The Most Disturbing Criminal In CSI: Miami Season 8
There’s nothing creepier than someone who so aspires to claim revenge that he actually uses his accumulated knowledge to become a better killer — and then targets people who are specifically trained to hunt people like him. Bob Starling’s (Roger Bart) crimes affect the “CSI: Miami” team forever afterward because he claims the life of one of their own, and he does it all while taunting them with intentionally oblique clues. What makes Starling so very disturbing are his cold, unemotional ways. He comes off as a mild-mannered professor plying his trade at Miami-Dade University, but it’s quickly revealed he’s something much more insidious at heart. His cunning and the use of his brain power definitely make him the most disturbing criminal of the season.
Starling is introduced in Episode 24 of Season 8, “All Fall Down.” While his murders continue into the Season 9 opener “Fallen,” he definitely establishes his pattern of criminality here. A professor at Miami-Dade University, he decides to claim revenge against anyone who prevented him from gaining tenure due to his support of Melissa Walls (Kristen Hager). Walls is a graduate student who was expelled after she was caught fudging the result of her thesis by Janice Potter (Justine Eyre), an attorney’s wife whom she hired to help her with the program. Starling’s method of murdering those in his way is chillingly distant — he uses a remotely-controlled gun to eliminate Potter, then kills Neal Brusatti (Jim Vickers) by smothering him in the university’s pool with an automatic pool cover. Both murders show the almost impersonal way in which he chooses to claim revenge. Murder, to Starling, is a completely impersonal gesture that’s as intimate as blowing his nose.