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They let you go, you bitch. What'd you do, get on your knees, give 'em a hummer? Huh?
~ Karl Atwood accusing DeLuca of selling him out to the police.

Karl Atwood is the main antagonist of the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "One". He is a ruthless thief and murderer who masterminds a multimillion dollar jewelry heist.

He was portrayed by Jake Weber, who would later portray Robert Flynn in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Biography

Early life

Atwood is a violent, narcissistic sociopath who makes a living as a thief. He has a long criminal record, including robbery and assault. He served a stint in a Montreal prison for attempting to hijack an armored truck. During his time in prison, he developed a reputation as a prolific jailhouse rapist, even though he had a long-term girlfriend, Gia DeLuca.

Shortly before the events of the episode, he hatches an intricate plan to rob a Manhattan jewelry store of $100 million worth of diamonds. He and DeLuca recruit fellow thieves Casten Zivkovic, Jake Nathan, and Michael Carson (Atwood's old cellmate and lover), to help them with the robbery.

"One"

Atwood mugs two men and uses their stolen IDs and credit cards to purchase the equipment needed for the job, wearing disguises to make sure he does not get caught. He and his cohorts then send the Kerstens, a married couple who live next door to the jewelry store, away on a fake prize trip to Atlantic City, and then drill through their empty house into the store. After taking the diamonds, Atwood kills Carson so there is one less share to split. When the Kerstens' daughter Sophie unexpectedly shows up at her parents' house with her boyfriend, Atwood kills both of them to eliminate them as witnesses.

To divert police attention, Atwood murders acquaintance Jimmy Randazzo, a low-level member of the Masucci crime family, and plants a few diamonds on his person to make it look like he committed the robbery. NYPD Major Case Squad Detectives Robert Goren and Alexandra Eames investigate Randazzo's murder, and Goren connects it to the jewelry store robbery, realizing from the relatively small amount of diamonds on Randazzo's body that the true culprit used him as a patsy.

Goren and Eames find a witness who identifies Nathan as picking Carson up at the airport. They search his apartment and find some of the equipment used in the robbery. They arrest Nathan and strong-arm him into calling Atwood while they trace the call. Atwood senses that the police are onto him, and flees the hotel where he is staying with DeLuca, leaving her to be arrested.

To get her to turn on Atwood, Goren lies to DeLuca that Atwood had contracted HIV from Carson and given it to her. DeLuca makes a deal to lead the police to Atwood in return for a reduced prison sentence. She then meets with Atwood, who accuses her of betraying him and threatens to kill her, and then forces her to have sex with him to prove her loyalty.

Later that day, Atwood meets with a fence to sell the diamonds. In the middle of the transaction, however, Goren and Eames burst in and arrest him and DeLuca. When Atwood accuses DeLuca of betraying him, DeLuca responds that he had gotten her sick, but Goren admits that he lied to her. Atwood is then sentenced to death and executed for the murders.

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