Dexter Morgan is a serial killer, and a sociopath. He works as a blood spatter analyst for Miami Police Department. His job enables him to keep track of criminals who are not brought to justice, and he satisfies his own homicidal urges by tracking them down, and killing them. He refers to his urge to kill as his "Dark Passenger", as though it is an entity which exists separately from himself.
He was raised by police officer Harry Morgan, along with his half-sister Debra. The family adopted Dexter after his birth mother was murdered by a criminal gang, after becoming an informant for Harry. Harry's guilt over her death caused him to take in her son, raising him like his own.
Dexter witnessed his mother's death. She was butchered in front of him in a storage container when he was a small boy. Dexter was then left at the scene, locked in the container with his mother's body until eventually being discovered by Harry. This event is suggested to be responsible for Dexter's later psychiatric problems, a theory supported by the fact that his brother Brian, who was also present, grew up to become a serial murderer known as the Ice Truck Killer.
At an early age, Dexter's father noticed that there was something very wrong with him. He did not feel emotions like a normal person, was incapable of remorse, and often found himself overwhelmed by the urge to kill. Believing it too late to "cure" the boy, Harry instead opted to train Dexter and channel those urges into something useful. He taught the boy how to cover his tracks, how to remain undetected by police and , most importantly of all, to only kill people who had themselves taken innocent lives.
Dexter Morgan originated in Jeff Lindsay's series of Dexter novels. The character was later adapted to television, and then comic books.
Dexter is currently starring in his own comic book series, published by Marvel and written by author Jeff Lindsay himself.
In Other Media
Although the basic character of Dexter is the same across all media, there are great differences in both story and character direction in each adapted version. While in the television version of Dexter the protagonist is shown to be a normal human being twisted by mental illness, in the novels Dexter's Dark Passenger is at one point suggested to be the demon Moloch.
- Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004)
- Dearly Devoted Dexter (2005)
- Dexter in the Dark (2007)
- Dexter by Design (2009)
- Dexter Is Delicious (2010)
- Double Dexter (2011)
- Dexter's Final Cut (2013, TBR)
Dexter Morgan is portrayed on television by Michael C Hall. The show just finished its eighth and final season.