Top 20 Serial Killers on Dexter



Top 20 Serial Killers on Dexter

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Saim Cheeda
For a show about someone who takes down serial killers, "Dexter" has naturally had some pretty interesting characters. For this list, we'll be looking at the most dangerous and intriguing murderers on this crime drama series. A spoiler alert is in effect. Our countdown includes Travis Marshall AKA The Doomsday Killer, Arthur Mitchell AKA The Trinity Killer, Nurse Mary, Hannah McKay AKA Passionate Poisoner, and more!
For a show about someone who takes down serial killers, "Dexter" has naturally had some pretty interesting characters. For this list, we’ll be looking at the most dangerous and intriguing murderers on this crime drama series. A spoiler alert is in effect. Our countdown includes Travis Marshall AKA The Doomsday Killer, Arthur Mitchell AKA The Trinity Killer, Nurse Mary, Hannah McKay AKA Passionate Poisoner, and more! Which serial killer do you think made “Dexter” such a chilling show to follow? Let us know in the comments.

#20: Ken Olson

When Dexter’s antics as the Bay Harbor Butcher become known to the general public, some Miami citizens appreciate his efforts. Ken Olson is among the budding serial killers who thinks he’s paying tribute to Dexter’s vigilantism. However, Olson twists Dexter’s code, taking the lives of the people whose deaths would play to his benefit, which greatly offends Dexter. Olson stands as proof that vigilantism through killing is never the right way, something that even Dexter has to begrudgingly admit after he captures Olson. With a crude manner of disposing of his victims, Olson is unsuccessful in his hopes to become a glorified serial killer, and is ironically slain by the man he idolized.

#19: Oleg Mickic

While not a person who kills for personal joy, Oleg Mickic has a death count that rivals many prolific serial killers. Confirmed to have assassinated at least sixteen victims, he’s hired by the Koshka Brotherhood to finish off Isaak Sirko. Oleg is extremely precise with a sniper rifle, leaving his targets afraid to step outside. Sirko forces Dexter to kill the unsuspecting Oleg at his behest, which brings an end to this hitman’s career. We get an idea of how he conducts his killings at a shooting range before Dexter surprises him, proving that nobody can see Dexter coming.

#18: Joe Jensen/The Phantom Arsonist

“Dexter” is notable for the way it carves out backstories for killers to explain why they became that way. Responsible for the deaths of ten victims, Joe Jensen’s M.O. primarily involves arson. His method stems from a childhood event where a friend convinced him to set fire to their school gym, which ended up claiming his friend’s life. While that in no way excuses Jensen’s part in slaying innocent people, it’s something that Dexter seems to understand. After he catches Jensen following another round of the latter’s crimes, Dexter nearly kills him until he learns Jensen's backstory. Ultimately, Jensen is proof that crime is best dealt with by the law, and that there’s more to monsters than meets the eye.

#17: A. J. Yates

Once a patient of Dr. Evelyn Vogel, who created the code that Harry teaches Dexter, Yates is a psychopath whose MO involves capturing women and hurting their feet. The feet remind him of his abusive mother, whose feet he’d watch as he hid under the bed. The intrigue surrounding Yates deepens when he’s suspected of being the Brain Surgeon, season eight’s mysterious antagonist. Yates proves to be a cunning foe, tracing Dexter back to Dr. Vogel and intending to eliminate her. We get insight into how his mind works when Vogel uses his fears against him. Eventually, Yates’ obsession with feet proves to be his undoing as he fails to anticipate Dexter’s fatal attack.

#16: Little Chino

Although Little Chino only kills people in his role as a gang enforcer, we have to agree that chopping up people with a machete pretty much qualifies him as a serial killer. Chino is confirmed to have slain at least ten people, for which he thinks is part of business. He’s a target for Dexter because he escapes the law through a lack of evidence and his dangerous lifestyle is the perfect cover for a potential disappearance. Chino deserves special mention for being the greatest physical threat Dexter ever faces, with the massive Chino even escaping the kill table through sheer strength. His fearful persona is felt by Dexter as well, who has to rethink his strategy in order to recapture Chino and finally end him.

