The location:  Rudy's Dock.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. A boat dock.


Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. At the Miami Marina, in Miami, Florida.


Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 11 (of Season One), "Truth Be Told", and again at the start of Episode 12, "Born Free".

We first see the dock in Episode 11, when Rudy is on his boat, phoning Debra, luring her down to the dock.

We see it again near the end of that episode, at night, when Debra comes to the dock. Rudy has it romantically decorated in sparkling lights, and surprises Debra by proposing marriage to her.  Debra is overjoyed and says yes.  But once Rudy has her on his boat, he overpowers her, ties her up, and reveals to her that he is the Ice Truck Killer that she (and the police) have been hunting.

We see the dock again (or so we think) at the start of the next episode, when Dexter comes to Rudy's dock, looking for Debra.  By then, Rudy's boat is long gone - and Debra with it.

However, the producers pulled a little switcheroo on us, and the dock that Dexter inspects isn't quite the same dock as the one where Rudy kidnapped Debra -- but it's close.


Q. What is it in real life?

A. Actually two docks, very near each other.




Q. Where can I find it in real life?

A. Both scenes were shot near the southeast corner of the Alamitos Marina, in Long Beach, CA, at very end of Marina Drive, at the far tip of a marina jetty

The dock that Dexter inspects is located right behind the blue City of Long Beach Marine Bureau building, at 205 Marina Drive (which is also home to the Long Beach Police Dept.'s Marine Patrol).


Here is a photo of the dock that I shot in 2012:


( It's the very same dock that we see much later, in the 7th Season, when Isaak kills Louis on Dexter's boat. )


However, the original dock, the one with the lights, where Rudy's boat was docked, and where Debra is kidnapped, is actually located a few yards away, to the southwest.  It's a smaller dock, with a long gangplank/ramp leading down to it.

There are several of these smaller docks (all to the southwest of the larger dock), and they used the one closest to the large dock (a sign reads "Berth 1").  It's close enough (perhaps 250 feet) that you can easily walk from one to the other.

Here is a Google map of the area, with the locations labeled:


If you want to visit the spot, be sure to check a map -- the jigsaw puzzle shape of the marina can get a little confusing without one.  And finding this dock can get tricky, because there is more than one Marina Drive in this area.  In fact, this Marina Drive actually crosses another one: N. Marina Drive, which itself later turns into E. Marina Drive.

All of these Marina Drives run along outside edge of the Alamitos Marina, marking its northern and eastern borders.

This jetty is tucked away behind the Alamitos Landing shopping/dining center.

Don't confuse this Alamitos Marina with Long Beach's Shoreline Marina (another spot where Dexter films a lot).  The two marinas are five miles apart. Alamitos Marina is just west of Pacific Coast Highway, right across the San Gabriel River channel from Seal Beach.

(A bit of trivia: part of the opening credits for "Gilligan's Island" were shot at this same location.)

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. I didn't find this one until years later - in 2013.

    I had originally suspected that it was probably shot at Bay Shore beach, where they filmed the scene of Dexter meeting Rudy, earlier in the 1st season.  But the night scene with Debra was very dark, and I couldn't match up the background lights.  So I moved on to other locations.

    It wasn't until 2013, when I happened to be looking at episode 12 again, that I realized that they had also shown more of the dock under better lighting (in the next episode) - and that it should be much easier to identify:

    So, first I checked the dock at that Bay Shore beach, but it lacked the diagonal planks seen in the screencap above.

    By then, I had seen the 7th Season scene were Isaak shot Louis, and had visited that dock  to shoot photos for the page, so I decided to check that dock next.  And sure enough, it was a perfect match for the scene with Dexter on Rudy's dock: diagonal planks, matching posts, twin storage boxes, et al.  (Only the lamps were added.)

    However, when I compared that Dexter dock to the night time scene with Debra & Rudy, it still didn't match.  As you can see in the screencap below, there was a chain-link fence running along part of the ramp that Debra walked down to the dock, and there was a gate at the entrance.  There was no such fence on Dexter's dock.  There was also a parking lot right behind her, a cluster of palm trees to the left, a patch of lawn on the left, and a blue, square box to the right.  (The flowers, of course, were added.)

    So I started looking at the smaller docks near Dexter's dock, and sure enough, there was the fence & gate at the top of the ramp, as well as the lawn to the left.

    All of the smaller docks here look more or less the same, but there is a blue box visible in the Debra scene, just to her right, and that only matched one dock - the dock closest to Dexter's daylight dock.

    Here is a Google StreetView looking (west) down the ramp that Debra walked.
    Note the fence, the gate, the lawn and that blue box


 
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The Dexter screenshots from the show and all related characters & elements are trademarks of and Showtime.
All other photos & text are Copyright  2011-Gary Wayne and may not be used without written permission.



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