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Arthur Mitchell

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Arthur Mitchell aka The Trinity Killer; Father, Husband, Teacher, Deacon

Spoiler Spoiler warning: This article or section contains key plots and information. Read at your own risk.

Arthur Mitchell
Arthur Mitchell Profile
Character Profile
Portrayed By
John Lithgow
First Appearance
Living the Dream
Last Appearance
The Getaway
Full Name
Arthur Mitchell
The Trinity Killer
Alan (to Tarla Grant)
Manner of Death
Bludgeoned by Dexter Morgan.
60 (at death)
Personal Status
Marital Status
Sally Mitchell (deceased)
Immediate Relatives
Henry Mitchell (father; deceased)
Marsha Mitchell (mother; deceased)
Vera Mitchell (sister; deceased)
Christine Hill (daughter; deceased)
Jonah Mitchell (son)
Becca Mitchell (daughter; deceased)
Professional Status
College Tutor
Volunteer for Four Walls One Heart

Church deacon
Serial Killer

Killer Profile
"The Trinity Killer"
Number of Victims
At least 267
Modus Operandi
Straight razor, hammer (or another weapon capable of bludgeoning.)
Killing Method
Child Murders: Each boy is subdued, held captive for several days before being sedated and buried alive in concrete.

Bathtub Murders: Mitchell subdues the woman, removes her clothes, takes her into a bath with her before incising her femoral artery with straight razor. Death by exsanguination.

Jumper Murders: Mitchell verbally forces a woman to jump from a ledge.

Bludgeoning Murders: Using any one of a number of blunt instruments, Mitchell repeatedly bludgeons a man's head.

Method of Disposal
Mitchell does not dispose of the bodies for the bathtub, 'suicide' or bludgeoning murders. He does, however, bury alive the ten-year-old boy.
At a young age, Mitchell witnessed his sister die in the shower (implied to be his fault, albeit indirectly.) His mother then committed suicide and his father was bludgeoned outside a bar.

Arthur Mitchell was a Character in DEXTER that was introduced in Season Four. He was a serial killer and is possibly the most prolific and successful serial killer in American history (by kill count, by survival Dexter Morgan is at the top). Between the discovery of his killings by Special Agent Frank Lundy and the discovery of his identity, he was dubbed Trinity or The Trinity Killer, due to the original assumption that his kill-cycle involved three murders. It was, however, later discovered by Dexter Morgan to be four; The 'missing' ritual involved the live burial of a 10-year-old boy at the beginning of each Preview cycle. Mitchell has long been polled by viewers of DEXTER as the ultimate antagonist in the series, despite his objectionable methods of murder. His popularity may be connected to the fact that he has amassed more kills than any other individual in the series (although Dexter is slowly gaining on him), but it's also because of actor John Lithgow's superb portrayal, which has earned him a Golden Globe and an Emmy award.


Arthur masquerades as a Church-going', family man ' that is adored as a beloved teacher, husband, father and model citizen that helps the community through an organization known as  Four Walls One Heart, 'which builds homes for the homeless. To the general public, he has survived this way for over 30 years perfectly hiding his true face while using the traveling nature of Four Walls in order to target where he'll begin his cycle of four victims, before returning home on a "cool-down" period before the next cycle begins. It is estimated that Mitchell has at least 123 confirmed kills - 4 victims per year for 30 years makes 120 victims, plus his father, Kyle Butler and Rita Morgan make it a grand total of 123 (though it is likely higher); a figure which only Dexter Morgan slightly exceeds as Season 7 ends.

Officially, he is Fourth Main Antagonist and perhaps one of the most dangerous in the series. He is the only antagonist that has killed for over three decades and remained absolutely hidden as a mere "myth" chased by Special Agent Frank Lundy. Due to this, he is, from a certain perspective, more successful than Dexter Morgan as he has enacted the same routine multiple times over 30 years, starting with stalking a 10 year old boy before burying him alive in cement, tracking down a young woman to kill in her bathtub, "kidnapping" and convincing a middle-aged woman to jump to her death, purposely allowing himself to be beaten senseless by someone (which, may have added to his victims if his attackers became violent enough to make it necessary) and finally bludgeoning a well built man to death. However, when it comes to survival, Dexter Morgan is more successful than anyone else in the series.

Of special note, he is the second Main Antagonist to kill a main character in the series (with his final victim being Rita Morgan). Before that, only Lila West had killed a main character, being the imprisoned Sergeant James Doakes.

Uniquely among many of the serial killers that Dexter has faced, Mitchell is (at least initially) unable to kill outside his well-established cycle, and poses no threat to anyone around him once the cycle is completed (although there are exceptions to this in terms of his family members, whom he terrorizes at times). Despite his M.O. being almost untraceable and the very nature of his kill cycle and his near-perfect cover a stroke of genius, Mitchell's personality is so diversely split that he cannot improvise if something does not go according to his plan; whatever mind-set he is in at the time, he cannot react differently and therein lies his great weakness.

