|“||I'm gonna close this case. I'll close it. Right, Sing, right? We're gonna close the scene!||”|
— Tapp promising his late partner to stop Jigsaw[src]
Detective David Tapp, also known as Bob, is a fictional character from the Saw franchise as well as the secondary protagonist of the first Saw film and the main protagonist of Saw: The Video Game. He was portrayed by Danny Glover in the movies and voiced by Earl Alexander in the video games.
David Tapp was a homicide detective working for the Metropolitan Police Department and the leading investigator on the Jigsaw case. He was good friends with his partner, Detective Steven Sing. During the early days of Jigsaw's murder series he had to visit numerous crime scenes of his deadly games such as the place of Paul Leahy's death, who was found in a basement approximately three weeks after his death. He had been forced to crawl through a fenced area filled with razor wire in order to save his life and escape the basement. When Detective Tapp and Detective Sing arrived at the crime scene, they were expected by Detective Allison Kerry, who had already gathered information from the forensics and therefore was able to tell them about Paul's game as well as his fatal injuries and presented them an audio tape, which had been used to give Paul his instructions.
Shortly afterwards, Tapp, Sing and Kerry were also present at the crime scene of Mark Wilson's game, who had died after accidentally igniting himself with a candle in an attempt to find an antidote for a slow-acting poison in his blood. At the crime scene, Kerry found a peephole used by Jigsaw to witness his game and remarked that she had seen one of those before at Paul Leahy's crime scene as well. Furthermore, she told them about a penlight found at the place of Mark's death. Tapp ordered her to send it to the laboratory to see if they could find any fingerprints on it.
Upon further examination of the penlight, the laboratory was able to find fingerprints on it that belonged to Dr. Lawrence Gordon, a renowned oncologist at the Angel of Mercy Hospital. Tapp and Sing went to Dr. Gordon's office where they asked him about his alibi for the previous night when Mark Wilson had been killed. They took Gordon to the police station where he was further interrogated. After some hesitation, he eventually revealed that he was with his mistress Carla Song at the time of the murder, which the police quickly found out to be the truth. However, despite this, Detective Sing asked him to stay for a little longer to witness the interrogation of Amanda Young, a new victim of Jigsaw and the first survivor of his deadly games. While talking to her, Tapp kept a wary eye on Gordon to see his reaction to her story. After the interrogation, Lawrence was released from custody and brought home by Tapp, who implied that he still wasn't convinced of his innocence.
Back at the police station, Tapp further examined Jigsaw's video tape from Amanda Young's crime scene. When Sing was about to leave work for the day he asked him to go to the bar at the corner for an after-work beer with him and some of their colleagues, which Tapp declined with thanks as he wanted to continue his examination. Sing joked that Tapp should find himself a girlfriend before he left, but was held back by Tapp, when the latter saw something in the background of the video that made him suspicious. Sing eventually identified it to be a graffito of K2K, a small gang from 118th street. Upon hearing a fire alarm in the background, Tapp ordered his partner to help him checking all fire reports for the area from the last two weeks. Ultimately Sing found out about a fire in a rear house at 213 Stygian Street and told Tapp about an abandoned mannequin factory in this area which would be a potential hideout for Jigsaw. Despite his doubts that this would be enough for them to get a warrant, he immediately agreed to go there with Tapp.
Minutes later Tapp and Sing arrived at the factory. Armed with a shotgun, Sing broke through the front door and entered the building followed by Tapp, who gave him cover. Upon going upstairs they found the K2K graffito and recognized it as the same one from the video. When they searched the hideout, they found a box with little figures resembling another deadly game Jigsaw had already planned for the future. Furthermore, they found one of the pig masks he used for his abductions as well as the mechanical ventriloquist puppet from Amanda Young's video which had been used by Jigsaw to give her the instructions for her game. Moments later they were startled by a noice nearby, coming from under a large red hood. Eventually this turned out to be the voice of Jeff Ridenhour, a man strapped to another one of Jigsaw's traps. However, when they wanted to free him, they suddenly heard the elevator. Tapp told Sing to go into hiding to see what Jigsaw was going to do. Eager to finally arrest the Jigsaw Killer, Sing initially refused to follow Tapp's order but eventually decided to do so and put the cloth back on Jeff before quickly going into hiding with Tapp.
