Ronald McKinney In ‘Them: The Scare’: Is McKinney Dead?


Them: The Scare painted a horrific picture for the audience to showcase how institutionalized racism could traumatize generations and leave a scar on the souls of the people. We were made privy to a guy named Ronald McKinney, who was a colleague of Dawn Reeves, but more importantly, he was a white supremacist who just couldn’t keep his views to himself. Reeves’ boss handed her over a very complicated and brutal case where a black woman had been mercilessly killed, and the motive of the killer couldn’t be ascertained. But the problem was that McKinney was assigned as her partner, and Reeves knew the kind of trouble the man could bring to her plate.

Spoiler Alert

McKinney was an intimidating man, and many people had told Reeves not to come in his way. But Reeves was also the kind of person who didn’t stop herself if she thought what she was doing was right. McKinney’s viewpoint was highly prejudiced, and if it were left to him, he would have blamed the entire black community for every wrong that had happened in his jurisdiction. But that was why Reeves was put at the helm of affairs to maintain a sort of balance. At first, a conflict arose between both partners when Reeves came to the conclusion that it was a case of serial murders as the modus operandi and the way the bodies were left were exactly the same. McKinney made sure that Reeves paid for her speculation, and ultimately, the chief removed McKinney from the case and told Reeves that if something went wrong, she would have to pay for the consequences alone. It felt like even before the truth came out; the entire department wanted to make sure that in an unprecedented situation, the entire blame could be pinned on a woman of color. 

Reeves was always skeptical of McKinney, and she had a gut feeling that he had something to do with the murders. The man hated the entire black community, and he was friends with people who didn’t even try to hide their hatred. There was a police officer sitting in his car in the parking lot. He abused Reeves for no rhyme or reason, and that made us realize the kind of poison these white supremacists had in their system and the fun fact was that there was no logical basis for it. Reeves followed McKinney one day to the place he was going, and she was shocked to see what was happening there. There was an entire clan of white supremacists that had come there, and though they were not doing anything explicitly, the sight itself, for some reason, was very scandalizing. McKinney caught Reeves in the compound, and the latter, for a moment, felt that she would get killed there. Somehow, Reeves managed to get out of there, but McKinney didn’t leave her. There was an investigation that was initiated when Benny Alvarez died in Reeves’s car. McKinney was one of those people who testified and even said that she followed him to his friend’s place, as if his life was under threat. 

Even after giving his testimony, McKinney kept an eye on Reeves, and at the end of Them: The Scare, he finally made up his mind to kill her. Reeves went to the house of one of the victims, as she had figured out things about her past and wanted to know what the evil entity was that was haunting her and her family. McKinney went inside the house and attacked the woman. Reeves and Detective Diaz tried to stop him, but he was not ready to listen to anybody. There was a scuffle, and luck favored Reeves that day. She shot McKinney, and he fell to the floor in a pool of blood. 

Even after showcasing such blatant violent behavior, the committee would have favored McKinney and held Reeves responsible for his death. Luckily, she recorded the entire conversation, and Diaz gave a very strong testimony in her favor. The committee, for some reason, couldn’t give Reeves her position back, but the fierce officer decided that she didn’t want to be in a system that was so prejudiced and that sought anything but justice. People like McKinney were like leeches that eroded the entire system from within and filled it with such hatred that nobody was able to live in peace. But then there are always people like Reeves who fight the odds and make sure that they don’t get oppressed. 

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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