#15: Lumen Pierce

Dexter is reluctant to trust anyone with his secret after his former best friend Miguel betrays him. However, Lumen becomes an accomplice after he rescues her from the Barrel Girl Gang. Due to the trauma of her captivity, Lumen develops her own dark passenger and becomes a killer who targets her former captors. Her methods are the same as Dexter, as the two eliminate their victims in tandem. Lumen technically has a perfect track record since she never gets caught, but is different to Dexter because she successfully lets go of her need to kill. Lumen realizes she only needed to gain justice and doesn’t need to carry that burden after the gang’s demise.

#14: The Castillos

Jorge and Valeri Castillo were a couple who charged Cubans extremely high prices to smuggle them into the United States. Their dark secret is that they drown people who can’t afford their lofty rates. Even Dexter is repelled at the large kill count the Castillios rack up. What’s unique about the couple is that they’re a team through and through, sharing the same mindset. Dexter is intrigued and ends up learning about juggling a killers’ lifestyle with a personal one. Although the Castillos were undoubtedly terrible people for the lives they took, they indirectly impart some much-needed advice to Dexter in their final moments.

#13: The Fuentes Brothers

This pair of brothers took robbing people to brutal lengths. Their M.O. was to extort people to withdraw money from an ATM before killing them with a machete. These newfound funds were then used to pay for VIP service at a club! For once, the brothers have nothing to do with Dexter, posing a threat to Debra instead, and thus bringing a different kind of tension. Carlos Fuentes is the primary aggressor, being the one to carry out the machete-based killings. Although Carlos is shot and killed by Debra, Marco is a rare killer who gets away with it as he remains at large.

#12: Nurse Mary

Mary is long gone from the world by the time the series begins, because she’s Dexter’s very first victim. A nurse who believes she’s freeing her patients from pain when she kills them, she comes close to taking the life of Harry Morgan, who authorizes Dexter to claim Mary’s. Mary is significant for the way the show encourages Dexter’s vigilantism through her, as she takes the lives of her patients by poisoning them and it’s implied she’s done so for many years. Her persona is horrific considering how easily it could happen in real life, which is why Dexter’s kill feels justified. Her death remains her biggest contribution, putting Dexter on the path to becoming the Bay Harbor Butcher.

#11: Ray Speltzer aka The Minotaur Slayer

There aren’t many killers who’ve scared Dexter into retreating, which places Ray Speltzer in elite company. A sick minded individual who seduces and kidnaps women, Speltzer’s M.O. is to dress up as a minotaur and force his victims into a maze of his own design. It’s a way for him to assert his dominance and he concocts elaborate games for his twisted pleasure. Speltzer even manages to get Dexter trapped in his lair. The Minotaur Killer is the kind of villain that makes “Dexter” so compelling, as we watch the protagonist use his wits to turn the tables.

#10: Kurt Caldwell aka The Runaway Killer

Kurt Caldwell functions as the Runaway Killer for twenty-five years without stirring suspicion. A shrewd tactician who poses as a model member of the community, Kurt is a reflection of what Dexter could have become. Much like Dexter, Kurt convinces himself he’s on some altruistic mission, as he traps and eliminates runaway women, thinking he’s saving them from the outside world. He lacks that distinct edge that other serial killers on the series do, but Kurt has a devious mind, targeting Dexter’s son to antagonize him and successfully outing him as his son Matt’s killer.

#9: The Barrel Girl Gang

The main antagonists of the fifth season, this gang is responsible for the killings of at least dozen women. There’s only one actual killer, with member Boyd Fowler the one who disposes of the victims by sealing them in barrels. However, each man is responsible for psychologically destroying the women they capture, following the commands of their leader, Jordan Chase. The show keeps up the mystery by revealing the members of the group one by one, as their final victim, Lumen, recalls all the men involved. Their actions are so heinous that it’s one of the few times where Dexter is easily the good guy in the conflict, as not even a serial killer of his level can comprehend such violence against women.

#8: Isaak Sirko aka The Wolf

Part of the Koshka Brotherhood crime organization, Isaak Sirko’s primary goal in the series is to execute Dexter. While not a serial killer in the general sense, his kill count is so great that he qualifies as one. Not having any qualms with doling out painful deaths, Sirko’s ruthlessness extends to Dexter after the latter kills his lover, Viktor. He doesn’t have any specific M.O., but promises a painful retribution to Dexter that the titular character takes very seriously. Tellingly, the pair have a strange bond over their killers’ instincts, almost becoming friends after Sirko is betrayed by his own syndicate. By Sirko’s own admission, he could have understood Dexter’s need to kill had circumstances been different, as he easily accepts Dexter’s dark truth.

