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I'm the one who has been working on this case from day one. I have been spending every waking moment piecing it together.
— Kerry argues with Daniel Rigg.[src]

Detective Allison Kerry is a fictional character from the Saw franchise. She serves as the secondary protagonist of Saw II and a supporting protagonist in Saw and Saw III.

She was portrayed by Dina Meyer.

Biography

Cecil Adams' Death

Allison Kerry was a homicide detective who worked for the Metropolitan Police Department. As a classic workaholic, she became obsessed with her job and eventually lost contact with her family. At some point in her career, Kerry got involved in the investigation of a serial killer case. The first victim was a drug addict named Cecil Adams, who died of blood loss in early 1995 after falling into a cage filled with razor wire. He had eight parallel cuts on his face, and a jigsaw piece had been cut from his skin, leading to the killer being nicknamed "Jigsaw." Unbeknownst to her colleagues, Kerry was in touch with the FBI and provided two special agents named Peter Strahm and Lindsey Perez with information about their progress in the investigation. (Saw, Saw II, Saw IV)

Seth Baxter's Death

Years later, in June 2003, another victim of Jigsaw was found in a deadly trap. A man named Seth Baxter had been cut in half by a giant pendulum-shaped blade. Additionally, both of his hands had been crushed by two mechanical vises. It turned out that the man used to be the boyfriend of Angelina Acomb, the sister of one of Kerry's colleagues, Detective Mark Hoffman. Seth had murdered her during a domestic dispute in 1997. Even though Seth received a life sentence in 1998, he was released from prison in May 2003 after five years due to a procedural error. Because of Hoffman's connection to Seth, Kerry undertook the investigation. (Saw V)

Paul Leahy's Death

The next victim that was found was a 46-years-old drug addict named Paul Leahy. Jigsaw had chosen him to participate in one of his gruesome games because Paul had sliced his wrists earlier, not because of depression but rather to attract attention. Therefore, Jigsaw had taken him to a cellar. The back part of the basement area was fenced-in and, thereby, basically turned into a cage. This cage was filled to the brim with razor wire. Upon examining the crime scene on March 19, 2004, the investigators found an audiotape, which Jigsaw had left for Paul. According to the tape, Paul was supposed to crawl through the razor wire to reach the exit door and save his life. However, the wounds he received in the process were so severe that he ultimately died of blood loss. When Detective David Tapp and Detective Steven Sing arrived, Kerry presented them with the recording. Furthermore, she found a peephole in the door to the adjacent room, indicating that Jigsaw had been present during Paul's game and watched his demise. (Saw, Saw IV, Saw V)

Mark Wilson's Death

Kerry discovers the peephole.

Shortly afterward, the detectives were called to another crime scene. The victim, a man named Mark Wilson, had been trapped inside a dark room with the only light source being a single candle. Furthermore, he was injected with a slow-acting poison and was informed by an audiotape that the only antidote was inside a safe. Mark had to find the correct combination among hundreds of numbers written all over the walls to save himself. This task was made even more difficult as the entire floor was covered with broken glass shards. Additionally, Mark's body was slathered with a jellylike, flammable substance. When walking around the room with the candle, Mark accidentally ignited the jelly, causing him to burn alive. While investigating the crime scene, Kerry noticed another peephole in one of the walls and informed Tapp and Sing that she had already found a similar one at the place of Paul's death. Furthermore, the detectives found a penlight and immediately sent it to the forensic lab. (Saw)

Amanda Young's Survival

Soon after Mark's body was found, Amanda Young, a drug addict, came to the police station after escaping a trap set up by Jigsaw. After a doctor examined her wounds, she was interrogated by Detective Tapp. Amanda told him how she had woken up at an unknown location and found herself strapped to a chair. While she was unconscious, Jigsaw had put a mechanical device on her head and hooked it into Amanda's upper and lower jaw. Amanda had received her instructions from a mechanical ventriloquist puppet named Billy, which spoke to her via a video recording. The doll described the device on her head as a "reverse bear trap," which would rip her mouth open if she did not manage to free herself within 60 seconds. To do so, she had to cut the key to the device from the stomach of her supposedly dead cellmate, Donnie Greco. When the tape ended, Amanda successfully freed herself from the chair and ultimately obtained the key by disemboweling her fellow prisoner, who was, in fact, still alive at that point. (Saw)

