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It may not be entirely clear to you now, but I assure you that the people being tested are part of something much larger. They're connected. So in the end all the pieces will fit together.
— John gives Hoffman the photos for the Fatal Five's Tests[src]

The stalker photos taken by John Kramer, better known as the Jigsaw Killer, during the observation of his victims were recurring items throughout the Saw franchise.

History

Cecil Adams' Test

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Jill confronts John with Cecil's photos

When John Kramer became Jigsaw and started his self-imposed mission of testing other peoples' will to survive in order to make them appreciate their lives, he spent much time on observing his victims so he could learn as much as possible about them and their lives. While doing so, he took photos of them on numerous occasions. His first victim was Cecil Adams, a drug addict who had robbed John's wife, Jill Tuck, and had therefore caused the miscarriage of her unborn son, Gideon Kramer. John took the photos to his workshop where he prepared himself for his first game which took place shortly afterwards. During that game, Cecil managed to get free from one of John's vicious traps and attempted to attack him, but died when he accidently fell into a cage full of razor wire. His corpse was later found by the police. When Jill learned about Cecil's death from a newspaper, she went to John's workshop to talk to him, worried that he might have something to do with it. Thinking she was alone, she searched the workshop and quickly found a bunch of photos of Cecil on a table. When she went further into the room, she discovered a big, elongated contraption hidden under a big cloth. However, as she was about to drag away the cloth, John suddenly appeared by her side and grabbed her arm, angrily telling her that he didn't want her to come. He tried to drag her out, but Jill broke free and confronted him with the newspaper and the photos, asking what he had done to Cecil. John however merely responded that he had taught him not to take his life for granted. Shocked by this, Jill asked him what had happened to him. Angered by this, John grabbed a crowbar and smashed the old clock with it before he managed to calm down again. Then, he told her once more to go away, which she subsequently did. (Saw IV)

Mark Wilson's Test

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Stalker photo of Mark Wilson

While continuing his deadly games, John eventually targeted Mark Wilson, a healthy, young man who claimed to be seriously ill in order to get money from the health insurance company. During the preparations for his game, John also took photos of him. When Mark Wilson was eventually abducted by John's apprentice, Detective Mark Hoffman, and woke up in a dark room, he found an audio tape recorded by John. On the tape, John confronted Mark with his lies and told him about the of photos of him. Mark Wilson didn't survive this game. Both, his corpse and the tape, were later found by the police. (Saw, V)

Amanda Young's Test

John also observed his next victim, Amanda Young, a heroin addict, and took photos of her. He kept these photos in his hideout in an abandoned mannequin factory, where he prepared everything for Amanda's game which took place shortly afterwards. (Saw III)

Zep Hindle, Adam Stanheight and Dr. Lawrence Gordon's Tests

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Zep Hindle in Dr. Gordon's apartment

Five months later John and Amanda, who had become his apprentice after surviving her own test, prepared two games which were directly connected to each other. The first test focussed on John's doctor, the oncologist Dr. Lawrence Gordon, and Adam Stanheight, a freelance photographer who had been hired by discharged detective David Tapp to observe Gordon. Both men were abducted and taken to a grimy industrial bathroom where they were chained to pipes. By 6:00 o'clock Gordon had to kill Adam in order to save his wife and daughter, Alison and Diana Gordon. They were taken hostage by Zep Hindle, an orderly from the Angel of Mercy Hospital, who had to play a game on his own. If Gordon didn't manage to kill Adam in time, Zep had to kill Gordon's family in order to gain an antidote for a slow acting poison in his blood. After tying them up in Alison and Lawrence's bedroom, Zep stepped to the window. Unbeknown to him he was observed by John or one of his apprentices who took a photo of him and took it to the bathroom. The photo of Zep was later found by Adam in a plastic back hidden inside a toilet tank. When he showed them to Gordon, the latter immediately thought that Zep was in fact the Jigsaw Killer who had abducted them. (Saw)

Preparations for the Future

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Hoffman receives his last orders

Jigsaw and his apprentices continued their games unimpeded. However due to his cancer John's physical condition worsened constantly, resulting in him planning his final tests. While lying on his deathbed in his new hideout at the Gideon Meatpacking Plant, he spoke to his apprentice Mark Hoffman one final time and ordered him to prepare another series of tests. Therefore he handed him a file which contained the photos of five new test subjects: Ashley, Charles, Luba Gibbs, Mallick and Brit. Furthermore he told them that all of them were somehow connected to each other. After their conversation, Hoffman took the file with him and left the room through a hidden hallway. (Saw V)