After Mitchell realizes that Dexter is hunting him, however, he begins to realize that Dexter, like him, is fumbling with his camouflage; this seems to instill within him mental confidence and stability, allowing him to adapt more carefully to changing circumstances. Unfortunately for Arthur, this does him little good as Dexter soon captures and kills him, but Arthur's final kill strikes a devastating blow to Dexter: his wife Rita. Just before death, Mitchell accepts that in the end, his rampage was justly halted- and predicts that the same will occur to Dexter eventually, now that Arthur has destroyed his family life and his means of keeping his humanity


Arthur is a man in his early 60s with white-grey thinning hair, blue eyes, as well as an imposing height and build. In spite of his age, Arthur nonetheless possesses a considerable amount of strength as seen when he subdues a strong individual like Dexter in a chokehold and overpowers his extremely athletic and muscular son, Jonah, with startling ease.

When on the job (at the dig sites), he prefers a t-shirt and blue jeans as well as work boots and equipment used for the dig. At school, he wears much more formal attire befitting his occupation as a teacher. This formal attire is also seen when he goes to church. This can include tan colored or grey suits that remain unbuttoned. He also frequently wears mirrored sunglasses.

When he goes out for a kill (at least in the 3rd and fourth victim's case) he'll wear dark clothing and possibly a jumpsuit (for the fourth victim especially) along with a face shield and protective equipment to prevent the blood from splattering on his body.


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Dexter looks on in awe as he witnesses Trinity in action for the first time, bludgeoning a man to death.

Being 'born in blood' - Dexter Morgan's euphemism for psychological trauma leading to homicidal impulses - coupled with Mitchell's longevity as a killer makes this man's personality incredibly complex, comprising of various personas and moods which seem to switch at random. Possibly due to his age - thus his increasing lack of humanity, - the boundaries compartmentalizing his life may start to crumble.

The Family ManEdit

Dexter: "A wolf in sheep's clothing. Hour by hour the spitting image of a normal man. Up at 6 AM. Breakfast 7 at AM. Work - 8:30. A study session shaping young minds...even on a Saturday. Noon lunch with Faculty, out at 3:00. Dinner at 6:00. Father, husband, teacher, Deacon...all in the name of blending in. Camouflage is nature's craftiest trick."

Arthur's personality is known to be very baffling, even to Dexter. Mitchell's public personality is that of a kind older gentleman that is a loving husband and father. He is an active member of the community, who builds houses for the homeless in his spare time. In his daily life, he goes to church and sings as a preacher, and he then spends his daytimes at work as a school teacher with the perfect zeal for guiding youth and helping them grow. It is also his role as a school teacher which results in his extra-curricular 'activities' having to take place within school holidays. Despite his abusive nature towards his children and wife, Dexter notes from his many days of observation that, at least some of Arthur's love and affection for his family members, is genuine; he has also shown to have affectionate, everyday conversation with his wife, Sally, though this takes place outside of Dexter's vision.

The AbuserEdit

An extension of his monster escaping into his personal life, the abuser is a violent part of Arthur that Dexter fears becoming. However, Arthur seems to have lost control of his Dark Passenger, which leads to occasional appearances of it in the presence of his family that come in the form of violent outbursts and tirades.

Underneath that personality, however, is a violent monster who constantly keeps his family (the Mitchell family, not Christine) caged within his personal life. For his wife, she has to do everything he demands and in fear out of something happening to her or her children...she'll obey almost as if she was under mind control (her fear is so great that she could never think of doing anything else). For his daughter, Becca Mitchell, he keeps her locked up within the house and especially at night with bolts and padlocks to insure that she is kept "in" and, in a way, keep those that might do something to her "out". Jonah Mitchell is practically a reflection of Arthur's abusive father taking out his frustrations and anger on his son. Arthur, having grown up in this environment, had it in turn effect him to the degree that he cannot control his anger and will enter a mode of rage whenever Jonah irritates him. Arthur has been known to hit Jonah, choke him, even break his pinky...and completely throw out anything of praise for his son as if it didn't matter to himself in the slightest. However, at the same time, he is also capable of treating his family nicely behind closed doors as well, and it is possible that he may actually have genuine love for them, like they appear to have for him despite his abusive ways. It is usually only when Jonah irritates him that he switches behaviors and they see the monster within him.

When it comes to his other daughter, Christine Hill, he treats her in two fashions. When he's happy with her, he'll act like a caring father to a daughter like a "Daddy's Girl" relationship. He'll smile at her, call her beautiful and everything that a daughter would want from her father...However, whenever he's frustrated with her, he'll call her names behind her back and completely shut her out of his life. After hearing the news of her death, he enters a deep sorrow, until Dexter pushes the emotion out of Arthur that forces him to throw her out as "weak", thus illustrating BOTH sides of his relationship with her.