First Suspect

Shortly afterward, the forensic lab results came in, and the fingerprints on the penlight found at the scene of Mark Wilson's death were identified as those of Dr. Lawrence Gordon, a renowned oncologist. Tapp and Sing immediately went to Gordon's working place at the Angel of Mercy Hospital and waited for him in his office. They asked him about his whereabouts on the previous night between 11 o'clock and 1 o'clock. When Gordon asked Tapp why he wanted to know about this, the latter showed him the penlight with his fingerprints. After that, Gordon was taken to the police station for further interrogation. On the advice of his lawyer, Brett, he told the officers that he had met up with one of his medical trainees, Carla, with whom he had an affair.

Even though Carla confirmed his alibi, Detective Sing asked him to stay a little longer and listen to the interrogation of Amanda Young, whom they requested to repeat her testimony in Gordon's presence as they wanted to see his reaction. The doctor agreed and was visibly shocked as Amanda described her traumatic experience, and even more so when Sing told him that Amanda's fellow prisoner was still alive and merely paralyzed with an opiate overdose when she cut him open. When Tapp asked her if she was grateful for what Jigsaw had done to her, she answered that he had helped her. However, despite this, she was still traumatized by those events and burst into tears. After the interrogation, Tapp drove Gordon home and implied that he still was not entirely convinced of the doctor's innocence. (Saw)

Jigsaw's Hideout

Soon afterward, Detective Tapp seemingly achieved a breakthrough in the investigation. By further examining the video found at the scene of Amanda Young's game, he spotted a graffito on a wall behind Jigsaw's puppet. This graffito was associated with K2K, a small gang from 118th street. Besides that, Tapp heard a fire alarm in the background and ordered Sing to check the recent fire reports for the area. With Sing's assistance, he ultimately found out about a fire in a rear house close to an abandoned mannequin factory at 213 Stygian Street. Although they did not expect to get a warrant, the detectives left the police station and went to the factory. (Saw)

Steven Sing's Death

Minutes later, Tapp and Sing arrived and entered the building. Upon examining the location, they found the K2K graffito and recognized it as the same one from the video. When they searched the hideout, they suddenly caught a sound and discovered a man named Jeff Ridenhour strapped to a mechanical chair. However, when they heard a nearby elevator, they went into hiding. Moments later, Jigsaw arrived, disguised with a black cloak and hood. Tapp and Sing observed him as he approached Jeff and told him that he would become a test subject for one of his gruesome projects. At this moment, the detectives left their hiding spot and aimed their weapons at Jigsaw. Jigsaw reacted quickly and activated the mechanical chair by stepping on a pressure button on the floor. Thereby, two drills started to approach Jeff's head from both sides. While Sing desperately tried to deactivate the contraption, Tapp held Jigsaw at gunpoint. Even though Jigsaw told them that the key to the trap was in a box next to Jeff, Sing could not find the right one in time as there were dozens of keys attached to the key ring. In the last nick of time, Sing saved Jeff nonetheless by shooting the drills. However, the shots distracted Tapp and allowed Jigsaw to slash his throat with a hidden blade and run away. Sing pursued him and shot him in a hallway, causing him to collapse. Thinking that he was dead, Sing approached his body and thereby stepped on a tripwire. This carelessness proved to be fatal as the wire triggered another trap, which caused Sing to be killed by four shotguns attached to a ceiling beam. Afterward, Jigsaw, who wore bulletproof body armor under his cloak, left the factory without any significant injuries. (Saw)

Promotion

Tapp, who survived his injury, was saved later on, along with Jeff Ridenhour. However, he suffered a mental breakdown due to his role in Sing's death. Furthermore, he was discharged from the police force for invading Jigsaw's hideout without a warrant. After that, Kerry became the new leading investigator in the case. (Saw, Saw II)