Peter Strahm and Lindsey Perez' Test

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The photos left in Rigg's apartment

While John, Hoffman and Amanda stayed at the Gideon Plant, another victim, Art Blank, was forced to set up two other games. The victim of the first one was Officer Daniel Rigg who had to face a series of tests in order to overcome his obsession with saving everybody around him. Therefore Art invaded Rigg's apartment at 23 Park Place at night, subdued him and placed him in his bathtub. While Rigg was unconscious, Art set up a trap in the living room. Additionally he left numerous photos in the apartment, showing the victims participating in Rigg's game: Brenda, a prostitute strapped to the trap in the living room, Ivan Landsness, a threefold rapist, Rex, an abusive husband and his wife, Morgan, Detective Eric Matthews, who had been abducted six months earlier and Detective Mark Hoffman who pretended to be a victim in the game as well. Furthermore he also placed numerous pictures of John Kramer's ex-wife, Jill Tuck, in the room. However these photos had almost no relevance for Rigg's game, but were rather meant to serve as clues for the test of Special Agent Peter Strahm and Special Agent Lindsey Perez. Shortly after the beginning of Rigg's game, a shootout in his apartment was reported to the police. Therefore a SWAT team led by Officer Lamanna stormed the apartment and found the corpse of Brenda. Shortly afterwards Strahm and Perez arrived at the crime scene as well. Upon finding the photos of Eric Matthews, they were surprised that he was still alive but it also caused Strahm to immediately suspect Rigg of being Jigsaw's yet unknown accomplice. When they also found the pictures of Jill, they picked her up from her clinic and took her to the police station where she was interrogated by Strahm who asked her why her photos were at the crime scene. (Saw IV)

Final Request

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Jill opens the black box

Following John's death at the hands of Jeff Denlon, another one of his victims, Jill Tuck went to the chancery of John's executor, Bernie Feldman, where she received a black box as well as a video tape from her late ex-husband who told her that the content of the box was of grave importance. Upon opening the box with a key John gave to her shortly before his death, Jill found a mechanical trap and six envelopes. These envelopes contained photos of the victims for another series of tests. When Feldman asked her what was in the box, Jill ignored his question and left his office with the box. (Saw V, VI)

The Fatal Five's Trial

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Erickson finds Brit's photo

Shortly afterwards, Mark Hoffman made the final arrangements for the game John told him to set up during their last conversation. He abducted the five victims and took them to the location of the game in an underground catacomb area at 1293 Sandburst Drive. Besides the rooms where the game had to be played, the catacombs also housed a surveillance room set up by Hoffman, where he kept the files with the stalker photos of the victim. Later on when the game came closer to its end, Hoffman returned to the catacombs once more and placed the mobile phone of Peter Strahm, which he had stolen from the police station's evidence room, on a desk. It was later located by Special Agent Cowan. When Special Agent Dan Erickson discovered the underground location, he also found the photos as well as Strahm's phone. This false trail laid by Hoffman led him to the conclusion that Peter Strahm was the successor of John Kramer. (Saw V)

Eddie and Simone's Test

Feeling safe now, Hoffman continued the games undaunted. His next two victims were Simone and Eddie, two ruthless money lenders who had ruined the economic existence of numerous people by granting them high credits even though they knew that these people couldn't pay them back. Therefore, he set up a game for them in a factory and abducted them. Each one of them had a vicious device put on their heads which would pierce their skulls with drills after a timer of 60 seconds went off. The only way to survive was to cut off their own flesh and put it on a scale in the middle of the room. Only the person who sacrificed the most flesh would survive. Eventually, Simone was able to win the game by cutting off her left arm. After that, she tried to flee in an attempt to get help. When he was alone, Hoffman entered the room, used Strahm's severed hand to place the latter's fingerprints on the scale and Eddie's eyelids and cut a jigsaw piece from his victim's skin. Finally, he removed Simone and Eddie's instruction tape from the TV in the middle of the room. When he was done, he left the location and went to a surveillance room at the Rowan Zoological Institute, which was soon going to become the location of another series of tests. There, he listened to a voice recording of Simone and Eddie's game, but was interrupted when he was called back to the crime scene, which had been found by the police by then. During the investigation of the crime scene, they found photos of Simone and Eddie hanging on a pinboard in the room where Hoffman had gone into hiding during the game. (Saw VI)

