Dr. Crane works at a government lab making a chemical called Bowlby, but died before completion. He would often use his son, Jonathan as a test subject, locking him in the cellar for hours on end, terrifying the boy to tears. Dr. Crane died while day while Jonathan was locked in the cellar and it took days before the police came looking for him.
Dr. Crane was created by Gregg Hurwitz and David Finch for their story arc Circle of Violence in Batman: The Dark Knight.
Major Story Arc
Circle of Violence
While Scarecrow puts Batman under the effects of his Fear Toxins, he reflex on his childhood. He remembers his father Dr. Crane locking him up in the basement. He remembered his father telling him that putting him in the cellar for hours to scare him was for science. Dr. Crane would often push Jonathan into the hole against his will. Jonathan remembers the time his father came into his room late at night to tell him his mother was dead and that it was the two of them from now on. Finally Jonathan remembers the day his father locked him up and then died, leaving him trapped in the cellar for days.
Dr. Crane makes an appearance in the episode titled "The Fearsome Dr. Crane" Dr. Crane is killing people who are in a phobia support group. His name is Gerald, but he is called Jon- most likely using his son's name as an alias. A young Jonathan Crane makes a brief appearance.