Michael Marks' Death

Kerry and Eric at the crime scene

In October 2005, Kerry was called to the murder scene of another Jigsaw victim, Michael Marks, whose corpse had been found in a basement during asbestos disposal. Michael had been forced to wear one of Jigsaw's traps, a so-called death mask. Within 60 seconds, Michael had to cut out his right eye to obtain a key, which had been surgically placed in his orbital cavity. Otherwise, the two halves of the mask, which were both spiked with nails, would close in on his head and kill him. However, Michael's attempts to save himself remained unsuccessful, ending in his death. When Kerry arrived, she found a message written on the ceiling, which said, "Look closer, Detective Matthews," referring to Detective Eric Matthews, her former partner with whom she used to have an affair. Their relationship had ultimately resulted in Eric's alienation from his son, Daniel, and his wife, who subsequently filed for divorce.

The first officer who arrived at the crime scene told Kerry that Michael might have been one of Eric's informants. However, as he was not entirely sure about this, Kerry decided to call Eric for help. Although the latter was not happy to see her, he agreed to take a look at the corpse. Due to a tattoo on his leg, Eric was able to identify Michael as his informant. However, when he saw a jigsaw piece cut from Michael's skin, he realized that the murder had been committed by Jigsaw. As he neither wanted to have anything to do with the case nor with Kerry, he was about to leave but was held back by his former partner, who told him to "look closer." When he asked her what she meant, she pointed at the message written on the ceiling.

Back at the police station, the events at the crime scene resulted in an argument between them. While Kerry examined a videotape found at Michael's crime scene, which had been used to give him his instructions, Eric interrupted her and compared her to Jigsaw, claiming they had much in common as they both liked to play with other people. When Kerry apologized for her behavior at the crime scene and tried to convince Eric to help her, he reminded her that this was her case and they were no partners anymore. Angered by this, she asked Eric when he stopped to be a cop before leaving the office. (Saw II)

Raid on Wilson Steel

However, as Eric was haunted by nightmares later that night, he remembered an engraving of Wilson Steel on the mask that had killed Michael and immediately called his colleagues. The next day, he went to the Wilson Steel Plant, accompanied by Kerry and a SWAT team led by Sergeant Daniel Rigg. While the detectives stayed outside, Rigg entered the building with three of his men. Unfortunately, they accidentally triggered a booby trap set up by Jigsaw in a staircase, which caused two officers' death, while a third one, Officer Pete Baker, was severely injured. When Rigg called them in for reinforcements, Eric, Kerry, and the remaining SWAT members stormed the plant. Moments later, they finally made their way to the upper floor, where the Jigsaw Killer, who was, in fact, a civil engineer named John Kramer, sat at a table and waited for them. (Saw II)

Eric Matthews' Test

Kerry and Eric find the monitors.

Initially, Rigg ordered his men to arrest him. However, John spoke to Eric and told him that he should stay where he was until Eric had dealt with his "problem." Then, he told him to take a look in the next room. Eric carefully approached the door to the adjacent area, along with Kerry and Rigg. After securing the room, they discovered several surveillance monitors hidden under a white cloth. Upon looking at the monitors, they saw what appeared to be another one of Jigsaw's games. Eight people were trapped in a room, one of whom Eric recognized as his son, Daniel. When he saw the footage, Eric angrily attacked John. However, he was held back by Rigg. Finally, John explained the rules of his game to him. To save his son, Eric had to sit down and talk to John for two hours while his colleagues left the area. After that time, Daniel would be released. Otherwise, he and the other prisoners would succumb to deadly nerve gas.

Eric went back to the surveillance area and immediately tried to call his son, hoping that Jigsaw was bluffing. However, when Daniel did not answer the call, he realized that John was telling the truth. Therefore, Kerry tried to calm Eric down. However, this attempt remained unsuccessful as Eric got increasingly nervous, especially when the first victim, Gus Colyard, was killed by a booby trap a few minutes after the game began. On Rigg's advice, Kerry called for a tech team to trace back the video broadcast. Meanwhile, Eric talked with John, who repeated his demand. When he returned and informed his colleagues about the ultimatum, Kerry engaged in an argument with Rigg, who suggested to grill John about the victims' whereabouts by using violence. She told him this would not work, stating that John fit a specific psychological profile. Eventually, she convinced Eric to accept John's challenge and play by his rules while she kept an eye on the game's progress. As he took a seat at John's table, Eric placed a walkie-talkie beneath his chair, so his colleagues could listen to their conversation.

