In November 2018, the world learned that He Jiankui, a little-known researcher in Shenzhen, China, had quietly done an experiment many thought was premature and even unethical: He used CRISPR to cripple genes in embryos, which were implanted and came to term. He has not spoken publicly since describing his experiment that month at an international genome-editing summit in Hong Kong, China, and he has suffered robust, international condemnation. But many questions remain about why regulations and the scientific community itself failed to stop him. This story closely examines He's background and challenges the widely held notion that he was a "rogue" actor. A scientist-entrepreneur with a large network of prominent friends and investors, He had built a large, diverse circle of confidants who knew about his study. Although some strongly opposed it, many had mixed reactions or were outright supportive. And it remains unclear what, if anything, could have dissuaded him—or will stop the next researcher who has similar aspirations.