During Charles’ interrogation, Rossi makes several major missteps. When Charles implies that he’s possibly just as racist as your average southerner, Rossi not only pulls the “I have a Black friend” card, but he also compares the times he was made fun of for being Italian to the type of racial violence inflicted on Black people. He also ends up telling Charles about a time that he participated in racist bullying against a Black student at his high school. The story is horrific and involves Rossi giving into peer pressure and locking the Black student in question in a locker and then urinating on him.
On one hand, it’s good that Rossi isn’t trying to hide this upsetting moment from his past. On the other hand, his story is both extremely disturbing and not exactly appropriate given the situation. It feels less like Rossi is bringing it up to reckon with his past and more like a manipulative tactic that he’s using to get a confession out of Charles.
Things get even more upsetting when the team is able to fully piece together the crimes. Charles is indeed responsible for the dead bodies in his backyard. He reveals to Rossi that the KKK members he killed were men who had kidnapped him when he was a teenager and castrated him, while the other victims were the daughters of those men. While murdering those men and several of their children may not be everyone’s idea of justice being served, there is clearly something much larger at play with this case. Charles is treated like any other unsub, however, and much of how Rossi handles his interrogation feels deeply unnecessary and inappropriate.