I enjoyed reading Buzz Bissinger's September 1998 "Shattered Glass" piece in Vanity Fair. Thoroughly. I consider it a classic on how to do a profile.
The piece told the story of Stephen Glass's fall as a journalist due to his undermining of journalistic truth with his fabrications. It positioned the story within a wider perspective of a reporter-editor relationship and trust as well as within a broader narrative and trajectory of Glass's development, family, education, socio-economic background and influence, and career ambition built on a vulnerable foundation of self-doubt and obsessive proclivity to please everyone, especially persons of authority.
The article kept me reading all of its seventy-five-hundred-plus words, wanting to know more every step of its gradual revelation. It's like peeling an onion and gradually revealing more details.
See Buzz Bissinger, Shattered Glass