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|“||The Grim Reaper's visiting with you.||„|
|~ Waingro before killing the hooker.|
|“||Well I got some moves I can make here. Probably be a big help to you.||„|
|~ Waingro preparing to give information about Neil McCauley to Roger van Zant.|
|“||Waingro. My name's Waingro.||„|
|~ Waingro introducing himself.|
Waingro is the main antagonist of the epic 1995 crime thriller film Heat and priorly its 1989 TV film L.A. Takedown. He is a murderous criminal who formerly associated with Neil McCauley and his crew before betraying them and going on to work for their perfidious employer, money launderer Roger Van Zant after they tried to kill him out of disgust due to his actions.
In L.A. Takedown, he was portrayed by Xander Berkeley, who later played Thomas McAlister in The Mentalist and Gregory in The Walking Dead. In Heat, he was portrayed by Kevin Gage, who also played Gabriel T. Rorke in Call of Duty: Ghosts and the titular character in the 2005 film Chaos.
Although little is known about Waingro's background, it is revealed that he had been sitting in New Folson jail, where he met career criminal Neil McCauley and was condoned to join his crew, after their release. Waingro first appeared in preparation to join McCauley and his crew in performing a $1.6 million robbery. The heist is initially successful, until Waingro deliberately and impulsively executes one of the guards and forces the crew to kill the remaining two. Enraged by this, McCauley attempts to have Waingro killed later on, seeing him as an obvious liability.
Waingro reappears when in a café where McCauley and his crew confront him over his behavior. He unsuccessfully attempts to justify his actions as McCauley attacks him twice, the first time in the café and the second when they exit as McCauley carries out his plan. However, Waingro escapes after an unnoticed police car distracts McCauley and his crew.
Unbeknownst to McCauley and his crew, Waingro is also a serial killer who preys on prostitutes. LAPD detective Vincent Hanna, who is also pursuing McCauley, investigates one of his murders.
Waingro arranges to meet up with Roger van Zant upon learning of the latter betraying them by attempting to have them killed. The two form an alliance, and they end up locating Trejo, one of McCauley's crew members, at his home. Waingro leads Van Zant's henchmen to Trejo where they coerce him into luring them into Hanna's trap during their next heist. Prior to this, Waingro has already sexually slaughtered Trejo's family and would go on to torment Trejo half to death.
Waingro has successfully sabotaged McCauley's heist when he and his crew are confronted by Hanna and his unit, resulting in the deaths of McCauley's two accomplices and several of Hanna's informants. Later on, McCauley discovers what happened to Trejo and his family and ends up putting his friend out of his misery, though not before Trejo reveals that Waingro was culprit all along. McCauley later confronts and kills Van Zant in his home.
Having learned of Van Zant's death, Waingro goes into hiding in a hotel near the Los Angeles International Airport and uses an alias, Jamason, to prevent either Hanna or McCauley from locating him. In the following day, McCauley finally locates Waingro in his hotel where he secretly infiltrates the building, and creates a diversion by pulling a fire alarm before going on to confront Waingro in his room. Waingro believes McCauley to be a security guard and puts on the latch on the door to prevent the "security guard" from accessing the room when Waingro opens the door. McCauley then kicks the door open, barges into the room and disarms Waingro, who is then brutally beaten by and forced onto the sofa by McCauley with the butt of his handgun.
McCauley furiously tells Waingro to look up to him (thrice a time), and the frantic Waingro, does so before McCauley shoots him twice in the chest. A dying Waingro exhales his last breath in agony before McCauley shoots him in the head, killing him. McCauley's escape was abandoned however, as Hanna arrives at the hotel and chases after him into a field and eliminates him (accomplishing Waingro's goal to kill him).
Waingro is a sadistic, sinister and vile bank robber and serial killer who takes pleasure in killing or maiming anyone for sport, such as murdering prostitutes, even when they try to placate him, by titillating him. He is also quite egotistical and funky when he ends up betraying McCauley and his crew over a circumstance that Waingro himself had deliberately caused. Furthermore, while good at deceiving others, Waingro is, for the most part, out of his depth. The only reason his attempts to kill Neil and his crew works is due to impulsive nature making things for them.
- Despite being the main antagonist, he only has six minutes of screentime.
- Kevin Gage was sentence to forty one months in prison on September 29, 2003 for illegally cultivating marijuana. In prison, his fellow inmates reportedly addressed him as "Waingro".
- Waingro was widely seen as the "hate sink" character in the movie, to show different degrees of evil between himself and his fellow robbers McCauley, Cherrito and Shiherlis, who despite their being violent criminals themselves still possessed a code of honor, considered themselves to be "professional" in their chosen field and killed only as a last resort out of necessity.
- Even though he dies at McCauley's hands Waingro is still the ultimate cause of his downfall, as he caused McCauley to abandon his attempt to flee the country safely in order to seek revenge against Waingro, missing his chance to escape without detection and ultimately culminating in McCauley being shot dead in self-defence by Lt. Hanna, in what can be considered a classic case Honor/Revenge Before Reason.