Dexter Filming Locations: The Copycat's Trailer


The location: The Copycat's Trailer.

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

    A. An aluminum trailer.

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

    A. Sitting in a dirt lot in (or near) Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 7 (of Season 1): "Circle of Friends".

    Debra and Angel, looking for clues to the identity of the "Ice Truck Killer", check records of traffic tickets given near the crime scenes.

    The name of a voluntary witness pops up: Neil Perry. The records show that he rolled through a stop sign near the Seven Seas Motel crime scene. The cops wonder why he would have been at two different crime scenes.

    So Debra & Angel go out to his home address.

    It turns out to be a squalid, rusting, aluminum trailer, sitting in the middle of a dirt field, littered with junked cars. (In the distant background is what looks like a hospital.)

    Outside the trailer is parked a wood-paneled station wagon, which matches the description of the car that picked up Cherry before she was murdered.

    It seems they have found the right man.

    When they knock on his door, Perry sneaks out from under the trailer, punctures the tire of their car, then flees on foot to his own car and speeds away before Angel & Deb can catch him.

    We see the trailer again later in the same episode, as police converge on the scene to search for evidence.

    They find items on his computer showing an interest in the dismembering bodies, a collection of taxidermied oddities, clipped newspaper articles about the Ice Truck Killer's crimes - and then they hit paydirt: they unearth a human skeleton (with amputated limbs) from his back yard...

    Later, the cops trace Perry's calls to a red-light district, and go there to show his photo around to motel managers. They hit pay dirt at the Pink Motel.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A dirt field full of junk cars. (It may be a commercial auto parts yard, but if so, it's a small one.)

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. It's located in Sun Valley, CA, tucked away directly behind (west/southwest of)  the swimming pool of The Pink Motel (at 9457 San Fernando Road).

    On its east/northeast side, it borders some vacant residential property (that is, dirt lots where houses used to be), at 9430 El Dorado Ave.

    ( I suspect that the lot itself probably doesn't have an address of its own - most likely, its just part of one of those other two properties. )

    It's only about 300 feet away from (northwest of) Pacifica Hospital - at 9449 San Fernando Road.  (You can see the hospital in the background, when Deb & Angel arrive on the scene.)

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

    [ Warning: this industrial stretch of Sun Valley looks like it might be a rough part of town.
    If you opt to go to the area, which I don't advise, exercise reasonable caution. ]

    ( The Pink Hotel is itself another "Dexter" location: It's where the cops finally bust the copycat - after finding a woman tied and tortured in his motel room.

    The trailer is also only a block or two away from yet another "Dexter" location: the auto salvage yard, where Dexter kills the murderous coyotes/smugglers. And it's right next door (west of) the four red & white smokestacks seen behind young Debra when she is taking target practice in a field.

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

    A. I saw that there was what looked like a hospital behind the location.  So I checked out all of the Long Beach hospitals, but came up empty-handed.

    But the next time I looked at the scene, as the camera angle changed, I noticed what appeared to be a low row of motel bungalows just to the left of the hospital... PINK motel bungalows. (See the second photo down from the top of this page.)

    And it so happened that I had just finished looking at the Pink Motel a short time ago - so even that brief glimpse looked familiar. I went to Live Local's aerial photos and sure enough, the bungalows were the same. And as I thought, there was a hospital (Pacifica Hospital) just a hundred yards away.

    Then, all I had to do was figure out exactly where they had parked the trailer.  That wasn't difficult, since the hedge wall that separates the motel's swimming pool from the junk yard is plainly visible in the scene, as is a large palm tree (which you can see in the shot above of the guy running away).

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