If you know the name Ross Ulbricht, it’s probably for just one thing: He is the man federal authorities have indicted in the U.S. for allegedly operating Silk Road, the anonymous, illegal Bitcoin web site for drug dealers and counterfeit currency traders.
He is also charged with ordering the assassinations of six people he believed had ripped him off as he accumulated a personal fortune of $US20 million in Bitcoin from transaction fees on Silk Road. (None of them were actually killed; the “hits” were set up by undercover agents.)
But Ulbricht’s parents and sister don’t recognise this description of him. They have mounted a campaign to raise money for his legal defence and, they hope, prove his innocence. “Ross is not a criminal mastermind and Ross is not a killer,” they say, on the site they have started to spread the word about his case.
Ulbricht’s mother, Lyn, gave Business Insider these photos of Ulbricht’s life before he was arrested so people can see the another side of the man the FBI claims is the “Dread Pirate Roberts.”