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The Trinity Killer

The Trinity Case is the main focus in Season Four of the Showtime series DEXTER.

It involves the investigation into a repetitive pattern of killings, a.k.a. kill cycles. Initially, only Frank Lundy ties the different M.O.s to a single killer, whom he calls the Trinity Killer.

Each kill cycle consists of:

  1. The burial of a ten-year-old boy encased in cement
  2. A young (usually single) woman bled out in her own bathtub
  3. A mother of two forced to fall to her death
  4. A middle-aged father of two beaten to death

This case is the sixth major case in the series. The major case preceding this one is the Frank Lundy Murder Case and the next major case is the Santa Muerte Case.

History of Killer

When Arthur Mitchell was ten years old, he accidentally startled his sister, Vera Mitchell, as she took a shower, causing her to fall, slice her femoral artery, and bleed to death. After this event, Marsha, his mother, fell into a deep depression and his father, Henry, began to drink heavily and exhibit abusive behavior. Arthur's mother eventually committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. After she died, Henry became even more abusive towards his son, blaming him for the deaths of his sister and mother. One night, Henry was beaten to death outside a bar, and Dexter suspected that it was Arthur who had killed him.

Summary

Arthur returns to his former murder sites in Miami to complete another kill cycle. He slices the femoral artery of a young woman in her bathtub, after which he takes a scalding hot shower. Next, he forces a mother of two to fall to her death. He then provokes a drunken man into beating him up, after which he bludgeons another man to death. After each kill, Arthur places a smudge of his dead sister's ashes near each victim's hand. Later, a fourth cycle victim is discovered -- a ten-year-old boy who is buried in cement prior to the other three victims.

Frank Lundy, now retired from the FBI, returns to Miami to hunt down Trinity. He tells Dexter that he has counted 15 kill cycles in the last 15 years. However, he soon acknowledges an additional 15 years of kill cycles dating back to the murder of Vicky Noonan in 1979. Lundy begins working closely with Det. Debra Morgan, both hoping to identity Trinity. More cities and kills are discovered. After Lundy is murdered, Debra devotes herself to solving the case.

In November 2009, Debra discerns a pattern when she notices that the murders are being committed in certain months. At this point, she has counted about 75 individual killings that include young women who bled out in bathtubs, mothers who fell to their deaths, and men who had been bludgeoned. The count is listed on a whiteboard:

  • 15 murders in December
  • 40 murders in July and August
  • 20 (or so) in the Spring

On Thanksgiving Day, Debra realizes that her dates of Trinity's kills match school breaks.

Scott Smith, a rescued kidnapped boy, helps the police finally identity Arthur Mitchell as the Trinity Killer.

Case Detectives

Other operatives involved in the case:

Suspects

  • Eddie Noonan - Thirty years ago, he was the primary suspect in the murder of his wife, Vicky. Although innocent, he was convicted of the murder and sent to prison. When Lisa Bell was murdered in his former house thirty years later in the same fashion, Debra Morgan interrogated him. Later, Eddie was exonerated for both murders when it was revealed that Arthur Mitchell had killed Eddie's wife.
  • Stan Beaudry - Stan had previously murdered a prostitute, but was released due to a broken chain of custody for the murder weapon. Due to his criminal record and because Dexter had planted evidence against him, Stan was suspected as being The Trinity Killer. Later, he was cleared of suspicion when he was alibied for some of the murders.
  • Arthur Mitchell - He showed up on Homicide's radar when they learned that Trinity had tried to kill a little boy. This led to the discovery of boy burials around the country connected to Arthur's construction sites. He was confirmed as The Trinity Killer when the history of his family deaths was revealed and it matched his kill pattern.

Unsuspected Killer

  • Jonah Mitchell - He is the son of the real Trinity Killer. After his sister committed suicide (due to abuse by their mother), he lost his temper and killed his mother. He then set it up to look like his father murdered both his sister and mother. Later, Jonah told Dexter what really happened in "Nebraska".

