Alessandro in 1997
Alessandro in 1999
Alessandro in 2008
|Portrayed by||Kim Coates|
"At first, I thought I'd gone mad. Then I realized it wasn't me, it's the world that's gone mad."
Alessandro Rossilini was a serial bomber, motivated by by what he viewed as a corrupt and incompetent system that stripped him of everything. Committing his first bombing in 1999, Alessandro would go on to commit a number of other attacks until his arrest in 2008.
Alessandro and his younger brother, Luciano, were born on John Henry Road in Philadelphia's Germantown, the sons of a tile maker who had worked on the 20th Street Train Station. Alessandro's father was a man of integrity, who taught his son to take pride in and appreciate hard work, and often told him the story of John Henry, a folk hero who competed against the steam powered hammer and won, only to drop dead immediately after, dying proving his worth as a human being. Alessandro's father would often take him to the train station, where Alessandro would stare in awe at his father's work.
At some point, Alessandro got a Master's Degree in engineering, and worked as a mechanical engineer for fifteen years, with ten of those years being spent at Kinetic Core Engineering. Alessandro went on to marry Helen Wainwright, and the two had a daughter named Sophia. Alessandro's seemingly perfect life began crumbling when a software firm named Pixelation started buying up property in Germantown, taking over almost all of John Henry Road. Refusing to sell his property, Alessandro entered a legal battle with the company in 1996, his struggle growing more difficult when he, along with twenty others in his division, was laid off a year later. During his last meeting, with Senior VP of Project Design Gene Schmidt, Alessandro was outright told that he had become a commodity, as the company, as well as nearly every other in the area, intended to open plants overseas, where new engineers could be easily trained and paid a fifth of an American's salary.
Unable to find decent jobs, Alessandro and Helen could not keep up with the premiums and had no health insurance when Sophia fell ill with what was later discovered to be cancer. The family was eligible for Medicaid, and Sophia started treatment, but by then it was too late, as the cancer had already spread throughout her body due to the company delaying her screening for it for over a year. During one visit to the hospital, the computers went down, and Alessandro, distraught by the pain his daughter was going through and frustrated that none of the staff seemed to care, lashed out at Roderick Poole, a physician's assistant who had seemed as apathetic as everyone else, telling Alessandro he had insurance and could always go to another hospital. Roderick's words caused Alessandro to throw a fit, knock over Roderick's trolley and go on a rant, about how the system was broken and did not care about individuals, in front of him and Helen.
Sophia died six months after Alessandro's episode in the hospital, and his marriage fell apart soon after. Alessandro eventually defaulted on his mortgage and lost his home in 1999. The night before the house was razed, Alessandro was visited by Luciano, now going by Luke Ross, and the two had a falling out. Luke had tried to convince Alessandro to leave and start anew, and Alessandro, feeling Luke was forsaking him and their father's legacy, showed him a music box made by their father for Sophia one Christmas. The brothers' father was unemployed when he made the box, but still found the time to painstakingly work on it. When Luke told him that he had to move on, an enraged Alessandro told Luke he was perfect for this world, as he, a financial manager employed by Mutual Heritage Bank, essentially "lived off the backs of others", a remark which prompted Luke, who had been supporting Alessandro, to cut him off.
Going underground after his house was demolished, with the area being abandoned soon after due to the tech market crash, Alessandro began squatting in an old apartment, obsessed with taking revenge on the system that had, in his view, ruined him and corrupted society by diminishing human value and making people disposable. Visiting the Philadelphia Public Library often, Alessandro discovered Carl Baxter, a meth dealer imprisoned in Frackville, online and took his identity, due to the convict having the names John and Henry tattooed on his arms. With a credit card, Alessandro bought a number of music box cylinders, all them designed to play John Henry, from a company in Vermont, and used them to create bombs, which would detonate after the box the cylinder was placed in had finished its song.
Near the beginning of the new millennium, Alessandro tried returning a shower radio, which had malfunctioned after getting wet, to the Big Box electronics store. After being informed by Curt Fitzpatrick, the floor manager, that he could not return the radio due to the receipt having expired and due to not buying an in-store extended warranty, Alessandro was told that he could send the radio to the manufacturer, though it would cost considerably less to simply throw it out and buy another. An agitated Alessandro tried to get Curt to stand by the product, which the floor manager nonchalantly referred to as a disposable piece of crap, but Curt told him that there was nothing he could do to help. As he walked away, Alessandro told Curt that there was nothing he could do for him either, before leaving one of his bombs in a shopping cart full of returned items. The bomb detonated a short time later, killing Curt and wounding at least six others. Alessandro would go on to bomb Kinetic Corp in 2001, disfiguring and partially blinding Gene, and the county hospital in 2003, killing Roderick.
After lying low for some time, causing the authorities to believe he may have been imprisoned or killed, Alessandro called his brother's house from a payphone at the 20th Street Train Station in 2008, claiming to be a credit card rep. Asking his sister in-law, Beth Ross, a variety of questions about recurring monthly charges, Alessandro learned that Luke regularly went Philly Sport and Racket Club, before taunting Beth, repeating his "living off the backs of others" remark and asking if she enjoyed her new purchases, such as the blue curtains in the living room. Months later, Alessandro left a bomb in a locker at the sports club, intending for it to kill Luke. Luke avoided the bomb because he had to pick up his daughter Mia from school, and the explosive, accidentally activated by a cleaner named Angel Perez, detonated prematurely, injuring seven. After the blast, Alessandro wandered the scene, being glimpsed and overhead whistling John Henry by John Wojciechowski.
Due to interviewing those related to him, would-be victims and deciphering clues he had left, the team discovered Alessandro was the bomber and found him at the 20th Street Train Station, where he had been sitting on a bench, clutching a music box, for over an hour. When the authorities swarmed the building, with Luke in tow, Alessandro was approached by John, who he explained his motivations to. After Stillman, who correctly guessed Alessandro took Sophia to the train station to admire her grandfather's work, told him that he cannot destroy what his father created, Alessandro agreed and opened the music box, revealing it contained nothing but a picture of Sophia. Turning to Luke, Alessandro repeated his "nothing lasts forever" line and caused everyone to realize he had sent a bomb to Beth and Mia. As Lilly desperately tried calling Kat and Vera, who were stationed outside the Ross residence, Alessandro surrendered peacefully. While being hauled away, Alessandro was swarmed by the paparazzi, and glimpsed apparitions of Curt, Roderick, and what appear to be his father and an older version of Sophia among the crowd. Lilly's call got through, and Beth and Mia were saved in time, reuniting with Luke outside their destroyed home.