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Harry taught me that death isn't the end. It's the beginning of a chain reaction that will catch you if you're not careful. He taught me that none of us are who we appear to be on the outside. But we must maintain appearances to survive. But there was something Harry didn't teach me. Something he didn't know, couldn't possibly know. The willful taking of life represents the ultimate disconnect from humanity. It leaves you an outsider, forever looking in, searching for company to keep.
~ Dexter Morgan

Dexter Morgan is the titular main protagonist villain of the Dexter television series. Morgan is a serial killer who cleverly juggles his medical career and his urge to kill. While mostly only killing people who themselves are murderers, he is not above attempting on people who are unlucky or unwise enough to probe onto his true identity.

He is portrayed by Michael C. Hall, who also portrayed Ken Castle in Gamer, The Bulgarian in Game Night, and Toffee in Star vs. the Forces Of Evil.


Dexter follows a set of rules taught to him by his foster father, Sgt. Harry Morgan, which Dexter calls "The Code of Harry": Only kill people who are themselves killers, be absolutely sure a prospective victim is guilty before taking action, and meticulously dispose of evidence to avoid getting caught. In his day-to-day "normal" life, he works as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department, alongside his foster sister, Debra (Deborah in the books) Morgan.

Dexter considers himself detached from humanity and often refers to "humans" as if he was a different creature. He finds children more interesting than adults, and is particularly wrathful with victims who prey on children. He is also obsessed with routines and rituals. Moreover, he is very intelligent, observant and intuitive: being able to reconstitute any kind of crime scene, to manipulate evidences on the scenes of his murder to divert suspicions away from him, and to skillfully manipulate people. However, he tends to misinterpret elements in his investigations that can lead to disastrous mistakes.

Dexter has no interest in romance, despite dating and later marrying a woman named Rita (which, according to him, is part of his "disguise" as a normal person). He functions as a stepfather and mentor to Rita's children, Cody and Astor, who unbeknownst to their mother are budding sociopaths whom Dexter provides with "guidance" on being careful, efficient killers (in the books only; in the show, he tries his best to be a good stepfather to them, especially after the death of their real father and Dexter's marriage to their mother).

Dexter is a highly intelligent man and had mastered a wide array of skills to supplement his forensic expertise. He has been portrayed as an excellent manipulator, practiced liar, cold reader, burglar, assassin, hunter, hand-to-hand combatant, actor, forger and digital tracker, all necessary to maintain his double life and keep one step ahead of the very Department that he worked in.

Throughout the show, Dexter also demonstrated circumstantial knowledge on various topics including history, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, architecture, sociology, economics, religious lore, literature, art, law, and criminology.



Dexter was born Dexter Moser on February 1, 1971, to Laura Moser and Joseph Driscoll. He had an older brother named Brian Moser.

Unfortunately, Dexter's mother was a drug addict (likely entering the trade when her boyfriend at the time, Joe Driscoll, returned from the Vietnam War and started becoming an addict himself). This never affected her love for her boys, but it put her at high risk with certain parties. She met Detective Harry Morgan and began acting as his informant in the Estrada cartel, trying to provide intel that would help bring down the drug kingpin.

On October 3, 1973 Laura Moser, her sons Dexter and Brian, as well as three other drug users were herded into the shipping container CBAN 348 9 by Estrada and his henchmen: Santos Jimenez and Welsh. It is believed that just Santos wielded the chainsaw, as the other two are often seen likely standing guard to prevent anyone from escaping.

The three unnamed victims were all slain by the chainsaw, leaving Laura Moser for last begging them not to do this in front of her babies. She screamed and cried as they revved the chainsaw, turning then to give a final smile to Dexter. She said to close his eyes, not to look and that she loved him before Santos finally cut into her, killing Laura in front of both of her sons with no remorse. Santos and his comrades fled the area while Dexter and Brian sat there, for two entire days, sitting in blood that would forever change both boys. Brian, who was older, would always remember this experience, but Dexter was shut down emotionally.

