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It's all about concealment. Concealment and patience.
~ Mr. George Harvey
George Harvey is the main antagonist of the 2002 novel The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, and its 2009 film adaptation of the same name directed by Peter Jackson. He is a murderous pedophile who rapes and murders young girls, including the protagonist, Susie Salmon.
He was portrayed by Stanley Tucci, who also played Lord Roderick in Jack the Giant Slayer, and Joshua Joyce in Transformers: Age of Extinction. For his performance as Harvey, Tucci was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Nevertheless, he later said that he found the experience of playing Harvey unpleasant.
The novel and the film are relatively the same in portraying his character with the exception being that the film omits his sympathetic backstory. Harvey's mother had bipolar disorder and committed petty theft during her manic phases. When Harvey was eight years old, he witnessed his mother being gang-raped by a group of men whom she had robbed. Shortly afterward, his cold and abusive father banished her from the family.
As an adult, Harvey murders a number of girls and women. He takes a souvenir from each victim. He lives alone in Norristown, Pennsylvania, making a living building dollhouses and claiming to be a widower. Between murders, he satisfies his bloodlust by torturing and killing animals, and his pedophilia by spying on young girls in various states of undress.
On December 6, 1973, he lures his 14-year-old neighbor Susie Salmon into an underground "clubhouse" he had built in the woods near his house, and rapes and murders her once she is in his power. He then dismembers her body, puts her remains in a safe and dumps them in a landfill. He keeps a piece of her bracelet as a souvenir.
He believes he got away with the "perfect crime", and begins looking for more victims, at one point even toying with the idea of killing Susie's older sister Lindsay. Susie, while looking down from Heaven on her family and her murderer, ias to choose between her family and vengeance.
Harvey is forced to move after Lindsey, who suspects him of killing Susie, breaks into his house to find proof of his guilt. She eventually finds an incriminating drawing of his "clubhouse", but he catches her. He runs after her, but she is too quick and gets away with the evidence. Panicked, Harvey quickly packs up and flees the state.
After leaving Pennsylvania, he lives a nomadic existence for several years, and eventually settles in New Hampshire. On a wintry night, he approaches a young woman named Clair outside a diner and offers to give her a ride, intending to make her his next victim. She rebuffs his advances, however, telling him to "piss off". Moments later, an icicle hanging from a tree falls on his shoulder. Stunned, he stumbles backwards on a slope and falls into a ravine. He is severely injured and knocked unconscious, and eventually dies of exposure.
List of Victims
Besides Susie, Harvey murdered several other girls and women:
Sophie Cichetti - A 49-year-old woman in Pennsylvania whom Havey murdered in 1960. She was Harvey's landlady. They had sex, and he impulsively smashed her skull in and left her body by a creek.
Lana Johnson (Leidia Johnson in the novel) - His youngest victim, a six-year-old girl he killed in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1960. He lured into a shack he had built and raped and murdered her.
Flora Hernandez - An 8-year-old girl in Delaware, whom he murdered in 1963. Harvey had only wanted to touch her, but he killed her when she screamed. He left her body to decompose in an old basement. Only her left sock and shoe was ever found.
Jackie Meyer - A girl in Delaware who has just turned 13 when Harvey killed her in 1967. Her body was found in a drainage ditch by the side of the road.
Leah Fox - A 12-year-old girl whom Harvey murdered in Delaware in 1969. He fell asleep on top of her after he raped her and she suffocated. She was already dead when Harvey dumped her corpse in a river.
Denise Lee Ang (Wendy Richter in the novel) - A 13-year-old girl whom Harvey murdered in Connecticut in 1971. She liked to call herself "Holly Golightly", after the protagonist of the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. She was waiting for her father to close up their shop when Harvey kidnapped, raped and strangled her. She befriends Susie in the afterlife.
Before the icicle fell on him to cause his demise, it emits a strange yellow light; this suggests that Susie dislodged it from Heaven.
Ralph Cichetti, Sophie Cichetti’s son, tells Hal Heckler, brother of Lindsey Salmon's boyfriend Samuel, that he thinks his mother was killed by a boarder who made dollhouses; Hal connects this to Susie’s murderer.