Dexter Filming Locations: The Second Skinner Murder


The location: The Second Skinner Murder.

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

    A. A park.

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

    A. In Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 3 (of season 3), "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".

    The first victim of the serial killer known as "The Skinner" was Freebo's girlfriend, Teegan.
    When she was found dead, the police assumed that Freebo had killed her.

    The police find this second body, dumped in a park, like Teegan. It is the body of a young pimp named Javier, who (reluctantly) helped Debra connect her 'Jane Doe' (Teegan) to Freebo.

    Like Teegan, the body has a large amount of skin removed (this time, the right side of the man's chest), so it's obvious that the murder was committed by the same person.  The police mistakenly assume that both murders were committed by Freebo.
    But Dexter & Miguel Prado realize that's impossible, since Dexter killed Freebo.

    The scene opens with a shot from above, showing a tree-trimmer up in a tall palm tree, stripping off old palm fronds. A tree-trimmer had called it in, but had said he didn't see anything.

    After examining the body and shooting photos, Dexter, Debra, Angel, Vince, LaGuerta and Quinn spread out to question possible witnesses.  Debra asks the tree trimmer up the palm tree above to come down. (It is George King, who turns out to be The Skinner, but we don't find that out until much later in the season.) He tells her he was the one who phoned it in, but that it was his assistant, Mario, who actually found the body.  Mario seems reluctant to talk about it.

    later, Dexter tells his sister Debra that Rita is pregnant. To which Deb, in her usual foul-mouthed manner, responds:

      "A baby? A mother-f**ing, roly-poly, chubby-cheeked s**t machine? Are you kidding me??"

    To which Dexter replies: "Well, I've never heard it described in quite those words before, but yeah."

    Debra is overjoyed at the news. Dexter doesn't look all that happy.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A park - but nowhere near Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This was filmed at Shoreline Aquatic Park, a large (18-acre), very picturesque seaside park, which is located on the south side of the 100 block of Shoreline Drive, in Long Beach, CA, south of that city's downtown.

    The official address puts it at Shoreline Drive & Pine Avenue, but it's actually runs from the Aquarium of the Pacific (on the west) almost to Shoreline Village (on the east). The park is south of (across the marina from) the new Pike / Rainbow Harbor area. Most of the park is located on a finger of land that extends from behind the Aquarium out southeast towards Parker's Lighthouse.

    This particular sandy patch of the park can be a little tricky to find. You'll find a long sandy area (dotted with patches of sea grass & shrubs) running along the north side of this small peninsula. The body was found on one of those grassy patches - at the far west side of that sandy area. Between the sandy stretch and the aquarium is a round plaza of sorts with a starburst on the ground - the grassy patch where the body was found is about 170 feet east/southeast of that starburst. I've marked the location with a red arrow in the photo below.

    Here is an aerial photo of the area with the exact spot marked. And here is a map link.

    I shot the photos below in 2009. Both photos are looking east, towards the park's lighthouse.

    The area is very close to where they filmed several other scenes for Season Three, including Miguel's Cuban festival, the taqueria, the bachelor party cruise dock, and the scene where Dexter & Miguel sat on the beach (following an incident with Ramon). And it's a short walk from Shoreline Village, where the "Dexter" crew has filmed multiple scenes, for all three seasons. This season, they filmed Ramon's bar and the boardwalk cafe there.

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

    A. I recognized it instantly as Shoreline Park.  You can even see the Aquarium in the background in some scenes, and the Long Beach skyline in others. The only challenge was identifying the exact spot in the park where the body was found, and between aerial photos and a trip to the park, that wasn't difficult.

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