It's a powerful current that starts in the Gulf of Mexico and flows into the Atlantic at the tip of Florida, accelerating along the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland.
"I also found a newer, safer place to dump my trash. Moving at over four miles per hour, the Gulf Stream is one of the world's most powerful deep-water currents. This time tomorrow, Little Chino will be north of Palm Beach. After that, it's on to Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina until eventually...well, let's just say the North Atlantic is a pretty big place." ~ Dexter Morgan, after killing Little Chino ("Waiting to Exhale")
Following the grisly discovery of body parts by scuba divers off the coast of Miami, Dexter Morgan was forced to rethink his disposal method for his first kill in awhile - Little Chino. He bounced the idea off Vince Masuka by asking where The Bay Harbor Butcher could safely dispose of his victims now that his "treasure trove" was found. Vince threw out suggestions, including the Everglades (where they'd be eaten by alligators). The Everglades had actually been used by Dexter in the past to dispose of Nurse Mary and Juan Ryness before he bought a boat.
As a fisherman, Dexter knew of the Gulf Stream, and it caught his attention as the solution on how to safely dispose of his victims. At night, Dexter took his boat (Slice of Life) to this location and dumped garbage bags containing body parts into the ocean. They were picked up by the strong current (triangulated by Dexter using GPS). Eventually, each victim ended up somewhere in the North Atlantic.
The Gulf Stream proved a safe location for Dexter to dispose of his victims, and he encountered no issues from law enforcement. However, he and Lumen Pierce, were spotted on his boat by Stan Liddy while they were dumping one of their victims. The chance that a body part would wash up and be linked back to Dexter or the Bay Harbor Butcher Case (closed in Season Two) was basically impossible.
When dumping into the Gulf Stream, Dexter did not need to weigh down the bags with rocks, as he had to do previously. The Gulf Stream is such a powerful current that the the bags were swiftly taken far away. Bodies in his previous dumping site needed to be weighted down so they would stay put, and not float to the surface.
Those Aware of Body Dumps
The Gulf Stream itself is well known, but only a few people knew why Dexter went there during the nights on his boat.
- Lumen Pierce had aided Dexter in killing and disposing of the Barrel Girl Gang; therefore, she was well aware of Dexter's use of the Gulf Stream.
- Stan Liddy followed Dexter and photographed him on his boat from a distance. He presented the photos, which showed Dexter and Lumen dumping black bags overboard, to Joey Quinn. Liddy told Quinn that the bags probably contained bodies, or something else illicit. Additionally, Liddy had footage and recordings of Dexter and Lumen seemingly planning a kill together, but he didn't show these to Quinn. However, Dexter killed Liddy and destroyed the footage.
- Debra Morgan and Evelyn Vogel accompanied Dexter when he dumped the body of A.J. Yates into the Gulf Stream.
- Brian Moser, He had been aware that Dexter dumped bodies in the Underwater Graveyard, and even retrieved Valerie Castillo's body from the water. He would have likely applauded Dexter's use of the Gulf Stream.
Victims Dumped in Stream
Note: This list only includes victims that were dumped into the Gulf Stream. Victims disposed of before Season Two, or in other ways, are not included.
- Little Chino - First victim to be dumped into the Gulf Stream. Needed additional trash bags due to his large size. Slowly stabbed in the heart.
- Roger Hicks - Stabbed in the heart
- Santos Jimenez - Dismembered with a chainsaw
- Phillip Barnes - Unknown kill method
- Between season victims, presumably dumped in the Gulf Stream.
- Cal Rooney - Decapitated. Presumably dumped in the Gulf Stream, although this is not confirmed.
- Fred Bowman - Dexter lies and says that "Freebo" was buried in a local cemetery; however, he was actually dumped in the Gulf Stream. Stabbed in the neck.
- Nathan Marten - Technically, undeserved (by the Code of Harry standards). Dexter killed him because Marten was a pedophile who had taken photos of Astor. Strangled.
