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Shipping Yard

Shipping Yard is a location in the Showtime series DEXTER.

Two shipping yards are featured, both are crime scenes near the Port of Miami.

The First Yard

Address: Reefer Yard, Plug 4-3-6


Referred to as the Shipping Yard Massacre, four people are brutally murdered by chainsaw inside cargo container CBAN-3489 under the orders of Hector Estrada. One of the victims is Laura Moser (Dexter's bio mother). Both Dexter (age three) and his brother, Brian (age five), witness the murders. They are then abandoned by the killers inside the container, and sit in blood amid body parts for two days. Officer Harry Morgan arrives first on scene and discovers the boys in an appalling state. He first rescues Dexter, leaving Brian to be saved by other officers. Harry and his wife later adopt Dexter, but Brian is sent to an institution and grows up without a family.


  • Laura Moser (sawed into pieces by Santos Jimenez)
  • Miguel (unknown surname); (sawed into pieces)
  • Two unnamed junkies (sawed into pieces)

The Second Yard

Address: 35 Quayside Road


Dexter arranges to meet Hector Estrada for a bogus drug deal at a shipping yard. He then makes a failed attempt to kill Estrada, who escapes. Later, Dexter recaptures Estrada and forces him to lure Maria LaGuerta to the container. Both Estrada and LaGuerta are murdered and set up to appear as if they shot each other.


Season One

While inside Marina View Hotel, Dexter experiences flashbacks of his mother being murdered inside a cargo container.

Debra has been kidnapped by The Ice Truck Killer who leaves clues behind for Dexter to find him, including a screensaver with the song “Born Free” (a reference to the massacre which caused them to be “born free of all that’s human”). Dexter concludes that his sister will be found in the same cargo container where his mother was murdered. Checking old newspaper photos, he discovers that it's container CBAN-3489, and heads down to the docks to find it.

Dexter finds it surprisingly easy to get through the chain link fence around the docks. He makes his way past distracted guards to a small booth, where he accesses the computer records and learns the location of the container. As he approaches it, Dexter suddenly remembers Harry rescuing him from the bloody scene. Dexter opens the container door, expecting to find Debra inside, but it's filled only with bananas.

To his annoyance, Dexter discovers that Sgt. James Doakes has followed him there. This is when Doakes infamously shouts, "Surprise, Motherfucker!" to Dexter. They get into a scuffle and Dexter gets the best of Doakes before the dock manager breaks it up. Doakes' suspicion that there’s another side to the mild-mannered lab geek is confirmed.

Season Seven

Dexter is eager to kill Hector Estrada, the man who ordered the murder of his mother. He introduces himself to Estrada under the alias, Steve Gaskill, and pretends to be looking for a partner to sell his crates of sativa. He convinces Estrada to meet him at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve to check out the product. Estrada shows up, and Dexter leads him into a cargo container where Dexter has set up a kill room. They struggle, with Estrada firing a shot, but Dexter gets the upper hand.

After telling Estrada who he is and why he is going to kill him, Dexter is about to dismember him with a chain saw (the same method used to kill his mother), when Estrada says that the police captain set him up. Dexter realizes that LaGuerta is really setting him up. She had Estrada released from prison because she felt that Dexter would take the bait and try to kill him.

LaGuerta arrives with backup, and closes in on the cargo container, guns drawn. However, when she enters, all she finds is a chainsaw running on the table, and Dexter's plastic surroundings. Dexter and Estrada are gone. Dexter holds Estrada at knife point as they flee the scene, but Estrada manages to jump into the harbor and escape.

Dexter recaptures Hector Estrada and brings him back to the same container. Under coercion from Dexter, Estrada calls LaGuerta to let her know he is there and needs help. Dexter then kills Estrada and, when LaGuerta arrives, he injects her with a half dose of M99. He begins to set up the scene to look as if she and Estrada killed each other.

Elsewhere, when Maria and Dexter don’t show up at the New Year Eve's party being held at Papa's Cafe, Debra calls dispatch to get a location on Maria's vehicle. She is told that Maria is heading north to the Miami Port by the shipping yards. Debra immediately takes off to stop Dexter.

As Dexter is about to kill LaGuerta, Debra walks into the container. Torn between what she should do, Debra ends up killing LaGuerta herself. She immediately breaks down sobbing.

Season Eight

Debra is treated for PTSD by Dr. Evelyn Vogel. When she takes Debra back to the same container where she killed LaGuerta, Debra imagines herself shooting Dexter instead.

Related Pages


  • Port of Miami is a major seaport located in Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida. It is the largest passenger port in the world, and one of the largest cargo ports in the United States.
  • There are thousands of cargo containers in Miami that can be bought or rented.
  • Innovative ways that people use cargo containers include housing, garages, cafes, school rooms, swimming pools, shelters, saunas, studios, portable toilets, offices, emergency hospitals, and workshops.