The following page provides info specifically on Dexter before the start of the TV Series. For general info on Dexter, please refer to Dexter Morgan.
For Detailed Info on Plot for Each Season, refer to the respective Tabs
Childhood as Dexter Moser
Dexter was born Dexter Moser on February 1, 1971, only a couple years after Brian Moser by parents Laura Moser and Joseph Driscoll. He lived most of his infantile life with his elder brother at the address 1235 Mangrove Drive in Miami, Florida, confirmed via two arrest records for his mother in 1969 and then in 1971 for drug possession. Dexter lived primarily at this address, however he did spend some of his time with his father, Joe Driscoll, at the address 5570 (unknown street) in Dade City, Florida. It's unknown the exact relationship between Joe and his other son Brian, but considering the turnout over 30 years later, it is suggested that it was strained.
The earliest known event in Dexter's life were the times he spent at his mother's house roughly between the ages of two and three, often playing hide and seek with her as well as his big brother that he dubbed "Biney", because he was unable to actually pronounce "Brian". Dexter was the more energetic, happy child that laughed happily and teased with joy when hiding from his mother who treated him in just the same generous way. Brian was more quiet, reserved and kept in the back but he had a deep affection for his little brother, often cradling him in his arms or holding onto him as a protector and caring brother would.
Some time later Dexter actually managed to ride on Brian's skateboard and had a wipe out, Brian comforted him by telling him it was the best wipe out he'd ever seen and puts a band aid on his knee while giving him tips to bend his knees the next time he tries while Dexter nods in agreement. The two can often be seen playing together and Biney will usually be hugging Dexter, the two having a great childhood together.
Unfortunately Dexter's mother was a drug addict (likely entering the trade when her boyfriend at the time, Joe Driscoll, returned from the Vietnam War and started becoming an addict himself), this never affected her love for her boys but it put her at high risk with certain parties. She met Detective Harry Morgan and began acting as his informant in the Estrada cartel, trying to provide intel that would help bring down the drug kingpin. On Friday September 28, 1973 she met with Harry in an interview while bringing her youngest son Dexter along, while her older son Brian was in school. Laura told him that she wanted out of this, that it was far too risky for her and her boys and Harry assured her that nothing would happen to her or her children. She felt that her life may be on the line believing they were followed to the park the previous day, information that would later turn out to be a love affair. While Harry was seeing Laura despite being with his wife Doris Morgan, Laura was in fact also cheating on her boyfriend Joe. Harry closed out the interview, patting Dexter on the head even then somewhat symbolizing the later fatherhood figure he would become.
The Shipping Yard Massacre
On Wednesday October 3, 1973 Laura Moser, her two sons Dexter and Brian, as well as three other drug users were hurdled into the shipping container CBAN 348 9 by Estrada's henchmen: Santos Jimenez, Lipsey and Welsh. It is believed that just Santos wielded the chainsaw, as the other two are often seen likely standing there to prevent anyone from escaping.
The three unnamed victims were all slain by the chainsaw, leaving Laura Moser for last begging them not to do this in front of her baby. She screamed and cried as they revved the chainsaw, turning then to give a final smile to Dexter. She said to close his eyes, not to look and that she loved him before Santos finally cut into her, killing Laura in front of both of her sons with no remorse.
Santos and his comrades fled the area while Dexter and Brian sat there, for two entire days sitting in blood that would forever change both boys. Brian, who was older, would always remember this experience but Dexter was shut down emotionally for the next 30 years he wouldn't know how to be human anymore. A happy childhood ended in tragedy, to create two boys who would grow up to be serial killers. Only one of them, however, was given the means to control and focus these urges thanks to the first man on scene, Harry Morgan.
Detective Morgan opened the shipping container door, startled by the absolute carnage inside. He spotted the two children however and moved in to pick up the younger, Dexter. As Harry was picking up Dexter, he held on tightly to his brother's hand before it slipped from his grasp and both boys called out to one another. Harry looked Brian in the eyes and saw (what Brian later claimed in his adult years) "a fucked up kid", rather than taking him as well he left the container while Brian screamed "please don't leave me Dexter!".