William Easton's Trial

After the meeting with Bernie Feldman, Jill had taken the box and its content home to her apartment. When she went through the envelopes, she was surprised to find out that Mark Hoffman was set to be tested as well. Among the victims were also two other people that she new. One was William Easton, manager of the Umbrella Health insurance company, the other one was Pamela Jenkins, a journalist who had already tried to contact her multiple times in order to get an interview with her as part of her reportage about the Jigsaw Case. Eventually Jill took the envelopes to her office at the Homeward Bound Clinic where she kept them inside a cabinet until Hoffman came to collect them.

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Hoffman and Jill at the clinic

To Jill's surprise, Hoffman arrived earlier than anticipated as he had become nervous when he learned that Pamela Jenkins had found out about the box. When he and Jill were alone in her office, Hoffman told her that he wanted to accelerate the next big game and start it the same day, therefore demanding the envelopes. He further told her that he was going to work alone from now on. Jill initially hesitated as this wasn't John's will, but quickly gave in and handed him five of the envelopes, thereby concealing the existence of the sixth one. He took a look at the photos in the first envelope, which showed William. When Hoffman asked Jill who he was, she merely responded that he was on John's list. After receiving the envelopes, Hoffman left the office with the envelopes, telling Jill that he wouldn't see her again once he was done.

At the same day, Hoffman set up the tests for William at the abandoned Rowan Zoological Institute. Inside the building he had set up a surveillance room from where he was able to witness William's progress. In the surveillance room he had a pinboard to which he attached the photos of the victims after abducting them. However some of the photos were also used in the game itself. When William reached his second test, he was confronted with his secretary, Addy, and his file clerk, Allen. Each one of them had a noose of barbwire around their necks. In order to save the life of one of them, William had to sacrifice the other one, who would be hanged by the noose. When the game began, he was shown numerous photos of them. While Addy's photos were family pictures, the photos of Allen seemed to have been taken without his knowledge. (Saw VI)

Mark Hoffman's Test

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Hoffman's stalker photo

When the game drew to a close, Jill went to the surveillance room and placed a bag, which contained the trap and photo for Hoffman's test, in a locker before she disappeared. Shortly afterwards, Hoffman returned to the room to observe the end of the game. However when he sat down, Jill suddenly reentered the room and gave him an electric shock. While he was unconscious, she strapped his arms to the armrests of the chair and put the Reverse Beartrap on his head. Only moment later he woke up again and was shocked when Jill showed him his own photo, revealing he was the last person John wanted to be tested. (Saw VI)

Bobby Dagen's Trial

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The photos is Hoffman's surveillance room

Despite Jill intending to leave Hoffman no option for escape, the latter actually managed to get out of the trap, albeit heavily injured. After surviving this test, Hoffman went to his hideout in an abandoned hangar where he had kept the instructions for another game focussing on Bobby Dagen, a man who had lied to the public about being a Jigsaw survivor in order to become rich and famous. This game was originally planned to take place before William's game but instead Hoffman now used it to exert leverage on the police and get his revenge on Jill. Among the instructions for the game were also several photos of the victims: Bobby himself, his wife, Joyce Dagen, his best friend, Cale, his publicist, Nina, and his lawyer, Suzanne. Hoffman took these photos to a second hideout at Pete's Auto Body, a junkyard at 58th Street, where he set up a secret surveillance room. These photos were later found by Detective Matt Gibson when he discovered the room. (Saw 3D)

Use in other Media

Saw II: Flesh & Blood

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Michael finds the photos

During his series of tests in Saw II: Flesh & Blood, the games protagonist, Michael Tapp, had to save five people: Chief Henry Jacobs, Sarah Blalok, Detective Joseph Poltzer, Carla Song and Solomon Bates. Near the end of his game, Michael came across a wall of photos of these five people as well as photos of his father, David Tapp, and Jigsaw's mechanical ventriloquist puppet, Billy. Therefore he learned that the people he had to save were all members of a drug cartel discovered by Michaels father during his investigation on the Jigsaw murders.

Appearances and References


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