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I'm so sorry about your son, Jeff. But let me tell you something that I know for sure. No sentence I gave him, not 500 years, not even death, nothing would take your pain away. And vengeance doesn't solve anything. It just makes the pain greater, Jeff.
— Halden tries to allure Jeff from his vengefulness[src]

Judge Halden is a fictional character from the Saw franchise as well as a supporting protagonist in Saw III. He was portrayed by Barry Flatman.

Biography

Dylan Denlon's Death

Halden was a criminal court judge, who at one point presided over a tragic case manslaughter after an 8-year-old boy, Dylan Denlon, had been killed in a car accident by drunk driver Timothy Young right before the eyes of his father, Jeff Denlon. However, as the only witness besides Jeff, a woman named Danica Scott, refused to testify against Timothy, Halden sentenced him for merely six months in prison. This decision eventually caught up with him three years later when he became a target of John Kramer, better known as the Jigsaw Killer. (Saw III)

Jeff Denlon's Test

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Judge Halden in the vat

One day, Halden was subdued and abducted by one of Jigsaw's apprentices, who took him to the abandoned Gideon Meatpacking Plant. Upon their arrival, his abductor took him to a big hall formerly used for meat processing and strapped him to the bottom of a large vat with a chain around his neck. At the same time, Jeff Denlon was held hostage at the plant as well and was forced by Jigsaw to play one of his games to escape the building and thereby overcome his obsession with vengeance against the people he deemed responsible for his depressions and his son's demise. While making his way through the building, he eventually came to the door to his second test with the words "Time to let go" written on it in big red letters. When he attempted to open it, it turned out to be quite hard as unknown to him, a contraption was attached to the other side of the door with a tightened wire that extended across the room to a control panel. However, Jeff finally managed to open it and stumbled into the room. Upon doing so, he saw how a metal pin connected to the end of the wire was pulled out of the panel. As he carefully went further into the room, the door suddenly slammed shut. Jeff tried to open it but stopped when all of a sudden he heard the scared voice of a man screaming for help. As he followed the voice, Jeff climbed a metal stairway up to a catwalk above the vat where he saw another audio recorder dangling from the ceiling. Upon grabbing it, he saw the man who was shackled to the bottom of the vat by a metal chain around his neck.

The audio tape introduced him to Halden and gave Jeff two options. He could either let Judge Halden die or he could go down the stairs where a big furnace was located. Inside the furnace where all the memorabilia of his son which he had kept over the past three years. As the key to Halden's chain was hidden among Dylan's possessions, the only way to get it was by activating the incinerator, which would burn all the toys and photos until only the key was left. When the tape ended, a giant blender with multiple interlocking saws, which was connected with the vat via a chute, was activated. Just as Halden wondered about the loud sound of the saw blades, a conveyor-like contraption on the ceiling was set into motion. Seconds later, several rotten pig carcasses hanging from the conveyor were carried into the room and dropped over the saws. Thereby, they were hackled to a thick, grey, stinking pulp which was poured into the vat over the chute and dashed Judge Halden's body. Frightened and angered, Halden yelled at Jeff that he couldn't let him die there. In return, Jeff furiously reminded him of Timothy Young and his mild sentence of merely six months in prison. In an attempt to convince Jeff to help him, Halden offered to discuss the case and told him that he could help him to get the sentence extended.
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Jeff saves Judge Halden

Jeff however furiously yelled at him as Timothy had already been released long ago. In a final desperate attempt, Halden told him that he had a son himself and asked Jeff if he really wanted to become a murderer as well. Therefore, Jeff turned away and climbed down the stairway, causing Halden to panic. When he stood in front of the incinerator, Jeff tried to open its door and got angrily kicked against the vat when it didn't work. He struggled with himself, intensively thinking whether he should burn his last memorabilia of his son. However, as time went by and he heard the screams and apologies of Halden, Jeff ultimately turned on the furnace, causing all the toys of his son to be burned forever. His eyes filled with tears, but eventually he saw the key dropping into the incinerator's ash container. As soon as the flames were turned off, Jeff grabbed the key, run up the stairs again and climbed down a ladder into the vat. Disgustedly, he unlocked the shackle around Halden's neck and pulled him up, only seconds before the last torrent of pulp splashed into the vat. (Saw III)

