British teenager Steven Miles stabbed his friend Elizabeth Thomas in the head and back before cutting up her body and throwing her parts into garbage bags. Miles was said to “idolize” the title character from the American TV show Dexter. The fictional character Dexter Morgan (played by Michael C. Hall) works for the Miami Metro Police Department but also leads a secret life as a serial killer. Dexter has a gruesome passion for human dissection.
The Showtime show Dexter and its protagonist have been drawn into criminal prosecutions before. Seventeen-year-old Andrew Conley of Indiana said the show inspired him to strangle his 10-year-old brother. And in Sweden, a 21-year-old woman who killed her father by stabbing him in the heart compared herself to Dexter. Since 2010, a number of Dexter inspired merchandise has become available including a video game, board game, action figures, and comic books. No knives, yet.