Not many newspaper personality profiles, even the well done, are edge-of-the-seat reading. Today’s Oregonian piece – first in a series – about former KOIN news archor Jeff Alan, written by TV critic Peter Ames Carlin, is that and more.

And it’s not so much the writing (though Carlin is a fine writer) as it is, simply, the subject matter: A life with the kinds of turns and surprises a fiction writer wouldn’t dare try to craft. A television anchor, webmaster of a site devoted to bondage, a witness to the assassination of Robert Kennedy, a researcher for a conservative group into voter fraud . . . who went missing and was legally declared dead, by his wife, 16 years ago. And that only scratches the surface . . .

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