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, Saw VI and Saw 3D. He was portrayed by James Van Patten.


The Jigsaw Case

John Body 3

Dr. Heffner performs the autopsy on John

Adam Heffner was a pathologist, who worked for the Metropolitan Police Department. At one point of his career, he played a central role in the investigation of the case of serial killer John Kramer, better known as the Jigsaw Killer. During that case, he was responsible for performing the autopsies on every single victim of Jigsaw and finally Jigsaw himself, after he had been killed by one of his victims. When he, along with one of his colleagues, conducted the post-mortem examination on his corpse, he cut open his stomach and thereby found a cassette coated in wax, which Jigsaw had swallowed before his death. Heffner immediately told his colleague to call the homicide division. When Detective Mark Hoffman arrived at the morgue shortly afterwards, he ordered them to cut out the cassette. After doing so, they gave the tape to Hoffman. The recording it contained turned out to be warning. Jigsaw announced that his games would go on after his death and that Detective Hoffman would be tested as well. (Saw III, Saw IV, Saw VI)

Reconsideration of the Seth Baxter Case


Heffner talks to Hoffman and the agents

Jigsaw's threats soon came true when the games were continued shortly afterwards. As before, Heffner remained as the primary pathologist working on the case. One of the new victims he had to examine was a money lender named Eddie. Upon conducting the autopsy, he noticed that the jigsaw piece, which had been cut from his skin, had been removed with a tined blade, as opposed to the pieces cut from the bodies of previous victims, where a plain scalpel had been used. This tined blade had only been used on one other occasion, the murder of Seth Baxter, the killer of Detective Hoffman's sister, Angelina Acomb. Due to this discovery, he called the detective, as well as the special agents Dan Erickson and Lindsey Perez, to the morgue and revealed the results of his examination to them. Due to the possible connection between Seth and Eddie's death, the agents decided to reconsider the Seth Baxter Case. (Saw V, Saw VI)



Heffner is killed by Mark Hoffman

Soon afterwards, Jigsaw's ex-wife, Jill Tuck, revealed that Mark Hoffman was actually one of Jigsaw's accomplices and his eventual successor, and was therefore taken into protective custody in the basement cells of 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, Gibson sent the corpses the four victims of the trap - Evan, Kara, Dan and Jake - to the morgue. When the coroner arrived there with the bodies, he told Heffner that their examination had to be preponed. Unbeknownst to them, Hoffman had removed the corpse of Dan from his 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. Seconds later, Heffner succumbed to his injury and died 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 and responsible worker, who payed close attention to detail. Therefore, he was 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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