#7: Hannah McKay aka Passionate Poisoner

Even though she doesn’t have any inherent need to kill, Hannah has a pretty long list of victims she’s poisoned. Always falling in with the wrong romantic partners, Hannah sees killing as her way out of trouble, which weirdly enough becomes irresistible to Dexter. Hannah might just be more dangerous than the titular character, having no issues with hurting whoever threatens her, going so far as to poison Dexter’s sister. Her mysteriousness is such that Dexter becomes enamored with her, unable to honor his code even though she qualifies. Hannah has perhaps the best survival skills of any killer in the series, capable of escaping with her freedom each and every time to remain one of the few characters who don’t answer for their crimes.

#6: Travis Marshall aka The Doomsday Killer

Characters like Travis Marshall demonstrate the creative ways the show introduces killers with different codes. A disturbed individual, he becomes convinced he’s on a divine mission to bring on the apocalypse and completes many killings as signs of the end of the world. Interestingly, he has a version of the dark passenger as well, which parallels Dexter’s own, as Travis imagines his mentor, Professor James Gellar, justifying his heinous actions. He’s also the first to command a following, with Travis even having his own minions to do his dirty work. As a villain, he at first baffles Dexter, who has to come to terms with the concept of faith to understand how the Doomsday Killer’s mind works.

#5: George King aka The Skinner

Although he has virtually no connection to Dexter, the Skinner is the main serial killer antagonist of the third season. His M.O. stays true to his title, as King meticulously skins his victims. He uses flimsy justifications to conduct his torturing ways, claiming he’s eliminating the people linked to Freebo, the man who owes him money. King’s wave of violence shakes things up for Miami Metro and he outwits them numerous times. His tactics are so cunning that he even manages to capture Dexter himself. Of course, he isn’t quite in the elite level of serial killers since he ultimately loses handily to Dexter and dies as a result.

#4: Oliver Saxon ak The Brain Surgeon

He doesn’t show up in person for the majority of the season, but that’s exactly what makes the Brain Surgeon so scary. The son of Dr. Vogel, he lurks in the shadows, antagonizing his mother by sending pieces of his victim’s brains to her. He comes to see Dexter as a pseudo sibling because of his relationship with Evelyn, and decides to eliminate both. Saxon is the ultimate killer without mercy, gleefully taking lives in gruesome ways while feeling no remorse. His level of cunning is such that he hides in plain sight, using different identities to blend in. Saxon completely destroys Dexter’s life, taking down Dr. Vogel, Dexter’s protege Zach, and Debra.

#3: Brian Moser aka The Ice Truck Killer

The Ice Truck Killer could have killed Dexter any time he wanted but chooses not to since they’re brothers. Brian and Dexter were separated as children, and the former remembers his younger sibling. Born in blood, Brian’s M.O. is to drain his victims’ refrigerated body parts of their blood and then leave them in public areas. He plays a cat-and-mouse game with Dexter to prove they’re connected, which brings a surprisingly humane aspect to his personality. Brian can feel true brotherly love and hopes that he and Dexter can become a serial killer duo. His proficiency arguably surpasses Dexter’s, who only kills Brian to prevent him from harming Debra.

#2: Arthur Mitchell aka The Trinity Killer

With a decades-long criminal career and a victim count of at least 279, Arthur Mitchell is a prolific killer. But he hides his double life using his wife and children and role in his community. His M.O. involves killing four victims who represent himself as a boy, his sister, his mother, and his father. Arthur’s tortured childhood is responsible for this method, although Dexter realizes he genuinely enjoys the brutality he leaves in his wake. In the end, it takes another serial killer the caliber of Dexter to bring him down. However, Arthur gets the last laugh by slaying Dexter’s wife beforehand as his final act of evil.

#1: Dexter Morgan aka The Bay Harbor Butcher

There’s no killer as meticulous and devious as Dexter, who’s a nightmare for any other murderers out there. Miami Metro Homicide employs the greatest killer to have ever lived without realizing it, as Dexter uses his position to hunt for victims. Dubbed the Bay Harbor Butcher for the way he disposed of his victims underwater, Dexter’s dark passenger and kill code are unparalleled. He’s responsible for slaying the most feared villains in the series, although Dexter’s true intention is to satiate his need to kill. Few ever doubt the wholesome mask Dexter puts on to fit in, and those who do end up regretting it. It’s fitting, then, that Dexter ultimately decides his own fate in the end.