For the next 30 years, he wouldn't know how to be human anymore. A happy childhood ended in tragedy, creating two boys who would grow up to be serial killers. Only one of them, however, was given the means to control and focus these urges, thanks to the first man on scene, Harry Morgan. Detective Morgan opened the shipping container door, startled by the absolute carnage inside. He spotted the two children and moved in to pick up the younger, Dexter. As Harry was picking up Dexter, he held on tightly to his brother's hand before it slipped from his grasp and both boys called out to one another. Harry looked Brian in the eyes and saw (what Brian later claimed in his adult years) "a fucked up kid", rather than taking him as well, he left the container while Brian screamed "Please don't leave me, Dexter!".


While Dexter was taken in at the age of 3, apparently he was never officially adopted until roughly the age of 7. His foster father Harry Morgan arrived one day while he was playing with his younger foster sister Debra Morgan to present him with a birth certificate that declared him a Morgan. Dexter looked at it with an expression of confusion, saying that he thought he was already a Morgan. Harry smiled and assured him that to them, Dexter was always a Morgan, but now it's finally official.

First Signs Of A Killer

Dexter's murderous urges began taking shape when he was ten, and it was Debra who saw it first, but didn't realize it. Dexter had taken apart each of Deb's dolls and tried to tell her mother and father. Dexter begged her not to and promised to put them back together. She told him that he had to play with her in order to keep the secret, which Dexter did.

One day while on the family boat, Harry Morgan asks his son if he is different. Dexter doesn't know what that means at first, but learns soon that Harry found out about the neighbor's dog Buddy, who Dexter had buried along with several other small animals. Dexter tells his father that he was a "noisy little creep" who barked so much that it kept his ill mother, Doris Morgan, up all night. Harry looked at him and said there were a lot more bones there instead of just Buddy's. Harry then asks him if he ever wanted to kill something bigger than a dog, like a person, and Dexter agrees that he has, just no one in particular. When asked why he hasn't tried, Dexter says that he thought his father and mother wouldn't like it. Harry becomes a little teary eyed and hugs his son, likely at this point in time wanting to shield him from ever needing to kill someone.

This would, of course, change later in his life, as he witnessed the loss of so much life and the freedom of murderers. Dexter, unfortunately, misinterprets the full meaning of blending in and focuses more on "fitting in", even if that means becoming a bully to a poor boy named Simon. During a soccer game, Dexter as well as several other boys steal the shirt Simon is wearing and plays a game of "Keep Away" from him by tossing it between themselves while Simon attempts to grab it. Eventually when the shirt is in Dexter's possession, Harry grabs Dexter's arm and asks what's going on. He tosses the shirt back to Simon so they can continue their game and he asks Dexter what he was doing, Dexter replies by saying he was "fitting in". Harry sighs and says that he shouldn't be a bully, that it's wrong and that people like himself remember bullies, a first step to felony in his future. He then asks Dexter what he should do and he replies by saying "blend in", which means to be a team member, not a bully or a hero. He lets Dexter return to the game after this, smiling as he's proud that his son understood him this time.

Early Adulthood

When Dexter was 21, Harry fell ill of coronary artery disease and was confined to a hospital in which Harry spots a nurse, named Mary, who kills people by overdosing them on morphine, whereby Harry gives Dexter his "permission" to kill her, which would turn out to be his first kill. Here he embedded several ritualistic qualities to his kills which he would come to do again and again, such as the strapping of the victim to some sort of long and flat object, and the covering of everything in sheets of plastic, but his trademark blood-slide collection would not begin here; only later would he start that particular ritual.

The Blood Slides

Many killers tend to keep trophies of their kills. In Dexter's case, he kept a rosewood blood slide box, containing blood slides of every person he kills in his normal, ritualized manner. He didn't collect a blood slide from every victim; this ritual first occurred when he killed his 8th victim, Alex Timmons.


