... matter what. This is certainly the case here.

Frank, like an obedient lap dog, follows at the heels of Boston's own Peter Gunn, F. Lee Bailey. If Bailey says so, by god it is so.

But this is about TV. And I'd just like to say, I hope local TV develops more Terry Carters.