Dexter Filming Locations: The Wendell Owens Murder Scene


The location: The Wendell Owens Murder Scene.

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

    A. The scene where the skinned body of young Wendell Owens was found.

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

    A. Somewhere near the water, in Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 6 (of Season 3), "Si Se Puede".

    Wendell Owens is a 15-year-old kid who had been acting as the doorman/lookout for the drug dealer Freebo.

    After Freebo disappears (he was killed by Dexter), the police wrongly assume that Freebo is still alive and is committing a series of murders, in which the victims are skinned alive.

    With the police under pressure to find Freebo, Debra tracks down young Wendell at his house, and persuades him to talk to her about Freebo's whereabouts, despite being asked by the boy's mother to stay away.

    It turns out that, unknown to Debra, the actual murderer (AKA "The Skinner") is also looking for Freebo, and is skinning possible witnesses for information (and just for the fun of it - he's a serial killer, too).

    Consequently, her visit to Wendell leads the real killer right to him.

    In this scene, the police find the dead body of Wendell Owens outdoors, by the sea, propped up in a seating position in a white lawn chair. His upper body has been skinned, and the police mention that this time the skinning itself was the probable cause of death.

    When Dexter arrives on the scene, he finds Debra traumatized, blaming herself for the boy's death. He looks at the body, mentions that the guy is a pro, and shoots photos of the scene.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. The end of a breakwater - but not in Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. The scene were shot at the far end of a long breakwater, which starts near Parkers Lighthouse in Shoreline Village, and runs out towards the Queen Mary (wrapping around the Shoreline marina).

    There is a small building at the end of this breakwater, surrounded by a patch of lawn and a wooden boardwalk. The body of Owens sits on this small lawn, near the office.

    A sign reads "Downtown Marina Office - 450 Shoreline Drive", but that address is somewhat deceptive, since it refers only to general marina area, not this particular spot on the breakwater.  

    The green land with palm trees that you see across the water, to the left, is one of the landmark oil islands off the coast of Long Beach. (This one is Island Grissom.)

    To reach the spot, turn south on Shoreline Village Drive, follow it along the east & south edges of the Village's parking lot, then, at its end, turn left onto the breakwater (which has a two-lane road running down its center). Drive out to the very end of the breakwater, and that's where they shot the scene.

    This is almost exactly the same spot where (in the second season) they filmed a scene where LaGuerta tries to phone Doakes (who is busy boarding a helicopter to Haiti). The only real difference is that the body is found on the small lawn here, while Maria stuck to the wooden boardwalk

    It's also the same marina breakwater where they filmed the (second season) scenes of Lila breaking into Dexter's car.

    Here is an aerial photo of the breakwater location.

    And here is a map link of both locations.

    (I shot the photos below in 2008)

    (The photo above was shot from the same breakwater, and shows an oil island across the channel from the breakwater.)

    (The photo above is a composite panorama, showing the same oil island on the far right,
    the Long Beach city skyline in the center, a bit of the marina, and the end of the breakwater on the far left.)

    Numerous other scenes from "Dexter" have been shot in this general area, including multiple scenes at Shoreline Village, the area around the Queensway Bridge, at the Aquarium, and at the Coast Long Beach Hotel.

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

    A. This was easy, since I had visited the exact spot last year to research the locations of the LaGuerta phone call scene and the scene where crazy Lila spied on Dexter's boat. So it was easy to recognize when it resurfaced in the third season.

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