Police Investigation Victims

Total Victims: 279

  • At least 276 (during kill cycles)
  • Three (outside kill cycles)

Kills Outside Cycles: 3

  1. Henry Mitchell - Arthur's father. Although it's never confirmed that Arthur killed him, it is likely that he did, as Arthur shouts verbal abuse while bludgeoning his victims. It's possible that Henry was Arthur's first kill. Dexter also thought that Arthur killed his father.
  2. Kyle Butler - Arthur bludgeoned him while he was looking for Dexter, after he failed at starting a new cycle. Arthur only killed Kyle to silence him. Soon afterward, Arthur tracked down another Kyle Butler, but did not kill this one.
  3. Rita Morgan - A bathtub victim. She is considered outside of his cycle for two reasons: He had yet to succeed in burying a young boy in cement. Also, as a mother, she didn't fit the normal characteristics of his bathtub victims.

Kill Cycle Victims: 276

Locations

There are 69 kill cycles with four victims each. According to comments, files, presentations, online research, maps, whiteboards, and postcards, Trinity completed kill rituals in the following places:

  • 1976: Baltimore, Maryland (verified in ep. 409, 411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1977: St. Petersburg, Florida (verified in ep. 409, 411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1978: Birmingham, Alabama (verified in ep. 409, 411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1979: Richmond, Virginia (verified in ep. 411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1979: Miami, FL (verified in ep. 402)
    • Live Burial: Unnamed Boy - 1979
    • Bathtub: Vicky Noonan - 1979
    • Jumper: Unnamed mother of two
    • Bludgeoned: Unnamed father of two
  • 1980: Charlotte, N. Carolina (verified in ep. 411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1980: Detroit, Michigan (verified in ep. 403, 405, 408)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1981: Seattle, Washington (verified in ep. 405, 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1982: Portland, Oregon (verified in ep. 404, 409, 411, 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1983: Grand Canyon area, Arizona (verified in ep. 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1983: Tulsa, Oklahoma (verified in ep. 409, 411, 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1984: Dallas, Texas (verified in ep. 409, 411, 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1985: Austin, Texas (verified in ep. 409, 411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1985: (unknown city) New York State (verified in ep. 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1985: Phoenix, Arizona (verified in ep, 405, 408)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1986: Albuquerque, New Mexico (verified in ep. 404, 411, 412
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1987: Reno, Nevada (verified in ep. 411, 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1988: Salt Lake City, Utah (verified in ep. 411, 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1989: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (verified in ep. 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1989: Boise, Idaho (verified in ep. 409, 411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1990: Duluth, Minnesota (verified in ep. 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1990: Helena, Montana (verified in ep. 409, 411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1991: Santa Fe, New Mexico (verified in ep. 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1991: El Paso, Texas (verified in ep. 409)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1991: Sarasota, Florida (verified in ep. 408)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1992: Sacramento, California (verified in ep. 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1992: St. Paul, Minnesota (verified in ep. 409, 411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1992: Bloomington, Illinois (verified in ep. 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1993: Raleigh, N. Carolina (verified in ep. 403, 406. 40
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1993: Daytona Beach, Florida (verified in ep. 412 )
    • Live Burial - Unnamed Boy - 1993
    • Bathtub - J. Lewitt - 3/12/1993
    • Jumper - D. Webster - 3/17/1993
    • Bludgeoned - S. Hunter - 3/22/1993
  • 1994: San Diego, California (verified in ep. 409, 411, 412)
    • Live Burial: Unnamed Boy - 1994
    • Bathtub: I. Rosengard - 9/5/1994
    • Jumper: E. Hemming - 9/10/1994
    • Bludgeoned: J. Roberson - 9/15/1994
  • 1995: Biloxi, Mississippi (verified in ep. 412 )
    • Unnamed Boy: Unknown Boy
