Oliver Saxon A.K.A The Brain Surgeon

Oliver Saxon
Character Profile
Portrayed By
Darri Ingolfsson
Season Eight
First Appearance
A Little Reflection
Last Appearance
Remember the Monsters?
Appears in
Seven Episodes
Full Name
Daniel Vogel
Oliver Saxon
Manner of Death
Stabbed in the neck by Dexter Morgan.
23 December 1968
Personal Status
Marital Status
Immediate Relatives
Evelyn Vogel (mother; deceased)
Richard Vogel (father; deceased)
Richard Vogel, Jr (brother; deceased)
263 Glendora Ave. #1A
Miami, FL 33133
Professional Status
Building Inspector
Serial Killer
Killer Profile
"The Brain Surgeon"
Number of Victims
At least 23 (directly)
2 (indirectly)
Modus Operandi
Bone saw
Medical tools (including a melon baller, for postmortem operation)
Killing Method
Kills his victims with the use of a handgun or a bone saw, then slices through their cranium, removing the back of their skull to scoop out a portion of their brain (the anterior insular cortex, which processes empathy). Some of his victims' heads are sawed into while the victim is alive.
Method of Disposal
Most bodies are left in public.
At a young age, Daniel (Oliver) drowned his younger brother. After his parents sent him away to a mental institution to be treated, he eventually caused a fire that killed 7 children inhabiting the facility. After many years, he moved to Miami, where his mother Evelyn Vogel lived. After learning that she was close to one of her former patients, (Dexter Morgan), he began to kill more people and send their fragmented brain pieces to her as a message (in hopes that she would turn her attention to him instead of Dexter). He also simply drew pleasure from killing.

Oliver Saxon (born as Daniel Vogel) was a Character on Showtime's series DEXTER.

He was the Main Antagonist of Season Eight and the final Main Antagonist of the television series. Because he scooped out a piece from each of his victims' brains, he was dubbed "The Brain Surgeon."

Originally portrayed as a charming man dating a woman named Cassie Jollenston, he was later revealed to be a psychopath and serial killer.


As a "perfect psychopath" (coined by Dexter Morgan himself), Saxon was devoid of empathy, remorse, and fear. His other traits include being very intelligent, manipulative, cunning, ruthless, and able to mimic normal human emotions.

At age fourteen, he drowned his younger brother and didn't feel an ounce of guilt. He was subsequently committed to a psychiatric hospital which used overly harsh treatment methods. To escape, he set a fire that killed seven of the children. Thus, he became a mass murderer, and later a serial killer.

He was sadistic toward his victims, torturing them both physically and psychologically. Saxon found the experience of killing to be cathartic and genuinely enjoyed it. Lacking a moral code, Saxon could murder anyone without a second thought, even his own family members.

Oliver has displayed extreme psychopathic tendencies since he was a child. These traits included a complete lack of conscience, a lack of remorse and empathy, calculated acts of violence, and a complete lack of emotion or fear. Unlike every other Dexter antagonist or villain, Saxon was born to be a killer. Oliver was the only villain who was truly incapable of empathy or any real human emotion. This makes him the most dangerous of any villain on the show.

Oliver's psychopathy and sadism were so severe that he seemed to be almost incapable of maintaining his charismatic facade. He enjoyed killing and torturing people so much that his act would eventually collapse.

Oliver appeared to be the personification of pure evil and malevolence. He had absolutely no redeeming traits or qualities, he was incapable of remorse or empathy, he seemed to revel in the fact that he tortured and murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever to the point where even Dexter considered him a complete monster. Even Dexter wonders how many people Saxon has killed, his real kill count could be over a hundred as he would frequently murder in very rapid streaks and move to a new city before being caught.

All of these traits combine to make Saxon the "Perfect Psychopath" that Dexter coined him to be. Saxon was the embodiment of a complete psychopath who is kills without rhyme or reason. He tortures and murders and considers it cathartic. Because of this, Oliver was the most vile, twisted, and evil antagonist Dexter had ever faced. In the end, despite his death, Saxon was the one who completely destroyed Dexter's life and ended his reign as the Bay Harbor Butcher.

