Did Shiv Kill The Gambler? Why Stargirl Season 3 Clues Are Misleading

Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Stargirl season 3.The evidence pointing toward Cindy Burman (a.k.a Shiv) as the killer of The Gambler in Stargirlseason 3 is suspect and misleading. The teenage supervillain has done little to endear herself to the new Justice Society of America, basically blackmailing them into giving her a chance at redemption as part of their team. However, while Shiv is likely plotting against Stargirl and her allies and waiting for the right opportunity to twist the knife, the evidence in the Gambler case points to a far more methodical murderer.


Stargirl season 3 episode 1 set up several mysteries, but the most concerning centered around the violent death of Steven Sharpe, the master hacker known as The Gambler. There is no shortage of suspects, as all of Sharpe’s associates in the Injustice Society of America have reason to want him dead. Despite this, Shiv seems the most likely suspect, by virtue of having been found standing over The Gambler’s body while holding his still-smoking gun.

Shiv claims the gun went off by accident when she picked it up while investigating the crime scene on her own and this was later borne out by the Gambler’s autopsy, which confirmed that he wasn’t shot. Unfortunately for Shiv, the autopsy also revealed that Steven Sharpe died from repeated blunt force trauma and was also stabbed through the heart. Given that the Stargirl villain’s powers as Shiv include sub-dermal blades and super strength, this was all it took to make most of the JSA ready to find her guilty. It didn’t help matters that the final scene of “Stargirl: Frenemies – Chapter Two: The Suspects” revealed that Shiv had stolen Gambler’s laptop, which Stargirl theorized must have been his murderer’s target. An earlier scene also showed Shiv preparing some formula in her father’s lab in the old ISA headquarters, clearly aching as if she’d strained herself in a struggle. Yet, for all this compelling evidence, there are actually several reasons why Shiv isn’t the real killer after all. From her personality to the nature of the crime itself, it’s obvious that the death is less clear-cut than it may seem.

Why Shiv Isn’t The Gambler’s Killer In Stargirl Season 3

Ignoring her theft of the Gambler’s laptop, there is little that directly ties Shiv to the death of the Gambler. While her powers correspond to the murder weapons, there is no shortage of supervillains with enhanced strength or bladed weapons. There’s also some question whether or not Shiv is strong enough to rip apart a trailer with her bare hands, as Pat Dugan thought the villain Solomon Grundy was more likely to have accomplished that feat than Shiv. While it seems likely the serum Shiv created could have temporarily boosted her strength, it is not certain.

Ultimately, the greatest piece of evidence against Shiv being the killer is her own personality. The Gambler was shown to be under surveillance before his death and was in the middle of removing a hidden camera that he had discovered outside his trailer right before his death, suggesting that his killer was methodical and planning their approach. While Shiv is far from stupid, she also has serious impulse control issues. Indeed, it was her lack of patience that led her to abandon the new Justice Society of America on the night of the Gambler’s death, after she grew bored while analyzing evidence of his crimes and went to confront him herself.

The fact that Shiv stood down and said “I didn’t do it,” also suggests that she’s innocent. Given her violent past and history of trying to kill Stargirl and the JSA in the past, there was no reason for her not to fight if she was caught in the act. While Shiv is clearly hiding something, it is unlikely that she killed The Gambler.

New episodes of Stargirl season 3 air Wednesdays on the CW.

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