    • Bathtub: A. Darakjan - 2/26/1995
    • Jumper: N. Reiss - 3/3/1995
    • Bludgeoned: D. Freiburn - 3/8/1995
  • 1995: Little Rock, Ark. (verified in ep. 409, 411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1996: San Francisco (verified in ep. 406. 409, 411, 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 1997: Louisville, Kentucky (verified in ep.406. 409, 411. 412)
    • Live Burial: Unknown Boy - 1997
    • Bathtub: Loretta Kellerman - 2/12/1997
    • Jumper: Unnamed mother of two - 1997
    • Bludgeoned: Unnamed father of two - 1997
  • 1997: Unknown city
    • Live Burial - Unknown Boy - 1997
    • Bathtub - M. Bogert - 9/16/1997
    • Jumper - J. Snisse - 9/21/1997
    • Bludgeoned - E. Newman - 9/26/1997
  • 1998: Atlanta, GA (verified in ep. 409, 411 412)
    • Live Burial: Unknown Boy - 1998
    • Bathtub: L. Candace - 8/23/1998
    • Jumper: R. Elliot - 8/28/1998
    • Bludgeoned: R. Dermott - 9/2/1998
  • 1999: Columbus, Ohio (verified in ep. 411)
    • Live Burial: Unknown Boy - 1999
    • Bathtub: J. Spaan - 3/9/1999
    • Jumper: R. Golden - 3/14/1999
    • Bludgeoned: B. Ball - 3/19/1999
  • 1999: Unknown city
    • Live Burial: Unknown Boy - 1999
    • Bathtub: H. Grodman - 10/7/1999
    • Jumper: C. Endless - 10/14/1999
    • Bludgeoned: F. Calvert - 10/19/1999
  • 2000: Detroit, Michigan (verified in ep. 405, 406 409, 411)
    • Live Burial: Unknown Boy - 2000
    • Bathtub: Anita Soloman - 3/03/2000
    • Jumper: Unknown mother of two - 2000
    • Bludgeoned: Unknown father of two - 2000
  • 2000: Saint Louis, Missouri (verified in ep. 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 2001: Duluth, Minnesota (verified in ep. 412)
    • Live Burial: Unknown Boy - 2001
    • Bathtub: L. Fisher - 5/11/2001
    • Jumper: P. Ford - 5/16/2001
    • Bludgeoned: A. Severse - 5/21/2001
  • 2001: Dothan, Alabama (verified in ep. 409, 411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 2002: Coney Island, New York (verified in ep. 411, 412)
    • Live Burial: Unknown Boy - 2002
    • Bathtub: R. Goldman - 10/24/2002
    • Jumper: J. Lewis - 10/29/2002
    • Bludgeoned: C. Moreno - 11/3/2002
  • 2002: Skokie, Illinois (board 409)(411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 2002: Richmond, Virginia (verified in ep. 403, 405, 406, 409)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 2003: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (verified in ep. 409, 411)
    • Live Burial: Unknown Boy - 2003
    • Bathtub: K. Watkins - 4/15/2003
    • Jumper: A. Asarcca - 4/20/2003
    • Bludgeoned: J. Jones - 4/25/2003
  • 2003: Portland, Oregon (verified in ep. 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 2004: Tempe, Arizona (verified in ep. 411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 2004 Chicago, Illinois (verified in ep.405, 406)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 2005: Wichita, Kansas (verified in ep. 409, 412)
    • Live Burial: Unknown Boy - 2005
    • Bathtub: A. Goff - 5/11/2005
    • Jumper: L. Pickford - 5/16/2005
    • Bludgeoned: A. Roman - 5/21/2005
  • 2006: Denver, Colorado (verified in ep. 410, 411)
    • Live Burial: Mark Wolter - 9/10/2006
    • Bathtub: J. Meltzer - 9/18/2006
    • Jumper: J. Antonoff - 9/23/2006
    • Bludgeoned: J. Ellis - 9/28/2006
  • 2006: Unknown city, Minnesota (verified in ep. 412)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 2006: Gary, Indiana (verified in ep. 409, 411
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 2007: Denver, Colorado (verified in ep. 409, 411, 412)
    • Live Burial: Unknown Boy - 2007
    • Bathtub: R. Cornelius - 7/20/2007
    • Jumper: R. Hermosillo - 7/25/2007
    • Bludgeoned: B. Polaski - 7/30/2007
  • 2007: St. Paul, Minnesota (verified in ep. 410)
    • Live Burial: Thayer Copperud - 8/11/2007
    • Bathtub: Tamera Klaman - 8/16/2007
    • Jumper: Unknown mother of two - 2007
    • Bludgeoned: Unknown father of two - 2007
  • 2008: Chicago, Illinois (verified in ep. 412)
    • Live Burial: Unknown Boy - 2008
    • Bathtub: L. Spheeris - 7/20/2008
    • Jumper: J. Leiberman - 7/25/2008
    • Bludgeoned: R. Bear - 7/30/2008
  • 2008: Omaha, Nebraska (verified in ep. 410)
    • Live Burial: Brody Avenir - 9/15/2008
    • Bathtub: Julie Hillard - 9/20/2008
    • Jumper: Unknown mother of two - 2008
    • Bludgeoned: Unknown father of two - 2008
  • 2008: Tampa, Florida (verified in ep. 411)
    • Four unnamed victims
  • 2009: New Orleans, Louisiana (verified in ep. 410)
    • Live Burial: Mathew Hicks - 7/09/2009
    • Bathtub: Unnamed young woman - 2009
    • Jumper: Unnamed mother of two - 2009
    • Bludgeoned: Unnamed father of two - 2009

