Boyd Fowler was a character in DEXTER that worked for the Department of Sanitation as a Dead Animal Pickup officer.
He was also a member of The Group, a collective of serial rapist/murderers led by Jordan Chase. It is Fowler's responsibility within the group to kill and dispose of the women who have been 'used up.'
Boyd appears to be a man in his early 30s, with a mustache on his slender face. He typically wears glasses, but can see fairly well without them. He is shown exclusively dressed in his uniform for the Department of Sanitation: brown khaki shorts, button-up tan shirt, black cap and brown work boots. He has short, unkempt brown hair and speaks with somewhat of a low, teenage voice.
Dexter first meets Boyd when he is called in to clean up roadkill, at which time Dexter notes how unusually observant Fowler is regarding dead bodies. Boyd makes the observation to Dexter that typically, when an animal is killed, especially when it is found laying in the middle of the highway like the raccoon was, there are tire-marks as well as a blood spray on the cement. Fowler states that the animal must have been killed elsewhere and then left on the road, which prompts Dexter to think he's "CSIng" the scene. Boyd also notes the raccoon has defensive marks on his paws, indicating he was killed in a struggle rather than by the sudden impact of a vehicle. Later, while riding in his truck with Dexter, he notices the ring band mark on Dexter's ring finger, and makes the assumption that Dexter is divorced. His observation skills are slightly off-putting to Dexter, who doesn't want Boyd to learn too much about himself.
He appears to derive morbid pleasure from his work with dead animals, and evinces pride in his job, as it lets him do as he pleases and get out in the world. When Dexter observes Boyd at home, he sees him as a temperamental man of simple tastes, having little variety in the foods he eats. While Boyd listens to one of his motivational CDs by Jordan Chase, Dexter listens to him yelling along with Chase.
He has a fairly strong survival instinct, so he lasts longer than most of Dexter's targets, and even resists the M-99 that Dexter injects into each of his victims before bringing them to the Kill Room. His reflexes and quick thinking result in him being able to turn around and shoot Dexter with a tranquilizer dart. Unlike many of Dexter's victims who panic, Boyd is aggressive.
After being subdued by Dexter, Boyd claims that he was being merciful to the women he killed, by ending their suffering. His claim of a sympathetic attachment to the girls is, however, contradicted by his actions, as he is shown jovially adding hair to his "trophy collection", coldly dumping them in a barrel and electrocuting them, and then dumping their body encased in the barrel.
Early Life and General Information
Boyd grew up in an Opa-Locka, Florida with his parents Richard and Elsie Fowler. They passed away and left the house to Boyd, which he employs as his base of operations to rape, torture, and kill young women.
He spent 8 months in prison for assault with a deadly weapon, and during this time, he met Robert Brunner. The two formed a friendship and bonded over their sick fascination with torturing and raping women, possibly meaning that Boyd intended to bring Brunner into The Group.
He works the 7am - 4pm shift at the Department of Sanitation as a Dead Animal-Pickup employee and typically returns home for lunch, which consists of mainly tomato and chicken noodle soup (amongst other things). He takes great admiration in the Take It Now CDs, living his life by them, which may suggest brainwashing (see Jordan Chase).
Position in the Group
Boyd is an essential part of the Group's overall activities, as his house acts as a holding cell for their captives, where The Group can rape, torture, and kill them in secure privacy before Fowler disposes of their bodies. Dexter personally refers to Boyd as "the Finisher," implying Boyd's work really began after the other members of the group had finished raping, torturing and murdering each woman.
During Dexter's grieving process for the loss of his wife, Rita Bennett, he decides to move everything from his house to his old apartment. (that is now inhabited by Debra Morgan). In order to move, he rents a moving van, and spots blood in the interior of one. He rents it and then some time later in the middle of the night while Debra, Cody and Astor are asleep. Dexter makes his way with his son Harrison to the truck to investigate the blood splatter. After successfully determining that the blood belongs to a human female who was likely killed in the truck, he runs the history on who rented it and finds Boyd Fowler amongst the listing.
Dexter sets up a dead raccoon on the road in order to lure Fowler to him so he can observe and investigate him. As Boyd exits his truck, the two have a chat and Dexter watches as Boyd "CSI's him" with multiple observations of how the scenario of the roadkill did not seem right to him...which in the end was accurate, as the raccoon was most likely killed elsewhere and simply laid on the ground as bait for Boyd. Boyd lifts up the dead animal and tosses it into the back of his truck, taking his leave to allow Dexter to observe more about him.
