Mystic River

Mystic River


The first victim was Jimmy whose daughter Katie had been killed. When he arrives at the scene we see the agony and he is hell bent on going to the scene to see if the body was really his daughter. This portrays denial, he does not want to believe that her daughter has been a victim of an attack. If only he gets to see the body, then he can really believe it. He is also quite sad and wails loudly without care. This may depict the length of pain that he was in. During the interrogation with Sean who was the state trooper, his sadness can be felt in his voice. He talks in a low tone and shaky voice. Jimmy is also left with anger and is determined to ensure the person who killed his daughter pays for it. It is because of this anger he acts irrational towards Dave and demands that he admits to killing her daughter. Eventually Jimmy kills Dave. Most homicide survivors especially loved ones will often bear hatred and anger towards the perpetrator and may be driven to kill them as an act of seeking revenge which may be satisfactory to them

Another homicide victim is Celste, Dave’s wife. On learning about Kate’s she sobs loudly and she is filled with sadness. She is actually afraid of the fact that Dave might have committed the crime because the same day Dave came home with blood was the same day that Katie was killed. We can see her nervousness which seems like a natural personality. Celste had a relationship with Katie because Jimmy was married to her cousin and she had known Jimmy and his family for years. Celste emotions are caught up between two parties, trying to protect Dave but also wanting ensure that Katie’s victim gets justice.


When a child is sexually abused, the scars can last for a life time. In Mystic River, Dave is abducted and locked in a basement for four days where he is abused and raped although he eventually escapes. This however marks a turning point of his life because he distances himself from his friends. Most people who have been sexually assaulted are likely to alienate themselves from people because they may feel that no one really understands them. He believes that his adult life has been shaped by his experience as a child. In a conversation with his wife, he states “Dave’s dead. I don’t know who came out of that cellar, but it sure as s**t wasn’t Dave! The thing is…once it’s in you, it stays”. The cellar he was talking about was the basement where he was being held for the four days. Dave believes that who he was before he was kidnapped is no longer who he currently is. To most people who are sexually assaulted they become different people often their change of behavior to mostly keeping to themselves.

Child trauma as the one Dave experienced can be viewed as a post-traumatic stress disorder and a characteristic is recalling of the event. When Dave and his son passes where they used to hand out with his two friends, he gets remembers when he was asked to get into the car. As his son asks him to retrieve a baseball, he refuses because it’s triggering him and he hurriedly leaves the location. In light with what happened to him, Dave developed a passion to ensure that he protected other kids. On the night that Katie is killed he also kills a man he claims he was molesting a child in his car and he beat him to death. However, because of his character as he had become a soft-spoken man, he became a prime suspect especially because he was the last to be seen with Katie. Because of him keeping too much to himself because of the trauma, results in his death as he is killed by Jimmy.


I would perceive treatment by investigating officer insensitive. When investigating Jimmy who is Katie’s father they are not considerate that he has lost his daughter and are grilling him as if he is a suspect. The even bring up about his time in prison which Jimmy does not feel as if is necessary. The treatment by the police officers would make me feel as if I’m being more victimized by the system. Instead of one being left to mourn their daughter, they are already being grilled as potential victims. Families of the bereaved often needs support after losing a loved one especially to the fact that they may take law in their own hand. The police system in Mystic River does not seem to reassure Jimmy that they were going to do enough to catch the victim. This leads into Jimmy taking laws into his own hands.