Moments later, a hooded man, Jigsaw, arrived and approached Jeff. When he told Jeff that he had planned a bigger test for him, the detectives came out of their hiding spot and held Jigsaw at gunpoint. However, the latter managed to activate Jeff's trap, which caused two drills to approach his head until they finally pierced it, giving the detectives merely 20 seconds to save him. While Tapp took care of the killer and held him at gunpoint, he demanded him to tell Sing how to stop the trap and was told that a key would unlock the metal neck brace which held Jeff's head in place. When Sing found a set of keys in a box, he desperately tried to find the right one among the dozens of keys. Having only a few seconds left, Sing decided to shoot the drills, saving Jeff's life in the process. However, this distracted Tapp, giving Jigsaw the chance to slash Tapp's throat with a hidden blade. When he ran away Sing immediately pursued him. Moments later Tapp, weakened by his injury, attempted to follow them and eventually found the corpse of his dead friend and partner who had been killed by a booby trap. (Saw)
Due to their invasion of Jigsaw's hideout without a warrant and Sing's subsequent death, Tapp was discharged from the department and suffered a mental breakdown. However, because of his feelings of guilt for his partner's demise, he quickly decided to work on his own to finally put an end to Jigsaw's games. As he still considered Lawrence Gordon as the main suspect, he became obsessed with the idea of Gordon being the Jigsaw Killer. He rented a run-down flat across from Gordon's apartment in order to be able to observe him. Due to his obsession, he wallpapered his flat with countless newspaper articles about everything that had to do with Jigsaw in any way and also had a picture of Sing to remind him of his failure and keep him motivated for what soon became his own personal vendetta against Gordon and Jigsaw.
At some point, Tapp used the alias of "Bob" to hire Adam Stanheight, a freelance photographer, to follow and observe Gordon in exchange for 200$ per night while he himself continued his observations from his apartment. Some days later, both Adam and Dr. Gordon were abducted by Jigsaw without Tapp's knowledge. While observing Gordon's house, he witnessed a stranger, Zep Hindle, standing at Gordon's window. Unbeknownst to Tapp, Zep held Gordon's wife and daughter hostage as part of a test by Jigsaw, who had forced him to kill Gordon's family if the latter wasn't able to finish a test on his own by 6:00 o'clock. (Saw)
When the time ran out, Zep prepared to kill his hostages as Gordon hadn't passed his test. However, he engaged in a fight with Alison and accidentally triggered several shots, which made Tapp suspicious. Only a few minutes later, Tapp burst into the apartment and fired at Zep, giving Alison and Diana enough time to flee. When his magazine was empty, Tapp charged at Zep, who incapacitated him by smashing a glass vase on his head and fled to go after Gordon. However, Tapp quickly recovered and pursued Zep in his car to what appeared to be an old factory where Gordon and Adam had to play their game. When he finally outran Zep in an underground hallway, they engaged in another fight. During their scuffle, Tapp was shot in the chest, collapsed and eventually died. (Saw)
After Jigsaw's death at the hands of Jeff Denlon, another one of his victims, Tapp's deceased partners Daniel Rigg, Eric Matthews, Steven Sing and Allison Kerry were given a memorial. Tapp himself was honored as well, even though his corpse had never been found as the underground tunnels had never been found by the police. His picture stood next to those of his colleagues. On this occasion, Detective Hoffman and the Chief of Police each delivered a speech to honor them and their efforts. (Saw III, V)
Tapp acted as the main protagonist of Saw: The Video Game which was set right after the first movie. In the game he survived Zep's gunshot and was found by Jigsaw who brought him to the abandoned Whitehurst Insane Asylum where the latter removed the bullet from his chest and instead placed a key inside him. When he woke up he realized that he wore a reverse beartrap on his head, the same trap that was once used to test Amanda Young. Jigsaw brought him here to test him as well in order to help him to overcome his obsession with Jigsaw. Tapp quickly freed himself from the trap and started his way through the old asylum. Shortly afterwards he came across another man who was trapped as well. In order to save both of them trap had to grab a fuse for a door panel from a toilet filled with used syringes. He managed to do so in time before the bombs in the room detonated. However moments later he was attacked by the other man and learned that there were other prisoners in the asylum who wanted to kill him to get the key from his body which could free them from their own traps.
During his journey through the asylum Tapp was introduced to other victims he had to save. The first one was Amanda Young, who had been trapped again as she didn't get away from the drugs and self-harm. Tapp managed to save her from a trap and took her with her. Unfortunately they were separated again when a mysterious figure named Pighead subdued and abducted her. Unable to save her Tapp is forced to move further into the asylum but is ultimately attacked by the Pighead on his own. When he woke up again he noticed the Shotgun Collar his opponent had placed on him. Now Tapp had to watch out for other inmates wearing similar collars. If he got to close to them his collar would detonate and vice versa if he got to far away from them.