Public Persona

When under his cover personality, Saxon appeared to be a normal individual. He was always seen with a smile, and kept up friendly gestures to make himself appear kind, while speaking in a polite and calm manner. He held a steady, responsible job and lived in a rented residence.

In regards to his girlfriend, Cassie Jollenston, he treated her respectfully, and appeared to be a man in love. After her death, he took on a solemn personality, and expressed his sorrow. Spoken to, he referred to how happy they were together and their plans for the future. Assuredly, these emotions were false, simply to aid his alibi against being Cassie's killer.

Early Life

Daniel Vogel and Richard Vogel Jr., his younger brother, were born to Dr. Richard Vogel and Evelyn Vogel. The family had a seemingly normal lifestyle. However, Daniel felt jealousy and resentment towards Richard Jr. At the age of fourteen, Daniel acted on this rage and killed his brother.

Evelyn found her younger son dead at the bottom of their swimming pool. Initially, she believed that the child had drowned, as he wasn't a strong swimmer. However, she and her husband realized that Daniel had killed Richard Jr. The parents covered up the murder as an accident, with Evelyn pursuing a career as a psychiatrist in an attempt to help her son. When Evelyn believed herself unsuccessful, she and her husband sent Daniel to a psychiatric hospital in England.

The hospital staff practiced harsh treatments, such as strapping youths to an examination table in order to force medication into their system. Three years passed at this psychiatric hospital, with Daniel growing more bitter, and wondering if his mother would ever come to pick him up.

At the age of seventeen, a fire broke out at the facility. It was thought that a nurse went on break while leaving a door locked, which prevented the children from escaping the fire. Seven children perished and Daniel was believed to be one of them. His father, Richard, identified his son's body, although it was burned beyond recognition. In reality, Daniel had faked his death and caused the fire himself.[2]

When older, he assumed the identity of a deceased boy by the name of Oliver Saxon who died 26 November 1989. The "new Saxon" continued his life traveling between at least a dozen cities in two continents (Europe and North America). Dexter suspected that he had killed others and would move to another city to avoid being caught.

His earliest known United States residence was in Galveston, Texas, in 2003 for at least three years. He moved to Tallahassee, Florida, in 2006 and to Miami in 2008.

Saxon was officially employed as a building inspector on 15 August 2010 by Miami Prime Building Inspections.[3]

Since he had lived in Miami since 2008, he was present during the Skinner Case, Trinity Case, Barrel Girls Case, and the Doomsday Killer Investigation.

Saxon's Birth Dates

  • 22 December 1979 - per Oliver Saxon’s driver’s license (see Gallery)
  • 23 December 1968 - per police report from Cassie Jollenston's murder (“Make Your Own Kind of Music”)
  • 17 November 1979 - the real Oliver Saxon’s obit (“Make Your Own Kind of Music”) (see Gallery)
  • 17 November 1989 - per law enforcement database search by Dexter (a difference of 10 years to the real Saxon's age) (“Goodbye Miami”) (see Gallery)

Season Eight

With the apparent end to The Brain Surgeon (presumed by Dexter and Evelyn Vogel to be A.J. Yates, whom Dexter recently killed), Dexter begins to focus on training a protege serial killer by the name of Zach Hamilton. He also has lunch with his most recent neighbor, Cassie Jollenston, after her friend, Jamie Batista, insists on it. However, Dexter's awkward answers on their date and lack of conversational topics leaves Cassie available to go out with a new man.


Oliver when he's introduced

For Jamie's birthday, Angel Batista throws a beach party at Papa's Cafe to celebrate. Dexter observes Cassie talking to an unknown man at the party and she seems taken with his charm. Jamie notices the two flirting with one another and tells Dexter that she doesn't know who the guy is, but if he wants a shot at Cassie, now is his chance.

A little later, Dexter moves closer to Cassie and starts another awkward conversation with her. Almost immediately, the unknown man walks up to them with beers in hand. Cassie introduces the two, with Dexter learning that the man's name is Oliver Saxon.

