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I was the one who examined that body. 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. He appears as a minor protagonist in Saw IV, Saw VI, and Saw 3D.

He was portrayed by James Van Patten.


The Jigsaw Case

Dr. Heffner performs the autopsy on Jigsaw

Adam Heffner was a forensic pathologist who worked for the Metropolitan Police Department. At one point in his career, he played a central role in the investigation of the case of the serial killer John Kramer, better known as the Jigsaw Killer. During that case, Heffner performed the autopsies on every single victim of Jigsaw and even Jigsaw himself after he was killed by one of his victims. When he, along with one of his colleagues, conducted the post-mortem examination on Jigsaw's corpse, he cut open his stomach. Thereby, he found a mini-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 afterward, he ordered them to cut out the cassette. After doing so, they gave it to Hoffman. The recording it contained turned out to be a 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 continued shortly after his death. As before, Heffner remained the primary pathologist working on the case. One of the new victims he had to examine was a moneylender named Eddie. Upon conducting the autopsy, he noticed that the jigsaw piece, which was cut from his skin, had been removed with a partially serrated blade, as opposed to the pieces cut from the bodies of previous victims, where a plain scalpel was used. This serrated blade was only used on one other occasion - the murder of Seth Baxter, the killer of Detective Hoffman's sister, Angelina Acomb. Upon this discovery, he called Hoffman as well as the special agents Dan Erickson and Lindsey Perez to the morgue and revealed the results of his examination to them. Because of the connection between Seth's and Eddie's deaths, the agents reconsidered the Seth Baxter Case. (Saw V, Saw VI)


Heffner is killed by Mark Hoffman

Soon afterward, Jigsaw's ex-wife, Jill Tuck, revealed that Mark Hoffman was, in fact, one of Jigsaw's accomplices and his eventual successor. Therefore, she was 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, and thereby distracted his former colleagues. At the same time in the morgue, Heffner talked to Officer Matt Gibson about a humiliated corpse. When Gibson asked him for the reason of death, Heffner 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. Hoping to find any clues that would lead them to Hoffman, Gibson went there immediately and sent the corpses of the four victims of the game - Evan, Kara, Dan, and Jake - to the morgue. When the coroner worker arrived there with the bodies, he told Heffner to prepone their examination. Unbeknownst to them, Hoffman had removed the corpse of Dan from his body bag and had used it to infiltrate the police station. Upon opening the bag, Heffner could barely 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 afterward. The events surrounding the massacre at the police station were reported to the public by the news channels later that 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 paid close attention to detail. Therefore, he was able to notice even the smallest salience. This preciseness was especially 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