The Sorrowful Lone BoyEdit

With his original family long since gone in a tragic past, Arthur occasionally slips into the past to remember his sister, mother and father. For his sister, he'll admire young women similarly to her and spend a lot of care with her ashes...always spreading them at every kill scene. He'll even "share" a drink with the pot of ashes as if she was sitting in another chair next to him, almost as if they were growing up together. For his mother, he'll often lament the loss of her at such an early age and spend some time grieving....especially after killing the third person in the cycle.

His father is the most dramatic, having him go to a local bar just to have himself beaten senseless while yelling insults at his attacker. This most likely represents the abuse his own father placed on him...and, in turn, the abuse Arthur delivers to Jonah.

He is very protective of his sister's ashes and having the pot with them in it destroyed causes him to fly into an immense fit of rage, almost breaking his personality and setting him back on track with the monster inside.

The MonsterEdit

As with most major mass murderers, Arthur's "demon" is a large influence on his life. It shines through in his personal life with his family, but outside of takes form in the act of killing multiple people in fours at any given time. The odd thing about Arthur's Dark Passenger is that it is as split as Arthur himself, having four different forms. Although his murders have only been seen once each, it is suspected that routine is similar to the ones shown below;

The ChildEdit

The first personality in the child of the killings, Arthur approaches any given young boy at the age of 10 and typically introduces himself as a police officer. When adopting this fake personality, he pulls it off generally well (including a fake badge) and makes it appear that the child's parents were in a wreck or some other type of disaster. It's then that he lures them off to his van to abduct them and bring them to a safe place (near a dig site that
2013-08-21 2027

Christopher Kavanaugh, Arthur's final child victim, killed without any pain inflicted.

he'll leave them to die in). For a few days, he will play trains with the children or at least attempt to, constantly calling them by his own name as if he was a child again speaking with himself. He acts very innocent in this light, never once harming the child during this stay and always suggests that they wear a similar set of PJs that he once wore.

When the boy finally admits they're ready and allows himself to be called Arthur, he will admit that it's time for them to be set free and he'll drug some ice cream to put them to sleep for a little while. He'll then move the boy to the dig site, filled with cement and bury them alive when they're senseless, thus dying a painless, unknowing death, in the very same way that his own innocence was lost.

The Caring BrotherEdit

The second personality for a young woman in the killings, Arthur stalks a rather young woman between the ages of 16 and about 24, until he decides he's ready to make his move on them. He'll break into her house, calmly stalking her into the bathroom when she is ready to take a bath or shower. He will subdue her and strip her naked, along with himself, moving both
2013-08-21 2114

Trinity murders Lisa Bell, his first kill displayed to viewers.

of them to the tub and possibly forcing the girl into a sleeper hold to use a razor blade to slit their thigh and force them to bleed out. In the process, he'll pull a mirror out to let her look into it while she dies, thus signifying the way his sister looked at him after discovering him watching her shower back then. After he's finished, he'll leave bit traces of ash (left over by his sister) at the scene.

Later on, he'll take a shower hot enough to burn himself, most likely to wash off the innocence he lost or some other mixed emotion.

The Forgotten SonEdit

The third personality for a middle-aged woman with two children in the killings, Arthur will find a woman matching the age of his mother that is the parent of two others much like himself and his own
2013-08-21 2125

Arthur looks on in sadness after co-ercing Tarla Grant into suicide, the 3rd kill in the cycle representing his mother.

sister. He will first meet up with the woman faking to be a kind old gentleman either walking a dog or some other mundane task, just to introduce himself to them and learn a little about them. Here he adopts the simple personality that just about anyone can fake, common courtesy and smalltalk. Afterwards he'll drop the act and find a way to get her alone, threatening her as he makes her drive to a tall abandoned building. From here it's all based on his orders and her voluntary choice...that is unless she refuses to comply. As the two of them reach the spot where she's supposed to jump (just like his mother did), he'll urge her to fall back based on her own will. If the woman does not want to, he'll start throwing threats of making her children suffer if she does not follow his which she'll eventually let herself fall and die. He'll then leave traces of ash here, after feeling an immense flood of emotions hit him.

Father vs. SonEdit

The fourth pers
2013-08-21 2141

Dexter watches in absolute shock as he sees Trinity bludgeon a man to death, the final victim of his kill cycle.

onality for an older man with possibly two children in the killings, Arthur will locate a father matching the age of his father. Because not every one of his victims is a drunkard, he'll need to find someone else to take half of the ritual in this kill by taking out their drunken fury on Arthur with multiple punches and kicks while he insults them (much like his own father would do to him back in his past). After that is finished, he'll stalk another man to an area and start yelling insults at them as he bludgeons them with some sort of weapon (after a recommendation from a local store owner, it becomes a hammer). During this entire process he's seen as a very vulnerable man fighting back against his father, despite the fact that his victim is the one on the defense here. He'll leave trace evidence of ash after he's finished and will start to sink back into reality, without his cycle after this deed is done.