Shortly afterwards he found another victim, Jennings Foster, who was placed in a trap similar to the one that killed Seth Baxter, another former Jigsaw victim. Jennings once killed a homeless man in a hit and run accident while being drunk. He told Tapp to move on but the latter was eager to find the offender, causing Jennings to frame an innocent man who was eventually sent to jail instead of him. Therefore Jennings blamed Tapp for being targeted by Jigsaw and ran away.
On his way he came across a third victim, Melissa Sing, the widow of his late partner who blamed Tapp for the latter's demise as he didn't call for reinforcements. Tapp managed to save her from her trap but as she was still unable to forgive them she left him to find a way out on her own.
The next victim found by Tapp was Oswald McGillicutty, a Globe Staff writer who had published numerous articles criticizing the supposedly sloppy work of the police on the Jigsaw case and destroyed Tapp's reputation when he blamed him for his partner's death in another article. Despite this Tapp tried to save him from a trap and managed to do so. However, only minutes later Oswald accidentally triggered a booby trap and was killed right in front of Tapp.
As he wanted to show Tapp that some people actually desired to be tested Jigsaw introduced him to Obi Tate, the next prisoner, who had been trapped due to a newspaper ad in which he asked Jigsaw to test him, seeing it as a gift. Therefore he was angry when his life was put in Tapp's hands instead of giving him the chance to save himself. When Tapp reached the crematorium he freed Obi from his trap. However Obi also ran away from him afterwards due to his frustration.
Upon reaching the asylum's theater Tapp found the last victim he had to save and was surprised to see it was Jeff Thomas (known as Jeff Ridenhour in the first film), whom he and Sing had saved from the drill chair in Jigsaw's hideout. Due to his obsession Tapp had begun to stalk and put pressure on Jeff which caused the latter to attempt to commit suicide. He freed Jeff from the next trap. However he was still angry at Tapp and ran away as well when Tapp asked him if he was able to see Jigsaw's face.
As Jeff was his last test subject Tapp was now able to continue his pursuit of Jigsaw but engaged in a fight with the Pighead who, according to Jigsaw, tried to sabotage Tapp's game in an attempt to surpass Jigsaw. In order to obtain a key to progress Tapp eventually killed Pighead by luring him in a trap which electrocuted him.
After killing Pighead Tapp headed to the asylum's library where Jigsaw confronted him in person to present him his final choice to conclude his test. Tapp chased Jigsaw, to no avail, but managed to recover the final key in the process. Tapp returned to the library where he must choose between "Freedom", which would set Tapp and all other prisoners in the asylums free, or "Truth", which would give Tapp the opportunity to solve another one of Jigsaw's mysteries but would also make him fail his test. Depending on the player's choice, there were two different outcomes:
- Freedom: Tapp decided to choose freedom and escaped from the asylum, freeing the rest of the people trapped inside. He returned to his apartment and reviewed newspaper clippings, which labeled him a hero by those who survived their tests in the asylum. Despite this Tapp couldn't overcome his obsession with Jigsaw and ultimately committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. This ending was later confirmed to be the canon ending.
- Truth: Tapp couldn't overcome his obsession and decided to continue to go after Jigsaw. He pursued a mysterious cloaked figure who he believes to be Jigsaw. After catching and brutally beating the figure, Tapp realized that it was actually Melissa Sing. A tape explained that Jigsaw had put her in charge of keeping Tapp alive and making sure he followed the rules of Jigsaw's game after Tapp rescued her in order to save her son who had been abducted by Jigsaw as well. Additionally he had sewn her mouth shut to avoid her from warning Tapp about her test. Attempting to run away from Tapp, Melissa desperately charged through a nearby door rigged with a shotgun, killing her in the same way as her late husband, Steven Sing. Tapp suffered a mental breakdown as a result of her death and was taken to an asylum as he was hallucinating and therefore believed he was still trapped in one of Jigsaw's games.
Tapp was also frequently mentioned in Saw II: Flesh & Blood through his files and tape recordings found by his son, Michael, when he was tested on his own. These documents and tapes provided many information about Tapp's work.
