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Dexter Wiki

Dexter's Early Life

Dexter's Early Life

For general info on Dexter as an adult please refer to Dexter Morgan.


Laura Moser's House

Dexter Morgan was born Dexter Moser on 1 February 1971, [1] three years after his brother, Brian Moser, to parents Laura Moser and Joseph Driscoll. It is unverified if Joe Driscoll was an alias or if he also fathered Brian. Dexter lived his very early years with his elder brother at 1235 Mangrove Drive in Miami, Florida, confirmed by two arrest records for his mother in 1969 and 1971 for drug possession. At the time Dexter's mother was murdered, she lived at 182 W. Centre Street, according to a newspaper article.

Dexter with his father Joe Driscoll, as he's driving

The known events in Dexter's early life occurred at his mother's house, before he was three years old. He liked playing hide and seek with his mother and big brother, whom he called "Biney" because he was unable to pronounce "Brian." Dexter was the more energetic child and he would laugh happily and tease his mother when hiding from her. She treated him in the same joyful way. Brian was quieter and more reserved but he had a deep affection for his little brother. He often cradled Dexter in his arms, holding onto him as a protector.

Brian comforts his brother after a skateboard accident

There was a time when Dexter tried to ride on Brian's skateboard, but he had a wipe out. Brian comforted him by telling him it was the best wipe out that he'd ever seen. He then put a band-aid on Dexter's knee and gave him a tip to bend his knees the next time while Dexter nodded in agreement.

Dexter and Brian play together

Unfortunately, Dexter's mother was a drug addict. This never affected her love for her boys but it put her at high risk with certain parties. At one point, she began acting as Detective Harry Morgan's informant in Hector Estrada's cartel, trying to provide intel that would bring down the drug kingpin.

Laura and Dexter at an interview for Harry

On Friday, September 28, 1973, Laura met with Harry in a police interview room and the conversation was recorded. She brought along her youngest son, Dexter, while her older son, Brian, was in school. Laura told Harry that she wanted out of being a C.I. because it was far too risky for her and her boys, but Harry assured her that nothing would happen to them. She felt that her life may be on the line, believing they had been followed to the park the previous day. (In fact, this is how the cartel discovered that Harry and Laura were having a love affair, and it sealed her fate.) Harry closed out the interview, patting Dexter on the head, symbolizing his later fatherhood.

Young Debra Morgan was very happy when her mother let her have a puppy that she named Banjo. However, Harry, immediately made her give it up to because he feared that Dexter would kill it. Dexter began to tell Debra why it wasn't her fault, but Harry pulled him away. He emphasized to Dexter that he must never tell his sister the truth about himself because it would terrify her. When Dexter said that Debra loved him, Harry replied, "She loves who she thinks you are."

Shipping Yard Massacre

Date of massacre and date of article, a day apart

Per an October 3, 1973 news article, Laura Moser died on Wednesday, October 2, 1973. That's when she and her two sons, Dexter and Brian, as well as three drug users, were herded into the shipping container CBAN 348 9 by Hector Estrada and his two henchmen: Santos Jimenez and Juan Pablo Aliso. Santos wielded the chainsaw, while the other two prevented anyone from escaping.

Laura Moser's Killers

Three victims were slain by the chainsaw, leaving Laura Moser for last, begging them not to do this in front of her baby. She screamed and cried as Santos revved the chainsaw, then turned to give a final smile to Dexter. She told him to close his eyes, not to look, and said she loved him before Santos finally cut into her, killing Laura in front of her two sons.

"Close your eyes, Dexter...don't look. Mommy loves you Dexter.."

The killers fled the area, leaving Dexter and Brian to sit for two days in blood, after an event that would forever change both boys. Brian, who was older, always remembered the experience, but Dexter blocked it out and was emotionally shut down for the next thirty years. A happy childhood ended in a tragedy that changed two boys who would grow up to be serial killers. Only one of them, however, was given the means to control and focus his dark urges, thanks to the first man on scene, Harry Morgan.

Dexter and Brian, forced to sit in blood for two days

Detective Morgan opened the shipping container door, shocked by the carnage inside. He spotted the two children and picked up the younger one, Dexter, who held on tightly to his brother's hand before it slipped from his grasp. 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 as Brian screamed, "Please don't leave me, Dexter!."

