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Author of book on kindness admits he shot himself, sheriff says

June 16, 2012 |  7:38 am


It was certainly an ironic story: Ray Dolin, a 39-year old photographer and hopeful author at work on a book tentatively titled "Kindness in America," was shot by strangers from a car by the side of a Montana road. The only problem: It wasn't true.

According to Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier, the story was a fabrication. Yet the gunshot was real.

Meier told the Associated Press that Dolin admitted to shooting himself. "Mr. Dolin made a full confession himself," he said. A man who had been arrested in the case has been released, and the felony assault charges against him have been dropped.

Was this a case of book promotion gone terribly wrong? In a way, it was actually successful. Few would-be authors get their stories picked up by the Associated Press and circulated around the globe. People paying attention to recent goofy news heard about "Kindness in America," and the unfortunate injury suffered by its author.

In another way, of course, it was a disaster. Bleeding and hospitalized. Another man arrested. That whole being shot in the arm. By a gun: that's gotta hurt.

Of course, it may not have been an effort to publicize his book at all. Dolin may have accidentally shot himself, or who knows what other reason.

"My two greatest passions in life are travel and photography," Dolin writes on his website. "I believe that travel broadens one's view of the world. Experiencing other cultures, meeting people from other communities, other countries, and seeing the beauty of the world has helped me understand that all lives are connected and individual."

As far as we know, Dolin's work-in-progress, "Kindness in America," has not yet found a publisher.


"On the Road," the app

Lost and Found: Kerouac, Burroughs, Woolf and words

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-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Montana between Bozeman and Billings. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times