- Ethan Turner - Dumped from a porthole of the cruise ship where he was killed, the cruise ship was above the Gulf Stream.
- Clemson Galt - Stabbed in the heart.
- Billy Fleeter - Stabbed in the heart by Miguel Prado. Dexter dumped him in the Gulf Stream afterward.
- Between season victims, presumably all dumped in the Gulf Stream.
- Benito Gomez - After killing Benny, Dexter had a car accident and lost track of where he placed the body parts. He later discovered them hanging above the boxing ring. He likely dumped them in the Gulf Stream. Stabbed in the heart.
- Zoey Kruger - Stabbed in the heart.
- Jonathan Farrow - Dexter decapitated him with a cleaver, mistakenly thinking he was a murderer, and then dumped his remains in the Gulf Stream. However, Dexter later discovered that Farrow was innocent.
- Stan Beaudry - Neck sawed out with a power saw. Presumably, dropped in the Gulf Stream as his body was never found.
- Arthur Mitchell - Bludgeoned to death with the sharp side of a hammer. Dexter is shown dumping his body in the Gulf Stream.
- Rankin - Possibly disposed of in the Gulf Stream, as leaving his body at the establishment would have raised questions, although this is not confirmed. Beaten to death with an anchor.
- Boyd Fowler - Stabbed in the heart, and presumably dumped in the Gulf Stream afterward, although this is not confirmed.
- Cole Harmon - Stabbed in the heart and dismembered in a hotel. While Lumen is helping Dexter dispose of his body in the Gulf Stream, they are photographed by Stan Liddy.
- Alex Tilden - Stabbed in the heart by Lumen Pierce, who helped Dexter dump him in the Gulf Stream.
- Jordan Chase - Stabbed in the heart by Lumen Pierce, then dumped in the ocean
- Between season victims, presumably dumped in the Gulf Stream.
- Ben and Roger - Hearts stopped with a defibrillator.
- Joe Walker - Hit on the head with a hammer and stabbed in the chest.
- Julio Benes - Throat slit.
- Nick - Drowned in the offshore waters of Biscayne Bay.
- Viktor Baskov - Beaten with a fire extinguisher. Entire body dropped in the ocean.
- Isaak Sirko - Notably, the only person not killed by Dexter or an associate to be dumped into the ocean. Shot in the chest by George Novikov, and later died on Dexter's boat. Entire body dropped into the ocean.
- Clint McKay- Stabbed in the chest on Dexter's boat. Entire body dropped in the ocean.
- Unidentified Victim - Killed in a ritual and presumably dumped after death
- Ron Galuzzo - Body presumably dumped after his death.
- A.J. Yates - Entire body dumped in the presence of Debra and Evelyn Vogel.
- Miles Castner - Entire body dumped after he was killed by Hannah McKay. Fifth victim to be disposed of in the presence of another. (Others were Cole, Alex, Jordan with Lumen; A.J. Yates with Deb and Vogel)
- Zach Hamilton - Entire body dumped. Killed by The Brain Surgeon.
- Debra Morgan - Entire body dumped at sea near the barrier islands. Her life support was shut off by Dexter Morgan after she suffered a stroke from a blood clot. A news report after the hurricane stated that the wreckage of his boat was found a mile offshore.
Victims Not Dumped in Stream
This is a list of victims (post-Underwater Graveyard disposal) who were not dumped in the Gulf Stream,
- Ken Olson - Cadaver was left at the scene of the crime for the police to find. Decapitated with a cleaver.
- Jose Garza - Cadaver was used to frame James Doakes. Neck sawed out with a power saw.
- Esteban Famosa - He was an impromptu kill, and fed to alligators. Neck broken.
- Teo Famosa - He was an impromptu kill, and fed to alligators. Shot in the head.
- Lila West - Unknown what happened to her cadaver. She was killed in Paris, and Dexter could not have smuggled her body back to Miami. Stabbed in the heart.