Death

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Jeff and Halden find Timothy Young

From then on, Jeff and Halden continued their way together and eventually reached the next door with the words "Here's your chance" written on it. Disgusted by the stench still clinging to him, Halden took of his tie and vomited on the floor, while Jeff found a small box standing on a barrel in front of the door. Inside the box was the next message saying "One step closer to your revenge." Glued to its back was a photo snippet, showing Jeff's daughter, Corbett. Besides this, there was an empty gun magazine. As he had found a single bullet after finishing his first test in a freezer, Jeff immediately inserted it into the magazine, when Judge Halden condoled with him over the loss of his son. However, he also claimed that even a death sentence for Timothy wouldn't have eased his suffering and tried to convince him that vengeance would only make it worth. Nonetheless Jeff was eager to continue and kicked the door open, which caused the lights inside the next room to turn on. Aroused by the noise, a man, who was trapped in a large contraption resembling a mechanic crucifix in the center of the room, began to panic and screamed for help. As Jeff approached, he finally recognized him as Timothy Young. Timothy told him to do something, but Jeff remained calm and instead started the tape recorder hanging from a wire around Timothy's neck.

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Halden in the trap room

The tape left by Jigsaw told introduced him to Timothy, stating that he was a 27-year-old medical student who once had a normal life just like Jeff until the car accident three years earlier. Now Jeff was finally given the opportunity to take revenge on the murderer of his child. Jigsaw explained that the device to which Timothy was strapped would start to twist his limbs as soon as the game began. Again, he also gave Jeff the chance to forgive Timothy. To the right of him was an elongated glass box which contained a shotgun. Connected to its trigger by a wire, the key to the trap was hanging in front of the barrel and would cause it to fire a shot once the key was removed. As the tape ended, the entrance door of the room slammed shut and the large contraption began to slowly twist Timothy's right arm counter clockwise. While Halden immediately grabbed a metal pipe from the floor and unsuccessfully tried to smash the glass box, Jeff merely stood before Timothy and watched his suffering. However, to his own surprise he soon averted his gaze in disgust and had to literally force himself to watch. Even though he was seemingly angered that this confrontation with Timothy didn't satisfy him as he always imagined, he continued to watch. Shocked by this, Halden approached him and told him to do something, but Jeff angrily pushed him away. At this point, Timothy's arm was completely twisted and as he begged Jeff for mercy, the trap started to twist his other arm as well. Halden tried to stop the device by brute force and yelled at Jeff, claiming that he would be a murderer as well if he didn't help Timothy.
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Halden is killed by the shotgun

To the latter's horror, Jeff casually responded that he might be a murderer and had desired to kill him everyday for the past three years. However, when Timothy's arm broke and Halden reminded him of his wife and daughter, Jeff came to his senses. As the trap began to twist Timothy's right leg, Jeff went to the box and carefully removed the key from the wire, while the trap continued its grisly work. He managed to get the key just when the device had finished twisting its victim's second leg. However, unnoticed by him, Halden accidently came into the firing line and was shot in the head by the shotgun when Jeff let go of the wire. Shocked and paralyzed, Halden eventually collapsed and died on the floor. (Saw III)

Post-Mortem

Less than two hours later, the meatpacking plant was found and raided by the Metropolitan Police Department. As the police secured and searched the entire building, they discovered the many corpses of Jigsaw's victims, including Halden. All of them were sent to the morgue for their obduction by Dr. Adam Heffner. (Saw V, VI)

Personality

Despite his work as a criminal court judge, Halden seemed to be a rather lenient man, giving light sentences to convicts even though their guilt was obvious. Due to this trait of his, he also openly opposed vengeance and believed that it only made things worse rather then actually helping anyone.

Trivia

  • Originally, Halden was supposed to be suspended above the giant blender in his trap. As he would have been lowered down into the blades, Jeff would have had to dive into the pulp of rotten pigs to obtain the key. However, this was changed as the creators wanted it to be an emotional trap rather than a bloody and violent one.

Appearances and References

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