location: Stan ("The
Man") Beaudry's Shack
What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. The shack-like
home of trucker Stan ("The Man") Beaudry.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. In a littered
field somewhere near Miami.
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In Episode 11 (if Season 4), "Hello, Dexter Morgan".
Dexter is looking for someone to frame for the Trinity Killer murders, to draw police attention away from the real killer (Arthur Mitchell), so Dexter can kill him himself.
Looking through a list of Lundy's previous suspects, Dexter settles on a trucker named Stan ("The Man") Beaudry, who got away with murder on a technicality. Dexter plans to kill Beaudry and frame him for the Trinity killings.
So he goes to Beaudry's house at night - which turns out to be a sheet metal shack "in the middle of nowhere" - on a lot littered with industrial junk. But Beaudry is not at home.
Looking inside the shack, Dexter finds a CB radio still blasting, and a calendar indicating that he is on a truck delivery to Jacksonville. He decides to go to Jacksonville to kill him.
We see the shack again when Dexter returns there (after killing Beaudry at a truck stop, and after stealing a few personal items from Trinity's house) and plants evidence there, including the hammer Arthur used to kill a man, plus a toothbrush, a razor and a comb with Arthur's DNA (which the police already have on file from the Trinity murder scenes).
We see the shack again, later in the same episode, when the police arrive, and Masuka discovers the toothbrush & comb - and Debra discovers the hammer... just as Dexter had planned.
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. A large tract of semi-vacant land, with lots of palm trees and some oil wells. But not near Miami.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. This tract of land is located on the northeast side of Pacific Coast Highway, at 2nd Street, in Long Beach.
The land lies behind (north of) the In & Out Burger at 6391 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach. The exact spot where they filmed the scene is about 400 feet behind (north of) the fence off Westminster Blvd/2nd Street (at approximately 6775 Westminster), just east/NE of Shopkeeper Road.
It's the same field used for the scene where Trinity's son, Jonah, bashed in his father's car with a baseball bat. But that earlier scene was shot about 1,200 feet to the west (closer to Pacific Coast Highway), on the same large parcel of land.
In early California history, what is now Los Angeles was divided up into a series of huge cattle & sheep ranches. Much of the land that makes up Long Beach was originally part of the sprawling Bixby Ranch. When oil was discovered in the L.A. area, oil wells sprouted across Southern California. Most of that once-empty land has been developed and/or sold by now. But this patch of Bixby land remains mostly vacant, and contains a number of oil wells, oil tanks & small out buildings - spread out amidst an overabundance of bushy palm trees, growing in oasis-like clusters across the property.
Since the property already looks like "the middle of nowhere", all they had to do was bring in an outhouse (to sit next to the shack), and perhaps rearrange the industrial items scattered around the area. (They also put up a long blue screen to limit the view of what is behind the shack.)
Unfortunately, since this is private property, and is fenced in, I was unable to go to the exact spot where the scene was filmed, so I had to settle for shooting a few generic photos of the property from the parking lot of "In & Out Burger".
But I was able to pinpoint the exact location by using Bing aerial photos, and you can see that spot via the links below, as well as in a Google StreetView panorama.
Here is an aerial photo of the land, with the location of the shack marked. (I also marked the location of the previous scene, with Trinity's son.) And here is a map link.
is a Google StreetView panorama of the buildings, shot from Westminster
Blvd, just north of Shopkeeper Road.
Warning: This is fenced private property, not open to the
public. No trespassing. ]
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. This was puzzling for a while, but since I had already discovered this Long Beach field (for the scene with Trinity's son, Jonah), after viewing the trucker's shack scenes again, I began to suspect that they might have shot it in the same field.
The clincher came in the very last shot in the final scene, as Dexter drives away from the shack in his car, you get a brief view of the entire field, including a bushy palm tree similar to those seen in the Jonah scenes, and distant buildings in the background that I knew they might be part of the MarketPlace shopping center (on the other side of Westminster Blvd).
So I went to
Bing's Bird's-Eye aerial photos and searched the property for the
unusual slanted outbuilding seen in the scene as Stan's shack. Near it,
in the scene, we can also see a distinctive, open iron framework - right
next to the outbuilding. So finding that unusual combination of landmarks
wasn't that difficult.
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