Saxon extends his hand to shake Dexter's with a generous smile. He tells Cassie how he wasn't sure which beer to grab, but decided to go with the one with the "Moose" on it, which humors her. Dexter looks for an out and says that he is going to check on his son, Harrison. He then walks away. leaving Cassie and Saxon to drink their beer and talk.

Saxon is seen alongside Cassie outside of her apartment (the two are about to go swimming) while Dexter is talking with his new disciple, Zach Hamilton, about patiently controlling his urges until the opportunity arises to kill an evil person. However, once Cassie is murdered the following night, Dexter suspects that it was Zach's doing (because of the similar bludgeoning to Norma Rivera, whom Zach had previously killed).

Dexter manages to track Zach down to the Keys, where the latter has apparently fled. Once he discovers that Zach has prepared a kill room inside of his hotel (he replicated Dexter's style), Dexter believes that Zach is planning to kill another innocent person. Upon chastising Zach, he realizes that Zach was proactively hunting Shawn Decker, a former classmate of his, who had bragged about about killing a woman during sex. After learning of Zach's worthiness, Dexter is convinced that Zach was framed for Cassie's murder.


Mark of The Brain Surgeon

Later, Dexter enters his apartment, only to find the lifeless corpse of Zach Hamilton sitting on a chair with his brain sliced open (proving that The Brain Surgeon was NOT A.J. Yates).

Dexter resumes his hunt for The Brain Surgeon, intent on ending this cat-and-mouse game once and for all. He finds several hairs in Zach's apartment, which he thinks Zach instinctively pulled from his assailant. He takes this hair to the police department to perform DNA tests on it.  

Upon testing the hair, he realizes that Zach's killer is related to Evelyn Vogel. Dexter learns of Vogel's early life and the fact that she had two sons, Daniel and Richard (the latter Daniel had drowned in a swimming pool). After this, Vogel sent Daniel away to a psychiatric hospital in England. After three years, a large fire broke out (apparently due to a nurse's carelessness) that killed seven of the children inhabiting the facility. Daniel was apparently one of these, because his father identified a burned body as his son. Dexter, however, suspects that due to his intelligence and lack of empathy, Daniel may have started the fire himself, while assuming the identity of the actual Oliver Saxon, and using this as his cover name. Vogel gives Dexter a photograph of Daniel, which Dexter takes to run facial tests. Dexter inserts the picture into a computer, updating Daniel's age by 40 years. It reveals him to look exactly like Oliver Saxon, whom Dexter recognizes instantly. 

Dexter finds DNA on a can in Saxon's trash and matches it to Zach's killer. This confirms that Saxon is definitely Vogel's son. Vogel is appalled by this news, but refuses to allow Dexter to kill him (believing that her son deserves a second chance). Dexter pretends to agree with Vogel, but is determined to kill Saxon.

Concluding that Saxon is using spyware to monitor Vogel's computer activity). Dexter has her write a journal entry saying that she will visit King's Bay Cafe the next morning. It is a place where she used to take her son years ago. Before she leaves for the cafe, Dexter spikes her tea with a sedative and she passes out. He then goes alone to King's Bay Cafe, intending to capture Saxon.

Dexter stays outside and watches through the window as Saxon repeatedly plays a certain song ("Make Your Own Kind of Music" by Mama Cass Elliot). Saxon grows annoyed when his mother does not show up. After he exits the cafe, Dexter follows him to his truck, readying himself with a tranquilizer. However, he discovers that his own tires have been deflated by Oliver, who was aware of Dexter's presence, and is now seemingly on his way to Evelyn's house. Dexter manages to reach her house before she is harmed and he warns her of the threat that her son poses. Vogel, angered about being drugged earlier, orders Dexter to leave the matter to her. Dexter departs but, as the scene pans, it is revealed that Saxon is hiding inside of Vogel's house, and the two sit down to have breakfast together.

