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This timeline depicts the order in which the events shown or mentioned during the first Saw films as well as the two video games probably occurred. Due to some contradictions it is separated from the movies' timeline.

Before Saw

  • Daniel Whitehurst's father commits suicide due to his mental illness causing his son to build the Whitehurst Insane Asylum.
  • The Whitehurst Asylum's construction is completed by the end of March 1885. The facility opens on June 2, 1885.
  • Due to the building settling onto the foundation the Asylum suffers some minor damage in 1897.
  • During an accident caused by a damaged boiler seal one of the Asylum's staff members, Bruce, is heavily injured and nearly loses an arm.
  • Daniel Whitehursts II takes on the Asylum's management. Under his leadership many of the patients are neglected and have to endure experimental medical methods including isolation treatment, sympathectomies and more which causes the death of several inmates.
  • Whitehurst's head custodian Ray Watkins quits his job and is replaced by his successor Francis Merkin.
  • Due to the patients demanding a religious area a chapel is build in the Asylum's courtyard.
  • As part of the MKULTRA project the Whitehurst Asylum is granted supplies of a new drug called LSD by the government's Technical Services Division and start to test it on so-called John Doe patients.
  • The Asylum's management is taken on by Daniel Whitehurst III and later Daniel Whitehurst IV.
  • As a result of a mental breakdown at the age of 19 Lawrence Gordon is commited to the Whitehurst Asylum for six month.
  • Due to serious financial problems Daniel Whitehust IV orders many of his patients to be transferred to other facilities while also discharging volunteer patients. Some of the staff members assumingly take on new jobs at the Umbrella Health Insurance Company.
  • Seth Baxter is convicted to a life sentence for murder.
  • While intoxicated CSI officer Jennings Foster kills a homeless man in a hit and run accident.
  • When Detective Tapp investigates the accident Jennings frames an innocent man resulting in the latter's imprisonment.
  • The K2K gang tries to expand their territory beyond the 118th street of the international district which results in a gang war with the yakuza.
  • The yakuza kidnaps and executes most K2K members and drape their bodies across the 118th street.
  • Detective David Tapp and Detective Steven Sing work together for the first time to investigate on the gang murders.
  • John Kramer founds a company called Gideon which is dedicated to the creation of new housing for needy families.
  • Jill Kramer becomes pregnant. Her son is planned to be named Gideon.
  • Amanda Young persuades Cecil Adams to a robbery at the clinic which results in him inadvertently slamming a doorknob into Jill's stomach causing a miscarriage.
  • Cecil flees from the clinic.
  • John Kramer finds Jill and brings her to the next hospital but despite their efforts the doctors aren't able to save the life of John and Jill's unborn child.
  • Following Gideon's death John suffers from severe depression causing him to withdraw from both his wife.
  • John attempts to commit suicide by driving his car over a cliff but survives despite being heavily injured and decides to spend the rest of his life on testing other peoples' will to survive.
  • John separates from Jill causing her to revert to her maiden name Tuck.
  • John abducts Cecil Adams and forces him into his first trap.
  • Cecil survives albeit heavily injured but dies when he attempts to attack John causing him to fall into a cage full of razor wire. After bleeding out John cuts a jigsaw piece out of Cecil's skin.
  • The police finds Cecil Adams' corpse and Chief Henry Jacobs orders Detective David Tapp to take the lead position on the case.
  • Due to the jigsaw piece cut from Cecil's body the police give the murderer nickname "Jigsaw Killer" or simply "Jigsaw".
  • Dr. Lawrence Gordon starts to have an affair with his medical trainee Carla Song.
  • Jigsaw puts Mitsuka Ito, a yakuza member, and Ronnie Navarro, a dealer and member of the Blood Eye gang, into a trap which none of them survives.
  • When Ito and Navarro's corpses are found Chief Jacobs founds a taskforce to solve the Jigsaw case. The taskforce is lead by Detective Tapp and also consists of Detective Mark Hoffman, Detective Allison Kerry, Detective Steven Sing and Officer Jennings Foster.
  • Due to procedural errors Seth Baxter is released from prison after five years.
  • Paul Leahy unsuccessfully attempts to commit suicide by cutting his wrists.
  • Detective Mark Hoffman abducts Seth Baxter and puts him into a trap. Due to the trap being manipulated Seth has no chance to survive even after solving his task which results in him being killed by a giant pendulum in front of Hoffman's eyes who cuts a jigsaw piece out of his victim's skin in order to make the murder appear to be another one of Jigsaw's tests.
  • John Kramer gathers evidence that Hoffman murdered Seth and sends him an anonymous message stating that he knows about his secret.
  • John abducts Hoffman, reveals himself to be the Jigsaw Killer and forces him to help him setting up his future games. Otherwise he would make sure the police would find out about his information about Hoffman. After a short argument Hoffman finally agrees.
  • John and Hoffman attack Paul Leahy in his car while the latter attempts to commit suicide again. After subduing him Leahy is put into another trap but fails to fulfill his task and therefore dies from blood loss while being observed by his abductors.
  • While watching Paul die Hoffman warns John about Detective Tapp being after him. John gives him a penlight he took from Dr. Gordon and tells Hoffman to lead his colleagues on the doctor's trail.
  • Detective Mark Hoffman abducts Mark Wilson and puts him into the next trap. After witnessing Mark's death Hoffman places Dr. Gordon's penlight at the crime scene.
  • Upon investigating the crime scene of Mark's game the police finds Dr. Gordon's penlight.
  • Detective Tapp and Detective Sing confront Dr. Gordon and take him to the police station.
  • Dr. Gordon claims to have been at the hospital with his student Carla at the time of Mark's death which she confirms.
  • An insider at the police department gives information about the Jigsaw case to the press.
  • Globe Staff writer Oswald McGillicutty publishes several articles about the polices' supposedly sloppy work and repeatedly depicts them and especially Tapp as being incompetent.
  • A few weeks after his death Paul Leahy's corpse is found by the police.
  • John abducts Jeff Thomas.
  • By investigating Jigsaw's video tape from Amanda's crime scene Detective Tapp and Detective Sing discover Jigsaw's hideout in an abandoned mannequin factory on 413 Stygian street.
  • Detective Tapp and Detective Sing enter the factory without a search warrant and find Jeff Thomas.
  • Jigsaw enters the hideout and starts Jeff's trap forcing the detectives to act quickly.
  • While Sing destroys the trap and therefore saves Jeff Jigsaw slashes Tapp's throat and flees. On his pursuit Detective Sing walks right into a booby trap and dies.
  • Following his parter's death Tapp suffers a mental breakdown. Detective Hoffman and Detective Kerry take over the lead position on the case.
  • After leaving the hospital Tapp calls his ex-wife Kara to ask her why she didn't visit him once. Instead of her his son Michael picks up the call and tells his father he has problems finding a job at a newspaper publisher. He asks his father for some exclusive information on the Jigsaw case which Tapp denies.
  • Tapp sets up an audio recording and confesses to have invaded Jigsaw's hideout without a search warrant.
  • Tapp puts Jennings Foster under pressure by demanding information about the progress of the Jigsaw investigations but is interrupted by Detective Kerry.
  • Michael visits his father and steals his files of the Jigsaw case as well as the audio tape containing his confession.

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