Dexter Filming Locations: The Arm in the Alligator


The location: The Arm in the Alligator.

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

    A. A gator-infested swamp referred to as "Alligator Alley"

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

    A. Somewhere near Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 7 (of Season 4), "Slack Tide".

    Dexter and the police are called out to a crime
    scene when a human arm is discovered (by a gator hunter) in the belly of a large alligator.

    A gator hunter shot the critter in the head, and then discovered the arm when he was gutting it.

    Dexter extracts the arm from the gator's belly, and then examines it, remarking that it's te arm of an adult female, that the bite was post-mortem, and that her wrists were tied when she was killed.

    The arm turns out to be that of Estrella Carazo, a fashion model.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A botanical garden.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This scene was shot near the lake at the South Coast Botanical Garden, at 26300 Crenshaw Blvd, in Palos Verdes Estates, CA.

    That's on the east side of Crenshaw Blvd, about a mile southwest of Pacific Coast Highway.

    ( It's the same location where they filmed the
    second season scenes of Doakes being held captive by Dexter in the cabin.

    At one time a landfill, the land was turned into a lush garden with a lot of palm trees and semi-tropical plants, making it a good starting point for any producer looking for a swampy, Everglades look.

    Of course, they enhanced the look a bit, adding at least one additional coconut palm tree, and placing the trailer/home (of the local gator hunter) on a clearing next to the park's lagoon.

    And as usual, they shot more than one scene while they were there this season.

    In addition to this arm-in-the-gator scene, they also shot the scene where Trinity and Dexter were cutting down a tree, as well as the scene where Trinity is driving a van when he hits a deer.

    I shot the photos below in 2008.

    Here is an aerial photo. And here is a map link.

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

    A.  Having seen this area before, in the Doakes cabin scenes, and having visited here to shoot photos for that page, I'm pretty sure I would have recognized it on sight as the South Coast Botanical Garden.

    However, I didn't have to. Dexter fan Kerry Weiss sent me a copy of an article in Entertainment Weekly, in which the reporter described the scene where Trinity hits the deer, mentioning that it was shot at the botanical garden. This alligator scene was, naturally, in the same episode as the deer scene, along with the cutting-down-a-tree scene, all three of which were filmed at the garden.

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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  1999-2021-Gary Wayne and may not be used without written permission.

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