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Downton Abbey’s Sybil Crawley and More Shocking TV Deaths (VIDEO)

Farewell, Sybil Crawley. The youngest daughter joined the ranks of Dexter’s Rita Morgan and more.

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Rita Morgan, ‘Dexter’

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Dexter may focus on a serial killer, but the show still had the ability to shock its viewers with a death. Prior to its 2009 finale, some viewers wondered if Showtime’s promotion of the season capper had gone too far in giving away too much, but Dexter creator Clyde Phillips said he had no problem with the promotional clips, and promised “the season finale is terrific and will blow your head off.” So if you want to continue reading: Dexter’s wife, Rita (Julie Benz), was killed by the Trinity killer (John Lithgow), whom Dexter (Michael C. Hall) had just murdered himself—wrongly convincing viewers that Rita, for so long safe from the serial-killer world, was safe. In a coda to the episode, Lithgow and Hall said Rita’s death was meant to “tie people up in knots.” It certainly did: E!’s Kristin Dos Santos said “this death might go down as one of the most shocking deaths ever on television.”

Julie Benz

Showtime / Everett Collection

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