As he got outside, he told the other officers with him to get in there immediately and Brian was recovered but Harry held onto Dexter, holding him close as he said everything would be alright. He made his way to the car while Dexter looked on without emotion to this accident, eventually blocking it out of his mind for most of his life. Santos Jimenez and the other two were arrested shortly thereafter for the crime, Santos managed to cut a deal and moved to Naples when given the chance but one of the other two died while the other has life without parole in prison. Brian was put straight into a mental hospital and had to grow up with only the "memory of a family", being his mother and brother. Joe Driscoll, their father, found out about the carnage and fearing for his own life fled Miami leaving behind his children behind and apparently settled in Dade City, where he'd eventually drop his drug addiction after a stay in prison and went on to live a quiet, lonely life. Dexter was brought into the Morgan family, where he'd be raised by Harry and become the brother of Debra Morgan.
Growing Up: Adolescent Years
The order of events in this section are speculative, as no direct timeline is given for when they occur
While Dexter was taken in at the age of 3, apparently he wasn't officially adopted until roughly the age of 7. His foster father Harry Morgan arrived one day while he was playing with his younger foster sister Debra Morgan to present him with a birth certificate that declared him a Morgan. Dexter looked at it with an expression of confusion, saying that he thought he was already a Morgan. Harry smiled and assured him that to them, Dexter was always a Morgan but now it's finally official. He claims that it took a very long time (most likely due to the fact that Dexter's biological father, Joe Driscoll, was a very difficult man to track down) and feels that it's a wonderful day. His now adoptive sister Debra asks their father why he never told them what happened to Dexter's real parents, something Dexter looks to his father about for answers as he knew they died but didn't know the true facts behind it. In what can be described as one of Harry's earliest lies to his son (to protect him), he simply states that it was "an accident. A tragic accident" and leaves it at that. It was this day that Dexter Moser officially became known as Dexter Morgan.
Dexter injures himself later on when trying to go after Debra's ball that she lost. As Dexter climbs a fence to get the ball, a dog chased after him and forced Dexter to fall on a rod-iron post thus causing a large cut in on the side of his abdomen (which can be seen as a scar on the adult Dexter Morgan, something that Cody Bennett asks about). He's rushed to the emergency room where his pressure is dropping fast from 80 and is in a serious condition. Debra stands on distraught and worried for her brother, while Harry goes to talk with the doctor on how they can fix this. The doctor says there is a problem with the blood type, as he has internal bleeding they need donation from his very rare type in order to help save his life and this leads Doris to arguing with Harry on a way to help his son. Harry seems evasive at first, because that means tracking down Joe Driscoll but for the sake of his boy, he ultimately decides to track him down. Dexter watches on, remembering this moment as it would become important later in life for a realization his true biological parents.
Harry successfully tracks down Joe and in hearing of his son's life-threatening situation, offers his blood so that Dexter may survive. A successful transfusion shows Dexter recovering from surgery, confused on where he was only to hear a doctor say that someone was generous enough to provide what he needed. Harry stands on and asks to speak with his son, saying that he'll be just fine. Dexter asks if he will be and Harry says (which is ironic in the end) "Would I lie to you?". As Dexter is recovering, Harry comes up to him and finds that he's making something. Dexter says that the nurse said he should thank the man who helped him and Dexter, happy about it constructs a thank you card that says "Thank you for the good blood from Dexter Morgan" with a syringe and smiling blood droplet. Harry looks at it and feels an inner sadness, saying that even though it's normal for thank you cards to be made that the man who donated is gone and Dexter will never see him again. Dexter, with a look of disappointment and sadness, decides to throw the card in the nearby trashbin saying it was a stupid idea. Harry seeing the humanity in his boy (something he often sought after), decides that it is worth making and promises him that the card will make it to him one day as he hands it back to his son to keep drawing. Dexter smiles and continues to color in the syringe.
First sign of a Killer
One day while on the family boat, Harry Morgan asks his son if he's different. Dexter doesn't know what that means at first, but learns soon that Harry found out about the neighbor's dog Buddy, who Dexter had buried along with several other small animals. Dexter tells his father that he was a "noisy little creep" who barked so much that it kept his ill mother Doris Morgan up all night. Harry looked at him and said there were a lot more bones there instead of just Buddy's, something that Dexter looks down at the boat's floor feeling ashamed. Harry then asks him if he ever wanted to kill something bigger than a dog, like a person and Dexter agrees that he has just no one in particular. When asked why he hasn't tried, Dexter says that he thought his father and mother wouldn't like it. Harry becomes a little teary eyed and hugs his son, likely at this point in time wanting to shield him from ever needing to kill someone. This would of course change later in his life as he witnessed the loss of so much life and the freedom of murderers...
