Juan Ryness
Character Profile
Portrayed By
Two uncredited actors
First Appearance
There's Something About Harry
Last Appearance
Dark Echo - Chapter One
Appears in
Four Episodes
Full Name
Juan Ryness

Manner of Death
Killed by Dexter Morgan
29 (at death)
Personal Status
Marital Status
Immediate Relatives
Professional Status
Killer Profile
"No Known Moniker"
Number of Victims
At least two
Modus Operandi
Unknown blunt instrument
Killing Method
Beats them in the head
Method of Disposal
No specific case mentioned

Juan Ryness is a character in Showtime's series DEXTER.

He was a pimp who murdered one of his prostitutes named Julie Piotrowski, as well as Dexter Morgan's fourth human victim.

Ryness also murdered Davey Sanchez, therefore making him a personal adversary of Harry Morgan (which was evident in Harry's special attention to the Piotrowski case). After Ryness went free of charges for murdering the cop, Dexter felt proud to have killed him.


(Flashback) Juan was a pimp arrested by Harry Morgan for killing one of his prostitutes, but was let off due to a faulty warrant. When Thomas Matthews visits Harry Morgan 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.

Dexter kills Juan, but Harry inadvertently walks into the kill room to find his son in the process of dismembering Juan, and he vomits. Years later, Dexter learns that Harry committed suicide days later, 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 disposed of Juan's remains in the Everglades, and he was never discovered to be a victim of the Bay Harbor Butcher. The Butcher's victims were identified via blood slides, but Dexter did not take a blood slide from Juan. If Juan ever was identified as a victim, however, his murder would be blamed on James Doakes.

Dexter briefly dreams of murdering Juan again and dismembering him - situation repeats with Miguel Prado who, instead of vomiting, is absolutely neutral to corpse.

In Season 8, Episode 4, Debra watches Vogel's last session with Harry, where it is implied that Juan killed Harry's partner (Davey Sanchez) and this was the reason that Dexter killed him.


Appearances and Mentions


  • 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.
  • He only appeared in flashbacks or dreams, and was never seen alive.,
  • 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.

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