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He loved staying up late watching trippy movies like Richard Linklater's and talking about the nature of reality.
"My whole philosophy at the time," he later recalled, was "of being super-open and loving and connected to everything."He graduated in 2006 and won another full scholarship to Penn State to pursue a master's in materials science and engineering.
He was said to be as grandiose as he was cold-blooded, championing freedom while ordering hits on those who crossed him.
Silk Road: Inside the 21st-Century Drug Bazaar None of the geeks milling around the stacks that day, nor even those closest to Ross Ulbricht, suspected that the slight, pale 29-year-old was, according to prosecutors, the notorious hacker known as Dread Pirate Roberts.
"Go back to your desk," the woman who had started it all told her.
"We're making an arrest."Stripping off their civilian shirts to reveal FBI vests, the agents told Ulbricht to turn around. As they led him toward the door, the female agent turned to the mystified onlookers and said, "Surprise!
It was impossible to believe that Dread Pirate Roberts could be him.
"In his entire life, with all these people who know him, something would have been indicated that he was capable of this," his mother, Lyn, tells me, "and it never has."rowing up in Austin, Ulbricht was, his father, Kirk, recalls, "a healthy, happy, unflappable Buddha of a kid." His parents built and rented bamboo solar-powered houses on the Costa Rican coast, and Ulbricht spent his summers running barefoot among the monkeys and learning from his dad how to be a big-wave rider.