He was a pimp who was Dexter Morgan's fourth human victim. He only appeared in flashbacks or dreams, and was never seen alive.
(Flashback) After Juan is arrested by Detective Harry Morgan for killing one of his prostitutes, he is let off due to a faulty warrant. When Thomas Matthews visits Harry during Debra's birthday party to inform him of Juan's release, Harry loses his temper. Afterward, he tells Dexter that he was right in training him.
Because Juan also goes free of charges for murdering a cop, Dexter feels proud when he kills him. Unfortunately, Harry inadvertently walks into the kill room to find his son in the process of dismembering Juan -- and he vomits. Dexter doesn't quite understand Harry's reaction, as he thought Harry would be pleased.
Years later, Dexter learns from Thomas Matthews that Harry committed suicide three days after seeing him cutting up Juan, rather than dying of natural causes as he had previously believed. Dexter realizes that Harry was unable to face the reality of what he trained his son to do.
Dexter dreams of again dismembering Juan, but the situation repeats with Miguel Prado instead of Harry who, instead of vomiting, is absolutely neutral to the corpse.
Appearances and Mentions
- "Crocodile" (referenced as an unnamed murderer of Davey Sanchez, flashback)
- "There's Something About Harry" (corpse; flashback)
- "Easy as Pie" (corpse; dream sequence)
- Dark Echo - Chapter One (corpse; flashback)
- "Scar Tissue" (referenced; discussed as a murderer of Davey Sanchez)
- Dexter disposed of Juan's remains in the Everglades, and he was never discovered to be a victim of The Bay Harbor Butcher since Dexter did not take a blood slide from him. If Juan ever was identified as a victim, however, his murder would be blamed on James Doakes.
- Two different uncredited actors portrayed Ryness in his Second and Third Season appearances. While they look quite similar, it is obvious they are not the same person. There's no plot hole, though, because the second appearance was in a dream, where people may appear somewhat different.
- Ryness had a pivotal impact on the life of Harry, influencing his training of Dexter and his own views of justice.
- The fact that Ryness was able to kill Davey Sanchez and go free of charges was important in formulating Dexter's philosophy. Dexter also seemed to have a special hatred for cop killers, In later years, Dexter nearly killed Carlos Guerrero without preparation because he killed an undercover cop, and he was eager to kill Viktor Baskov after he murdered Detective Mike Anderson.