Walter Kenney (also known as The Tooth Fairy Killer) is a character in DEXTER. Once an infamous serial killer with over 15 confirmed victims, Walter has since retired from both his work and his murderous ways. However, he never lost the desire to kill and a recent murder in Miami clues off Dexter Morgan that his old "idol" may be back in town. What Dexter finds, however, is a dark foreshadowing of what may happen to him in the future.
When Walter was a young boy, he had a youthful smile with long, brown hair but unfortunately he was decorated with bruising from his abusive mother. Now years later he is a man who has aged roughly with the years, gaining a bit of weight in his old age and a slight case of jaundice (yellow coloring) in the eyes, which are otherwise characterized by a light blue color. An interesting feature that Walter has is that his lateral incisor on the left side of his mouth is replaced by dental implant, which is loose in his gums which allows him to fiddle with it easily. Other than that, his features are that of an old man with white hair, wrinkles and sagging skin.
Walter is a very crude man, with the attitude of someone who is tired of life and everyone else's problems. When spoken to he often remarks with snide, witty comments that may or may not include a curse word such as "fuck" or "shit", basically a grouch in every sense of the word. He has a keen interest in golf, referring to it as something that he loves doing and all that he wants in his retirement from being a pipe fitter for over 25 years (which, according to him, was a "shit job" but he's happy to have the pension off of it take care of his retirement). Walter also seems to be attracted to younger women still, often gazing at them while fiddling with his implanted incisor and even purchases several pornographic magazines.
Walter Kenney was born to Melinda Kenney and an unknown father in Salem, OR on July 23, 1938. He lived at 372 S. Kellen Blvd. in Salem during this time. On January 16, 1947 while at the age of 9, his mother Melinda reportedly abused her son in public by hitting him repeatedly in the face (however the article states that this took place inside of their house). Bruising could be seen on his face and across his back from where she had beat him, apparently enough damage was caused to knock out his left lateral incisor which would require a dental implant to replace it.
As Walter grew up, he went on to marry and have a son. In this time he also started a job as a pipe fitter and would stay working there for over 25 years. In the 1980s however, while in his 40's to early 50's, he developed into a serial killer. He began targeting prostitutes whom he likely sexually assaulted while beating them viciously and finally strangling them to death. He developed a habit for ripping one of their lateral incisors (the same one that he in turn had lost due to his mother abusing him) out and then dumping the body alongside highways. One of his victims was even dumped right on the deputy sheriff's lawn, which the police believed was a direct challenge to their detective work at the time. He would become known as The Tooth Fairy Killer, infamous for his murders in Portland, Oregon. He would strike terror across the state and to Dexter Morgan, became somewhat of a role model as well as a target for the future. Dexter kept a notebook on the Tooth Fairy, who killed between the years 1979 and 1991...with newspaper clippings, possible information on leads and all the victims including a cartoon sketch of the killer.
In 2006, Walter moved from Oregon to get away from the life he had and likely escape all connection to his family. Settling in Miami, he would remain at the Coral Island Retirement Village surviving on his pension while satisfying his love for golf.
Walter eventually tries to recapture the thrill of killing by abducting and killing a prostitute named Rosalia Davalos. Walter, for the most part, has become sloppy in his old age when it comes to killing. It took him over ten minutes just to kill his most recent victim and twenty more just to remove her lateral incisor, which was partially removed at that. He is eventually visited by Dexter who spies on him in order to find out if he is the Tooth Fairy. Dexter finds out that he is indeed the Tooth Fairy and is severely disappointed at how one of his idols is in his eyes such a disgusting, rude, and pathetic man. Dexter however underestimates Walter as he still is a protective and smart thinker, fighting for survival when he begins to suspect Dexter relatively quick and even does his research on him. This leads to a confrontation where he has Dexter under his control by threat of a gun in his face, making him one of very few serial killers to actually have an edge on Dexter and the second of three who isn't the main antagonist for the season (the first being Cole Harmon, who is stopped by Lumen and the third, Ray Speltzer, whom Dexter manages to escape from). As a killer we learn that he is an even more cruel man, saying that he'll rip out each and every one of Dexter's teeth before shooting him. Dexter however crashes his car in order to gain some momentum in capturing Walter which succeeds. He then takes Walter to his own room at the nursing home and straps him to his recliner.
When caught and tied down, Walter reveals things about himself that were once thought brilliant by the police and even Dexter himself. He admits to being clumsy in his kill of Rosalia Davalos and that the infamous dumping of a body on the deputy sheriff's lawn was nothing more than him being too drunk to make it to a nearby highway. He does however call Dexter out on his own lifestyle, comparing him taking teeth to Dexter taking blood and says that where he's at right now is exactly where Dexter will end up in the future. Dexter refuses to believe in this thought and Walter relaxes, wanting it to be known to everyone that he was the Tooth Fairy even his own son. Dexter, remembering his own son Harrison at this point chooses to instead kill him and leave him dead as an old man who just happened to die in his room, to destroy his legacy and hide the truth from his son. Where Walter may not have cared that his family knew, Dexter had enough respect to hide that truth and instead suffocated him with a pillow to make it as if he had died of an heart attack. Walter is last seen on a gurney, being taken by paramedics and loaded onto an ambulance. His box of tooth trophies were later discarded by Dexter in the ocean.
- Rosalia Davalos
- Sixteen unamed women (all had their lateral incisor removed)
- An interesting fact is that the birthday July 23, 1938 is actually the birthday for the actor portraying Walter, Ronny Cox.
- Walter is the oldest known victim that Dexter has claimed so far.
- Walter shares the same alias as Francis Dolarhyde, the main antagonist of Red Dragon.
- Walter is the third person who knew Dexter was using an alias around him, and discovered his real name, the first one was Zoey Kruger and the second was Arthur Mitchell.
- Notably, Walter was actually the last victim to have a blood slide go into the second blood slide box.