Picking up after the previous episode, Saxon proceeds to accuse his mother of having imprisoned him in the mental facility. She responds that it was the only choice (because Daniel had killed his younger brother). Saxon continues to upbraid her, and expresses his jealousy of her attention to Dexter Morgan. Vogel strongly professes her desire to help her son, but the situation begins to escalate, and Saxon storms out of the house.


Daniel and his mother share a hug for the first time in decades.

When Vogel returns home from a visit to the department, she finds that Saxon has nonchalantly been waiting for her arrival. He opens his truck door for her to enter, while convincing her that he will cause no harm. Vogel warily enters the vehicle, and the two drive off to the abandoned Rendell Psychiatric Hospital, where Saxon leads her into a room -- the very room where he kills his victims.  

He informs his mother of what he endured while living in the psychiatric facility in England. He describes how the doctors would strap him to an examination table (like his own kill table) and force him to take his medications. He explains that he chose this room because it reminds him of the room where he was "tortured." Saxon begs her to help him to freely exist as a murderer, like Dexter does. Vogel, feeling that her son is sincere, promises him that she will find a solution, so they share a hug for the first time in many decades. 


Saxon slices his mother's throat

After proving Saxon's guilt by finding a video tape of him killing Zach with a bone saw, Dexter convinces Vogel that her son is unchangeable and that the only thing to do is to kill him. Although disheartened, Vogel reluctantly agrees with the plan of meeting Saxon in an isolated area, where Dexter can sedate and capture him. 

However, Vogel wants to say a final goodbye and she lets Saxon into her house instead. While drinking tea, Saxon notices her nervous behavior and questions her. He recognizes her fear and determines what she has planned. When Dexter arrives, Saxon calls him, saying that he wants to show him something. He turns on a light revealing that he has Vogel placed in front of a window. Dexter orders him not to touch her, but Saxon mercilessly slits her throat, while Dexter looks on in horror. Dexter breaks open the door, only to find Vogel bleeding out on the floor. Dexter embraces her in deep sorrow as she takes her final breaths, while Saxon uses this time to flee.

The following day, Saxon goes to Miami Metro to clear his name of being a suspect in the murder of Cassie. He speaks with Quinn, providing excuses for every question that he is asked. Dexter soon arrives to perform a DNA cheek swab, and is stunned to see Saxon there. Saxon asks if the DNA test is really necessary, but he cooperates and then departs.

2013-09-20 0201

Saxon is strapped to his own kill table by Dexter.

To meet with Dexter face to face, Saxon contacts Sylvia Prado who has offered to sell Dexter's apartment. She calls Dexter, notifying him of an interested buyer. Dexter returns home, once again appalled to see Saxon, who asks if Dexter would personally show him around the home, and Sylvia instantly agrees. This gives the two men a chance to speak alone. Saxon proposes a truce, saying that he will go his separate way and forget about Dexter if the latter does likewise. However, Saxon also speaks of how Dexter has much more to lose than himself, slyly threatening the people that Dexter cares about. Dexter agrees to the truce, and Saxon leaves.

2013-09-16 1505

Saxon gets freed by Max Clayton

Dexter, though, never intends to go along with the truce, especially after Saxon reminded him of the danger to the people close to Dexter. He provides the police with evidence from the DNA swab which reveals that Saxon is Vogel's son. He also anonymously sends the media video footage of Saxon's kills that he had found in
2013-09-16 1506

but then stabs him,

the abandoned hospital. This makes Saxon a wanted man. While at a gas station, Saxon sees the news about the manhunt for him and immediately knows that Dexter is the one who is responsible. He breaks into
2013-09-16 1507

takes his gun,

Dexter's apartment, planning to kill him in his sleep, but is intercepted by both Dexter and
2013-09-16 1513

and shoots Debra with it.

