Dexter Filming Locations: Trinity's Suicide Attempt

DEXTER Filming Locations - over a hundred actual places where the TV show Dexter was filmed.             

The location: Trinity's Suicide Attempt.

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

    A. A parcel of land where a church group is building homes for charity.

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

    A. In Tampa, Florida.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 8 (of Season 4), "Road Kill".

    After visiting his childhood home, and reliving the death of his sister, Arthur Mitchell (the Trinity Killer) feels remorse and attempts to kill himself.

    Dexter, who is looking forward to killing Arthur himself, follows him to a "Four Walls, One Heart" construction site, and watches as he climbs to a high point on one of homes under construction.

    Arthur stands at the very edge of the structure (above a line of exposed iron rods that would surely impale him), and pours a small amount of his cremated sister's ashes down to the ground below.

    Dexter is trying to sneak up on him, when he realizes that Trinity is about to jump to his death.

    Reacting on instinct, Dexter catches Arthur in mid-jump, holding onto his arm as he dangles from the structure.

    Arthur begs for Dexter to let him die. But Dexter is intent on killing Arthur himself, and refuses to let him go (something he will regret later).

    After a few seconds, Dexter realizes the folly of saving Arthur only to kill him later, so he begins to loosen his grip on Arthur's arm, planning to let him fall to his death.

    But it's too late. By then, a number of church volunteers have arrived on the scene, and they pull Arthur to safety.

    Arthur - being the lunatic that he is - naturally draws the wrong lesson from the experience. He believes that his suicide attempt was a mistake, that God sent Dexter to rescue him - and that he is now free to continue his murders without remorse.

    Within days, he is back at it again, kidnapping a boy from an arcade, and later paying a final visit to Dexter's house.

    Trinity visited several of these build sites, since he timed his murders around his out-of-town visits to these projects.

    Don't confuse this build site with two other build sites shown on the show earlier in the season. This is the one where Trinity attempted to jump to his death.  The other two were:

    Surprisingly, none of these scenes were shot on the same lot. They used three separate locations for the three separate build sites - all miles apart.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A real construction site.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. You'll find the (former) lot at 11312 Huston Street, in North HollywoodCA.

    It's in a residential neighborhood, on the south side of the street, midway between Backman and Tujunga Avenues.

    That's in the San Fernando Valley, about two miles northwest of Universal Studios Hollywood.

    By the time you read this, the construction on this lot will probably be finished (my guess is that it will be an apartment house), but at the time of filming, it was an empty lot with construction just beginning.

    ( The construction company, which owned this site, appear to have experience economic problems just before this scene was filmed. If that caused a temporary pause in construction, that may be why the "Dexter" producers chose the site for filming the scene. ).

    Here are two photos of the site, shot by Rick & Anne Marie:

    The first photo shows the construction still underway when the photo was shot by Anne Marie (in late January 2010).

    The second photo, by Rick, shows the distinctive apartment house across the street.

    Here is an aerial photo with the lot and the apartment marked. And here is a map link.

    Here is a Google StreetView panorama of the lot:

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

    A.  This was a location that, frankly, I didn't think would ever be found.

    And had I known more about the challenges it offered, I would have been certain that it couldn't be found.

    First, there was the challenge of finding a single empty lot in a county covering 4,000 square miles. There wasn't much to go on, just a somewhat distinctive apartment house nearby, and a few of hills in the background.

    Next, as it turns out, this particular lot was a rather small, nondescript one - nothing that would jump out at you. To make matters worse, it turned out to be located in a part of the county where "Dexter" has rarely, if ever, filmed before (North Hollywood) - rather than the usual Dexter haunts (such as Long Beach or Marina del Rey).

    But worst of all, most of the Google & Bing aerial photos, which I use to search for these locations, don't even show it as an empty lot. At the time I was searching, most of the photos still showed the old buildings that used to stand there. It was, in effect, well camouflaged from most angles.  And that distinctive apartment house, seen across the street (one of the few good clues viewers had) wasn't even built when most of these aerial photos were shot - the photos instead showed either an empty lot or construction where that apartment house is today.

    Google StreetView and (some angles of) Bing's Birds-Eye View offer good looks at the lot, but their standard, usually-reliable aerial photos were virtually worthless in this case.

    So, how did I ever find it?  I didn't. A fan, Rick, did.

    I'm still not sure exactly how, but he managed to track it down. One advantage he had was that he grew up in the Valley. Where I saw (what I assumed were) the Hollywood hills, Rick recognized them as the other side of those mountains, in the southeast part of the Valley. He apparently searched in a line south from Pacoima (where he had found another location), looking for the apartment house and/or construction, and somehow managed to find it.

    My hat's off to him for a major find. I honestly don't think I ever would have found it on my own. But now the mystery has been solved.  (Thanks, Rick!)

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