‘The Changeling’: Who Is Kinder Garten & Why Did He Choose That Nickname?


Apple TV’s ‘The Changeling’ presented us with quite a mystery to uncover. Blending the elements of the supernatural with the very real dangers of today’s technological world works quite well in the context of how the show presented it. We know that following Apollo’s tragic “loss” of his son, a Facebook tribute page has been created to “honor” Brian Kagwa, and there were some shocking comments made on the page regarding both the supposedly deceased baby, and it seemed that the person behind the comments – Kinder Garten – was always one step ahead Apollo. Well, as it turns out, Kinder Garten was closer than Apollo realized. Let’s see who it is. 

Kinder Garten is William Wheeler. It’s just one of many names that he uses online, and he used it to leave shocking reactions and comments on Brian Kagwa’s Facebook tribute page. William chose the name Kinder Garten because it’s a messed up reference to his illegal activities online, ranging from spying on families to selling access to videos involving horrific deeds committed to children.  

Now that we’ve covered the identity of Kinder Garten, it’s time to analyze his character in a bit more detail. If you’re interested in how William Wheeler came to be what he is today and what his motivations are. Stick with us. 

Beware that this post is going to contain spoilers for the show since it relies on the book upon which the show is based. Not all information has been uncovered as of yet, and reading past this point will expose you to it. 

William Wheeler is Kinder Garten, and the nickname has sinister connotations 

The first time Apollo’s friend, Patrice Green, met William Wheeler, he was actually spot on regarding his characterization. He is a weak man with many complexes and insufficient real-world power to manifest all his desires. So, he resorted to some sinister means to achieve his goals. William Wheeler is a deeply troubled man and a murderer. He targets the weakest members of society, and he considers himself superior for it. His technical skills and mastery of the online world opened up unimaginable channels for him to vent his frustrations and achieve his goals. 

Who created the Brian Kagwa tribute page? 

When Apollo learned of the existence of Brian Kagwa’s tribute page he was understandably angry and freaked out. He was especially angry when he learned that his friend Patrice Green “was a fan.” The identity of the creator was unknown at that time, and as weird and straight-up cruel comments started piling up, and one notable member of the group started leaving weird comments that seemed to follow Apollo’s location, things rose to a different level completely. 

William Wheeler implied that Patrice Green set up the Facebook page, and Apollo was understandably mad, but William Wheeler actually created the Brian Kagwa tribute page, only he was using the Kinder Garten nickname to keep any semblance of anonymity online. 

That William Wheeler is Kinder Garten Apollo found out on North Brother Island. At the same time that he found out that his wife Greta was actually one of the women who escaped to the island and that his daughter wasn’t taken from him or killed, Apollo eventually figured out that William killed his daughter on his own. 


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Why does William Wheeler call himself Kinder Garten? 

The Kinder Garten nickname is sort of a tongue-in-cheek nickname that reveals William’s true profession. Yes, he is a skilled IT guy, and he has a whole community of freaks with enough technological resources to blow the whole island apart. But William, in actuality, kidnaps children and benefits from exploiting children.  

Kinder Garten roughly refers to a class for young children between 4 and 5 years old, and since now you know what William truly does, you can see why his nickname is sick on more than one level. 

As viewers will later find out, William Wheeler is the one who kidnapped Apollo’s and Emma’s child in collaboration with his father, Jorgen Knudsen. William planned on utilizing the centuries-old family secret in order to earn money. The Knudsen family was the family responsible for bringing the troll to the American shores. 

In exchange for safe passage, the Knudsens are supposed to deliver human children that the troll can raise as its own, leaving the Changeling, a troll offspring, in the place of a human child. So, the Knudsens were kidnapping and indirectly murdering children for centuries. William even sacrificed his own daughter Agnes to appease the troll in hopes of earning glory and money for his family, but it backfired as you would expect as his wife Greta ran away with their only remaining daughter. 

Even though the Knudsens have been sacrificing children to the trolls for centuries, William puts a sick twist to it. He installed the cameras within the troll’s lair. Usually, when the troll gets a human baby, it decides to raise it as its own offspring, but due to obvious problems with this practice, the baby usually gets killed and eaten by the troll. William decided to monetize it. 


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He set up cameras in order to live-stream the process of a troll eating a baby. He was, however, disappointed that Brian Kagwa managed to survive far longer than other children while under the care of the troll. This wasn’t the only “side gig” that William was into; he also hacked plenty of devices around random homes in order to spy on entire families, and he was selling access to those live streams to his sick clique of “friends.” Those live streams usually involved families with small and young children. 

As you can see, Williams Kinder Garten nickname is a sick spin on the fact that he is a highly dangerous criminal whose crimes mostly involve children and the most horrific deeds that you can imagine. 

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