Debra Morgan. After sedating Saxon with M99, Dexter takes him to The Treatment Room and straps him to Saxon's own kill table. As Dexter prepares for his kill ritual, they discuss the appeal of Miami and why Saxon wants to stay there, while Dexter desires to leave. During their
2013-09-16 1522

Debra fires back,

conversation, Dexter realizes that he has more of a drive to be with Hannah than to kill Saxon. Saxon begins to think that he will live, after all, until Dexter tells him that he will perish by an electric chair. Dexter calls
2013-09-16 1516

but is left severely injured.

Debra so that she can arrest Saxon, which will make her a hero. Debra arrives as Dexter is leaving to start his new life with his girlfriend, Hannah, and his son, Harrison, as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, Debra was secretly tailed to the location by Deputy Marshal Clayton because of her involvement with Hannah. Clayton enters The Treatment Room and finds Saxon strapped to the table. Saxon pretends to be an innocent victim and convinces Clayton to free him. Saxon then grabs one of Dexter's knives and stabs Clayton to death. Debra rushes back into the room, her gun drawn, but Saxon quickly picks up Clayton's pistol and shoots Debra in the stomach. Debra fires back, maiming Saxon's arm, but he escapes.

Final Confrontation


Dexter kills Saxon.

Saxon steals a truck from a man after knocking him out, and drives around looking for a place where he can get his lacerated arm healed. He finds a veterinarian and forces him to stitch up his wound by holding him at gunpoint. He decides that he wants to kill Debra once and for all, and so goes to the hospital where she is being treated. Being a wanted man, he creates a scene by cutting out the vet's tongue (whom he has held hostage) and letting him loose in the hospital. This allows him to move in without trouble as he searches for Debra.

Dexter senses his presence based on the event that just took place, picks up a fork and tries to kill Saxon before he has the chance to further harm Debra. However, unbeknownst to both Saxon and Dexter, the police, led by Lieutenant Angel Batista, were prepared for Saxon's arrival as well and arrest him on the spot. After Saxon is interrogated by Batista and Detective Joey Quinn, Dexter pays him a visit and tells him how he blames himself and not Saxon for what happened to Debra, albeit he plans to kill him with a pen (that he had just placed on the table). Saxon quickly picks up the pen and seemingly tries to kill Dexter, but Dexter moves to his right, so that the pen only pierces his shoulder. Dexter then punches him in the face, yanks the pen out, and stabs Saxon in the left carotid artery, causing the latter to bleed to death very rapidly. The tape clearly shows that Dexter was defending himself (although, in reality, he intended for it to go down the way it did), and so is not charged for the crime.


Earlier Miami Victims, per Saxon's Recordings

Saxon's earliest known kill in Miami was in January 2009, and he killed at least one more that year. He then killed three in 2010, three in 2011, and at least one in 2012 prior to The Brain Surgeon Investigation. These victims were apparently not thought to be linked to a serial killer at that time. ("Monkey In a Box")

Possible Victims

These two names appear on Saxon's laptop files.

  • J. Mitchell
  • B. Rickers

Attempted Victims

Related Pages


  • According to Thomas Matthews, his mother had moved back to Miami from England one year ago (in 2011). This means that, since Saxon had moved to Miami in 2008, he was there for three years prior to his mother's return. ("A Beautiful Day") The events of Season Eight occur in 2012.
  •  Saxon was the only Main Antagonist that was able to fully destroy Dexter's life, as well as ending his reign as the Bay Harbor Butcher. Arthur Mitchell did partially destroy Dexter's life by killing Rita, but Dexter was able to recover from her death.
  • Arthur Mitchell, Travis Marshall, Isaak Sirko, and Oliver Saxon were the only Main Antagonists who were known to have killed their first victim when they were children (Out of these four, Isaak was the youngest when he killed his music teacher. Saxon killed seven children when he was seventeen years old).
  • Saxon and Travis Marshall both killed one of their family members as their first known victims (Travis killed his parents and Oliver killed his younger brother). Also, both Saxon and Travis killed the only remaining member of their family later on in their lives (Travis killed his sister; Saxon killed his mother).
  • Like George King, Saxon displayed a polite, respectful, and well-mannered attitude while in the public.
  • Oliver Saxon is the only character in the series to be both a Serial Killer and a mass murderer.
  • The murder of Oliver Saxon was the first one committed by Dexter to be witnessed by anyone in Miami Metro Homicide (other than Debra). Joey Quinn and Detective Batista watched the security footage, but were under the belief that this homicide was in self-defense).
  • Saxon was the most personal adversary of Dexter, due to the fact that he was responsible for the deaths of both Evelyn Vogel and Debra Morgan. Trinity also killed someone close to Dexter - Rita Morgan.
  • Saxon was the only Main Antagonist to be killed by Dexter in a confrontation. Dexter did kill a few others in this manner before (George King, Stan Liddy, Andrew Briggs, etc.), but all of them were lesser antagonists.

