'Dexter: New Blood': Kurt Caldwell Was Inspired by a Real-Life Serial Killer

Dexter has always had its fair share of villains. On several occasions, the writers have taken inspiration from serial killers who actually existed. For example, the Trinity Killer is loosely based on Dennis Rader, aka BTK, and Dexter has a lot in common with Pedro Rodrigues Filho. Dexter: New Blood is continuing this terrifying tradition, by basing this season’s “big bad” on a real-life killer.

‘Dexter: New Blood’ introduced a terrifying new serial killer

Dexter: New Blood introduced a frightening new serial killer, now known to be Kurt Caldwell, with a bizarre M.O. Kurt seeks out young transient women who are often homeless or runaways passing through Iron Lake. He offers to buy them food or help them in some other way, and eventually lures them back to his cabin.

Kurt then locks these women in a room and observes his captive. He then unlocks the doors and shoots them down with a rifle as they try to run away. Kurt is also doing something odd with the bodies of his victims. It appears that he cleans them, drains them of blood, and embalms them in some way. However, whatever Kurt does with them next has not yet been revealed.

Is Kurt Caldwell based on a real person?

In the Dexter: New Blood Wrap-Up podcast, Executive Producer Scott Reynolds states that Kurt is “kind of” based on an Alaskan serial killer named Robert Hansen.

According to Screen Rant, Hansen operated out of a small town in Anchorage from 1971-1983. There he would pick up sex workers and take them back to his isolated cabin, where Hansen would rape them, then set them free in the surrounding woods. An armed Hansen would then hunt them down and kill them.

There are definitely some similarities between Kurt and Hansen. Both preyed on transient women, though Hansen mostly targeted sex workers, while Kurt went after young runaways passing through the area.

Due to the transient lifestyle of their victims, both Kurt and Hansen’s crimes weren’t noticed as the work of a serial killer for quite some time. However, it’s notable that Kurt’s crimes are clearly not sexually motivated. He becomes almost disgusted when Chloe takes her shirt off while on camera.

Interestingly, Screen Rant also points out that the way Angela discovers Iris’ body could have been inspired by Hansen’s case. Angela finds Iris in a cave buried under a pile of rocks. Similarly, one of Hansen’s first victims was discovered buried under rocks in a gravel pit.

Will Dexter kill Kurt in ‘Dexter: New Blood’?

By Dexter: New Blood Episode 6, Dexter knows the truth about Kurt, even if he doesn’t know all the details. Harrison has been getting closer and closer to Kurt, much to Dexter’s dismay. If it’s up to Dexter, Kurt will probably end up on his table. However, there are likely still a few twists in store before the revival ends.

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