The Look of the boy who has been changed forever

Once outside, Harry ordered the other officers to go inside recover Brian. Harry continued to hold Dexter close, telling him that everything will be alright. He made his way to his car as Dexter looked over his shoulder showing no emotion. As for the killers, Santos Jimenez cut a deal and moved to Naples. Aliso died in a drug deal while Hector Estrada received life without parole in prison.

Brian grew up in a Tampa mental hospital with only the "memory of a family." Dexter was brought into the Morgan family and raised as the brother of Debra Morgan.


Harry showing Dexter his birth certificate as a "Morgan"

Although Dexter was taken in at the age of three, he wasn't officially adopted until roughly the age of seven. 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 Dexter was always a Morgan to them, but now it's finally official and it was a wonderful day.

His now adoptive sister, Debra, asked their father why he never told them what happened to Dexter's parents. Dexter looked at him for answers as he had been told they died but didn't know the facts behind it. One of Harry's earliest lies to his son (to protect him) was to simply state that it was a tragic accident, leaving it at that.

Blood Transfusion

Dexter's fence wound

While young, Dexter injured himself when he tried to go after Debra's ball. As he climbed a fence, a dog chased after him and forced Dexter to fall on a rod-iron post, thus causing a laceration on the side of his abdomen (remaining as a scar on adult Dexter, something that Cody Bennett asks about).

He was rushed to the emergency room, where his blood pressure kept dropping, leaving him in serious condition.

Debra, distraught, stood by a bedridden Dexter, while Harry talked with the doctor off to the side. The doctor said that Dexter had internal bleeding and needed a blood transfusion, however, he had a rare blood type - AB negative. This led to Doris arguing with Harry because she wanted him to track down Joe Driscoll to obtain his blood. Dexter watched their interaction, remembering it later in life when he discovered that Driscoll was his bio dad.

Harry arguing with Doris about Dexter's biological father

Although initially reluctant, Harry contacted Joe. When hearing of his son's life-threatening situation, Joe offered his blood to save Dexter's life. As Dexter was being wheeled to surgery, the doctor told him that, although he had a rare bloody type, his father knew someone with the same blood type. Harry, annoyed by the comment, asked to speak with his son.

He promises Dexter that he'll be just fine, as good as new. Harry then says (which is ironic in the end), "Would I lie to you?". As Dexter is recovering, he shows Harry a thank you card he's happily making for the man who gave him his blood. It says, "Thank you for the good blood from Dexter Morgan" with a drawing of a syringe and a smiling blood droplet.

Dexter's Thank You card

After Harry looked at the card for a moment, he told Dexter that the man who donated the blood is gone and he'll never see him again. Dexter, with a look of disappointment, threw the card in the nearby trash can and said it was a stupid idea. Harry then thought it better to encourage normal feelings and behavior. He told Dexter that the card was worth making and he promised that it would make its way to the man. Harry picked up the card and handed it back to his son, Dexter, once again smiling, colored in the syringe.

Signs of a Killer

"You're different, aren't you Dexter?"

One day while on the family boat, Harry asked his son if he's "different." Dexter wasn't sure what he meant until Harry said he'd found the grave of the missing neighbor's dog, Buddy.

Dexter defended himself by saying that Buddy was a "noisy little creep" who barked so much that it kept his ill mother (Doris Morgan) up all night. Harry looked at him with concern and said there were a lot of other bones in the grave -- not just Buddy's. Dexter looked down at the boat's floor as if ashamed. Harry then asked him if he ever wanted to kill something bigger than a dog, like a person. Dexter said that he did, but no one in particular. When asked why he hasn't tried, Dexter answered that he thought his father and mother wouldn't like it. Harry, a little teary-eyed, hugged his son

Blending In

Dexter successfully fakes his first smile

Harry began to train his son to act normal and blend in. During a beach picnic when a photo was being taken, everyone except Dexter smiled. Debra insulted Dexter and he told her to shut her damn face. Harry ordered his son to come over to him and talk about what's bothering him. Dexter said that he hated the beach because it was sandy, gross, and nasty. He didn't feel like smiling and he wanted to go home. Harry told Dexter to deal with it because he was part of a family and that meant smiling for photos. Dexter didn't understand why he should pretend to be happy. Harry explained that it would make his mother happy, and it was how to "fit in." Dexter nodded, after which the photo was taken with him smiling.