John introduced himself to Eric and engaged in discussion with the detective. When Eric referred to his Jigsaw persona, John stated that this nickname had been given to him by the press and police, claiming that he never encouraged them to do so. He explained that the jigsaw pieces he cut from his dead victims' bodies were meant to symbolize their lacking survival instinct. As they talked to each other, Eric tried to direct the conversation towards his son. However, when John demanded that Eric listened to him and reminded him not to forget the rules, Eric insulted him and made it clear that he deemed talking to him a waste of time. Seeing how uncomfortable his opponent felt, John tried to provoke him and spoke about Eric's occasionally violent temper, thereby alluding to an incident five years earlier when Eric brutally battered a suspect and broke the latter's jaw with a flashlight. When talking about Eric's status as a fearless officer, John wanted to know whether he felt safer now that he only sat behind a desk instead of being on patrol. Afterward, he asked him to get him a glass of water, which Eric reluctantly did.

Kerry calls for the tech team.

When the second victim in the house, Obi Tate, died in another trap, Rigg repeated his suggestion to make John tell them about the location by violation as they were wasting time. Kerry, however, still insisted on keeping the situation calm as long as possible. As the game went on, Eric became more and more distressed. Upon his return to John, the latter compared his work to Charles Darwin's theory of the survival of the fittest, stating that most people did not have what it took to survive. John asked Eric why he was so desperate to see Daniel again and wanted to know whether he appreciated his son's life. When he confronted him with the last thing he said to his son, Eric claimed that he always loved Daniel despite their strained relationship. As Eric was about to lose his temper again, John explained the reasons for his games to him and revealed to have incurable cancer. After receiving his diagnosis, he had ultimately tried to end his life by driving his car off a cliff. Contrary to his expectations, he survived the crash. At this moment, John decided he wanted to live. Severely injured, he crawled out of the wreck and realized that he had only learned to cherish his life when his death had been imminent. Because of this, John chose to spend the remaining time of his life testing other people's will to live, hoping that this would convince them to value their lives and the lives of those around them. Unwilling to listen to him any longer, Eric stood up and went to his colleagues.

Kerry learns about the people framed by Eric.

As they witnessed another game playing out on the monitors, Eric angrily asked where the tech team was. When Kerry answered that they should arrive any second, Rigg angrily told her that they did not have much time left and had to develop a new plan to save the victims. Upon seeing John's blueprints, notes, and drawings on the wall, Kerry suggested provoking him by destroying them. However, as Eric did so, John was barely impressed by his fit of rage and death threats. While watching him calmly, he remarked that Eric would not convict him if he destroyed all the evidence in his hideout. Eric stopped when the tech team finally arrived to trace the video broadcast to its source. When he decided to end his conversation with John, the latter told him to look in the drawer of one of his desks. Upon doing so, he and Kerry found the police files of the prisoners in the house - Gus Colyard, Obi Tate, Jonas Singer, Laura Hunter, Addison Corday, Xavier Chavez, and Amanda Young, the first known survivor of Jigsaw's games. Eric had wrongfully arrested all those people for crimes they did not commit by faking the evidence in several cases. John mocked him and told him that Daniel would be in danger if his fellow prisoners learned about their connection.

Shortly afterward, Eric saw how Daniel and Amanda were pursued by one of the other prisoners, Xavier Chavez, and ultimately lost his composure. To force John to reveal his son's whereabouts, he violently battered him, broke one of his fingers, and threatened him with his gun. Although Kerry tried to stop him, she was held back by Rigg. Eventually, John ended Eric's test with the words "Game Over" and promised to take him to the house. However, he demanded to go there with Eric alone. Eric agreed, and they left the building in a hidden elevator. As they escaped, Kerry sent the SWAT team after them while she stayed with SWAT Officer Joe and the tech team, which traced the video feed to an address at 237 North Hyde Crescent shortly afterward. However, when Rigg and his team arrived there, they realized the game had taken place in a different house and was already over long before they even arrested Jigsaw. Upon learning that the video feed was merely a recording, Kerry told the team to come back. As the timer eventually went off, a safe in John's hideout suddenly opened and revealed Daniel Matthews, who had been locked up in the safe the whole time. (Saw II)

