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Kurt Caldwell

Kurt Caldwell Unofficial Mayor of Iron Lake

Kurt Caldwell aka The Runaway Killer is the Main Antagonist of the Showtime special event series Dexter: New Blood.

The father of Matt Caldwell, Kurt was a prolific serial killer of runaway teenage girls, who lived a double life as the unofficial mayor of the small town of Iron Lake in upstate New York for 25 years. He owned several trucks and was the owner of the local truck stop and diner, where the runaway girls that later became his victims would frequently visit.

After realizing Matt was killed by Jim Lindsay (Dexter Morgan), Kurt began to target him and Harrison. By the time of his death at the hands of Dexter, Kurt had thirty women preserved and stored as trophies in an underground bunker.

Personality

Before his killings were revealed posthumously, Kurt was thought of as powerful, generous, and was loved by everyone in Iron Lake. He was also considered to be a true man of the people. Having used his double life to cover up his crimes for 25 years, Kurt was able to hide his secret identity as a serial killer from the majority of citizens of Iron Lake, with Jim Lindsay (Dexter Morgan) and his son Harrison being the only people to find out about Kurt's crimes during his lifetime.

When speaking to the citizens of Iron Lake, Kurt often acted friendly towards them. He also put on a caring and generous personality when speaking to runaway girls that visited his diner, so he could lure them to his cabin and kill them. Following his discovery that Matt was killed by Jim/Dexter, Kurt targeted him by grooming his son Harrison, and later trying to kill him in revenge for Matt's death. In his final moments, Kurt claimed that his attempted killing of Harrison was "nothing personal" towards him, and was only done out of revenge.

Kurt often showed signs of stress and anger when things didn't go his way. He was annoyed when Winnie was saved from becoming a victim by her boyfriend, and was visibly upset and angry at Chloe for not running away like his previous runaway victims had done.

History

Kurt Caldwell was born on March 15, 1960. As a child, Kurt regularly witnessed his father, Roger Caldwell, beating up prostitutes in their truck. Years later, Kurt killed Iris Broussard, a hitchhiker who had an argument with Kurt in his truck, after shooting her in the back with his rifle after she tried to escape, and later disposed of her body in a cave.

Kurt would re-create this incident with all his future victims, locking them in an underground bunker designed like a motel room, and shooting them in the back with his rifle as they tried to run away. At some point, Kurt married a woman and had a son named Matt, who was later killed by Jim Lindsay (Dexter Morgan).

Following Matt's disappearance, Kurt receives several phone calls from Angela Bishop about his missing son. He rushes to the search party camp, as they're packing up, and begs everyone to stay. Kurt tells Angela that Matt wouldn't have just abandoned town - he would’ve called him if he messed up and he’s probably still out there, alive, and freezing in the woods. He appeals to the townspeople to help him because he’s been there for them. Angela concedes and they send the search party back out. Dexter introduces Harrison to Kurt, who says he will find Matt and that no stone will go unturned.

As the investigation for finding Matt goes on, Kurt screams at Angela for not realizing earlier that this is a criminal investigation instead of a missing person's case. He follows along with the crime scene investigator who finds human blood mixed in with the deer's blood. Kurt gives a blood sample and they match it to the blood found in the snow.

At the end of the episode, Kurt is drunk and standing outside a bar shouting “wahoo”. Kurt runs up to Dexter and tells him Matt’s alive, claiming Matt FaceTimed him. Dexter offers to give him a ride home and Kurt gets in the pickup truck.

Kurt goes into the police station and everyone hugs him in glee, relieved his son is alive. Kurt gives a statement about FaceTiming with Matt, claiming he saw no injury and that he is in New York. Angela told Kurt that Matt owes her a call. She says she’s called his cell a number of times and that it goes straight to voicemail. Kurt told Angela Matt looked like he was high and on a bender.

Later on, Dexter watches as Kurt chats up a woman with green hair inside the diner.