The True ArthurEdit

Arthur, in all reality, dislikes the demon within himself and has lost control of his life because of it. So much so that he's been contemplating ways to stop it, to kill the killing himself. Little to Dexter's knowledge, Arthur had been building his own coffin as of late and wished to end his own life in order to stop the monster...thus a planned trip was made to a dig site where he could jump to his death much like his mother. After finding out more from Dexter, he learns that he killed a man (though Arthur believes it accidental) and thus begins sharing his relay to someone finally about who he truly was from the past, though does not reveal to Dexter personally that he kills people.

Arthur changes dras
2013-08-21 2147

Arthur confesses his sin to Dexter and embraces him as a real friend.

tically at this point, becoming almost ecstatic about his newfound "friend" and goes overboard by becoming too open to try and make families listen to him while meeting plenty of people. In a way, it could be that Dexter was officially Arthur's way of confessing to his sins without actually saying them and now he's happy to be free of them, ready to take his own life. Later on as Dexter prepares a kill room and attempts to nab Arthur in his room, he finds him missing and so goes to the Four Walls Build to find him. Unbeknown to him, Arthur was planning to kill himself all along and relieve himself of the demon inside him. Ironically, Arthur's suicide plan prevented his death at the hands of Dexter, as Dexter notices him trying to jump off a building and unintentionally saves his life, just so that he can have him on his own
2013-08-21 2159

Dexter's kill room, with the pictures of both Debra and Lundy, whom he incorrectly believed to be Trinity's victim and attempted victim.

table. Arthur then begins to act as if new life has been breathed into him and praises Dexter...having believed God saved his life. But it's soon revealed that Arthur has returned to his previous personality, no longer wanting to end his own life but continue his killing ways...

The true Arthur only comes out when Dexter (first playing as Kyle Butler) finds out just how far Arthur will go in his act of violence. After a mishap involving Dexter almost killing Arthur in his own home, Arthur forces his next cycle to begin early...thus kidnapping a child for his next kill. During this time, the two play cat and mouse with Dexter trying to find him while Arthur dangles the boy's life at the end of a thread without revealing anything about his process. When Dexter finally figures it out as well as the location of where the boy would die, the two confront one another and it leads Arthur to an escape...from here on moving onto the hunt.

When on the hunt for who Dexter really is, he is shown to be a cold and calculating man that will use bait to find out what he needs. He does however talk in a more relaxed, almost cheery voice as if he's enjoying this game. In due time he finally figures out where Dexter works and meets him face to face in the Homicide department...a true stareoff occurring between the two. After a threat here and there, Dexter tails him to a garage and attempts to set him up for his own Ritual...however fails when caught up in an ordeal with some sheriffs. As Dexter returns to the van where he left an unconscious Arthur, he finds nothing but an empty space where he once was.

Arthur takes pride in the vehicle he possesses, becoming highly infuriated with Jonah for damaging it beforehand. After taking the windshield clean off, he gets it fixed and painted up nicely. Of course during this time he acted out his revenge on Dexter for not only stopping his cycle but also attempting to kill him earlier. In a break of the cycle that was technically still apart of the normal order (even though the boy survived, he moved on to the woman in the bathtub however he instead combined that kill with the third kill of an older woman with two children), he goes to Rita's house and sets her up for a kill just like his second in order...slashing her thigh and allowing her to bleed out within a bathtub. This proves that in a fit of rage with his passenger, he needed to leave something behind to show Dexter punishment after his attempted escape from Miami.

After killing Rita an
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Arthur's final victim, Rita Morgan.

d feeling accomplished, Arthur picks up his vehicle and drives off with a smile on his face...truly feeling like he was getting away with murder for the first time rather than just trying to please his dark passenger that always called to him. However, Dexter sabotaged the car to give out, in order to capture and kill him. It is here that Arthur expresses everything that is true about him...he shows that he never took pride in his killings (unlike Dexter) but only had to because he couldn't control his dark passenger. He craved to be free of it, to be stopped without trying...and then laments that his plan to be stopped by praying for it to happen finally worked because Dexter arrived and finally did exactly that.
2013-08-21 0246

Arthur in shock as he sees Dexter for who he really is - a killer who takes pride in what he does to the extent that he collects blood samples from his victims.

He begins to show remorse for his murders and only wishes to be set free of his Dark Passenger as he accepts God's will in all of this. He then says that it's already over, and Dexter is baffled as he can't understand what Arthur means by that statement...he decides that Arthur has to be referring to his killing spree, basically accepting his own death, but it is likely that he was actually referring to Dexter's des
2013-08-21 0243

Arthur on Dexter's kill table, accepting an end to his life and legacy as part of 'God's plan'.

ire and ambition to be a good family man and be there for them, basically telling him, in a symbolic way, that he had already failed to achieve that goal because Arthur had already killed Rita. He goes on to notice the train set and record player, asking in his final moments if he may hear his train and music play before he gets killed...thus suggesting a return to his innocence once more and wanting to die peacefully.

Other Notes on Personality;Edit

Arthur was very prone to switching instantly between his multiple personalities. As quoted by Dexter himself "Yesterday he was jumping down my throat, today he is the happy dancing man....Is that mask of his crumbling??".