Compunction

When Eric did not return, his colleagues eventually concluded that he had become a victim of Jigsaw as well. Shortly after the game, Kerry found out that Amanda Young was, in fact, Jigsaw's accomplice and had merely pretended to have been tested again. Desperate to find Eric, Kerry began to feel guilty for his disappearance as she thought it likely would not have happened if she did not push him to help her. These feelings of guilt caused her to have nightmares in which she saw him, which worsened her emotional state even more. (Saw II, Saw III)

Troy's Death

Six months later, in April 2006, Rigg and his team were called to an elementary school. Following an emergency call about an explosion, they raided the building. Upon examining the location, the officers discovered that one of the classrooms' doors had been welded shut. They eventually cut it open and stormed into the room. As they secured the scene, they found the torn-up remains of Troy, a drug addict, who was killed by a self-built nail bomb after being forced to play one of Jigsaw's games. Therefore, Rigg immediately ordered one of his men to call Kerry.

Kerry at Troy's crime scene

When Kerry arrived, she immediately asked if the victim was Eric, but Detective Mark Hoffman, who investigated the crime scene, told her it was not him. He also informed her that Troy had been held in place by eleven chains piercing his body and was eventually killed by the bomb. Thinking that Troy's death might have something to do with Eric, Kerry asked if she could join the investigation. Seeing how distressed she was, Rigg tried to calm her down and told her that Eric's disappearance was not her fault. Furthermore, he reminded her that Eric was no homicide case but a missing person case at this point and encouraged her to keep a clear head so they could finally stop Jigsaw and end his games for good. However, due to Jigsaw's bad physical condition, Rigg wondered how the latter had set up Troy's game in the first place. Upon examining the scene, Kerry got suspicious when she learned that the SWAT team had to cut the door open as it had been welded shut, giving Troy no chance to escape even if he would have passed his test. This detail led her to the conclusion that someone else was responsible for the game. Seconds later, one of the crime scene investigators told her that the videotape containing the instructions for Troy's game was still intact, despite the explosion. (Saw III)

Abduction

Eager to find Eric and finally put an end to Jigsaw's games, Kerry took the video from Troy's crime scene and many photos and files with her to continue her research at home. While she watched the video over and over again, she suddenly saw herself on the TV screen. Realizing that she was filmed from inside her closet, Kerry grabbed her gun and shot right through its door. When she searched the closet, she found the camera and removed it but was then subdued by an invader with a pig mask, who snuck up on her. Amanda Young and Detective Hoffman, who was also an accomplice of Jigsaw, took her to an underground room and placed her in a deadly trap. Suspended above the floor by two chains, Kerry was put in a harness consisting of twelve metal brackets hooked into her rib cage. (Saw III)

Death

When Kerry woke up again, she immediately realized what had happened to her and started to panic. Moments later, a TV turned on in front of her. Jigsaw's ventriloquist puppet appeared on-screen and revealed to Kerry that she was abducted because she was obsessed with her work to the point where she preferred the presence of a dead body over that of a living human being. It told her to grab the key to her trap from an acid-filled beaker hanging in front of her. Otherwise, the device would kill her after 60 seconds.

Kerry grabs the key.

