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July 14, 2013

Allan Near. (Photo: Silent Witness)

Allan Near's life was forever changed on Saturday, June 1, 1996.

That night, he and his neice met some friends at Graham's Central Station near 35th Avenue and Indian School Road.

"I had to go to work early the next morning so I left early and she stayed behind," said Near. "That's my last memory of the night. My next memory is waking up in the hospital."

That was 13 days later.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Darren Burch said a few hours after Near left Graham's, patrol officers found him laying on the side of the road near 3rd Street and Mineral at South Mountain.

"He was unconscious and had been badly beaten. It was also clear he'd been robbed," said Burch. "His car, a 1985 Ford Bronco, was found burning in an alley near 71st Avenue and Indian School."

Near had a severe head injury.

"They had homicide detectives on my case because doctors told them I wouldn't survive," Near said.

Near thinks he was carjacked but has absolutely no memory of the crime. It's had a tremendous long-term affect on his life. He's moved far away from Phoenix and spends most of his time home alone because he finds it hard to trust anyone.

Because his short-term memory is so badly affected, his career as an electronics technician is over. He's been trying to attend classes but is struggling to remember what he learns each day. He lives on disability now.

"I would very much like whoever did this to me face justice," said Near.

To read more about this case, click here.

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About the Author

Years with the company: 18

More on what you do (at work): I put up with Mac & Gaydos every day as well as writing and anchoring newscasts and doing some reporting. I also produce Silent Witness which airs every Monday morning.

Education: I started in radio during high school and kept with it. I also graduated from modeling school, but quickly realized it isn't what I love to do…radio is.

Family: Married. One pet…a cat named Molly (but she thinks her name is Princess).

Favorite food: I love anything cheesy or chocolatey.

Favorite spot in Arizona: Our family cabin in Strawberry.

Favorite news memory: Too many to list but I remember one time I helped rescue a litter of puppies found in a hole on an empty lot…

Favorite movie: I like too many to list any one as a favorite. I don't like sad movies so my LEAST favorite is Marley & Me!

First job: Washing dishes at the restaurant my friend's parents owned when I was 13.

First concert: Rick Springfield at the Arizona State Fair in 1981.

#1 sports team: Suns, Diamondbacks and Cardinals

Outside interests: I sing with the band at church, I bake, I read and I treasure hunt at thrift stores and yard sales. I also love to travel…but not if I have to drive.


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