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Alan Wyman, a recently convicted rapist and kidnapper, is the subject of my column in the current issue of the Reader. Among other things, Wyman was a writer, and in May of 2007 he submitted an article to the Reader, a long first-person account of his friendship with a prostitute living in the shuttered Nortown Theater. Wyman sent us the story from the Cook County Jail. Among the reasons he'd been there the past seven and a half months were charges that he'd kidnapped and sexually assaulted his friend, the prostitute. (He hasn't been tried on those charges.)
Because we didn't print his article, we didn't attempt to verify the "interesting life" he outlined for us in a cover letter introducing himself. Among his "many noteworthy experiences," he said, was working for Jerry Mickelsen and Arny Granat in the very early days of their Jam Productions.
This turns out to be true. I e-mailed Mickelson, who's Jam's chairman, and asked if the name meant anything to him. Mickelson wrote back: "Al Wyman worked for our peer group security company in the very early 70s. At work he did a very good job, was very conscientious, reliable and generally well liked. If I could have seen into the future 30 years ago I would never have painted or predicted the picture of Al Wyman which I just read in your article."
What is peer group security? I wondered. He explained, "Back in the early 70s most security at concerts were comprised of off-duty police officers. We thought it was better to have security personnel who were college aged or at least more in tune with the patrons who attended Jam concerts, thus the term peer group security."