- Oscar Prado - Impromptu kill when looking for Freebo, and had to be left at the scene. Stabbed in the chest during a struggle.
- Camilla Figg - Mercy killing, in a hospital. Euthanized with poisoned key lime pie.
- Miguel Prado - Because he was the ADA, his disappearance would have attracted too much attention. Instead, his body was left in a park and his murder pinned on The Skinner. Strangled.
- George King - The police were nearby, so he was thrown onto a moving police vehicle, making it look like suicide. Neck broken.
- Dan Mendell - Police were approaching and he had no time to dispose of him. Instead, he created a fake crime scene with him and Lance Robinson. Neck snapped.
- Lance Robinson - Police were arriving and he had no time to dispose of him. Instead, he created a fake crime scene with him and Dan Mendell. Strangled.
- Stan Liddy - Forced to leave him in his van where he killed him because Lumen needed help. Stabbed in the chest during a struggle.
- Walter Kenney - Made to look like a heart attack, to destroy his legacy and keep him from being known as The Tooth Fairy Killer. Suffocated with a pillow. Paramedics took him away
- Norm - Dexter was unable to use his usual means of disposal as he was in Nebraska, so he was thrown into a corn silo. Stabbed in the stomach with a pitchfork.
- Steve Dorsey - Dexter left him on the "Ricochet Rabbit" and anonymously called the police. Stabbed in the abdomen.
- Beth Dorsey - Dexter killed her at Miami Metro Police Department to keep her from setting off Wormwood. Locked in a room with a gas bomb.
- Alberto - Dexter was on a fishing boat with several migrants, so he was simply thrown into the ocean. Stabbed in the stomach with a harpoon.
- Professor James Gellar - (killed by Travis Marshall) After Dexter found his body, he chopped off his hand and left pieces of him in a swamp. ("Talk to the Hand")
- Travis Marshall - Body burned, death made to look like a suicide. Stabbed in the chest.
- Ray Speltzer - Body burned in a crematorium, along with Dexter's second slide box. Stabbed in the chest with a the broken handle of a shovel.
- Unnamed Hitman - Body was left at Viktor Baskov's apartment, due to it being an impromptu kill. Throat slashed.
- Oleg Mickic - Body left at the shooting range, to prove that he was dead. Stabbed through the back.
- Hector Estrada - Left inside a shipping container, along with the body of Maria LaGuerta. Stabbed in the chest. Set up to look as if they shot each other.
- Unknown victims between seasons
- Andrew Briggs - Body taken away by paramedics after Debra called it in. Stabbed in the chest during a struggle.
- Oliver Saxon - Killed in a police station, set up as self defense. Stabbed in the neck with a pen after he attacked Dexter first.
- Matt Caldwell - Killed in Dexter's shed near his cabin. His remains were initially buried under Dexter's fire pit, before being thrown into an incinerator. ("Cold Snap")
- Jasper Hodge - Killed in his home. Body left for the police to find due to being unable to dispose of or kill him the way he wanted. Forced opioid overdose.
- Elric Kane - Killed in an abandoned summer camp. Initially left under a tarp, Dexter later dismembered and disposed of his remains in an incinerator. Stabbed in the chest.
- Kurt Caldwell - Killed in his bunker. Dexter dismembered him, and with Harrison's help, disposed off in an incinerator. Stabbed in the chest.
Gulf Stream Trivia
- The average speed of the Gulf Stream is four miles per hour (6.4 kilometers per hour). As it widens to the far north, the stream slows to a speed of about one mile per hour (1.6 kilometers per hour), and breaks up into swirling currents.
- The Gulf Stream transports nearly four billion cubic feet of water per second, an amount greater than that carried by all of the world's rivers combined.
- The Gulf Stream is not a simple ribbon of moving water but rather a complicated network of currents that tend to shift course over time, to disappear and then reappear, and to develop eddies along the margins.