When the tape ended, and the TV turned off, Kerry further panicked and tried to tip the acid out of the beaker. However, this was not possible as it was held in place by two chains. After some initial hesitation, she finally tried to get the key but pulled her hand back due to the massive pain. Nonetheless, she could bring herself to try it once again and eventually got the key from the glass, which she used to unlock the device. Unfortunately, the lock was without function, destroying her remaining hope to survive. Mere seconds before the timer expired, Amanda entered the room. Kerry recognized her and realized it was her who had manipulated Troy's trap as well as her own. Moments later, the timer went off, causing the contraption to tear her rib cage apart. (Saw III)

Post-Mortem

Four days later, on April 28, 2006, Detective Hoffman, accompanied by a SWAT team led by Rigg and Officer Lamanna, was called to the location. As they entered the area, their path was blocked by a chain-link door. Upon spotting a device connected to the door, Hoffman told the SWAT to send in a tactical robot before entering. Rigg ordered Pete Baker to cut a hole in the door and send the robot in. The robot slowly made its way to the lower floor and soon reached Kerry's corpse, still hanging from the ceiling. When the robot's camera eventually captured her face, Rigg immediately recognized his colleague. Horrified by the discovery, he broke through the door and ran to her, ignoring Hoffman's order to stand back. However, as he approached Kerry, Rigg realized that his hopes to save her were all in vain and fell on his knees. Seconds later, the remaining SWAT officers entered the area and called for a forensic team.

Shortly afterward, the crime scene was investigated by a forensic unit joined by Detective Fisk. Thoroughly depressed, Rigg sat down. While observing their work, he asked Lamanna to cut down Kerry's mutilated corpse. Although Lamanna replied that he could not do this, Rigg repeated his plea to show at least some respect for her. He then left Lamanna alone when Hoffman approached him. Initially angry at him, Hoffman rebuked him for breaching through an unsecured door but calmed down when Rigg told him that he thought he could have saved Kerry. Depressed by Kerry's death, they talked about their work and how they could still go on. Hoffman then pointed at a message written on the wall, saying, "Cherish your life." Rigg asked him how they could if this was their life. Hoffman responded that they had chosen this life and told Rigg to go home.

Kerry's corpse

One of his colleagues then informed Hoffman that two FBI special agents wanted to talk to him. Moments later, he made acquaintance with Peter Strahm and Lindsey Perez. They told Hoffman about a key and a message supposedly sent to them by Kerry, thereby revealing that she had been their contact person. Upon examining the corpse, Fisk found a bullet shell clamped between the device and the body, which Hoffman ordered to be checked for fingerprints. When Agent Perez found the open padlock, she quickly concluded that this was not a real Jigsaw trap. However, when Hoffman said it was probably a trap built by Amanda Young, Agent Strahm negated this as Kerry weighed approximately 130 pounds. Amanda Young, on the other hand, weighed only 107 pounds, according to her arrest report. Therefore, she could not have placed Kerry in the trap on her own, leading to the conclusion that a third, yet unknown, person assisted her and John Kramer. Kerry's corpse was then taken to the morgue, where Dr. Adam Heffner performed the autopsy on her body. (Saw IV, Saw VI)

After John Kramer's and Amanda Young's deaths at the hands of Jeff Denlon, another one of their victims, later that night, Kerry and her deceased colleagues - Daniel Rigg, Eric Matthews, David Tapp, and Steven Sing - were given a memorial. A picture of her stood next to those of her colleagues. On this occasion, Detective Hoffman and the Chief of Police each delivered a speech to honor them and their efforts. (Saw III, Saw V)

Personality

Allison Kerry was a hard-working detective who dedicated most of her life to her work. Therefore, she neglected any interpersonal relationships and eventually lost contact with her family. While spending so much time at crime scenes and in other situations related to death, Kerry began to prefer the presence of a cold body over that of a living human being, causing her to become emotionally numb to a certain extent. She was also kind of selfish as she had an affair with her former partner, Eric Matthews, even though she probably knew he was married.

Kerry was eager to solve the Jigsaw case and was always anxious to stay in control of the investigation. However, she was also capable of stronger feelings for other people. For six months, Kerry blamed herself for Eric's abduction by Jigsaw as she was the one who had pushed him to help her. These feelings of guilt got worse over time, causing her to have nightmares in which she saw Eric. While she initially had a rather dominant personality, this changed after Eric's disappearance, indicating that she suffered from depression.

Trivia

  • In Jigsaw, a newspaper article about the raid on Wilson Steel can be seen in the hidden closet in Eleanor Bonneville's studio. It includes a picture of Kerry and the SWAT moments before entering the building.
  • Detective Allison Kerry was the first main character to die in an inescapable trap.

Appearances and References