Six years after Jigsaw and three years after Spiral, Lionsgate is heading back to the Saw franchise with Saw X. It features the return of Tobin Bell as serial killer John Kramer, aka Jigsaw, a character who’s figured into all the mainline movies. But what’s his story? Here’s everything that’s happened to Jigsaw in the Saw movies explained.
Everything You Need to Know About Jigsaw in the Saw Movies
John Kramer, the original Jigsaw, is dead. Jeff, one of his abductees, killed him at the end of Saw III. If this was Friday the 13th, he would have risen from the grave. Instead, the series tried to be a little more realistic and, instead, introduced several Jigsaw apprentices who, it was awkwardly explained, had been working with Kramer the whole time. But, endless apprentices aside, we did get to learn more about Kramer and how he became Jigsaw.
He was a civil engineer, with a wife who was pregnant with their child. However, after being attacked in the rehabilitation clinic that she helped run, his wife, Jill Tuck, lost their child. Already cynical about his wife’s work, this made Kramer incredibly bitter, and the pair divorced.
Some time after, he was diagnosed with cancer. This could have been caught earlier but wasn’t because of a delay with his X-rays. As is, by the time it was detected, his chances of long-term survival were pretty slim. He attempted suicide but survived, which is what set him on his path as a serial killer. He began abducting people he viewed as unworthy of their lives and subjecting them to his trap-based ‘tests’. The press called him Jigsaw due to his habit of cutting a jigsaw-shaped piece of skin from his victims.
At the end of Saw III, he gave Jeff a ‘choice’: whether to forgive him or kill him. Kramer had kidnapped Jeff’s wife, Lynn, ostensibly to help him survive a little longer. His accomplice, Amanda, shot (but didn’t kill) Lynn, so Jeff wasn’t exactly in the best frame of mind. He killed Kramer with a surgical saw.
And Saw X? Saw X is a prequel, which is why Kramer is still alive. Killing him off in Saw III wasn’t necessarily a mistake, though it was a gamble. It does mean that if we get a Saw XI, the writers will have to pull off some narrative gymnastics.
So, what you need to know about John Kramer aka Jigsaw, and what happened to him in the Saw movies, is that he died at the end of Saw III and the series has been finding ever more inventive reasons to keep him around since.