'Dexter'-Obsessed Teen Jailed for Grisly Murder of His Girlfriend

Steven Miles

People are supposed to be able to tell the difference between fiction and reality, right? That's the hope, anyway. For instance, super popular murder-y shows like Dexter, the drama about a forensics investigator for Miami police who also happens to be a serial killer, should not "inspire" anyone to go out and be a murderer.

An English teenager has been sentenced to at least 25 years in jail after emulating the title character of that series, Dexter Morgan. Sixteen-year-old Steven Miles admitted to murdering his 17-year-old girlfriend Elizabeth Thomas in a case that the judge called "horrific" and the "features of which are rarely heard in any court."

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Thomas was stabbed in the back of the head on January 24, and Miles reportedly used "tools and saws" to chop up her body in his bedroom. He then wrapped the parts in plastic wrap and placed them into trash bags.

The deranged teen was arrested the same day, after telling his sister that his alter ego made him do it about an hour after his girlfriend's death. "Ed made me do something bad," he allegedly said.

He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for at least 25 years.

"This is a case of the utmost gravity," said Judge Christopher Critchlow. "Nothing this court can say or do, no sentence this court can impose can alleviate the pain suffered by Elizabeth Thomas' family for death in such a terrible manner. There must be a life sentence."

The defense argued that Miles' affection for the show Dexter inspired the murder, but parents shouldn't be worried that TV shows are causing their teenagers to go berserk, because clearly there were some mental health issues going on. It's not normal for the voices in your head to "make" you murder someone.

It turns out that Miles had been diagnosed with autism, and his parents actually had him referred to mental health services when he began to hear voices and self harm in April 2012. By October 2013, he was judged as "having made good progress" and was discharged from the program. Three months later, Elizabeth Thomas was dead.

Absolutely heartbreaking that something like this happened, and to try to pin Miles' very troubled mental state on a TV show is totally unfair.

Do you think shows like Dexter can influence someone to murder another person?

 

Image via Surrey Police

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