Dexter's Early Life

The following page provides info specifically on Dexter before the start of the TV Series. For general info on Dexter, please refer to Dexter Morgan.
For Detailed Info on Plot for Each Season, refer to the respective Tabs



The Moser Household


Dexter with his father Joe Driscoll driving

Dexter was born Dexter Moser on February 1, 1971, [1] only a couple years after Brian Moser by parents Laura Moser and Joseph Driscoll. He lived most of his infantile life with his elder brother at the address 1235 Mangrove Drive in Miami, Florida, confirmed via two arrest records for his mother in 1969 and then in 1971 for drug possession. Although Dexter lived primarily at this address, he did spend some with his father, Joe Driscoll, at the address 5570 (unknown street) in Dade City, Florida.

Early known events in Dexter's life occurred at his mother's house, roughly between the ages of two and three. He would play hide and seek with his big brother that he dubbed "Bynie" because he was unable to pronounce "Brian." Dexter was the more energetic child that laughed happily and teased when hiding from his mother who 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


At one point, Dexter managed to ride on Brian's skateboard and 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 while giving him tips to bend his knees the next time while Dexter nodded in agreement.


Laura and Dexter at an interview for Harry

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. She met Detective Harry Morgan and began acting as his informant in Hector Estrada's cartel, trying to provide intel that would help bring down the drug kingpin. On Friday, September 28, 1973, she met with Harry in an interview. She brought her youngest son Dexter along, while her older son, Brian, was in school. Laura told Harry that she wanted out of this, that it was far too risky for her and her boys, but Harry assured her that nothing would happen to her or her children. She felt that her life may be on the line, believing they were followed to the park the previous day. This meeting was found out to be a love affair. Harry closed out the interview, patting Dexter on the head, even then symbolizing the later fatherhood figure.

Shipping Yard Massacre


On Wednesday October 3, 1973 Laura Moser, her two sons Dexter and Brian, as well as three other drug users were herded into the shipping container CBAN 348 9 by Hector Estrada (aka Lipsey) and his two henchmen: Santos Jimenez and Welsh. Santos wielded the chainsaw, as the other two are seen standing there to prevent anyone from escaping.


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


Dexter in a pool of his mother's blood, "reborn".

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, 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.


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

The killers fled the area while Dexter and Brian sat for two days 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 and didn't consider himself to be human. A happy childhood ended in tragedy, to create 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.



Dexter losing grip of his brother's hand as he's carried away

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!".


The Look of the boy changed forever

As he left the container, Harry told the other officers with him to get inside immediately. Brian was recovered but Harry held onto Dexter, holding him close as he said everything would be alright. He made his way to the car while Dexter looked on without emotion, eventually blocking it out of his mind for most of his life. Santos Jimenez managed to cut a deal and moved to Naples. Welsh died in a drug deal while Hector Estrada received life without parole in prison.

Brian was put straight into a mental hospital and had grew up with only the "memory of a family" -- his mother and brother. Dexter was brought into the Morgan family and raised as the brother of Debra Morgan.



Harry showing Dexter his birth certificate as a "Morgan"


Dexter asks his father what really happened to his parents

While 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 to them, Dexter was always a Morgan 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 real parents. Dexter looked to his father for answers as he was told they died but didn't know the true 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. It was on this day that Dexter Moser became legally known as Dexter Morgan.

Abdomen Injury


Dexter's fence wound

Dexter injures himself later on when trying to go after Debra's ball that she lost. As Dexter climbs a fence to get the ball, a dog chased after him and forced Dexter to fall on a rod-iron post thus causing a large cut in on the side of his abdomen (which can be seen as a scar on the adult Dexter Morgan, something that Cody Bennett asks about). He's rushed to the emergency room where his pressure is dropping fast from 80 and is in a serious condition.


Harry arguing with Doris about Dexter's biological father

Debra stands on distraught and worried for her brother, while Harry goes to talk with the doctor on how they can fix this. The doctor says there is a problem with the blood type, as he has internal bleeding they need donation from his very rare type in order to help save his life and this leads Doris to arguing with Harry on a way to help his son. Harry seems evasive at first, because that means tracking down Joe Driscoll but for the sake of his boy, he ultimately decides to track him down. Dexter watches on, remembering this moment as it would become important later in life for a realization his true biological parents.


"Everything would be'll be good as new...would I lie to you?"


