Gerald writes about the time when he was recruited to work for True Detective magazine that was focused on true crime. He goes on for quite a while about Crockett:
My boss was Art Crockett. Pushing seventy, he wore a fedora over his horseshoe of hair and a cardigan vest over white starched shirts. He walked with a cane, had a lame eye, a wisecrack for every occasion, and a two-pack-a-day
cough though he'd recently cut down to a half a pack a day. Doctor's orders.
If Art looked and acted the part of the wizened, tough-guy editor, he had a right to. He had lived the life.
Raised a few blocks up from our office, Art received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart as a radioman with the 100th Infantry Division in World War II. After his discharge, he worked a series of unsatisfying jobs - in a salt factory, a refrigeration plant, and as an elevator repairman. Then, with a wife and two kids to support, Art quit his day job, rolled the dice, and began hammering out plots fast and for money - a penny a word.
His first stories appeared in second-generation detective fiction pulps like Manhunt, Pursuit, Menace and Conflict. In the early 1960's, he edited a bizarre string of
sex-cum-violence magazines, unreasonable facsimiles of legitimate men's adventure titles like Argosy and True that featured lavishly illustrated covers of dolled-up girl-Nazis equipped with leather, whips and chains. When they folded, Art left for greener pastures of the True West publications. It was a short stay, for they, too, closed up shop, and when they did he turned to True Detective.
Art was a considerable literaty talent although thirty-five years of high-speed writing had taken its toll. When necessary, he could still knock out a masterful yarn. Mostly,
he just churned out tawdry blurbs and titles on his Royal manual, circa 1936, something he could do like nobody's business. ("The poor joker on the floor was literally beaten to death. That was bad enough. But what his blood-dimmed eyes beheld before the end came may have been even worse." Or "It was the ultimate humiliation for the man who was obsessed with sex, and no power on earth could stop her as she approached him with her menacing knife.")
Gerald also says that Crockett died of a heart attack in June 23, 1990. If Crockett was in his seventies in 1988, when Gerald came to work for True Detective, he must've been born in 1918 or thereabouts.
Gerald mentions also other writers who wrote lots of true crime stories: Jack Heise, Bud Ampolsk, Bill Kelly, Bill Cox and Walt Hecox. Of the names, I can find real fiction writing credits only for Walter Hecox. (The Bill Cox here seems to be Bill G. Cox, so he's not the pulp and paperback writer William R. Cox.) Gerald calls Jack Heise "all-time pulp great", but I can't find any support for the claim of him being a pulp writer. But then again, Gerald seems to equate true crime mags and pulp mags. (This guy may be the same Bill Kelly Gerald refers to.)
Here's a list of Art Crockett's and Walter Hecox's crime stories from the Fictionmags Index.
By the way, Gerald's book is a great anthology: it features stories by writers like Robert Bloch, Jim Thompson, Bruno Fischer, Lionel White, Dashiell Hammett and Harlan Ellison, almost every story being pulled from a true crime magazine. Mention is also made of Charles Burgess and Robert Faherty, whose rare entries in book-length writing Gerald speaks of admiringly. Has anyone read Burgess's The Other Woman, published by Beacon in 1960, or Faherty's Swamp Babe, published by Crest in 1958?
Edit: Based on what Allen Hubin found, it seems probable that Art Crockett was born in 1921.