Kenny Wangler is a recurring character and an antagonist in Simon Adebisi's storylines.
He was sent to prison for murdering a student he was attempting to rob. His constant macho bravado, disrespect for older prisoners, and drug addiction, among other things, make him particularly unsympathetic. He has an uneasy relationship with Homeboy gang leader, Simon Adebisi throughout the series, which oscillates between loyal camaraderie and public antagonism. Adebisi routinely harasses his constant sidekick, but freely shares the drugs.
Wangler is sent to Oz for murder and is immediately seen as a target. After he compliments Kareem Said by telling him he loved his book, Said tries to convert him to Islam, but his heroin addiction keeps him off the straight and narrow path. Adebisi suggests to current Homeboy leader Jefferson Keane to let him in so that the Homeboys can more easily wipe out the Italians. He helps Adebisi seriously injure Italian Joey D'Angelo in the kitchen and proves that he has a place in the gang. He robs elderly inmate Bob Rebadow for no apparent reason, for which Unit Manager Tim McManus chokes him. Throughout the season up to the riot, Wangler remains a key drug dealer and user who goes through severe withdrawal during the riot.
In General Population, Wangler goes through severe heroin withdrawal and is assaulted by the guards. He is let back into Em City, and McManus tells him to get his GED instead of mopping floors. In the classroom, Wangler is disrespectful and verbally berates several inmates, especially Poet, who has a talent for writing. He almost flips out when asked to read and then it is discovered that he is illiterate. McManus proposes that he learn how to read instead of going to the hole to Warden Glynn and his behavior improves as he becomes more literate. Adebisi, however, is not amused by Wangler getting more educated so he forces him to stop going to class and tears up a book that McManus gave him. Wangler's behavior worsens as a result, and he is not allowed to walk the stage at graduation when McManus decides he is too much of a discipline problem. Wangler then gets back into the routine, even making peace with Poet and berates the Italian inmates after Adebisi takes out their most powerful members.
As Adebisi becomes increasingly unstable, it becomes clear that he cannot lead the Homeboys. The Italians offer Wangler a partnership if he kills Jara, the man responsible for salvaging Adebisi. He kills Jara with the help of Junior Pierce, his main sidekick in the Homeboys. Adebisi goes to the psych ward as a result. Also, Poet comes back to Oz after killing a man while on parole and Wangler and Pierce are the only ones who accept him upon his return.
Malcolm Coyle arrives and becomes friends with Wangler. Coyle is beaten by the entire gang in the gym as a loyalty test that is often performed in their housing project neighborhoods. Wangler proves that he is worthy of being in their gang to Antonio Nappa. Adebisi is released from the psych ward and the other Homeboys, especially Wangler and Pierce, plot to kill him. Nappa, however, tells them to stand back for the time being. Wangler is upset when Coyle is kicked out of the kitchen on Nappa's suspicions. Later Augustus Hill testifies against Coyle for murdering an Italian-American family, and Wangler seeks revenge. With the help of Kareem Said, Antonio Nappa, Carmen Guerra, and Vernon Schillinger, Hill is protected and Coyle is killed by the Italians so that the Homeboys learn a lesson about seeking revenge.
Taking the new moniker of "Bricks", Wangler represents the Homeboys in the boxing tournament and falls quickly to heavier, fitter Muslim inmate Hamid Khan. Wangler and Poet, angered at the loss to the Muslims, expose Kareem Said for having sexual thoughts about a white woman. As a result Said is kicked out of the Muslims. Later, Wangler's mother visits, telling him that his wife is cheating on him with a man he despises, who is also assaulting his infant son. He has Pierce make a phone call to their outside connection who murders Wanglers wife and her boyfriend. Feigning grief, he attends the funeral, Adebisi cuts a deal with Chucky Pancamo, who is now the head of the Italians, and with the help of the Latinos, burned Poet and Pierce severely. Adebisi is Wangler's cellmate now, and he is at his old enemy's mercy. Adebisi has Wangler tied naked to his bed each night as a form of African war training and to reaffirm his dominance over Wangler. He then forces Wangler to accuse Tim McManus of sexual harassment. McManus transfers Wangler to Unit B and Wangler accepts Adebisi's plan to get rid of McManus and have a black man run Em City. Poet and Pierce get out of the hospital wanting to kill Adebisi, but Wangler tells them to cool off for the time being. On New Year's Eve, amid the racial tension, Wangler, Poet, and Pierce lead the black inmates in a chant throughout Unit B to set Augustus Hill free from solitary.
Adebisi gets Wangler, Poet, and Pierce back into Em City against McManus' wishes. While inside, Adebisi is trying to find someone to use a gun in a specific manner so that McManus can be exposed as incompetent and unfit to run Em City. A new inmate, an insecure white man named Guillaume Tarrant, arrives in Oz and is an immediate target for Wangler, Poet, and Pierce; they steal his shoes and bully him regularly. Seeing this, Adebisi places the gun in his cell, and the next day Tarrant kills Wangler and Pierce, in addition to another black inmate and Correctional Officer Joseph Howard before committing suicide. Wangler's death, however, falls perfectly into Adebisi's plans of revenge on them for killing Jara, and to get a black Unit Manager hired, as three black prisoners and a black officer died at the hands of a white amidst a shootout.