Arthur became very defensive if he is ever called a pedophile, most likely because he, in a way, viewed a child as a manifesitation of the innocence that he once had and he couldn't bear to think of some one hurting them (even though he did himself).

Arthur always had a hard time accepting who he truly was and, when he was faced with the option to kill something (such as a deer), he began to cower, as if he had never picked up a weapon before. This could have suggested a slight crack in the already unstable persona he lived with, further proving that he never really took pride in his killings. It could be possible that, by doing what he did, Arthur discovered a specific recollection of the events of his childhood and was simply trying to prove how 'innocent' he was, even in such an indirect and depraved manner.

Theme MusicEdit

Introducing Trinity
12 Introducing Trinity
First theme music for Trinity
Trouble with the audio sample?

Arthur has two unique theme songs that are both available on the Dexter Season 4 Soundtrack named Introducing Trinity and the Trinity Suite. Each of these themes illustrates all the proper personality effects of Trinity: he's a survivor, he has lasted for over 30 years as a serial killer and it depicts his dangerous nature, the fact that he's a man with a dark nature.

His theme music is later used in Season 6, Episode 7, when Debra tells Dexter about the murder of Trinity's wife and daughter and when Jonah walks towards Dexter as well as Season 7 for Ray Speltzer.


Arthur Mitchell was born in Tampa Bay, Florida and lived in a two story blue house for most of his young life. He grew up just like any other boy would, that is until one day in 1959 when he became curious of his sister while she was taking a shower and he stood in the doorway, watching her through the mirror. When his sister noticed him, she suddenly freaked and slipped, breaking the glass on the shower door which forced a shard to slash her leg open and make her bleed out there in front of him. This graphic scene of violence scarred Arthur emotionally forever and came as a hard blow to the family as a whole. For a year after the incident, his mother, Marsha, grew increasingly depressed, culminating in her suicide by jumping off of a bridge in 1960. His father, Henry, became a drinker and was physically abusive to Arthur, blaming him for the deaths of Vera and Marsha; frequently calling him a pervert who killed them. In 1964, Henry was found bludgeoned to death in an alley (it is presumed that Arthur himself, who would have been 14 or 15 at the time, was the killer). However, the emotional and physical abuse that Arthur suffered at the hands of his family furthered his path down the wrong way of accepting his passenger.

Arthur would continue to grow up, eventually entering college It is possible he went to Schaffer High School (the same high school his sister attended during her high school career) along the way. What happened to him after his father's death is not revealed. It's possible that he had some other relatives who took him in, or that he was somehow emancipated. After graduating college with a teaching degree, he'd later become a teacher here in his hometown and would meet Christine Hill's mother, Lorraine Hill, later conceiving his first daughter. Arthur would eventually enter the organization known as Four Walls, One Heart and would use this as his alibi when starting his kill cycles. One night his daughter Christine actually witnessed the death of one of Arthur's victims, some 30 years before (the one in the same house that was featured in the first episode of the fourth season) though she never said anything about it out of the love for her father. Arthur would go on multiple trips, sending home multiple postcards saying "Wish you were here. Love, Daddy". Arthur's relationship with Lorraine ended (he would later tell Dexter that it was because of his habit of pushing people away because of his past) and he and Christine became estranged, only meeting around holidays and her birthday.

At some point in time, FBI Agent Frank Lundy would catch onto the pattern of what he began to dub the "Trinity Killer", though Arthur was most likely ignorant to the knowledge that someone had figured out his pattern and finally connected each killing. Lundy would effectively chase a "ghost" all the way across the country without ever figuring out who he was until it was too late.

Some 20 years before the current storyline, Arthur would meet his future wife Sally Mitchell and conceive two children, Jonah Mitchell and Becca Mitchell. He would continue to raise this family as well as stay on as a longterm teacher with a local high school while committing to various other activities. His newfound family life also estranged him even further from Christine, of whose existence they presumably remained unaware. Behind closed doors he would keep his daughter imprisoned and abuse his son and wife when he was in terrible moods and then treat them nicely when he was in a good mood. When his time for another cycle began, he would go to a dig with the Four Walls organization and kill a boy before the dig actually started, along with the three other victims.


Prior to the events of Season 4, Arthur was in symbolic meaning mentioned by Frank Lundy as his biggest game to try and catch. During this time it assumed he killed at least 12 people, maybe more (this includes the children involved).

