Dexter Filming Locations: Curtis Barnes house


The location: Curtis Barnes House.

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

    A. A residential home.

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

    A. In Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 4 (of Season 2), "See-Through".

    This is the house where Curtis Brown killed his wife.

    It's a brief scene, which sets up the subsequent confrontation between Doakes and Brown aboard his docked boat.

    Dexter has been driving around with Lila (watching her steal wind chimes), when he gets a phone call that a dead body has been found.

    We next see him entering the Barnes house. LaGuerta and Doakes are already there.

    Inside, Dexter sees the dead body of a woman, Mrs. Barnes, lying on the floor in a pool of blood, with blood spatter on the walls.

    Asked by Doakes for an analysis, Dexter says that the woman appears to have been shot twice in the chest (the bullet holes so close together that they look like a single hole), then once in the head. He calls it "impressive shooting".

    Doakes recognizes the shooting pattern (which he calls being "Mozambiqued"), and after looking at photos on the wall of her husband, Curtis Barnes, taken of him at various military hot spots around the world, Doakes concludes the shooter was (like Doakes himself) a Special-Ops ranger.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. An actual house, but far from Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This scene was shot inside a house at 2421 Chatwin Avenue, in Long Beach, California. It's on the west side of Chatwin (just south of Vernon Street), in a residential Long Beach neighborhood known as 'Los Altos'.

    It was the same house used in Season One as Angel's home.

    It is literally right next door to Dexter's family home when he was an adolescent (you can see part of the roof of that home to the right in the photo below).

    And it's just two streets west of Rita's home (on San Anseline Ave.)

    I shot the photo below in Dec. 2007

    [ Warning: These are private homes.  Do not knock on their door, trespass on their property,
    or do anything else that might disturb the residents. ]

    This Los Altos neighborhood contains at least six different homes used on the TV show, including Rita's house, teen Dexter's house, the house of the neighbor with the noisy dog, the Dade City house that Dexter inherits from his biological father, and the house of the old lady across the street.

    It's also close to the intersection where the "Ice Truck Killer" stopped his car to check on his captive (Debra) in the car trunk, and not far from the parking lot used as the police station lot in another Season Two scene.

    The neighborhood is located just south of the San Diego (405) Freeway, and just east of Bellflower Blvd (and north of 23rd Street), in upper Long Beach.

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

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

    A. This was tricky.  They never showed the exterior of the house, only the interior. That might have made it impossible to find.

    But fortunately, for me, it was possible to get a glimpse of the house across the street through the open door. And that was all I needed.

    Not only did the house across the street have a few distinctive features (a porch railing, a large Christmas wreath on the door, an American flag outside, rose bushes), but the street number was visible on a small sign to the left of the door: 2430.

    Normally, that wouldn't help that much, because there would be too many streets to consider. However, I remembered that most of the homes in the "Dexter Neighborhood" (as I like to call it) had numbers in the 2400 block.  So that was the first place I looked, checking to see what the houses at 2430 on each street looked like.

    There are only a few streets there, and the second one I checked, Chatwin Ave, was clearly the same house.  I compared it to a shot on Google StreetView, and everything matched, even the Christmas wreath (I was lucky that Google apparently shot their StreetView photos here in December).

    Then all I had to do was look across the street to see where the camera was positioned. I was surprised to find that the house across the street (where the scene was filmed) was none other than the same house used earlier as Angel's home, in the scene where Dexter takes a drunken Angel back to his ex-wife's place.

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