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The Real Reason CSI: Miami Killed Off Speed

People remember lots of things about the 2000s ("Goldmember," HitClips, the War on Terror), but an unsung feature of that decade was just how many actors from the 1995 cult classic film "Empire Records" that audiences got to see find employment on police procedurals. The era featured a boom in forensic crime procedurals like "CSI," while TV viewers were treated to an increasing number of shows about cops who team up with eccentric civilians, like "Bones," "Castle," and "The Mentalist." There were also popular series like "Criminal Minds" or "Without a Trace," which followed entire FBI units.

For their part, many of the stars of the '90s found steady work in the cop shows of the '00s. Anthony LaPaglia, for instance, starred in "Without a Trace," while Robin Tunney played the female lead on "The Mentalist," and Rory Cochrane portrayed Tim "Speed" Speedle on "CSI: Miami."

During his time on the show, Speed was the maverick of the Miami-Dade Crime Lab. A trace and impressions expert, Speed lacked the passion for criminology that his co-workers had, and thought of the job as just a paycheck. Ultimately, Cochrane played Speed on "CSI: Miami" for just its first two seasons, and was killed off in the Season 3 premiere, "Lost Son."

Here's why the show's creative team decided to say goodbye to the character.

Rory Cochrane was tired of the grind

According to TV Guide, it was Rory Cochrane who asked to be let out of his "CSI: Miami" contract. "Doing a one-hour drama is very long. I'm originally from New York and my family's back here, and a lot of my friends," Cochrane told CSI Files. "I felt [the show] was never-ending and the grind was a lot. It's nice being on a hit show and the viewers are very supportive, but I couldn't really take it anymore." Presumably, Cochrane's decision was made between Seasons 2 and 3 of "CSI: Miami," which is why he got a big send-off in the show's Season 3 premiere.

Speed had a cavalier attitude about his work, and this resulted in improper maintenance of his equipment. One time he borrowed Callie's UV light and forgot to recharge it, which predictably irritated the latter character. He also apparently failed to properly maintain his sidearm, which wound up leading to his death. In "Lost Son," the CSI team gets caught up in a robbery in progress at a jewelry shop, and Speed's gun jams, giving one of the robbers a chance to shoot him in the chest. He later dies in Horatio Caine's arms.

Cochrane wasn't a fan of how he went out on the show. "I actually thought it was pretty lame," he said in the same CSI Files interview. "A main character on the show — I thought they could have come up with something a little more imaginative. Getting shot — anybody can think of that."