The Bay Harbor Butcher Investigation was a police investigation into a series of killings of known killers that the justice system failed to prosecute or were let off easy. The case in itself was the second major case in the series and the biggest case in Florida's history at the time (outdoing the preceding case - Ice Truck Killer Investigation). The next major case after this one was the Skinner Case.

Plot Edit

Fank Lundy, Vince Masuka, Angel Batista, Debra Morgan in the field morgue

“Just as the worst heat wave in years hits Miami, the heat is also on me. It's week 3 of the Bay Harbor Butcher investigation, and super-duper Special Agent Lundy has yet to throw up his hands and say, ‘Wow! This guy's good. I give up.’ ” ~Dexter (See-Through)

Dexter usually disposed of his victims by dismembering them, putting the body parts into black trash bags, and dropping them off of his fishing boat near Miami. When scuba divers discovered many of these trash bags, an expedition team retrieved them, and the body parts were laid out in an air-conditioned field morgue. Due to the location where the bodies were found and how they were cut up, the media dubbed the unknown killer the 'Bay Harbor Butcher'-- a moniker that Dexter hated. After DNA analysis, all of the bodies were found to be murderers that had slipped through the law. When it became public that the ‘Butcher’ only killed other killers, some people expressed support for him. This led to the creation of the ‘Dark Defender,’ a comic book anti-hero concept based on the ‘Bay Harbor Butcher.’ When a renowned serial-killer-hunter, FBI Special Agent Frank Lundy, arrived in Miami to help with the investigation, Dexter took steps to deflect suspicions away from himself. These actions included deleting video footage from his marina; moving his boat to a different location; changing his dumping site to the powerful Gulf Stream; sending an anonymous, confusing manifesto to the press; sabotaging the air conditioning in the field morgue; and planting evidence to frame Sergeant James Doakes. After the FBI found Dexter's Blood Slide Box that Doakes had stolen, Dexter was ordered to analyze its 46 slides. He matched 18 of the blood slides to the 18 recovered bodies. The other 28 slides were matched to missing persons. Additional events seemed to confirm that Doakes was the ‘Butcher’ and the case was closed. Several years later, Captain Maria LaGuerta found a blood slide near the scene of Travis Marshall's presumed suicide and she tried to reopen the case to clear Doakes, but failed. (During the series, twelve people learned that Dexter was the real ‘Bay Harbor Butcher.’ By the end, just two had survived.)


Brian Moser - Initially, he was suspected of being the Butcher based on the fact that Brian's victims were dismembered. Eventually, he was ruled out after it was discovered that Brian's M.O.didn't match the Butcher and that Brian's victims were mostly female while the Butcher's victims were mostly male.

Ken Olson - He was suspected of being the Butcher but, because Olson's M.O. was sloppy, he was cleared for the Butcher murders and managed to evade arrest for his actual murders. Later, Olson was killed and dismembered by Dexter (the real Butcher) to discourage any more vigilante attacks.

Sgt James Doakes

James Doakes - He was a Sergeant in the Miami Metro Homicide division. Doakes had a weird feeling that Dexter might be the actual Bay Harbor Butcher, But when Doakes followed him and attempted to find evidence that pointed to Dexter as the real killer, he unintentionally set himself up as the killer. When Doakes died in a blaze, his body and the dismembered body of an infamous criminal were found near each other. The police viewed this as conclusive evidence that Doakes was the Bay Harbor Butcher. In reality, Dexter had killed the criminal using his own M.O. and left his corpse in the cabin near to Doakes's so that, when found, the police would think that Doakes was guilty of the murder.

Dexter Morgan (the true Butcher) - In the early stages of the investigation, Frank Lundy suspected him. However, later, he came to believe that Doakes was the Butcher. Lundy never found out that Dexter is a killer who needs to kill because of his Dark Passenger. Dexter is extremely skilled in hand-to-hand combat and will use M99 to incapacitate his victims. Dexter has managed to kill well over a hundred people, all while he evaded the police. The main reason he managed to avoid arrest is because he was, in fact, a forensic investigator and knew how to manipulate evidence. In Season Seven, LaGuerta targeted Dexter as the main suspect in the (then closed) Bay Harbor Butcher case. However, Dexter set her up as well, making it look like she framed him. Her co-workers became suspicious of her and tried to convince her to refrain from doing something she might regret. Eventually,. LaGuerta was killed in her quest to clear Doakes' name. By the end of Season 8, Dexter again escaped the justice system after killing Oliver Saxon and leaving his hometown to start a new life as a logger and giving up his murderous reign.

Unsuspected Killers Edit

Lila West - While evidence suggested that James Doakes killed himself rather than getting caught, he hadn't. The police were unaware that Lila West had actually killed him. Using Dexter's GPS tracker, Lila arrived at the cabin, turned on the gas, lit the stove, and locked Doakes in.

