Design and Purpose
After targeting and vetting a victim, Dexter selects a place where he can carry out the kill. It might be in that person's home, garage, office, shop, road vehicle, or a vacant building. Most of the time, he chooses a setting that his target is familiar with. Dexter will prepare the “room” by enclosing it in sheets of plastic so that no traces of evidence will be found. He also tapes photos of his target’s victims on to a nearby wall as a reminder of the murders committed.
To subdue and capture his target, Dexter performs a sleeper hold or injects M99 tranquilizer into the neck. Both of these techniques cause his victim to quickly pass out. Dexter then undresses his victim and secures them to the top of a table (using shrink wrap, duct tape, or belts). Once the victim awakes, Dexter performs his kill ritual, which he finds “intoxicating.” First, he slices a cheek with a scalpel and draws a sample of blood with a syringe. A blood drop is placed between two blood slides and kept as a trophy. Before he performs the kill, Dexter spends time confronting and intimidating the victim. Dexter may open up about himself, knowing that his secrets will go no further.
To end life, Dexter typically stabs his victim in the heart, but he does step outside of his mainstream routine. This includes sawing out a neck, decapitation with a cleaver, slashing or stabbing a carotid artery, or even strangulation. After Dexter completes the kill, he usually dismembers the body and puts the parts inside several black trash bags. The victim’s possessions and plastic sheeting are stuffed into additional trash bags. Then, he carefully and thoroughly cleans up the area. Using his fishing boat, he disposes of the remains in Bay Harbor and, later, the Gulf Stream.
- Maria LaGuerta found an empty, prepared kill room, but Dexter had fled moments before.
- Just one person, Little Chino, ever broke free and escaped from a kill room, but Dexter, later, recaptured and killed him.
- Dexter released five people from kill rooms (Jimmy Sensio, Robert Brunner, Hannah McKay, Hector Estrada, Zach Hamilton). He later killed Estrada.