Similarities With Brian

  • Oliver Saxon and Brian Moser's true identities were not revealed during their initial appearances.
  • Both were highly intelligent individuals, and appeared to be charming, successful men.
  • They toyed with the police, and played a cat and mouse game with Dexter.
  • Both took the name of a deceased person as an alias (Brian became 'Rudy Cooper' and Daniel became 'Oliver Saxon').
  • Both characters were institutionalized at youth. Brian was released at age 21, while Daniel escaped at age 17 by faking his own death and killing children in the process.
  • The moment when Brian sat down with Dexter at the table in their mother's house was similar to the moment when Oliver sat down with his mother at her home.
  • Both Brian and Oliver dumped their victims in public locations. However, Brian fully dismembered his victims, whereas Oliver only removed a piece of their brains.
  • They both set up one of their victims to look like a killer. Brian framed Tony Tucci and Oliver framed Lyle Sussman (although in Tucci's case, Debra and Angel always believed him to be innocent).
  • At one point, they were both thought to be someone else. The Ice Truck Killer was presumed to be Neil Perry and the Brain Surgeon was suspected to be A.J. Yates.
  • They both tried to reconnect with a long lost relative. Brian attempted to establish a bond with his brother, Dexter, while Oliver left grisly messages for his mother, Evelyn Vogel.
  • They both dated someone who was close to Dexter. Oliver dated his neighbor, Cassie Jollenston, and Brian dated Debra. They each decided to kill their 'romantic interest.' Oliver was successful, but Brian was not.
  • Both killed a parent. Brian killed his presumed father and Oliver killed his mother.
  • Like Brian (Dexter's bio brother), Oliver could vaguely be seen as a brother to Dexter, as he was Vogel's actual son and Dexter was considered to be her 'spiritual son.' Oliver even told Dexter, "Mother chose the wrong son...again," as he cut Vogel's throat.
  • Each broke into Dexter's apartment to kill someone (Oliver tried to kill Dexter, and Brian tried to kill Debra). Both instances took place in the Dexter's bedroom.
  • Both got strapped onto their own kill tables by Dexter, but Dexter chose to spare Oliver so that Debra could him turn him into the police department. This proved to be a big mistake, as Debra was shot in the gut by Oliver.
  • Both Oliver and Brian used an abandoned hospital. Brian used one to hold Tucci captive (and amputate him), while Oliver used another for murdering people. However, Saxon owned the property that he utilized, while Brian did not. He simply used it as a place to trigger memories for Dexter.
  • Both were killed because of trauma to their necks. Brian had his throat slashed, and Oliver's neck was stabbed with a pen.
  • Both were killed because of Debra Morgan. Brian was killed in order to protect her, and Oliver was killed primarily as an act of revenge.
  • Both of them were murdered by Dexter and left for Miami Metro authorities. Brian was set up to look as if he committed suicide using his own Modus Operandi. Oliver's murder was clearly seen on camera, but Dexter had waited for Oliver to stab him in the shoulder first so that he could make Oliver's death seem like self-defense.



  1. As of Cassie's death, the date is at least 15 August 15 2012 as confirmed by the police report filed.
  2. Episode 809: Make Your Own Kind of Music and confirmed by Saxon himself in Episode 810: Goodbye Miami
  3. Episode 810: Goodbye Miami, his data report that Dexter pulls up
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