Jacob Elway The Private Investigator

Jacob Elway
Character Profile
Portrayed By
Sean Patrick Flanery
First Appearance
A Beautiful Day
Last Appearance
Remember the Monsters?
Full Name
Jacob Elway


Personal Status
Immediate Relatives
Unnamed father (deceased)
Unnamed mother
Susan Elway (sister)
Professional Status
Owner of Elway Investigations
Private Investigator

Robbery Detective (former)

Jacob Elway is a character in DEXTER. Elway is a former detective for the robbery division within the Miami Metro Police Department, that now is the owner of Elway Investigations, a private-detective agency in Miami. He employs Debra Morgan after she steps down from being Lieutenant at Miami Metro Homicide.


Elway is a Caucasian male in his 30s to early 40s with short, combed brown hair and green eyes. He is often shown with a smug smile on his face, displaying his body language as an eased back individual. His shown attire is that of a blue suit worn over a partially unbuttoned light blue patterned shirt with a necklace worn underneath as well as dress shoes.


Elway appears to have a friendly, easy-going personality when it comes to his investigators and those he meets. When he hired Debra Morgan, he made a deal with her that she's her own agent that checks in when she wants to and handles her own cases. He does express slight irritation in the fact that she never checks in when she's supposed to, though changing this to concern when stating that she hasn't contacted him over the past two weeks.

In meeting with Dexter Morgan, he casually greets him and offers him coffee while chatting casually. In addition, he seems to have some history with the Morgan siblings as his conversation with Dexter suggests they knew one another around the office at Miami Metro.

Although he has a friendly, outgoing and kind personality and is clearly dedicated to his job, it is clear that his determination and perseverance is primarily driven by greed. His relentless pursuit of money through dealing with clients is what largely makes him a main antagonist to Hannah McKay and Dexter; keen to collect the large bounty placed upon Hannah.

Early Life

Elway previously worked for the Miami Metro Police Department, working in the robbery division. He left the department to launch a high-scale private investigation firm where he employs unscrupulous investigators and methods of dubious legality.

Elway's decision to become a private investigator strained his relationships with his entire family. His estranged father predicted he would hate bureaucratic by-the-book police work, but he waited until his father died before leaving Miami Metro, to deny him the satisfaction of being right.

Born into a wealthier social stratum, he also admits reveling in the shame his mother must feel when asked about his profession. He damages his relationship with his sister, Susie, while attempting to intervene in her marriage. He later comes to regret his actions to expose her husband's infidelity, when he realizes he's now the reason for her pain.

Recent History

Season Eight

Following the death of Maria LaGuerta, Debra Morgan leaves Miami Metro Homicide joining up with a private-detective agency known as Elway Investigations, run by Jacob Elway.


Elway meeting with Dexter.

Dexter Morgan goes searching for his sister, who had been out of contact with her brother for over a month and haven't seen each other in at least two weeks. He then stops by Elway Investigations, where Elway immediately greets him with hand extended having known him from back at the Miami Metro Police Department. Dexter acknowledges that he has a fairly nice place, which Elway admits is a big step up from his robbery desk back at Miami Metro. He grabs a cup of a coffee for Dexter and explains that it was a smart move for Deb to move into the "private sector". He does mention however that she has a problem with disappearing, stating that she never checks in when she's supposed to and most recently hasn't been in touch for the past couple of weeks. However, he admits the deal with her was that she would act as her own agent choosing cases as she pleases, and even calling in when she feels like it.

Dexter continues to show concern over his sister while Elway informs him of her most recent case, a man named Andrew Briggs who skipped out on bail after a jewelry store robbery. Dexter wonders why she's sinking that low going after bounties, where Elway agrees stating that he's tried giving her bigger cases and higher clients, yet she declines. He feels that she's a bit of a thrill seeker, liking to do the down and dirty stuff. Gigs like this allow her to take in a percentage of the bounty, in addition to a cut of the jewelry if she can bring that in too.

Following the death of Briggs at the hand of Dexter (during a heated confrontation), she calls Elway confirming a "good news bad news" situation in a message. She tells him that Briggs is dead but has a pretty good lead on where his stolen jewelery actually is, saying she'll tell him more about it when she checks in. Although she eventually finds the jewelery, it gets taken from her by a hitman, whom she later kills.

After a few weeks of Elway and Deb having a strained employee relationship due to Deb prioritizing Dexter over her work which leaves Elway with a growing dislike and resentment of Deb, she eventually wants to return to Miami Metro to be with her friends, thus abandoning Elway and leaving room for a new client to replace her. Prior to this, Debra informs Elway that Hannah McKay is back in Miami going under the alias 'Maggie Castner'. However, upon realizing how much Hannah means to Dexter, she leaves her alone and tells Elway that she's decided to drop the case. Elway, however, informs Deputy Marshal Max Clayton of Hannah being in Miami, in order to get reward money.

After discovering that Dexter Morgan was romantically involved with her and that he wishes to leave the police force at the same time she's rumored to be here, it hits him that Dexter may have re-established relations with her somehow. He voices his suspicions to Debra, but she immediately dismisses them. However, Clayton doesn't buy this ruse after discovering her name written down in a doctor's office after Harrison gets hurt (in reality, this name was written by Hannah, since she was not related to Harrison and needed to use a fake name). Clayton suspects that she is hiding something, so he begins vetting her in hopes that she will lead him to Hannah. However, Clayton meets his end to a knife wielded by Oliver Saxon, who tricked Clayton into releasing him and then stabbed him in the heart with one of Dexter's blades. After his death, however, Elway is able to pinpoint Hannah's location (which is the airport) and find out that Dexter is in fact, involved with Hannah.

Elway and Hannah

Elway finally catches up to Hannah...

Dexter manages to get him off of Hannah's trail by planting a backpack and telling the flightbooker that he saw a man leave a suspicious package under the seats and walk away. Elway is detained by airport security, giving Hannah, Dexter, and Harrison enough time to escape. Elway shows up at the hospital where Debra is

... but gets surprised with a dose of M99.

and mentions Hannah, causing Dexter to pin him against the wall and tell him to back off. Elway tracks Hannah down to a bus, via his contacts, and tells her that he will turn her in to the US Marshal services at the next stop (Daytona), so that he can get his reward money. Hannah offers him tea, but Elway believes the tea is poisoned and turns away, laughing at Hannah. Hannah seizes this opportunity and injects him in the leg with one of Dexter's tranquilizers, which causes him to pass out in seconds. This allows Harrison and Hannah to leave the bus while he lies unconscious in his seat. Elway most likely ends up waking up at a random stop in the middle of nowhere and his hunt for Hannah ends in failure. This leaves Elway being the only person apart from Hannah and Dexter, who knows that Harrison is with Hannah in the season's finale.


  • Elway, along with Oliver Saxon, is the final main antagonist of the Dexter series.
  • Elway favors a drink called "ACTIVATE", which is a brand of Electrolyte Replenishment Formula (similar to Gatorade) and keeps several in his office, even offering one to Debra Morgan (who thinks it looks like "horse piss").[1]
  • His office consists of various race car models and a Japanese Katana along his shelves.
  • Elway is the third main antagonist who survives a season (the first being Frank Lundy and the second being Joey Quinn).
  • Elway is only one of three main antagonists who has never killed anyone in the series, the other two being Frank Lundy and Stan Liddy.


  1. Episode 802, meeting in his office