Murder is the act of killing someone based on personal motivation or professionally for money or political gain. It is not justified within the confines of law. Someone who commits the act is considered a Murderer and individuals who continue to commit the act as part of either a psychological disorder or desire are called Serial killers.

Numerous methods are used to end a human being's life.The ways include a killing blow, shooting or stabbing, live burial, or an elaborate form of torture that results in death (as a result of blood loss or other effects).

Murder is a concept that is used extensively within DEXTER as the psychological "need" for Dexter Morgan to please his "Dark Passenger." Many other characters have also committed murder and many of these individuals act as the Antagonists for an episode or an entire season.

Known Methods of Murder

  • Puncture to the Heart by Stabbing - This was the method most often used by Dexter Morgan. It generally involved a Ritual where the victim was secured to a table with plastic wrap and then stabbed in the chest with a sharp object (usually a large knife). Depending on Dexter's state of mind, some victims were stabbed less violently than others. In one case, Little Chino was stabbed slowly into his chest. All of Dexter's victims died within seconds after their hearts were punctured.
  • Decapitation - This was an occasional method used by Dexter. It involved the use of a cleaver or other sharp blade that was capable of the act. Death was instant. While most of his victims were not killed by decapitation, their heads were cut or sawed off during the dismemberment process (to aid in getting rid of the body). Victims killed this way include Ken Olson and Jonathan Farrow.
  • Neck sawed by a Power Saw - This was a fairly common method used by Dexter. He would saw through one side of the neck until about the center and then he would remove the saw and saw from the other side of the neck. It was one of the more painful ways that he killed someone.
  • Neck slit by a sharp blade - After the throat was cut with a razor or other sharp blade, a victim would bleed out. Dexter usually reserved this method for situations that he deemed fitting or necessary based on circumstances (e.g., Dexter cut Brian Moser's throat to make his murder appear as a suicide; he slashed the throat of a hit man who pulled a gun on him; in "Darkly Dreaming Dexter," Dexter cut Jamie Jaworski's throat out of his desperation to escape).
  • Strangulation - Extreme force is applied to the neck causing constriction of the air pathways, resulting in suffocation of the victim. Depending on the force, the victim may in fact die from damage to their neck. This is considered a very personal method of murder. Usually related to rage, the killer "chokes the life" out of the victim. Both Nathan Marten and Miguel Prado were killed by strangulation.
  • Suffocation - A victim's airways would be smothered, resulting in death. This was not a common method used by Dexter and it was based on circumstances. Walter Kenney was killed in this manner.
  • Drowning - An individual was forced under water until the lungs were filled and could no longer breathe due to suffocation. This method was used to kill Nick.
  • Gunshot - An individual is shot resulting in death. The death has to be caused by the bullet, such as a shot to the heart or the brain. Dexter used a gun to kill Teo Famosa.
  • Blood loss as result of gunshot - If victims are shot in an organ and do not die instantly, they will bleed out shortly thereafter. Isaak Sirko did not die immediately after he was shot by George Novikov.
  • Blood loss as result of stabbing - If the victim is stabbed in any area of the body that results in a large amount of blood flow, the injury can cause death. This method is mainly used by Dexter in direct confrontations, such as the time that he stabbed Andrew Briggs.
  • Blood loss as result of cut artery - Different from a stabbing, the victim has an artery (usually the carotid or femoral) slit by a blade or razor which results in massive blood loss. Victims can die within seconds. Arthur Mitchell would cut the femoral arteries of the Bath Tub Victims.
  • Breaking of the Neck - From behind or in front of a victim, the victim's head is forced to move violently in a direction that snaps the neck (which results in death due to the spinal column being damaged). Dexter rarely used this method unless he needed to kill someone quickly (such as Esteban Famosa).
  • Incineration - The act of using fire or causing fires to burn the victims alive. A serial killer who uses fire to kill his or her victims is called an arsonist. Known arsonists include Gene Marshall, Joe Jensen, and Lila West.

Related Pages


  • Detailed data on the numbers of murders occurring annually can be found in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR).
  • In the United States, on January 1, you have the greatest risk of being murdered.
  • Males are more likely to be murdered than females.
  • Individuals of African-American descent are more likely to be murdered than members of any other racial group.
  • Individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 are at the greatest risk of being murdered.
  • Individuals are most likely to be murdered by someone they know, and not a stranger.
  • Less than 30% of murders occur as a result of an active attempt to commit a felony, such as a robbery.
  • The murder of female victims is most often perpetrated within the framework of an intimate relationship.