During their previous conversation, everything that Boyd told Dexter was a lie aside from the fact that he lived in a house for 20 years (to which Dexter learns he inherited it). It's then that later Dexter breaks into his house to find evidence of any crimes, noticing that Boyd lives in a house that might belong to someone like his grandma, but he does keep a loaded handgun in his drawer. Much of the house is locked in an odd way, especially his attic but then Boyd comes home, letting Dexter know that he returns home for lunch. Boyd makes his way into his house, turning on one of the Take It Now CDs and goes about trying to find something to eat, reciting "Take It" over and over as it occurs on the disc. Dexter veers and hides to avoid being seen by an ever moving Boyd, eventually spotting a loft of hair with a tag saying the number 8 on it. This suggests that Boyd may actually be a killer, and Dexter then makes his way out to devise a plan at capturing Boyd. Of course, he later tails Boyd out into the middle of nowhere to watch him kick a drum (apparently containing animals) out and into a swamp, before leaving on a different route. Dexter doesn't give it much thought at this time, but when he returns later, he discovers that each of 5 drums there contains a young dead woman.At the end of Episode 2 of Season 5, Dexter discovers these bodies while Boyd is at home...cutting off another hair to add to his personal collection (kept within a scrap book of sorts). Boyd lifts the girl into a drum filled with water, attaches jumper cables to the rims and then he pulls a switch that electrocutes the woman, preparing to bring her out to the swamp as well.
In the middle of Episode 3 ("Practically Perfect"), Dexter meets up with Boyd at a local outside restaurant where he kind of plays it off as wanting Boyd to notice him. He takes on the fake name for this encounter as Darrell Tucker, an unemployed man ready for any odd job you can get. Of course, this is just a ploy to get Boyd to take him along as a "trainee" so that he can eventually kill him, which works in the sense that they schedule a meeting the next day. Boyd pulls up in his truck that morning after Dexter calls in a "dead gator" as perfect bait for Boyd to capture, of course, the call doesn't reach him right away and instead Dexter rides along with him picking up rodent after rodent, learning more about Boyd's observations (such as the mark left by his wedding band on his ring finger) and this fanatical CD, Take It Now (to which he sees the cover with Jordan Chase on it).
Eventually the two come to the location Dexter was waiting for, to which he takes his opportunity but is soon caught with a problem - Boyd turns around after being injected with the sedative and shoots Dexter in the chest with a tranquilizer dart. Both of the two are rushed to the hospital soon thereafter, faking to the hospital staff that the dart was an accident and fool with one another on it (to cover both their tracks) and Boyd fakes off his own situation with uncertainty, claiming it just happened all of the sudden. All the time that the two are being wheeled into the hospital they watch each other, looking passed doctors to keep an eye on one another. After the doctors clear out, Boyd (now suspicious and realizing Dexter is a threat) rises from his bed quickly, searching for a weapon to deal with Dexter, and after obtaining something sharp enough, he slowly makes his way to the hospital bed (behind the curtains) to take his revenge for what happened earlier. Dexter on the other hand has already left the facility, which causes Boyd to sneak out and return home himself.When he does arrive, his tape starts up again and this causes Boyd to bring out his revolver, ready to shoot whoever has intruded on his property. Of course this is all for naught as Dexter catches him from behind and injects the sedative, rendering him unconscious. The next time Boyd wakes up is on Dexter's table, to which Dexter is disappointed that the glorious Kill Room that he set up is put to waste, having to improvise with Boyd's house instead. Boyd looks about, frantic and listens as Dexter paints a picture of Boyd's misdeeds (since he lacked the photos that were left at the actual kill room). Boyd proclaims that he was doing them a favor, that they were suffering, which may be related to the teachings of Take It Now and how they did not "take it". Before his death, Boyd claims that Dexter has no idea what he's getting into, something that Dexter shrugs off in trying to re-obtain some part of his old self without Rita, and he takes action by stabbing Boyd directly in the chest, killing him. A moment later, Dexter notices a woman was watching from beyond a thin sheet of glass attached to the attic door. After Dexter opens the door and sees the woman, she tries to escape but collapses from exhaustion. It is later revealed that the woman is Lumen Pierce, one of the many girls imprisoned by Boyd. As the story progresses, it is also revealed that Boyd was involved with several others in her rape and torture, all of the men considered being apart of The Group.