Season 4Edit

Arthur Mitchell is a middle-aged serial killer who has been active for three decades without being noticed. Agent Frank Lundy, the FBI's lead investigator of his crimes, has dubbed him "The Trinity Killer" because it was believed that he killed in threes. However it has since come to light that he in actuality kills four victims every cycle (Lost Boys). His M.O. is to kill a series of four people in a very specific fashion. The first victim is a young boy, usually around the age of 10, whom he forces to wear pajamas then buries him alive in wet concrete. The second victim is a young woman whom he holds down in a bathtub, cuts the femoral artery and uses a mirror to watch die from bleeding out. The third victim is a mother of 2 kids whom he uses threats to her family to convince to jump off a building to her death. The fourth victim is an older man, also a parent of two children, whom he bludgeons with a hammer. He's immaculate, always careful never to leave any trace of his presence at the scenes of his crimes aside from the trademark ash smudge he leaves his victims pointing to. Through his killings, he's recreating the traumatic deaths of his own family members (If I Had a Hammer). He performs this cycle roughly once or twice every year, during school breaks. His first cycle took place in Miami. 30 years later (Living The Dream), he returned to exactly the same locations and killed there again.

In Road Kill, Arthur revealed his back story to Dexter. When he was 10, in 1959, he walked in on his sister, Vera, showering. When she saw him and panicked, she slipped and smashed the shower doors' glass, her femoral artery being slashed in the process. His mother, Marsha, then became very depressed and killed herself the following year by jumping off a roof. His father, Henry, started drinking heavily, became more abusive and beat Arthur as a result of these deaths, blaming him for them. He too was killed in 1964 when he was bludgeoned to death with a hammer in an alley (Dexter theorizes that Arthur himself was the killer. He would have been 15 at the time). The first victims of the cycles, the young boy dressed in a pajamas and placed in wet concrete, is supposed to symbolize Arthur himself on the night of Vera's death, his last moment of innocence.

Despite Arthur's serial killing, he still manages to maintain a family life with his wife, Sally, and two children, Jonah and Becca, who he genuinely loves. He works as a high school teacher and is also a deacon and the leader of Four Walls, One Heart, a charitable Christian homebuilding organization, which he uses as a cover for his travels throughout the country. He keeps his homebuilding plaques as trophies for his killings. It was, however, revealed in Hungry Man that Arthur is extremely controlling, domineering and even verbally and physically abusive, his family keeping up the facade of a happy suburban family. He also has an adult daughter, Christine Hill, from a past relationship. In Dex Takes a Holiday, she shot Debra and Lundy, killing him, in order to protect Arthur; when she was five, she had witnessed him performing one of his bathtub murders. It was initially believed by some that Arthur had been the shooter and by some that Nikki Reed, one of the Vacation Murderers, did it. Eventually, Christine was caught and killed herself after confessing.


In the Season 4 finale, The Getaway, Dexter finally abducts Arthur after removing the oil cap from his car (thus slowing down it's mechanism). Dexter says "Hello, Arthur Mitchell", before proceeding to position him in a rear naked choke-hold to render him unconscious. Arthur awakens on a table, in the middle of the very same room where he held Scott Smith captive. He sees the numerous photographs of his victims situated on the walls. Despite seeing the enormity of the pain that he's caused, he denies the heinousness of his crimes by saying: "I was following my path", to which Dexter responds, "So was I", before approaching Arthur to slice his cheek and get a blood slide. Arthur, seeing Dexter for who he truly is, makes it seem like Dexter's crimes are worse by saying that "I never took pride in what I did." After a prolonged conversation, Arthur finally gives in and says "it's already over", before asking Dexter to play the song triggered by his toy train ("Venus" by "Frankie Avalon"). After Dexter fulfills his final request, Arthur says "thank you", before Dexter readies himself with the same type of hammer that Arthur used to blugeon Earl Doorman, whispering "now it's over". He slams the claw-end of the hammer into Arthur's throat and is next seen dumping his body parts overboard The Slice of Life, while thinking about how he is going to improve his family and possibly let go of his Dark Passenger. After returning home, however, he finds that Arthur had already murdered Rita in her bathtub - before he was abducted by Dexter...


Because Arthur had apparently escaped (and was never known to have been killed), the FBI continued to chase after a ghost while his family is put into the witness protection program. To this day the only ones that know Arthur is actually dead are Jonah Mitchell and Dexter himself (Dexter also tells Isaak Sirko and Debra Morgan that he killed his wife's murderer, although both Isaak and Debra later die).

In Arthur killing Rita Morgan, he creates a downward spiral for Dexter that follows him for quite some time. To try and escape the depression he's hit with, Dexter first kills a man named Rankin who insulted his late wife and then tries to feel alive again hunting a man named Boyd Fowler, which after killing him leads into a confrontation with a woman named Lumen Pierce. Feeling responsible for Rita's death, Dexter attempts to redeem himself by aiding Lumen in avenging her for the rape and torture brought on by Jordan Chase and The Group, killing every member before she's finally freed from her vengeance. Along the way Dexter becomes romantically involved with Lumen but upon killing the last member, her desire to kill vanishes and she sees a future with him as impossible thus leaving him.