History of the True KillerEdit

Born in Blood

Dexter was born to a single mother named Laura Moser and had an older brother named Brian Moser. When he was three, he witnessed his mother being chopped up into pieces which formed his urge to kill. He was rescued from the blood-filled shipping container by a homicide detective, Harry Morgan. During the years of his adolescence, Dexter was trained by Harry to control and release his urges to kill, and how to avoid being caught. Dexter began to channel these urges by killing other killers. Eventually, Dexter came to the decision of burying all his victims out at sea in Bay Harbor.

Detectives on CaseEdit

  • FBI Special Agent Frank Lundy - Worked on the case from the beginning of the case, coordinating the Miami Metro officers and his fellow FBI agents.
  • Officer (then) Debra Morgan - Assigned to the Task Force from the beginning of the case using her experience with Brian Moser to help determine this killer's motives.
  • Detective (then) Angel Batista - Assigned to the Task Force from the beginning of the case. Acted as the supervisor of the Miami Metro officers part of the Task Force.
  • Lieutenant Esmee Pascal - Initially ran the Miami Metro personnel until she was fired from her position.
  • Captain (then) Thomas "Tom" Matthews - Appeared in the beginning of the case to help set up Lundy's Task Force and use the case to bolster his campaign for Deputy Chief.
  • Deputy Director Max Adams - Took over the investigation from Lundy after he let James Doakes leave during questioning when he was a potential suspect.

Other operatives involved in the case. Edit

  • Forensics Specialist Vince Masuka - He was brought in to cover the bodies since there was no blood.
  • Forensic Blood Spatter Analyst Dexter Morgan - Temporarily assigned to collect bone marrow samples. Later, he worked the Train Yard Crime Scene after Lundy gets disturbed by Masuka's off-color-remarks.
  • Sergeant-Detective James Doakes - Investigated Dexter himself, but was not part of the task force.
  • Detective - Lieutenant - Captain Maria LaGuerta - Unofficially started investigating when Doakes was named the prime suspect. She tried to establish Doakes' innocence by alibiing him for some of the murders, but her attempts were rendered moot when Doakes died.
    • Later, LaGuerta unofficially reopens the case when she finds a blood slide at the site of Travis Marshall's death. She investigates the disappearances of other criminals and comes to the conclusion that Dexter is the real Butcher.


The Bay Harbor Butcher 18Edit

Known NumbersEdit

  1. Unknown
  2. Unknown
  3. Unknown
  4. Unknown
  5. Unknown
  6. Oscar Sota
  7. Shannon Reynolds
  8. Chad Carpenter
  9. Joseph Cepeda
  10. Renzo Sandoval
  11. Jeff Linder
  12. Dylan Maddock
  13. Carlos Gutierrez
  14. Robert Thatcher
  15. Rick Jensen
  16. Unknown
  17. Unknown
  18. Marcus White

Unknown Numbers Edit

Indirect Victims Edit

John Henry - Initially, he was suspected of being an attempted victim of the Butcher. Later, investigation reveals it was the work of a copycat killer named Ken Olson.

Other Victims Edit

Ken Olson - Decapitated by the real Bay Harbor Butcher and left his body parts in Olson's original kill site as a message that he won't tolerate copycats.

Jose Garza & James Doakes - Police found the bodies after the cabin exploded. It was eventually ruled that Doakes killed Garza and then killed himself by setting the cabin to blow up in a gas explosion to avoid being caught. In reality, Dexter had killed Garza to frame Garza and Lila had killed Doakes (after she discovered that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher) to protect Dexter.

Unofficial Investigation Victims Edit

Fallout from CaseEdit

James Doakes' reputation as an officer of the law is ruined when he is labeled the Bay Harbor Butcher, after being framed by Dexter. Unknown to everyone except Dexter, Doakes was killed by Lila West. When Maria LaGuerta reopens the case years later, she arrests Dexter, However, Dexter had expected this and framed her in advance to make it look as if she had planted evidence against him. Dexter is quickly cleared from suspicion. Later, LaGuerta is killed by Debra Morgan to protect Dexter, but this event causes Debra to experience severe emotional distress for months.

Closure of CaseEdit

The case is officially closed and James Doakes is labeled the Bay Harbor Butcher. Dexter Morgan, the real killer, continues to kill more killers. After Maria LaGuerta finds a blood slide near the scene of Travis Marshall's supposed suicide several years later, she tries to reopen the case. However, she is shot and killed by Debra Morgan after LaGuerta finds out that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher. Thus, Dexter escapes justice again.

Fate of Killer(s)Edit

Dexter Morgan escapes justice and successfully frames James Doakes for the murders. Lila West is eventually tracked down and killed by Dexter.

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