At 5’ 6” and blessed with average looks, Vance relies on his personality to succeed. He’s as polite, or funny, or understanding (or willing to buy the next round) as he needs to be to get people to warm up to him. Under a relatively easy-going demeanor, he harbors a growing sense of failure. He’s a better-than-average reporter but not a great one. He wasn’t a cruel husband, but his marriage didn’t last. He started his career with enormous ambition but now he finds himself caring mostly about a decent retirement.
Vance Ogden, 45, has given up on ever receiving a Pulitzer for investigative reporting or the Edward R.Murrow award. His most earnest effort, which would have exposed a scandal involving a local politician, was a story he buried out of pity and decency (though both proved misplaced once the individual was elected to office). Redoubling his efforts after that lost opportunity, Vance managed to build a reputation as a talented (if not award-winning) reporter but his workaholic approach ruined his marriage, which ended five years ago. His ex, Madeline Reid, is an ER physician (who followed his lead and put her work before their relationship) and their split was, if not exactly amicable, at least not overly hostile. As they work in the same city and still share a few mutual friends they remain on speaking terms although they don’t hide their disappointment in each other very well.
There’s nothing in his life that went horribly wrong but he feels like his very earnest effort has yielded only ordinary results. A few years ago, he uncovered some details about a local criminal which helped build a successful case leading to an arrest, trial and eventual incarceration. The criminal in question swore to get revenge. Since then, Vance bought a small .22 handgun from a pawn shop. He keeps it in his nightstand but admits to himself that he probably couldn’t actually fire it at anyone. He’s grown wary about taking public transportation or sharing a cab. Friends and colleagues have noticed he’s more distracted and tense in crowded or noisy places. The times they’ve asked if he’s keeping an eye out for someone, he shrugs it off and says he’s just staying alert for any potential news stories.
Reporter working for Denver Post
First appearance: Day 1