Harry trains his son to be normal, rather than a "weapon" in his adolescent years. As such he wants him to learn how to blend in, despite the fact that Dexter feels like he's incapable of feeling emotions. One of these instances occurs at a beach picnic where a photo is being taken, everyone except Dexter smiles and Harry catches onto this, only to hear Debra make a slight joke while Dexter replies with fairly vulgar language. Harry tells his son to come over to him and talk about what's bothering him, he says that he hates the beach as it feels slimy, nasty, sandy and that's why he refuses to smile. Harry tells him he has to deal with it, because it will make his mother happy if Dexter smiles and that it's also important in making sure that he blends in. Dexter nods and understands, in order to fit in he has to fake these emotions...this is the first instance where Dexter learned how to "fake" being a regular guy.
Dexter unfortunately misinterprets the full meaning of blending in and focuses more on "fitting in", even if that means becoming a bully to a poor boy named Simon. During a soccer game, Dexter as well as several other boys steal the shirt Simon is wearing and plays a game of "Keep Away" from him by tossing it between themselves while Simon attempts to grab it. Eventually when the shirt is in Dexter's possession, Harry grabs Dexter's arm and asks what's going on. He tosses the shirt back to Simon so they can continue their game and he asks Dexter what he was doing, Dexter replies by saying he was "fitting in". Harry sighs and says that he shouldn't be a bully, that it's wrong and that people like himself remember bullies...a first step to felony in his future. He then asks Dexter what he should do and he replies by saying "blend in", which means to be a team member not a bully, not a hero. He lets Dexter return to the game after this, smiling as he's proud that his son understood him this time.
Dexter used to have a favorite place when he was younger, located just outside of a landfill a single palm tree where he carved a smiley face into as well as getting a picture made. The adult Dexter says that he loved how garbage was bulldozed, buried in and ontop of each other...that he found it soothing. Eventually the location develops into a complex filled with condos.
Growing Up: Teenage Years
In Dexter's teenage years, Debra starts to become envious of the time that Harry spends with Dexter, feeling that she is left out when he takes Dexter hunting and not her, when really it is so that he can fuel his serial killing needs into killing animals on the hunt. She even goes as far as saying: "Sometimes I almost wish that he had never brought you home!" but apologizes for it soon after. Harry constantly has to remind Dexter of the code during these years and has to even go as far as to stopping him from lashing out at a bully at school once. Doris Morgan, his adoptive mother died of cancer when he was 16. She had been suspicious of Dexter and was the one who suggested that he be tested by a psychologist. When he reaches a sexually mature age he realises that he is uninterested in the opposite, or indeed any, sex and therefore needs instruction by his father on how to act with women.
Dexter's educational information is scarce but according to a class reunion badge worn in Episode 601: Those Kinds of Things, Dexter graduated from Alan B. Shepard High in 1991 (though since plot details for that episode are scarce, the badge may be a fabrication in order to gain access to a potential target however it's still a possibility at this point that he really did attend that high school). He started studying jujitsu during college. Dexter was the top of his class in medical school but gave it up to become a forensics expert.
When Dexter was 21, Harry fell ill of coronary artery disease and was confined to a hospital in which Harry spots a nurse, called Mary, who kills people by overdosing them on morphine, whereby Harry gives Dexter his "permission" to kill her which would turn out to be his first kill. Here he embedded several ritualistic qualities to his kills which he would come to do again and again, such as the strapping of the victim to some sort of long and flat object, and the covering of everything in sheets of plastic, but his trademark blood-slide collection would not begin here, only later would he start that particular ritual.
Dexter's fourth victim was a murdering pimp called Juan Rinez. Juan was arrested but let off due to a faulty warrant and Harry is enraged by this fact. He tries to convince himself that he was right in training Dexter. However, when Harry accidentally walks in on Dexter with the dismembered body parts of Juan Rinez , he vomits.