After the incident at the high school, Kurt knocks on Jim’s door. Kurt tells him he wants to shake Harrison’s hand to thank him personally for keeping the town safe. He gives him a drone as a gift. Kurt tells Jim he’s lucky to have a hero for a son and admits he didn’t do a great job with Matt. Dexter accidentally reveals that he knows about the boat accident but tries to cover it up.

A woman at the diner tells Kurt he needs to deal with the woman who hasn't left. Kurt goes to talk to the green-haired woman camped out in the local diner. She tells him she was going to use the money he gave her to buy bus fare but that she was really hungry and needed to eat. She asks for more money but he said he can’t give it to her but that he can get her a job - as a waitress at the diner. Kurt drives the woman to a cabin out in the woods, which looks like the same one Lily stayed in.

Kurt lets the girl with green hair, Chloe, into his spare room telling her to stay as long as she likes, “meals included”. The girl is shocked by his kindness and is so grateful to have a place to stay. She asks what he wants from her. He just says he asks humbly that she pay it forward.

Chloe bangs on the door and screams “sir!” She hears footsteps above and then sees the camera where the words “You’re already dead” are written. Kurt watches her through the camera. Later on, Chloe stares at the camera and takes her top off as Kurt watches. Over a loudspeaker, he tells her “Stop it, this is not what this is about”. Frustrated, he slams the computer closed. She pulls out a mirror shard from under her pillow after the camera shuts off.

Kurt opens the door for Chloe telling her she’s free to go - “it’s over”. She says “make me” and grabs the mirror shard. Kurt walks in and she slices his face. He grabs her and drags her outside. He tells her to run but she hesitates. She runs towards him and he shoots her eye. He screams “you ruined everything” before shooting her again. Kurt cries and bangs his head.

Later on, Kurt sees Harrison along the street and asks where he’s going. He offers to buy him a hot meal before he goes. Harrison asks what happened to his face (the cut from the girl). Kurt and Harrison eat while Kurt gives some advice about dealing with rage. He hands Harrison a job application for the diner.

Kurt tries to reconstruct Chloe’s face where he shot her in the eye. He ends up punching her face, screaming “fucking waste!”

Later on, Kurt pulls into the parking lot at the diner and sees a girl asking for some money. He gives her some money and she introduces herself as Winnie. He offers her a ride somewhere and she agrees but then sees her boyfriend and he tells her he found a ride to Indianapolis. Harrison walks up with his job application and tells him Dexter isn’t okay with it but that he doesn’t care. Kurt forges Jim’s signature and welcomes him to the team.

Kurt and Molly chat at the bar. Kurt admits to Molly that Matt was never in New York City and that he lied about FaceTiming with him. Kurt tells her that Matt showed up drunk in person and Kurt wanted to cover for him. He tells Molly that Matt is hiding in his cabin. He offers for Molly to interview Matt to get his side of the story as long as she doesn’t tell anyone where the cabin is. She tells him he has a deal.

Kurt brings Molly to his remote cabin. Kurt knocks on the door and calls for Matt. Molly starts to get creeped out and Dexter walks into the door to check on them. Molly tells Jim (Dexter) that Matt is in there and Jim tells him he’d love to say hi. He pushes open the door and notes that the door only locks from the outside. He also sees the camera. He wonders if Kurt is the killer that Angela is looking for. The room is empty and Matt isn’t inside. Jim offers to give Molly a ride back. Kurt tells them the thing about Matt stays between the three of them. Kurt punches a hole in the wall.

Later that evening, Kurt cheers on Harrison at the wrestling match later on, giving him advice to channel his anger. Jim (Dexter) tells Kurt to back off from Harrison after Harrison breaks his opponent's wrist.

At the diner, Kurt sees Dexter and goes over to bring him a slice of cake. Dexter asks him if Molly ever got that interview with Matt. Kurt tells Jim (Dexter) that he believes there was a time they would be great friends. Angela and Logan walk in and arrest Kurt for the murder of Iris.

At some point, Kurt gave Elric Kane a blank envelope with a titanium nail inside and instructed him to give the envelope to Harrison to give to Jim (Dexter). The nail turns out to have been recovered from the oven where Dexter disposed of Matt, as it was in Matt's kneecap for medical reasons. Kurt now knows that Dexter killed Matt.