Dexter being caught bullying a boy named Simon

Dexter unfortunately misinterpreted the full meaning of "blending in" and focused more on "fitting in." During a soccer game, Dexter and several other boys bullied Simon by stealing his shirt and playing "Keep Away" by tossing it between themselves while Simon attempted to grab it.

When the shirt was in Dexter's possession, Harry grabbed Dexter's arm, took the it, and sternly asked what was going on. Harry tossed the shirt back to Simon so they could continue the game. Dexter explained that he was "fitting in." Harry sighed and said that he shouldn't be a bully because it was wrong and that people like himself (cops) remembered bullies -- a first step to a felony. He then asked Dexter what he should do and he said "blend in," which meant to be a team member -- not a bully, not a hero. He let Dexter return to the game, smiling because his son understood.

A photo of Dexter at his favorite place

Dexter had a favorite place when he was younger, located just outside of a landfill. A single palm tree stood there into which he carved a smiley face and had his picture taken. The adult Dexter remembered that he had loved how the garbage was bulldozed and buried, finding it soothing. Eventually, the location was developed into an area with condos.

Teenage Years

During Dexter's adolescent years, Harry taught him to stalk and hunt, educated him on police techniques, and showed him how to cover up a crime. Dexter also became a skilled marksman, although he preferred to kill his victims up close.

Debra was envious of Dexter spending so much time with her father. When Harry took Dexter on hunting trips but not her, she felt left out. She didn't know that Harry was trying to channel Dexter's urges into killing animals. Debra even told Dexter, "Sometimes I almost wish that he had never brought you home!" However, she immediately apologized to him.

Harry constantly reminded Dexter of the Code during these years and once had to stop him from killing a bully at school. Doris Morgan, his adoptive mother, died of cancer when he was sixteen. She had suspected there was something wrong with Dexter and pressured Harry to have him tested by a psychiatrist.

When Dexter reached adolescence, he told Harry that he wasn't interested in girls because he'd rather be alone. Harry explained that most people don't feel that way and encouraged him to take a girl to a school dance to appear normal.

Badge for Dexter's '91 reunion at Alan B. Shepard High

Dexter's educational information is scarce but, according to a class reunion badge, Dexter seemingly graduated from Alan B. Shepard High in 1991. (Some actual reunions are held at five year intervals.) The reunion enabled him to gain access to a potential target. While there, Dexter was astonished that he was so popular, since he was pretty much ignored by his classmates during his school days.

Early Adulthood

Confirmed by James Doakes, Dexter studied advanced jujitsu during college. Although at the top of his class in medical school, Dexter gave it up to become a forensics expert.

When Dexter was 20-years-old (per "Sunshine and Frosty Swirl"), Harry fell ill of coronary artery disease and was confined to a hospital. Harry realized that Nurse Mary was overdosing him and other patients on morphine, and he gave Dexter his "permission" to kill her. Mary was Dexter's first human kill and it was messy. He embedded some details of his kill ritual, which included strapping the victim to a long and flat object, and covering everything in sheets of plastic. However, he did not collect a blood slide. That particular ritual started with Alex Timmons.

Dexter's fourth victim was Juan Ryness, a pimp who murdered Harry's partner and a prostitute. Juan was arrested but let off due to a faulty warrant which enraged Harry. He told Dexter that he was right in training him. However, when Harry accidentally walked in on Dexter while he was dismembering Ryness, he vomited. Three days later, Harry committed suicide, although Dexter thought he died of heart disease until many years later.

Earliest Kills

Attempted Kills

While in middle school, Dexter tried to kill Steve, another student who was bullying him. In the Dexter Comics, this occurred in high school.

Teenage Dexter tried to kill a bully named Josh. He was walking toward Josh while holding a knife, when Harry suddenly grabbed Dexter and lectured him on the importance of control.

Witnessed Kills

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