They revealed that Tapp was the head of a special Jigsaw task force founded by Chief Henry Jacobs which consisted of David Tapp, Detective Steven Sing, Detective Allison Kerry, Detective Mark Hoffman and Jennings Foster. It was mentioned that he worked with Sing on two occasions already, the Bilson murders and the mass execution of several K2K members by the yakuza. He was involved in the Jigsaw case from the beginning and therefore also visited the crime scene of Jigsaw's very first victim, Cecil Adams, as well as two other victims, Ronnie Navarro, a Blood Eye drug dealer, and Mitsuka Ito, a member of the local yakuza. He was also in charge of the investigation on the murder of Seth Baxter, the man who murdered Detective Hoffman's sister years ago.
It was further revealed that Tapp had spent much time with the examination of the Reverse Beartrap used on Amanda Young and at some was able to open it even without a key, explaining how he could escape from it in the first game without any key or tools.
With the help of Sarah Blalok, a police informant who knew Cecil Adams and Amanda Young, Tapp also found out about their robbery of the Homeward Bound Recovery Clinic for drug addicts which resulted in the miscarriage of Jill Tuck and John Kramers unborn child, Gideon. Despite this connection Tapp never really suspected any of them and ironically held John Kramer in high regards for his social engagement, not knowing that he was actually the Jigsaw Killer.
It was also revealed by his documents that he had an estranged son, Michael, and an ex-wife, Kara Tapp. He was angry at the latter as she didn't visit him at the hospital after he was injured in the night of Sing's death. This was probably due to their messy divorce.
Blaming himself for Sing's death Tapp recorded a confession, stating that he didn't have a warrant and didn't call for reinforcements. It was Michael who found the tape and published the truth, resulting in the eventual destruction of Tapp's reputation and his discharge from the forces by Henry Jacobs. He tried to get information about the progress of the investigation by putting Jennings Foster under pressure but was rebuked by Detective Kerry, who had replaced him as the leading investigator. However due to his feelings of guilt Tapp decided to go after Jigsaw on his own. During his investigations he observed a meeting at Detective Joseph Poltzer's house and found out about a secret drug cartel, consisting of Poltzer, Chief Jacobs, Carla Song, Sarah Blalok and Solomon Bates and realized that Jacobs had merely used Sing's death as a reason for Tapp's discharge. Despite this Tapp never told anyone about them as he was too busy with the observation of Dr. Gordon, who he still believed to be the Jigsaw Murderer.
Tapp was also mentioned in the documentary Full Disclosure Report, which focused on Jigsaw's early crimes. Following his disappearance at the night of the Gordon family's captivity, Detective Ron Willis and his colleagues searched his apartment where they found Tapp's notes and therefore learned about his obsession with Gordon. Willis was later interviewed for the documentary Full Disclosure Report, which focused on Jigsaw's early crimes, and reported these details to the audience. Additionally, the recording of an emergency call by the Gordons' neighbors after they heard the gunshots, was revealed to the viewers. The caller mentioned how Tapp and Zep fled the scene after the shooting.
Tapp was a hard-working detective, eager to solve every case he was confronted with and bring justice to both the victims and the offenders. He was also good friends with his partner, Detective Sing. However his enthusiasm for his work soon turned into obsession which became even worse after Sing's death, resulting in him neglecting himself for the sake of his investigations.
He's also very stubborn as he was convinced that Lawrence Gordon was the Jigsaw Killer even though the latter had an alibi for the time of the murders. Obsessed with this idea he observed Gordon's house and meticulously wrote down everything he thought to be important in any way. Despite him being a respected detective he was willing more than once to break the service regulations or even the law and tended to risk the safety of himself and others in order to achieve his goals, which was the reason for the death of Sing and later himself.
- Danny Glover was originally going to return to film new scenes for Saw V. However he was too busy to return and the character only featured in a brief flashback using archive footage from the first Saw film.
- An audio tape in Saw II: Flesh & Blood reveals that Tapp decided to continue investigating the Jigsaw Case, after seeing a magazine with John Kramer being labelled man of the year.
Appearances and References
|Saw||Saw II||Saw III||Saw IV||Saw V||Saw VI||Saw 3D|
|Appears||Absent||Archive||Absent||Archive, Pictured, & Mentioned||Absent||Absent|
|Full Disclosure Report||The Scott Tibbs Documentary||Saw: The Video Game||Saw II: Flesh & Blood|
|Absent||Absent||Pictured & Mentioned||Absent||Appears||Pictured, Recording, & Mentioned|