Minor Character: Miami
Name Robert Starling
Gender Male
City Miami
Occupation College Professor
Pathology Serial killer
Proxy attempted mass murderer
Proxy Murderer
Proxy cop killer
Serial assailant
Serial Cop assailant
Status Incarcerated
Portrayed By Roger Bart
First Appearance All Fall Down

"Shakespeare shows us in Hamlet, revenge delayed invites madness. My mind is clear."

Robert "Bob" Starling is a budding serial killer who appeared in the CSI: Miami Season Eight finale All Fall Down and the Season Nine premiere Fallen.


Starling was a professor at Miami-Dade University and Melissa Walls was his grad student. At some unknown point, the two of them became lovers and started secretly dating. When Melissa was turned in by Janice Potter for forging results on a deadly experiment, she was expelled and he was held indirectly responsible. As a result, Bob was denied tenure at Dade University by a committee comprising of Neal Brusatti and Stephen Madsen. After this, Starling began plotting his revenge with Melissa at the three people he held responsible for all their misfortunes.

Season Eight[]

All Fall Down[]

Starling began his spree of killings before they even began by sending each member of the CSI team a letter with puzzle pieces, which they, when assembled, reveal a depiction of a woman in the crosshairs of a rifle. Shortly after sending the letters, he positions a rifle controlled by Wi-Fi near Janice Potter's house, where he kills her right in front of her daughter. After this, Starling sends another letter for the CSIs to Janice's husband, which shows his next target. Soon after, he triggered the automatic pool-cover while Neal Brusatti, one of the professors who denied him tenure, was swimming in the pool, trapping and killing him. Afterwards, Starling spray-painted his next clue for the CSIs about his next victim, the logo that is on fire. While he is doing all of this, Melissa, persuaded by Starling to aid him, is intentionally misleading the CSIs into thinking that she is the one committing the killings. The CSIs eventually figure out that the logo belongs to a perfume company and Stephen Madsen possesses some of its products. They manage to save Madsen, who had accidentally set himself on fire with potassium that was placed (by Starling) in a perfume bottle that he used. This eventually leads to Horatio Caine and Frank Tripp confronting him. Starling confesses, only to reveal that he set a trap back at the crime lab for lethal halon gas to kill everyone.

Season Nine[]


Horatio manages to get there in time to save almost everyone at the crime lab. Unfortunately, Jesse Cardoza was killed as a result of the attack and all the evidence needed to convict Starling is unusable in court. Soon afterwards, Horatio and Eric Delko arrive at Melissa's place to interrogate her, only to find her in a death trap with a rifle on twine. They rescue her and find that the rifle used as part of the death trap belonged to a janitor working at Miami-Dade University. However, Calleigh Duquesne finds that the rifle's bullets contain fine sand instead of gunpowder; the sand prevents the bullets from actually being fired. The CSIs conclude that they have been misled by Melissa (who had set up the death trap herself) and thrown them off her trail again, but this time for Jesse's murder. Melissa then helps Starling escape police custody with the help of another rifle controlled by Wi-Fi and a distraction Starling arranged in the "They All Fall Down" note pointing to a fake bomb at a pier. Starling then tries to make his escape on boat when Melissa confronts him about setting her up and he unintentionally incriminates himself, for Melissa, having been arrested prior to their meeting, made a deal with Horatio and was wired. He and Melissa are then arrested for murder.

Modus Operandi[]

Starling targeted people connected to Miami Dade University in some way, specifically people whom he had believed wronged him when he was denied tenure. He created sophisticated devices to kill his victims, such as remote-controlled guns and cologne mixed with potassium that burns in contact with water. However, before he committed each of his murders, he would taunt the cops with clues he sent before committing the murders or ones he left at each crime scene. This was to prove that he was smarter than everyone and that people were wrong for denying him what he believed what was rightfully his.

He eventually escalated to full on terrorist attacks, including halon gas in the crime lab, a fake bomb on a pier, and another RC gun and strangling with his straight jacket while escaping custody, attempting to flee on a boat before being found.

Known Victims[]

  • October 4, 2010:
    • Janice Potter (shot in the head with a remote-controlled rifle)
    • Neal Brusatti (drowned in a pool)
    • Stephen Madsen (attempted, but survived; was burned alive with potassium exposed to water on his skin)
    • The fake bomb on the Miami pier (all scared with a fake bomb in a small handheld cooler)
    • Frank Tripp (attempted, but survived; was non-fatally strangled with a straight jacket strap)

Victims by Proxy[]

The following were committed by Melissa Walls on Starling's direction

Known Accomplices[]


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 #
Season 8 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - X N/A 1
Season 9 X - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - N/A 1
Total 2