Alex Jane is a carnival worker. He previously worked on a carnival as a psychic with his son, Patrick. Alex later realized that Patrick's skills of observation and induction made him the better psychic, so he had Patrick play the psychic role. Meanwhile, Alex played the role of the showman, persuading people to come and utilize Patrick's psychic skills.
When Patrick was a teenager, Alex and Patrick had a major disagreement when Patrick refused to scam a dying girl and her grandmother, and Alex had to force Patrick to do it. This probably contributed to their falling-out and estrangement, which was made complete when Patrick ran off with fellow carnival worker (and wife-to-be) Angela Ruskin to escape the carny lifestyle.
In the episode, Alex Jane is seen entirely in flashback, in scenes that take place approximately in the mid-1980s. In the present, his status is unknown.
In Red John's Rules, Sean Barlow, another psychic and Alex's former friend, said that his grandfather and Alex's grandfather came together from Ireland to the US. Barlow, who called himself a real clairvoyant, said also that Alex was a "wicked man", that abused the faith of people, knowing that he and his family didn't have powers.