As of 2012, Dexter has since fled his normal, blood splatter analysis/serial killer life in Miami, Fl and has relocated to Oregon to work as a lumberjack. Somewhere, a series of tree logs can be seen being hoarded onto large trucks, with lumberjacks and other workers in the area. One of these lumberjacks is the focus, finishing up his work and returning to his cabin. As he closes the door behind him and sits down, he stares out the window, before facing forward. Behind his grown out beard and flannel jacket is the face of the former Bay Harbor Butcher, who closes his eyes for a moment and then opens them, looking at the camera. It's Dexter Morgan, alive and undisclosed.

Dexter Morgan


Dexter has committed many crimes, besides murder. All of them have something to do with his status as a serial killer. Some of the crimes are:

  • Breaking and Entering/Trespassing: Normally committed as part of his ritual.
  • Stalking/Unlawful use of his Police database access: Normally committed as part of his ritual.
  • Arson: Burnt everything in his storage unit/Shipping container.
  • Destruction of private property: Breaks things that annoy him/cause problems with his killing ritual.
  • Abduction/Unlawful Imprisonment/Detainment: Normally committed on victims/threats to his disguise.
  • Assault and Battery: Normally committed on to-be victims.
  • Unlawful possession of tranquilizers and other 'knock-out' drugs: Used for victims.
  • Interfering with police investigations/Tampering with evidence: Normally done to cover his/someone else's footsteps; uses aliases regularly.
  • Burglary/Grand Theft Auto: Occasionally steals possessions of victims; stole a car to catch a killer he was after.
  • Numerous counts of moving/stationary traffic violations/Hit-and-Run accidents: Normally committed when in pursuit of victims/people of interest.


Dexter has not been entirely based in just Miami, Florida. He has killed people as far away as Paris (boarding the same flight, stalking them to an apartment and killing them, then making a return flight back to the States), as well as killing a farmer in Nebraska. Dexter's victims are not entirely guilty, as at once point in his life he had killed an innocent man (the evidence all pointed towards him, convincing Dexter he was the murderer), and this destroyed Dexter on the inside, despite him having no feeling or emotions.

Other instances are in self defense and were not planned, but rather spontaneous; some of these include the aforementioned farmer in Nebraska, a random redneck in a restroom, sudden appearance of drug dealers at the wrong time and place, or even putting down a pedophile for taking photos of Dexter's stepchildren. A few of the killings were mercy killings (shutting off life support, spiking a family friend's pie in hospital due to cancer at her request). Since Dexter had been an active serial killer in the years 1992-2012, he had killed as many as 135+ people (135 confirmed, but is believed to be as many as 150).

List of Notable Victims


  • Dexter was top of his class in medical school before quitting and becoming a blood spatter analyst.
  • Dexter is right-handed, as shown by how he holds pens, handles knives, holds syringes, and the wrist he wears his watch on. However, when he plays golf, his stance and swing suggests that he is left-handed. There are two possible explanations for this: either his left hand just happens to be more dominant in this activity (it should be noted that there are many athletes in golf, baseball, and hockey who swing left despite being right-handed in all other activities), or he is ambidextrous (although this is uncommon).
  • Dexter's character was possibly inspired by real vigilante serial killer Manuel Pardo. Pardo was an ex-Miami police officer who in 1986 killed at least nine people. His victims were drug dealers. As trophies he had photos instead of blood slides. Pardo was executed in 2012 by a lethal injection.
    • However, he was more strongly inspired by Brazilian serial killer Pedro Rodrigues Filho, and the victims he killed were other criminals and prisoners alike, including his own abusive father. Unlike Pardo, Filho remained alive to this day and had since reformed himself.
  • Dexter is an organ donor.
  • Dexter's blood type is AB negative.
  • Overall, Dexter is a villain protagonist as opposed to traditionally "good" ones. While he does have an anti-heroic attitude on killing only criminals who are likely to kill again, it's not out of the goodness of his heart nor is it to make the world a better place. Dexter simply thinks that it's better, as well as safer, according to the Code, to kill criminals rather than innocents to keep his urges in check. He has also occasionally killed innocent people, such as a random man in a toilet who he killed in a fit of rage for insulting his late wife.