Arthur is mentioned at various points as the story progresses, first multiple times throughout helping Lumen and even by her Main Antagonist Jordan Chase, who says he followed the Trinity Case very closely (even saying he admired Trinity, though for his "masked life"). During the Doomsday Killer Investigation, Lieutenant Debra Morgan receives information that both Arthur's wife and daughter were found dead in ways similar to what Arthur used to kill his victims. The FBI, convinced by surviving family member Jonah Mitchell, investigates the possibility that Trinity has returned. Dexter leaves for Nebraska to find out what happened and learns that the daughter killed herself due to the high pressures that their mother put her under and Jonah killed his mother out of anger and vengeance. Dexter ends up forgiving him for this and leaves, choosing not to kill the only remaining member of the Mitchell family despite initially feeling he may have went down his father's path.

Cycle of KillsEdit

Due to his life as a school teacher, Arthur Mitchell's cycle always takes place within the school holidays. He also usually commits his murders while out of town with Four Walls, One Heart. In Season 4, we see Arthur carry out his cycle in the December break. The cycle is as follows:

  • The 10 year old boy represents Arthur before he saw his sister die. Having the boy play with his toys and placing him in wet concrete in the foundation of the house he helps build, preserving the body inside, is Arthur's way of symbolically preserving his own innocence from his life before the incident.
  • The woman bleeding out in the tub represents Arthur's sister, who was accidentally killed when she was startled by Arthur in the shower. She fell, broke the shower door, and bled out right in front of Arthur.
  • The woman jumping from the building represents the suicide of his mother. Arthur is extremely particular about making them jump themselves rather than him pushing them.
  • The final kill represents the death of his father, who was killed in an alleyway with a hammer. They are arguably Arthur's most violent and sadistic kill in the cycle because of his deep hatred for his own father, who abused him.

Since Arthur's cycle is usually carried out while he works with Four Walls, One Heart, the plaques he receives for his part in building a new home serve as his trophies.

Named VictimsEdit



  • Vicky Noonan (22)
  • J. Lewitt - 3/12/1993
  • I. Rosengard - 9/5/1994
  • A. Darakjan - 2/26/1995
  • Loretta Kellerman
  • M. Bogert - 9/16/1997
  • L. Candace - 8/23/1998
  • J. Spaan - 3/9/1999
  • H. Grodman - 10/7/1999
  • Anita Soloman
  • L. Fisher - 5/11/2001
  • R. Goldman - 10/24/2002
  • K. Watkins - 4/15/2003
  • A. Goff - 5/11/2005
  • J. Meltzer - 9/18/2006
  • R. Cornelius - 7/20/2007
  • Tamera Klaman
  • L. Spheeris - 7/20/2008
  • Julie Hillard
  • Lisa Bell - 9/21/2009


  • D. Webster - 3/17/1993
  • E. Hemming - 9/10/1994
  • N. Reiss - 3/3/1995
  • J. Snisse - 9/21/1997
  • R. Elliot - 8/28/1998
  • R. Golden - 3/14/1999
  • C. Endless - 10/14/1999
  • P. Ford - 5/16/2001
  • J. Lewis - 10/29/2002
  • A. Asarcca - 4/20/2003
  • L. Pickford - 5/16/2005
  • J. Antonoff - 9/23/2006
  • R. Hermosillo - 7/25/2007
  • J. Leiberman - 7/25/2008
  • Tarla Grant (36) - 9/26/2009


  • S. Hunter - 3/22/1993
  • J. Roberson - 9/15/1994
  • D. Freiburn - 3/8/1995
  • E. Newman - 9/26/1997
  • R. Dermott - 9/2/1998
  • B. Ball - 3/19/1999
  • F. Calvert - 10/19/1999
  • A. Severse - 5/21/2001
  • C. Moreno - 11/3/2002
  • J. Jones - 4/25/2003
  • A. Roman - 5/21/2005
  • J. Ellis - 9/28/2006
  • B. Polaski - 7/30/2007
  • R. Bear - 7/30/2008
  • Earl Doorman - 10/1/2009

Other VictimsEdit

The following victims are the few kills that Arthur has made outside of his kill cycle.

  • Henry Mitchell - Arthur's father. Though it is never confirmed, it is possible, due to the things he shouts at his later bludgeon victims. It is possible that Henry was Arthur's first kill, prior to the cycle.
  • Kyle Butler - Another bludgeon victim that he killed while he was trying to find Dexter. This one was done after he had failed at starting a new cycle. This man doesn't fit into Trinity's cycle because Arthur just wanted to kill him to silence him.
  • 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, and she didn't fit the normal characteristics of his bathtub victims.

Indirect DeathsEdit

  • Vera Mitchell - accidentally killed when she was surprised by Arthur in the shower. She fell, broke the shower door, cut femoral artery on her thigh badly and bled out.
  • Frank Lundy - was shot by Christine Hill, who tried to save her father from being caught.
  • Stan Beaudry - was killed by Dexter because he needed someone to frame of Trinity murders.
  • Becca Mitchell - even after Arthur died, cycles somewhat continued becuase of impact he had of his family and the fact he abused them. The first victim was Becca, who commited suicide in a fashion similar to bathtub victims.
  • Sally Mitchell - was killed by Jonah Mitchell becuase of her growing obsession with Arthur which was, in fact, the reason of Becca's suicide.

