A Case Study - Shutter Island

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Shutter Island Case Study: Teddy Daniels/Andrew Laeddis Brief Summary Teddy Daniels, also known as, Andrew Laeddis, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, in the film Shutter Island is the character being reviewed in this case study. Andrew Laeddis, an intelligent, high functioning, male in his mid-thirties, was a US Marshal. Prior to becoming a US Marshal, he served during WWII and was involved in killing prisoner of War soldiers in Dachau. After Dachau and WWII, Mr. Laeddis suffered with alcohol addiction. Although minimal interviews have been accomplished with Andrew Laeddis as himself, police reports indicate that his wife suffered with bipolar disorder coupled with suicidal/homicidal tendencies. According to reports, Mrs. Laeddis drown their three children while Andrew was away at work. Upon arriving home to find his three children floating in the lake, and his wife delusional; a very distraught Andrew shot his wife in order to ‘set her free’. Andrew, having been aware of his wife’s illness for many years, ultimately, felt responsible for his children’s’ death. Months after this traumatic event, Mr. Laeddis while incarcerated for his wife’s murder created an elaborate fantasy life, possibly, in an attempt to avoid dealing with his past life. Due to his delusions and homicidal behavior, Mr. Laeddis was transferred to Boston’s Ashecliffe Mental Institution for the criminally insane in 1954, and presents as Teddy Daniels. Teddy Daniels is an intelligent, high functioning male in his mid-thirties who believes that he is still a US Marshal whose current assignment is to find missing patient #67 and expose the institution’s unethical psychosurgical experiments that take place in the lighthouse. In an attempt to bring Mr. Laeddis back to reality, Ashecliffe’s head psychiatrist, Dr. Cawley, embarked on a role-play experiment allowing Andrew’s alter to play out

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