Thank you letter to his father

Harry successfully tracks down Joe and in hearing of his son's life-threatening situation, offers his blood so that Dexter may survive. A successful transfusion shows Dexter recovering from surgery, confused on where he was only to hear a doctor say that someone was generous enough to provide what he needed. Harry stands on and asks to speak with his son, saying that he'll be just fine. Dexter asks if he will be and Harry says (which is ironic in the end) "Would I lie to you?". As Dexter is recovering, Harry comes up to him and finds that he's making something. Dexter says that the nurse said he should thank the man who helped him and Dexter, happy about it constructs a thank you card that says "Thank you for the good blood from Dexter Morgan" with a syringe and smiling blood droplet. Harry looks at it and feels an inner sadness, saying that even though it's normal for thank you cards to be made that the man who donated is gone and Dexter will never see him again. Dexter, with a look of disappointment and sadness, decides to throw the card in the nearby trash bin saying it was a stupid idea. Harry seeing the humanity in his boy (something he often sought after), decides that it is worth making and promises him that the card will make it to him one day as he hands it back to his son to keep drawing. Dexter smiles and continues to color in the syringe.

Signs of a Killer


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


Dexter's worry that he angered his parents

One day while on the family boat, Harry Morgan asks his son if he's 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, something that Dexter looks down at the boat's floor feeling ashamed. 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 at the beach


Dexter successfully fakes his first smile

Harry trains his son to be normal, rather than a "weapon" in his adolescent years. As such he wants him to learn how to blend in, despite the fact that Dexter feels like he's incapable of feeling emotions. One of these instances occurs at a beach picnic where a photo is being taken, everyone except Dexter smiles and Harry catches onto this, only to hear Debra make a slight joke while Dexter replies with fairly vulgar language. Harry tells his son to come over to him and talk about what's bothering him, he says that he hates the beach as it feels slimy, nasty, sandy and that's why he refuses to smile. Harry tells him he has to deal with it, because it will make his mother happy if Dexter smiles and that it's also important in making sure that he blends in. Dexter nods and understands, in order to fit in he has to fake these emotions...this is the first instance where Dexter learned how to "fake" being a regular guy.


Dexter being caught bullying a boy named Simon

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, not a hero. He lets Dexter return to the game after this, smiling as he's proud that his son understood him this time.


A photo of Dexter at his favorite place

Dexter used to have a favorite place when he was younger, located just outside of a landfill a single palm tree where he carved a smiley face into as well as getting a picture made. The adult Dexter says that he loved how garbage was bulldozed, buried in and on top of each other...that he found it soothing. Eventually the location develops into a complex filled with condos.

Attempted Kills

While in school, Dexter tried to kill another student who was bullying him by the name of Steve Gonzalez. In the Dexter Comics, this occurred in high school. In the novel, Dexter in the Dark, it occurred in middle school.

In the TV series, teenage Dexter almost killed a bully named Joshua. As Dexter was walking toward Joshua holding a knife, Harry grabbed Dexter, stopping him, and lectured him on the importance on control. (Flashback in "Shrink Wrap").

Teenage Years

In Dexter's teenage years, Debra starts to become envious of the time that Harry spends with Dexter, feeling that she is left out when he takes Dexter hunting and not her, when really it is so that he can fuel his serial killing needs into killing animals on the hunt. She even goes as far as saying: "Sometimes I almost wish that he had never brought you home!" but apologizes for it soon after. Harry constantly has to remind Dexter of the code during these years and has to even go as far as to stopping him from lashing out at a bully at school once. Doris Morgan, his adoptive mother died of cancer when he was sixteen. She had been suspicious of Dexter and was the one who suggested that he be tested by a psychologist. When he reaches a sexually mature age he realizes that he is uninterested in the opposite, or indeed any, sex and therefore needs instruction by his father on how to act with women.


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

Dexter's educational information is scarce but according to a class reunion badge worn in "Those Kinds of Things," Dexter may have graduated from Alan B. Shepard High in 1991 (although, some reunions are held in five year intervals). The badge enabled him to gain access to a potential target.

Early Adulthood

Dexter started to study jujitsu during college. Dexter was the top of his class in medical school but 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. When Harry realized that a nurse named Mary, was overdosing patients on morphine, Harry gave Dexter his "permission" to kill her. Mary was Dexter's first human kill and it was quite messy. He embedded several ritualistic qualities which he kept doing, This included strapping the victim to a long and flat object, and the covering of everything in sheets of plastic. However, his trademark blood slide collection did not begin then; only later would he start that particular ritual.

Dexter's fourth victim was a murdering pimp called Juan Ryness. Juan was arrested but let off due to a faulty warrant which enraged Harry. Harry convinced himself that he was right in training Dexter. However, when Harry accidentally walked in on Dexter and saw him dismembering Juan Ryness, he vomited.


Killed by Others

Related Pages




  1. Episode 612: This is the Way the World Ends, via driver's license)
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