Kurt talks to Angela about Iris and Matt. Angela asks him why he lied about receiving calls from Matt, when there is no record of any received call that night. She tells him his DNA is a match for DNA found on Iris’ body and he tells her he wants to talk to his lawyer.

At the police station, Kurt makes a recorded statement about his father. He claims he witnessed his father knock around “working women”. He claims that his father was the one who picked up Iris in his truck. When the DA insists they don’t have enough evidence to keep Kurt, he is let go. Logan talks to Kurt as he leaves and says he could’ve cleared Kurt if he came forward with this information years ago. Kurt tells Angela “sorry for your loss” and walks away. Shortly afterwards, Kurt pays Elric a substantial amount of money to abduct Jim (Dexter).

Kurt meets up with Harrison and uses his spare set of keys to enter the school gymnasium. Using a pitching machine, Kurt teaches Harrison how to play baseball. He appears concerned when Harrison insists on trying to play curve balls, causing him to sustain multiple bruises, but doesn't stop until he's out of balls. Kurt then invites Harrison back to his cabin, which Harrison accepts.

During the drive, Kurt messages Elric and demands to know why he hasn't arrived, not realizing that Elric is currently hunting an escaped Dexter. It becomes clear that Kurt intends to force Dexter to watch as he kills Harrison, before presumably killing him too. Kurt puts on a facade of friendliness, discussing Harrison's parental issues with him over a plate of venison. He receives a message seemingly from Elric saying he will arrive soon.

Kurt puts on his killing attire and threatens Harrison with a rifle, telling him to run. As Harrison starts running in a similar manner to Lily, with Kurt preparing to shoot him, Dexter arrives in Elric's truck and distracts Kurt. Kurt fires several shots at Dexter, but is knocked down and forced to flee.

Kurt visits Angela's house on Christmas day while Dexter and Harrison are there. Dexter approaches Kurt in artificially friendly matter, which Kurt reciprocates. Kurt gives Angela peppermint bark as a gift, and then exchanges passive aggressive comments with Dexter, such as that he is jealous Dexter gets to spend the holidays with his son, with Dexter replying that he wouldn't know what to do without Harrison on Christmas. Kurt wishes them a merry Christmas and leaves. Dexter and Harrison find an excuse to go and see Kurt leaving in his truck. Dexter decides that they need to survey Kurt's property for 'trophies' that he believes all serial killers have of their victims.

Dexter and Harrison scout the outskirts of Kurt's cabin with the drone Kurt had given Harrison as a gift. Through the camera, Dexter spots a vent on the surface. Dexter suspects that Kurt has an underground bunker, and the two agree to come back at night to investigate. At night, Kurt prepares his sniper rifle while listening to Runaway. Later, not knowing that Harrison and Dexter had already left for the bunker, Kurt arrives at Dexter's cabin, geared in his snow camouflage and spraying down the porch with gasoline from a fuel truck. Kurt takes a piece of burning firewood and lights the cabin on fire, before posting on top of the truck with his sniper trained at the door. At the bunker, Dexter and Harrison set off a tripwire to activate a camera. Kurt receives the notification on his phone and sees Harrison descending down the ladder. As Dexter and Harrison move further into the bunker, they discover dozens of deceased women, including Molly Park, embalmed and posed in human sized trophy cases. Upon seeing this disturbing sight, Harrison told Dexter that Kurt needs to die.

Kurt rushes into his cabin and hurriedly packs money, clothing, and other valuables. He is interrupted by Harrison, who distracts him as Dexter comes up from behind and tranquilizes him. Back in the bunker, Dexter and Harrison prepare a kill table for Kurt on the same table Kurt used to drain the blood from his victims. Dexter wakes Kurt up, who tries to break free from the plastic. Rather than trying to claim he did not murder the women, Kurt asks them if they find it impressive. An angry Harrison berates him for murdering them, but Kurt states he was 'saving' them from the trauma they would face as runaways. Dexter says its bullshit, and that he killed for the feeling of power. Kurt reveals to Harrison that he tried to kill him because Dexter killed Matt. Kurt begins to insult Dexter's code but is gagged. Dexter stabs Kurt in the chest, killing him in seconds. A disturbed yet relieved Harrison watches Dexter dismember Kurt's corpse. Dexter loads the pieces of Kurt's body into garbage bags and the two take it to a furnace, cremating them. Dexter says that people will think he simply ran away from his current life.