Attempted VictimsEdit

Alleged VictimsEdit

  • Frank Lundy - was believed for some time to be a Trinity victim, until it was confirmed that person who shot Lundy and Debra Morgan was shorter than Trinity.
  • Becca Mitchell - in fact a suicide.
  • Sally Mitchell - in fact killed by Jonah Mitchell.
  • It is never shown, but it's quite possible that planted evidence in the apartment of Stan Beaudry was eventually traced back and Arthur was connected to disappearance.


  • Arthur was originally named Walter Simmons.
  • Arthur's wife's name is Sally, which was the name of the sister of John Lithgow's character in 3rd Rock from the Sun.
  • It's interesting to note that Arthur has killed Rita, as both John Lithgow (Arthur) and Julie Benz (Rita) have each appeared in Sylvester Stallone's movies. Lithgow played the main antagonist in Cliffhanger, while Benz appeared in Rambo, playing a damsel in distress.
  • Arthur is the only main antagonist to have had the full routine Dexter goes through when he claims a victim applied. He's the only one to have been killed by Dexter, dismembered, dumped into the gulf stream, and have a blood slide taken and placed into the blood slide box. Likewise, he was the first for all of this as well.
    • Brian Moser didn't have a blood slide taken, and his body was left for the police to find.
    • It is unknown what Dexter did to Lila West's body after killing her, but he didn't take a blood slide from her, since he wasn't seen placing one into the new box.
    • Miguel Prado was killed in an M.O. similar to George King's, so he didn't have a blood slide taken.
    • Jordan Chase was dismembered and dumped into the gulf, but he didn't have blood taken, and most importantly, was not killed by Dexter, but by Lumen Pierce. He was also the last main antagonist to be dismembered.
    • Travis Marshall was killed and had a slide taken, but since Debra walked in on Dexter, he was not dismembered or disposed of properly. Instead, with Debra's help, Dexter burned Travis' body and made it look like a ritualistic suicide, leaving it for the police to find. Dexter also lost the blood slide at the crime scene, which was later found, broken and partially burned, by Maria LaGuerta. Also, Travis was the last person Dexter took a blood slide from, as he later abandoned this practice when Debra discovered he was a serial killer after finding his slides.
    • Isaak Sirko, although not killed by Dexter, was presumably dropped into the gulf river, where Dexter took him so that he could be with Viktor Baskov, Isaak's lover and a previous victim of Dexter's.
    • Oliver Saxon was killed in a police station, in self defense, so his body was presumably autopsied and later buried or cremated.
  • He is the oldest main antagonist in the series, as Professor Gellar was technically not the main antagonist of Season Six, despite being 65 at the time of his original death (which was prior to the events of that season). Walter Kenney is the oldest known victim overall, being killed at age 73.
  • He is the first antagonist to affect Dexter's life partially (since he killed Rita in season 4, and Dexter grieved for her throughout season 5). The second to do so was Oliver Saxon, the antagonist of Season 8. He killed Dexter's protege, Zach Hamilton, killed the woman who originally made the code, Evelyn Vogel, and shot Debra, which eventually lead to her going brain dead and giving Dexter a reason to mercifully kill her.
  • Arthur is the second person who found out Dexter was using an alias around him, and discovered his real name, the first one was Zoey Kruger.
  • He is the second main antagonist to be married (the first being Miguel Prado), and the first (and so far, only) to have children. That said, it is unknown, however unlikely, whether or not Stan Liddy was ever married or had children, as he is in his late 50's and very little is known about his past.
  • Arthur is the first main antagonist of the series who was not only present in all episodes of the season, but was also a threat all throughout; Season 1's Brian Moser, while being the central threat throughout the season, did not appear in all of its episodes; Season 2's Lila West was absent for the season's first two episodes; and Season 3's Miguel Prado, while appearing in all episodes of the season, only appeared as a corpse in the season finale, and thus did not serve as a threat then.
    • In addition, Season Five's Jordan Chase did not appear until halfway through the season, Season Six's Travis Marshall was shown to be a protagonist for a majority of the season only to be revealed as the main antagonist (to even himself) near the end and Season Seven's Isaak Sirko died nine episodes into the season, dying as a protagonist rather than antagonist. Maria LaGuerta was a main protagonist for the first six seasons and slowly became a main antagonist for the seventh season, finally sprouting after Isaak's death (though not linked).
  • He introduced himself to Tarla Grant as Alan. It can be reference of Alan Grant, the main protagonist of Jurassic Park movie.
  • Both of his daughters committed suicide.

See alsoEdit

  • Walter Kenney, The Tooth Fairy Killer, a similar older serial killer

Start a Discussion Discussions about Arthur Mitchell

  • Trinity Killer...some confusion.

    10 messages
    • He more than likely only killed Rita to get some form of revenge against Dexter, he would obviously preferred to have Dexter himself, but i...
    • I don't see how he could of caught her when Trinity didn't know where Dexter lived. I was actually in tears when Rita was found dead by Dexter...

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