Otto Valdez
Character Profile
First Appearance
Dexter by Design
Last Appearance
Dexter by Design
Full Name
Otto Valdez
"Baby-raper" (Gus Rigby)

Personal Status
Marital Status

Professional Status
Killer Profile
Number of Victims
At least two
Modus Operandi
Used some kind of sharpened tool at least in one case.
Killing Method
Victim(s) of his main rape and killing spree probably died of rape alone. At least one victim was tortured, mutilated and beheaded out of vengeance.
Method of Disposal
Unknown but as he's a pedophile/nepiophile with uncontrollable urge for raping and killing infants. He also killed out of vengeance at least once.

Otto Valdez is a character in the book Dexter by Design, a serial killer who provides Harry Morgan partial motivation to train Dexter into a serial killer of serial killers.


Not much is known on Otto's early life apart from the fact that in the 1980s he was arrested by Harry Morgan's friend and partner Gus Rigby as a multiple murder and rape suspect on solid evidence.

However, because of a good lawyer who formulated Valdez's arrest as "excessive force" he was soon on the streets again and started to threaten Rigby with phone calls with no actual words (just breathing) and a note under front door. Rigby tried to enlist Harry's help in vigilante killing of Valdez but Harry refused to help Gus, saying that Vietnam made him understanding that some people can be killers and some just can't.

Two days later Rigby is found killed in a horrible way - tortured, mutilated and decapitated. Three days after that, unknown to Dexter, Harry found Dexter's animal victims under the bushes in the backyard and started to think on what to do with it. Three weeks after Uncle Gus met his untimely end, Harry and Dexter went on a camping trip to Elliot Key, and Harry approached Dexter on his activities and said to him that some people deserve to die and that's the only way for Dexter to survive.

TV Series Connections

It is clear that character of Valdez was based on two (then) unrelated situations from Dexter TV Series, the murder of Davey Sanchez (which inspired Harry to further develop Dexter's serial killer education and had an certain impact on Dexter himself), and the case of Dexter's fourth known victim, Juan Rinez, on whom Harry had a personal rivalry. Both events occurred before Lindsay wrote this book.

Nevertheless writers of the show were themselves likely inspired by Valdez character when they've revealed (in Season 8) that Rinez was the killer of Davey Sanchez. That made Rinez and Valdez even more similar: they've both killed a cop out of their usual killing spree, they've both inspired Harry to develop the Code and they've both had an impact on Dexter (which is evident in Dexter being especially pleased by killing pedophiles in the novels and cop killers in the TV Series).


  • Taking into consideration what Rigby said, Valdez had raped at least one "baby". Becuase infants are usually unlikely to survive rape [1] it's almost certain that it was killed in process or after it.
  • Gus Rigby


  • Valdez is a nepiophile, a kind of a pedophile who is attracted to infants. Such serial killers unforunately exist in real life, probably the most notorious example is a Soviet serial killer Anatoly Biryukov who had killed five infants in the fall of 1977.
  • Apart from Juan Rinez another character in the TV Series with a trait of killing a cop apart from his usual killer spree is Viktor Baskov.