I've examined every victim of the Jigsaw Killer.
— Heffner talks about his work on the Jigsaw Case[src]

Dr. Adam Heffner is a fictional character from the Saw franchise, as well as a minor protagonist in Saw IV, VI and 3D. He was portrayed by James Van Patten.


The Jigsaw Case

John Body 3

Dr. Heffner performs the autopsy on John

Dr. Adam Heffner was a pathologist working for the Metropolitan Police Department. He was one of the people who were involved in the serial killer case of John Kramer, better known as the Jigsaw Killer, right from the start. Therefore, he examined every single victim of John and eventually John himself after the latters death at the hands of Jeff Denlon, another one of his victims. When he and one of his colleagues performed the autopsy on Jigsaw's body, he cut open John's stomach and thereby unexpectedly found a wax-coated casset tape, which John had swallowed shortly before his death. Therefore, he immediately called for the homicide division. Shortly afterwards, Detective Mark Hoffman, who was in fact one of John's apprentices and his eventual successor, arrived at the morgue and ordered the pathologists to cut the tape from the wax. After doing so, they gave the tape to Hoffman. The recording contained a message for him, which warned him that the games had just begun and that he wouldn't get away untested. (Saw III, IV, VI)

Reopening of the Seth Baxter Case


Heffner talks to Hoffman and the agents

Despite this unnerving threat, Hoffman continued John's games shortly afterwards and Heffner continued his work at the primary pathologist in the case. One day, he had to examine the corpse of Eddie, a money lender and victim of the latest game. Thereby, he noticed that the jigsaw piece cut from the victim's skin, which was the trademark of Jigsaw and had given him his nickname, had been cut out with a tined blade while previously, while the other victims' pieces had been cut off with a plain scalpel. The tined blade had only been used on one other occasion, the murder of Seth Baxter, the killer of Detective Hoffman's sister, Angelina Acomb. Therefore, he called the detective as well as the special agents Dan Erickson and Lindsey Perez to the morgue and revealed his discovery to them. Due to the possible connection between Seth and Eddie's death, the agents decided to reopen the Seth Baxter case. (Saw V, VI)



Heffner is killed by Mark Hoffman

Eventually, Mark Hoffman's true identity as Jigsaw's successor was revealed by John Kramer's ex-wife, Jill Tuck, who was therefore taken into protective custody in the basement cells in the police station. To take revenge on her, Hoffman set up another game at Pete's Auto Body, a junkyard at 58th Street, to distract his former colleagues. At the same time at the morgue, Heffner talked to Officer Matt Gibson about a humiliated corpse. When Gibson asked him for the reason of death, Heffner sarcastically stated that the man had died while smoking at a gas station and handed Gibson the autopsy report. Moments later, Gibson was called by his partner, Officer Rogers, who had found the crime scene at the junkyard, and went there immediately. Hoping to find any clues that would lead them to Hoffman, Matt Gibson sent the corpses of Evan, Kara, Dan and Jake, the four victims of the trap, to the morgue. When the coroner arrived there with the bodies, he told Heffner that the four corpses' examination had to be preponed. Unknown to them, Hoffman had removed the corpse of Dan from his respective body bag and had instead used it to infiltrate the police station. When Heffner finally opened the bag, he was barely able to react when he recognized Hoffman, who stabbed a knife in his throat, causing him to collapse and die on the floor. (Saw 3D)


The corpses of Heffner, Jill Tuck and several police officers murdered by Hoffman were found shortly afterwards. The events surrounding the massacre at the police station were reported to the public by the news channels the same night. Thereby, everyone with information about the whereabouts of Mark Hoffman was requested to go to the police immediately. (Saw 3D)


Heffner was a conscientious worker, who payed close attention to detail and was therefore able to notice even the smallest salience, evident by his discovery of the connection between the murders of Eddie and Seth Baxter.


  • James Van Patten's brother, Vincent Van Patten, was married to Betsy Russell, the actress portraying Jill Tuck, from 1989 to 2001.

Appearances and References

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