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Charles Reynolds Ainsley

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Charles Reynolds Ainsley is the main villain of the 1965 movie The Satan Bug, portrayed by Richard Basehart.


Charles Reynolds Ainsley was a millionaire pharmaceutical magnate and also a megalomaniac who wanted power for its own sake. He hired and then murdered an Austrian scientist named Dr. Gregor Hoffman. Then, impersonating Hoffman, he got himself hired at Station 3. A highly skilled scientist in his own right, Ainsley, as Hoffman, assisted the facility's director Dr. Harold Baxter in creating the Satan Bug, as well as the vaccine for it, although only he, Baxter and a third scientist, Dr. Ostrer, knew of the vaccine's existence. He then planned and executed the theft of the Satan Bug after giving himself the vaccine, and saw to it that the other two who knew about the vaccine were killed.

He smuggled in his henchmen Donald and Veretti so they could steal the Satan Bug as well as some botulinus. Veretti killed Baxter and Donald killed security chief Reagan. Ainsley's plan was to use the threat of the Satan Bug to get Station 3 closed down and take total control of the entire world. He gave two flasks of the botulinus to Donald and Veretti, while he took the remaining botulinus and the Satan Bug in an airtight carrying case. He drove to Ostrer's house where he drowned him in his own swimming pool. On his way to where he'd been living as Hoffman, he got a flat tire and was forced to hitchhike. Not wanting to be caught with the caseload of viruses, he stashed it in a nearby stream, intended to get to it later. Meanwhile, Donald used one of the botulinus flasks in Florida to kill thousands of people. Veretti planted a second virus bomb in Los Angeles.

However, his plans were derailed when he was summoned back to Station 3 about the break-in, and he had to continue playing Hoffman for a while. He, however, was able to communicate his predicament to Donald and Veretti, and they recovered the virus case, capturing Lee Barrett and Ann Williams in the process. After the SDI was finished questioning him, Ainsley departed and met up with Donald and Veretti. The three took Barrett and Ann as hostages and fled, little realizing the SDI was already onto Ainsley. Noticing two agents tailing them, Ainsley took the flask of the Satan Bug and, leaving Barrett and Ann with Donald and Veretti, took another car.

Barrett however escaped from the henchmen (Ann remained their hostage but was rescued by SDI agents at a roadblock), and managed to locate Ainsley and turn him over to two SDI men. But the "agents" were actually more of Ainsley's henchmen, and instead of arresting him they drove him to a prearranged helicopter pickup. Realizing this, Barrett overpowered the two men, but Ainsley threatened him with the Satan Bug, revealing he'd immunized himself against it and had nothing to lose if it got loose. When his helicopter arrived, he promised to take Barrett to where Veretti had hidden the other flask of botulinus, and they got aboard.

But instead of going to L.A., they flew towards Catalina, and Ainsley revealed he fully intended for L.A. to be wiped out by the botulinus and then rule the world with the Satan Bug as his bargaining chip. Ainsley's pilot tried to shoot Barrett, but Barrett overpowered him and threw him out. The helicopter spun out of control, and Ainsley dropped the Satan Bug flask. Before it could roll out the open door, Barrett grabbed it. Righting the chopper before it crashed, he held the pilot's gun on Ainsley, demanding the location of the botulinus in L.A. Declaring L.A.'s destruction would be his legacy, Ainsley, who didn't know the police had already found the botulinus and rendered it harmless, jumped from the helicopter to his death.


He is named Enzo Scarlatti in the book.

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