Dexter Filming Locations: Trinity's School


The location: Trinity's School.

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

    A. William Moseley High School.

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

    A. Somewhere in Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 6 (of Season 4), "Dirty Harry".

    This short scene is part of a montage of shots
    showing the Trinity Killer's public persona, while Dexter's voice-over tells us about how serial killer Arthur Mitchell passes as a family man, a teacher, and a church deacon.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. An elementary school - far from Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. The school seen in the screencaps above is Horace Mann Elementary School, at 257 Coronado Avenue, in Long BeachCA.

    In the shot, we are looking east/southeast, at the west side of the school.

    It's located on Coronado Ave, between 3rd Street & E. Vista Street.

    That's just a three blocks north of Dexter & Rita's new home.
    And it's about half a mile southwest of the gas station where Dexter is accosted by the rogue female cop.

    The "Faculty Parking Only" signs you see posted along the street (when Arthur is at his car), and which read "William Mosely High School", were fake.

    ( Horace Mann, by the way, was a 19th century education reformer, generally considered "the father of American public education", and there are several schools in the L.A. area named after him. William Mosely, on the other hand, was the first governor of Florida.)

    I shot the photos below in November 2009.

Here is an aerial photo of the school. And here is a map link.

UPDATE: Trinity's school reappears in the 8th episode, in a scene where Dexter meets Arthur Mitchell at the school, and cons him into taking him along on Arthur's out-of-town van trip (where Dexter plans to kill him).

Since they began that scene with the exact same establishing shot of Horace Mann School, I assumed the scene, like the previous school scene (in episode 6), had also been shot at Mann, so I didn't pay much attention to the details.

However, it turns out that they pulled a switch on us, and shot that Episode 8 scene at different school (after faking us out with that establishing shot).

In December 2014, I got an email from a fan, Daniel Chao, who told me he was sure it had been shot at Charles Evan Hughes Middle School, at 3846 California Ave, in Long Beach.

That's in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach, about six miles northwest of the original Horace Mann School, but only a mile east of Trinity's House.

At first, since I assumed Daniel was talking about that original Episode 6 scene, I thought he was wrong.  But once I realized he was referring to the second scene, in Episode 8, I checked the episode, and sure enough, he's right.

That van scene was shot on a road inside Charles Evan Hughes school, between the school's gym and the auditorium.

When they leave in the van, they are headed south, towards
the school's playground: (the palm tree appears to be a prop)

As Arthur first gets into his van, you can see, in the background,
an iron fence and a gray home near a red chimney:

Both details match perfectly match perfectly to the Google StreetView, as the
camera looks north (from within the school grounds) towards Roosevelt Road.

[ Here is an aerial photo of Hughes Middle School. And here is a map link.]

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

    A.  I did this the hard way: by looking at every single school in Long Beach (plus a few in Hollywood & San Pedro), via Google StreetView, until I found it - at Horace Mann.

    At first, I thought I had lucked into finding it, when I noticed that a school next to the gas station looked almost exactly like Arthur's school. But when I made a close comparison, I could see that it wasn't the same school. (It's amazing how many of Long Beach's schools look alike.)

    But that made me pay closer attention to the schools in that general area, which is where I finally found, just north of Dexter's house.

    And then, some five years later, Daniel Chao let me know that the second scene was shot at Hughes middle school.
    (Thanks Daniel!)

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