In the morning, Dexter and Harrison return to the destroyed cabin. Dexter believes it to be Kurt's parting shot. They later arrive at Angela's house. On her way in, she takes an envelope from the mail and opens it. Inside, there is a note that reads, "JIM LINDSAY KILLED MATT CALDWELL", as well as the titanium screws found in the furnace where Matt was cremated. The envelope was most likely sent anonymously by Kurt before his death.

Officer Teddy Reed is seen in Kurt's home, where he tells Angela over the phone that the safe has been emptied and clothing is missing, making the assumption that Kurt left town.

In the precinct, Dexter, having been taken into custody under the suspicion of having murdered Matt, as well as possibly being the Bay Harbor Butcher, reveals to Angela that Kurt has a bunker on his property, and that in it she will see what true evil looks like. Angela drives to the cabin, where she finds the bunker and enters it cautiously. There, to her horror, she finds the embalmed corpses of several of the missing girls she'd been investigating, as well as Molly. Angela urgently calls for Teddy, telling him to get everybody; backup, the FBI, etc.

It is presumed that Kurt was found guilty for the murders post-mortem.

Quotes

  • "Run." - Kurt's catchphrase, said to his runaway victims before shooting them with his rifle ("Dexter: New Blood")
  • "I'm just jealous that Jimbo here gets to spend the holidays with his son." - Kurt to Jim/Dexter and Harrison ("The Family Business")
  • "Okay. Yeah, you got me. It's all me. Every bit of it. Pretty fucking amazing, huh?" - Kurt confessing his murders to Jim/Dexter and Harrison ("The Family Business")
  • "No! I saved 'em. They're just runaways. Do you have any idea the trauma that they were gonna go through? I do. I saw it. I saw it firsthand, what my dad would do to them. I'd pick them up on the road, and I'd take 'em to my cabin, and I'd give them a nice room and a warm meal. And safety. But that was never enough for them. They always wanted to go back out there. And so I preserved them, kept them safe forever." - Kurt attempting to justify his murders to Jim/Dexter and Harrison ("The Family Business")
  • "Oh, wow, Jimbo. You really get me, don't you? So what is this? You and your son, you're some kind of vigilante team? No, don't get me wrong. I'm kinda jealous. All the time that I spent with Harrison. Kinda made me wish my son was more like H here." - Kurt to Jim/Dexter and Harrison ("The Family Business")
  • "Oh, shit. He doesn't know. He doesn't know what you did to Matt, does he? Revenge... for your dear old dad murdering my son. Eye for an eye. Son for a son. Nothing personal, kid." - Kurt revealing Jim/Dexter's murder of Matt to Harrison, and claiming it was nothing personal ("The Family Business")
  • "Wait. What? That's your rationale for killing people? Some kind of bullshit justice code?" - Kurt's last words before being killed by Jim/Dexter ("The Family Business")
  • "Go to Kurt's cabin. 100 yards north of the front door, under a deadwood pile, there's a hatch. Open it, and you'll see what real evil looks like." -Dexter to Angela about Kurt's murders ("Sins of the Father")

Murder Victims

Attempted Victims

Implied Victims

  • Keisha Taylor (mentioned as being missing; strongly implied that Kurt killed her)

Trivia

  • Per Kurt's mugshot, he was born in 1960, making him 61. Subtracting 25 years would make him 36 when he killed Iris.
  • Kurt Caldwell is loosely based on Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen (1939–2014).[1] However, his practice of preserving the entire bodies of his victims is likely based on the early-20th century Hungarian serial killer Béla Kiss.

Related Pages

Gallery

See Also

References

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