As Dexter begins to learn more about Lumen, he returns to Boyd's house in search of some sort of information regarding her capture, only to realize the place has been trashed by Lumen in search of something involving her attackers. This eventually leads to a man named Robert Brunner (a suspected member of the Group) and learns of his connection to Boyd. The two spent some time upstate in a prison, Boyd was in for assault with a deadly weapon and Brunner with the rape of a few women. Dexter later attempts to take Brunner's life, but realizes that there was no possibility with him being involved with Boyd (due to an ankle-bracelet, used to insure that criminals stay within a given area). Dexter drops off Brunner and later stops Lumen from taking his life, revealing that Brunner was not involved.
Lumen targets another man possibly responsible for her murder and lures him to a facility where she shoots him in the side. After calling up Dexter, he arrives to argue about the situation and how Lumen went based on one of her hunches (which almost caused the death of Brunner beforehand). The two continue fighting as they search for the man and eventually find him, revealing his name to be Dan Mendell. Lumen goes on to describe how she knows this man, that he was responsible for the capture of each of Boyd's victims though Dexter has a hard time believing her, that is, until Dan uses a cellphone to call up a yet unknown member of The Group and reveals himself to actually be in the group. Dexter ends his life and later sets up Lance Robinson for a murder-suicide to give him a chance of escaping.
A little while after this incident, Cole Harmon arrives at the swamp with a few Mexican workers in a truck. He orders them to grab the nearby barrels and load them into the truck, though a little surprised to only see 5 barrels. He pays off the men and drives back into Miami, only to be broadsided by a drunk driver (thus forcing Cole to make a quick escape). Dexter is later called to the scene, shocked to find all of Boyd's victims lain out on the ground in the public's eye. The truck becomes connected to a man known as Jordan Chase, the very same speaker on Boyd's Take It Now CDs and shortly causes both Jordan and his head of security Cole to arrive at the department, to find out exactly what's going on. Dexter meets both men (snapping a picture of each) but realizes that Cole is now in sight of the police, being only a matter of time before he slips out of Dexter's hands and into a jail cell.
Dexter devises a quick plan to put Cole on his table: plant evidence that Boyd Fowler was involved in the murders of these women to throw them off the trail of Cole. He takes Lumen back to Boyd's house so that they can remove evidence of her ever being there in the attic and Dexter grabs a wallet to plant in the truck that Vince Masuka does a second sweep over. After Vince reveals who owns the wallet, Boyd becomes the prime suspect in what is now referred to as the "Barrel Girls case". When Cole is brought back in for questioning, he writes off Boyd as an insane follower that Jordan denied having any knowledge of. Both are cleared to leave and as they enter Jordan's vehicle, Jordan praises Cole for planting the murders on Boyd as quick thinking...thus suggesting that Jordan didn't have a very high opinion of Boyd (the same feeling he has for Cole).
Boyd is mentioned in passing over the next few days, even by Jordan again when Dexter encounters him at a seminar.
Method of Murder
Boyd is a serial killer as he has murdered at 12 women in succession. As apart of The Group, he is effectively involved with a group of serial killers responsible for the rape, torture and murder of women.
Boyd most likely doesn't cover a majority of the capture, this duty is left up to Dan Mendell who scouts local taverns in intent on luring in a girl. After the girl is in his possession, Dan will bring her to Boyd's house for holding, and move on from there with rape and torture. The girls are held in the attic of Boyd's house, which is kept locked up and he prevents them from going anywhere by keeping them tied up with rope.
When he's ready to finish the women off, he cuts off a piece of their hair and stores it as his own personal trophies (much like Dexter's blood slides) and then dumps their body into a drum filled with formaldehyde and electrocutes it, killing the woman.
Boyd finishes his work as the finisher by taking each barrel with him and dumping them in an isolated, swampy area. Dexter observes that the area Boyd uses to dispose of the barrels is littered with appliances and furniture and believes that overtime it has likely become an unofficial garbage dump. He also uses formaldehyde to preserve the bodies of the girls he killed.
Boyd's murders may have some basis in the 1999 Snowtown murders, also called the "Bodies in Barrels murders". They were committed by a group of seven people, mostly men, who tortured and killed a total of 12 people and placed their bodies in barrels filled with hydrochloric acid with the intention of dissolving the bodies in it (which instead mummified the bodies).
- Boyd was the only member of The Group who was added into Dexter's blood-slide collection, while the other members such as Dan were left out. Cole and Alex's blood-slides were given to Lumen, and Jordan Chase's blood was not taken.