See Also


           Dexter Logo.jpg Villains

Dexter Morgan | Hannah McKay | Zach Hamilton

Main Antagonists
Season One
Brian Moser

Season 2
James Doakes | Lila West

Season 3
George King | Miguel Prado

Season 4
Arthur Mitchell

Season 5
Eugene Greer

Season 6
Travis Marshall

Season 7
Isaak Sirko | Maria LaGuerta

Season 8
Oliver Saxon

New Blood
Kurt Caldwell

Secondary Villains

A.J. Yates | Alex Tilden | Benjamin Caffrey | Beth Dorsey | Boyd Fowler | Carlos Fuentes | Carlos Guerrero | Christine Hill | Clint McKay | Cole Harmon | Dan Mendell | Freebo | George Novikov | Hector Estrada | Javier Guzman | Jeremy Downs | Joe Jensen | Joey Quinn | Johnny Rose | Jurg Yeliashkevych | Koshka Brotherhood | Leo Hernandez | Little Chino | Locos | Louis Greene | Marco Fuentes | Miles Castner | Neil Perry | Nick | Nikki Wald | Oleg Mickic | Paul Bennett | Ramon Prado | Ray Speltzer | Santos Jimenez | Stan Liddy | Steve Dorsey | Viktor Baskov

Minor Villains

29th Street Kings | Albert Chung | Alberto | Alex Timmons | Andres Rodriguez | Andrew Briggs | Andy Brightman | Anthony Rodrigo | Barry Kurt | Ben and Roger | Benito Gomez | Benjamin Alvaro | Billy Fleeter | Cal Rooney | Carl | Cindy Landon | Clemson Galt | Curtis Barnes | Emmett Meridian | Esteban and Teo Famosa | Ethan Turner | Fiona Kemp | Gene Marshall | Jacques Bayard | Jamie Jaworski | Jimmy Sensio | Joe Walker | John Henry | Jonathan Farrow | Jorge and Valerie Castillo | Jose Garza | Juan Pablo "Welsh" Aliso | Juan Ryness | Julio Benes | Kaitlyn Watson | Ken Olson | Lance Robinson | Lloyd Paulson | Marcetti | Mary | Matt Chambers | Mike Donovan | Nathan Marten | Norberto Cervantes | Norm | Oscar Prado | Oscar Sota | Phillip Barnes | Restaurant Shooter | Ricky | Roberta Perry | Robert Brunner | Roger Hicks | Ron Galuzzo | Sally Mitchell | Shawn Decker | Stan Beaudry | Timothy Brand | Unnamed Hitman | Walter Kenney | Walter Munro | Wayne Randall | Zoey Kruger

Video Game Villains

Ice Truck Killer | Jamie Jaworski | Mike Donovan | Sergei Schevchenko | Xandro Lopez

Book Villains

Main Antagonists
Alana Acosta | Bernard Elan | Brandon Weiss | The Coven | Cult of Moloch | Dr. Danco | Moloch | Raul | Robert Chase | Tamiami Slasher

Secondary Villains

Alexander Macauly | Bobby Acosta | Carl | Darius Starzak | Detective Anderson | Father Donovan | First Nurse | Frank Kraunauer | Jamie Jaworski | Patrick Bergmann | Professor Wilkins | Randy Macgregor | Steve Reiker | Steve Valentine | Victor Chapin

Comic Book Villains

Main Antagonists

Bruce Grigsby | Steve Gonzalez

Minor Villains

Deveaux | Mustached Victim | Octavio

Dexter Early Cuts

Main Antagonists

Coleman Lindquist | Max Lindquist | Peter Thornton

Secondary Villains

Robert Milson

Minor Villains

Alex Timmons | Cindy Landon | Gene Marshall | Jenna Lincoln | Sam Duke | Tony Rodriguez