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His Word

Amadeus Harlan calls me because he says he wants me to know the truth. "I wanted to tell you right out I haven't refused to talk to you," he assures me, talking on a phone at the Douglas County Jail in Castle Rock several weeks after his parole hearing, and...
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Amadeus Harlan calls me because he says he wants me to know the truth.

"I wanted to tell you right out I haven't refused to talk to you," he assures me, talking on a phone at the Douglas County Jail in Castle Rock several weeks after his parole hearing, and a few days after I have been told by jail officers that he refuses to meet with me. "I have been told by the people here that they don't allow inmates to speak to the press.... I declined to speak to a reporter from Inside Edition who found it outrageous that [my parole was revoked] simply on the fact that I was self-employed and that I was on probation. But I haven't declined to speak with anyone from any media agencies here in the state of Colorado."

After all, he explains, he has nothing to hide. "I feel bad about my employees not being paid on [December] 5th. But I was incarcerated on the 4th. I was running a business, we were trying to get above and beyond water, and we ran into complications.... If you want to hear the whole story, with no holds barred, it would take you four or five hours," he says — and then promises that's going to happen. "In fact," he adds before hanging up, "you'll be the only one I'll sit and talk with."

The meeting doesn't happen. "We would never [prohibit an inmate from talking to the media]," says Sergeant Russ Slade at the jail when I call him. "He made it specifically clear he does not want to meet with a reporter."

Two weeks later, after I've sent him a letter noting that I've spoken with Gordie Albi, a woman he'd known as a teenager, Harlan calls back. "I really didn't like it when I got your letter talking about Gordie, because Gordie is a very sensitive spot for me," he says. "At the time I met Gordie, I was a child. I had never been in trouble before, and Gordie Albi stepped in and did a lot of things that kept me from basically being torn apart.

"And one thing that I say is I have never been a killer. I have never been the type to harm anybody. If you look at my record, violent people stay violent," he continues. "A funny part about it is a detective came to me about a year after I got out from doing time for that. And he looked me in the eye and shook my hand and started crying. And he said, 'I apologize. I didn't believe you. I thought you were lying. I am sorry.'"

Soon, Harlan promises, all his troubles will be behind him; he's sure he'll be free in five months. "There are no cases coming to me from my company. None whatsoever. If they would have come, they would have been filed already."

Over the phone, Harlan says enough talking about him; he wants to let me know about Harlan21. "Me, I'm a drop of rain in a bucket," he says. "The facility is like the expanse of outer space — it's that big. Me and my story are nothing compared to the facility itself and what I was trying to do."

But when I ask if he's ever impersonated a Broncos player, he becomes reticent.

"I don't know what you're talking about," he replies. "I don't know what you're talking about," he says again, then changes the subject. "I am going to be real with you. If Gordie Albi says sit down and talk with you and give you a chance, then you can get all the information that your little tape recorder, pencil, ink pen, notepad can hold."

I have his word on it.

"Take care, buddy," he says cheerfully as he hangs up the phone.

He never calls back.

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