The Mastermind The Mastermind He was a brilliant programmer and a vicious cartel boss, who became a prized U.S. government asset. The story of an elusive criminal kingpin. By Evan Ratliff Prologue Paul Le Roux, a global criminal kingpin long held in secret U.S. custody, makes his first court appearance. Episode 1: An Arrogant Way of Killing How a real-estate agent in the Philippines became the target of a criminal mastermind. Episode 2: I’m Your Boss Now When you don’t know who your boss really is, a dream job can turn into a nightmare. Episode 3: He Always Had a Dark Side How did a Usenet troll and encryption genius become a criminal mastermind? Episode 4: Absolute Fear The programmer transforms into an insatiable tyrant. Episode 5: He Got Greedy A yacht called ‘I Dream’ washes up in Tonga carrying drugs and a grisly cargo. Episode 6: Eyes Everywhere How a retired American soldier became a brutal enforcer for a global cartel. Episode 7: The Next Big Deal A shroud of secrecy, a legal gambit, and a mystery solved. Updates A murder case at the heart of the series goes to the U.S. Supreme Court About “The Mastermind” was originally published in weekly installments between March and April 2016. Evan Ratliff is an award-winning journalist who has written for The New Yorker, National Geographic, and Wired, where he has contributed for more than two decades. He is the author of the book The Mastermind, based on his Atavist series of the same name. His writing has appeared in numerous Best American anthologies, and he is a two-time finalist for both the National Magazine Awards and the Livingston Awards. Evan was the founding story editor of Pop-Up Magazine, and he cohosts the Longform podcast. Editors: Katia Bachko, Joel Lovell Additional Reporting: Aurora Almendral and Natalie Lampert Designer: Thomas Rhiel Fact Checker: Queen Arsem-O’Malley Copy Editor: Sean Cooper Trailer: Paul Kamuf Images: Courtesy of the National Bureau of Investigations Design updated in 2021.