Additional Kill Cycles

Note: Cities have been confirmed, not the years or the victims' names.

  • Unknown year: Fresno, California (verified in ep.404) - Four unnamed victims
  • Unknown year: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (verified in ep.405) - Four unnamed victims
  • Unknown year: Las Vegas, Nevada (verified in ep. 411) - Four unnamed victims
  • Unknown year: Boston, Massachusetts (verified in ep. 411) - Four unnamed victims
  • Unknown year: Des Moines, Iowa (verified in ep.411) - Four unnamed victims
  • Unknown year: Daytona Beach, Florida (verified in ep.412) - Four unnamed victims
  • Unknown year: Cheyenne, Wyoming (verified in ep. 412) - Four unnamed victims
  • Unknown year: Topeka, Kansas (verified in ep. 412) - Four unnamed victims

Indirect Deaths: 6

  1. Vera Mitchell - Accidentally died while taking a shower because she was startled by Arthur watching her. She fell, broke the shower door, cut her femoral artery, and bled out.
  2. Frank Lundy - Shot by Christine Hill, who tried to save her father from being caught as Trinity.
  3. Stan Beaudry - Killed by Dexter because he needed someone to frame for the Trinity murders.
  4. Christine Hill - Committed suicide by shooting herself after her father rejected her, and the police realized that she murdered Lundy.
  5. Rebecca Mitchell - Committed suicide in a fashion similar to the bathtub victims.
  6. Sally Mitchell - Angrily bludgeoned by Jonah Mitchell, after his sister committed suicide. Sally had verbally abused and blamed Jonah and Rebecca for the circumstances surrounding Arthur.

Attempted Victims

  1. Scott Smith - "Lost Boys"
  2. Kyle Butler - "Hello, Dexter Morgan"

Alleged Victims

Closure of Case

The FBI force Miami Metro Homicide to turn the case over to them, after Trinity is identified as Arthur Mitchell.

Fate of Killers

Trivia

  • When Rita’s body is discovered, Quinn asks Masuka if Trinity ever killed a married woman in a bathtub. Although it was known that Trinity killed Vicky Noonan (wife of Eddie Noonan) in a bathtub, Masuka replies, “First time for everything.”

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