The Hillsborough River as it flows through the city of Tampa toward its outlet on Tampa Bay

Tampa is a location in Showtime’s series DEXTER, as well as in real life.

It is a major city on the west coast of Florida situated on Tampa Bay (a large estuary), near the Gulf of Mexico.

Season One

Rudy Cooper kidnapped Debra Morgan, and a manhunt ensued. Angel Batista went to the Miami Metro Homicide with a hit on Rudy’s fingerprints. Rudy had been living under a false identity and his real name was Brian Moser. According to the report, Brian had grown up in a Tampa mental hospital, and was institutionalized for antisocial personality disorder. They released him when he was 21 because he was “cured.”

Meanwhile, Dexter had tracked Rudy to a small house, not knowing that he was actually Brian, his brother. After Dexter absorbed this fact, Brian described his life after the Shipping Yard Massacre. Brian recalled how everyone had seen him as a “fucked up kid,” and they locked away him. Doctors, therapists, and group leaders tried to force him into living a “lie.” Through the years, Brian felt “the isolation, the otherness, and the hunger that was never satisfied.” Brian was not put up for adoption, but he held onto the memory of his family. The day came when he decided to track down his brother, Dexter.

Roberto was a Cuban-American and the uncle to Oscar, a ten-year-old immigrant boy who was found hiding in a car at the salvage yard belonging to The Castillos. Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta began to form a bond with Oscar, and she even considered adoption. However, Oscar's Uncle Roberto was located in Tampa and he traveled to Miami to pick him up. Oscar was overjoyed to see his uncle, and they left the police station together to live in Tampa.

Season Four

Dexter convinced Arthur Mitchell to take him on a road trip to Tampa, where there was a Four Walls One Heart build site. While there, Dexter planned to kill Arthur. As an alibi, Dexter had told Rita and Maria LaGuerta of a Weather Convention in Tampa that he wanted to attend. During the road trip to Tampa, Dexter disclosed that he had accidentally killed a man while “hunting.” Arthur appeared shocked, which Dexter found amusing as Arthur himself had killed numerous people.

Upon arrival in Tampa, Arthur and Dexter booked separate rooms. Arthur then told Dexter that he wanted to show him something. They drove off in Arthur’s truck and parked in front of a small blue house. Arthur ran up to the door, and when a baffled Asian couple answered, he explained that he grew up in this house, and pushed past them.

Arthur led Dexter up the stairs and toward the bathroom. Arthur said it all started there. He was ten-years-old, and watching his sister, Vera, take a shower. She saw Arthur in the mirror which startled her, causing her to slip and shatter the glass shower door. The glass sliced her femoral artery, and she bled to death before the ambulance arrived. As a result, his mother became a “shell” and eventually killed herself by jumping to her death. This left Arthur alone with his very abusive, alcoholic father who blamed Arthur for what happened. Arthur later bludgeoned his father to death.

Dexter asked Arthur why he told him about this, and Arthur explained, “So you'll know you're not alone! You're just like me! We're both responsible for the death of an innocent,” and then hugged him. They were informed by the homeowners that the police had been called, so Dexter and Arthur quickly departed.

After they left Arthur’s childhood home, they went to a diner for lunch. Dexter left for a few minutes to have his picture taken with Sonny Skyes, a weatherman, to reinforce his alibi. When he returned to the table, Arthur wasn’t there, Instead, he was sitting with a family of strangers and his behavior was making them very uncomfortable. Dexter was finally able to convince Arthur to leave them alone to enjoy their meal.

Later, after Dexter prepared a kill room in the hotel, he discovered Arthur missing from his room. Dexter found him standing atop a building, readying himself to commit suicide. Torn between what to do, Dexter ended up saving Arthur’s life, to his later regret.

Season Eight

When Vince Masuka hired Debra Morgan to do a background check on his daughter Niki Walters, he said that his retired parents live in Tampa.

Tampa Trivia

  • The driving distance from Miami to Tampa is about 280 miles (451 kilometers).
  • The Hillsborough River flows through Tampa, with Tampa Bay as the outlet.
  • Tampa's climate features hot and humid summers with frequent thunderstorms and dry and mild winters.
  • Six bridges cross Tampa Bay.
  • Since 1904, the Gasparilla Pirate Festival, a mock pirate invasion, is held each year in late January or early February. Often referred to as Tampa's "Mardi Gras," the invasion flotilla led by the pirate ship, Jose Gasparilla, draws over 400,000 attendees.


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