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We will soon be the slaves and the machines will be the masters.
~ Kenneth's philosophy.

Kenneth Roberts is the main antagonist of the Criminal Minds episode "Empty Planet". He is a delusional anti-technology activist who kills several people with homemade bombs in a misguided attempt to reach the woman he believes to be his biological mother.

He was portrayed by Jamie Elman.

Biography

Early Life

Kenneth was adopted as a baby, but his adoptive parents did not tell him. His adoptive mother died when he was eight. Years later, Kenneth found out he was adopted when his adoptive father needed a blood transfusion, and Kenneth was found to have no biological relationship to him; his adoptive father told him the truth on his deathbed. Kenneth tried to find his biological parents, but his birth records were sealed; the only thing he could find out was that he was put up for adoption in Youngstown, Ohio. He also learns that St. Denis University literature professor and science fiction author Ursula Kent had put a child up for adoption there, and so became convinced that she was his real mother.

He moved to Seattle, Washington to be close to Kent, and enrolled at St. Denis as a literature major so he could take classes from her. He also developed the delusion that Kent's dystopian novel Empty Planet was a prophetic vision of a future in which technology enslaves humanity, and that he was the only one who could stop such a future from coming to pass. He joined the Freedom From Technology Brigade (FFTB), a militant anti-technology activism group, and led them in vandalizing a computer lab on campus and destroying four computers at an internet cafe using explosives planted in floppy discs.

"Empty Planet"

Eventually, Kenneth decides to reach out to Kent by recreating scenes from Empty Planet, first by planting a bomb in an umbrella and placing under the bus seat of her colleague Dr. Emory Cooke, a scientist specializing in artificial intelligence. Unfortunately, another passenger finds the bomb and takes it to the bus driver just as Kenneth remotely detonates it, killing both of them and inuring several other passengers. Just before setting off the bomb, Kenneth anonymously alerts several local media outlets, motivated by the delusion that Kent will understand who he is if she sees the bombing on TV.

The FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) is called in to investigate the bombing as an act of terrorism. Agents Jason Gideon and Jennifer Jareau hold a press conference falsely stating that no one had taken credit for the bombing, in order to draw out the bomber. Sure enough, Kenneth calls Gideon from a payphone claiming responsibility, calling himself "Allegro" after the protagonist of Empty Planet. He then blows up a gas station, leaving behind his manifesto, "A Guide To Practical Living", in which he demands that all technology that has replaced human workers be destroyed within a week, while it also contains several direct quotes from Empty Planet.

BAU agent Spencer Reid, a science fiction fan, recognizes quotes from the novel in bomber's manifesto, and theorizes that the bomber has a real or imagined connection to Kent. The BAU begins investigating Kent's students, and eventually learns of Kenneth's membership in the FFTB.

Meanwhile, Kenneth plants another bomb in Cooke's car, and this time succeeds in killing her. He then sets his sights on another of Kent's colleagues, artificial intelligence expert Dr. Betsy Brazier, planting a bomb in her car. Before he can detonate it, however, local police, alerted to Kenneth's terrorism by the BAU, dismantle it and take Brazier to safety. Angered, Kenneth plants a series of bombs in local government buildings, and calls Gideon threatening to detonate them unless his manifesto is published in the Seattle Ledger. Fortunately, a SWAT team is able to find and defuse the bombs before Kenneth can detonate them.

Later that day, Kenneth confronts Kent in her office, claiming to be her son; a bewildered Kent replies that the child she gave up for adoption was a girl. Just then, the BAU agents, flanked by a SWAT team, burst in and try to arrest him. Kenneth flies into a rage and holds Kent hostage, threatening to blow them both up with another homemade bomb. Kent sees the laser pointer of a SWAT sniper rifle aimed at Kenneth's heart, and jumps in front of it just as the sniper fires, but she is only superficially wounded. Kenneth, meanwhile, is arrested and imprisoned.

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