Who is the Real Killer in Jigsaw? Why Did They Kill? [Spoiler]

The eighth installment in the ‘Saw’ horror movie franchise, ‘Jigsaw,’ presents a perplexing puzzle in the story’s center from the get-go, adding a murder-mystery element to the franchise’s serial killer/survival gore niche. Around a decade after John Kramer, A.K.A., The Jigsaw Killer’s death, another killer becomes active, collecting a group of people and orchestrating a survival game to punish them for these immoral actions. However, as the case reaches the police with each new body discovered, Detective Halloran realizes that the evidence doesn’t simply imply a Jigsaw-like killing but instead points toward Kramer’s return from the grave.

Consequently, a seemingly unconnected group finds themselves in a gruesome fight for survival unfolding in a hidden barn. Simultaneously, Halloran investigates the case with the help of coroners Logan Nelson and Eleanor Bonneville. Like any entertaining mystery, the film pitches several suspects and red herrings, bringing viewers to the edge of their seats before divesting the real identity of its killer. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Eleanor Bonneville’s Kramer Obsession

After the discovery of new dead bodies following Edgar— Logan & Eleanor, medical professionals at the morgue become more involved in the investigation. The duo have routinely worked with the police force on a number of cases, and this one remains the same. However, Eleanor’s interest in this particular case varies significantly from the past. The set-up of the killing game, which churns out new bodies and evidence for the cops, naturally harks back to James Kramer’s past crimes. However, the infamous serial killer has been dead well over a decade now, firmly scratching himself off the list of potential suspects.

Nonetheless, several signs point elsewhere. The coroners find clues inside the Jigsaw-stamped bodies— the blood of the potential perp underneath the victim’s nail and a USB drive with an audio message for the cops. Once the forensics department runs tests on both, they come up with evidence suggesting John Kramer’s involvement. The evidence is as unshakable as Kramer’s autopsy reports from ten years ago. Therefore, natural panic arises across the public, who begin believing Kramer has returned. Alternatively, Halloran maintains that killings are likely a result of a copycat killer with a severe Kramer obsession.

Eleanor herself becomes fascinated by the idea. As it would turn out, Eleanor is a massive Jigsaw fangirl who has extensive knowledge about previous reports of Kramer’s crimes and spends her time on fan forums about the serial killer. Halloran’s suspicions are turned on her for the same reason once the authorities track an account on a forum to her IP address. Eventually, Eleanor reveals the reality of her obsession to Logan, even showing him the studio where she keeps Kramer memorabilia, including replicas of the killer’s previously used traps.

Although the characters don’t know it yet, the viewers remain privy to the knowledge that one of the replicas is a mirror image of the trap currently being used against Anna, Mitch, and Ryan at the barn. Therefore, the case against the coroner builds. However, just as Halloran calls for her and Logan’s arrest after discovering Kramer’s grave holding another victim’s body, a new suspect rises to the proverbial table.

The Plausibility of Halloran’s Involvement

With the arrest warrants sent out for Logan and Elanor’s apprehension, the former comes up with another theory suggesting the lead Detective Halloran’s secret identity as the Jigsaw copycat killer. The idea emerges after he realizes that the cop would have had the perfect opportunity to shoot Edgar when his team had the guy cornered on the rooftop. Furthermore, the coroner holds certain biases against Halloran. Working at the morgue, Logan often comes across victims from the cop’s cases and finds himself blaming the Detective for more than one case going wrong. Likewise, his suspicions of the latter’s corruption compel him to blame the other man for his wife’s death.

Therefore, Logan remains steadfast in his theory that Halloran shot Edgar and convinces Detective Keith Hunt, the other lead on the case, to let him run ballistics on the bullet that killed the informant. Since Hunt is with Internal Affairs and has been investigating his partner for corruption, he agrees to the same. Consequently, Logan’s test proves that Halloran shot Edgar, giving weight to the idea that he is behind the recent copycat killings. While the characters outside the dreadful barn follow up on the same, the viewers who have been watching the events inside the barn since the start learn a different truth about the killer.

John Kramer Kills Anna and the Other Participants

After wiping out three of the original five players, Jigsaw’s traps leave two players in the game, Anna and Ryan. Although Anna attempts to leave the barn by breaking down the walls, the killer intercepts her escape and brings her to the game’s final stage. In the end, John Kramer, the supposedly dead serial killer, emerges and delivers the final rules of the level to his two victims. He knows both Anna and Ryan have committed grave sins. Still, he offers them a chance to fight for their freedom in the form of one shotgun set between the two.

Ryan, who has lost half a leg during the games, attempts to talk Anna out of playing into Kramer’s hand, but the latter chooses to save herself by shooting the other man in cold blood. Nevertheless, the gun fires its shot from the back, killing Anna and leaving Ryan to die in the barn all alone. Worse yet, he discovers that if Anna hadn’t been selfish and thought things through, they could have found keys to their respective bindings inside the gun and truly free themselves. Thus, the games conclude with all five participants dead and Kramer’s identity behind their murders confirmed. Yet, the fact remains that the serial killer died ten years before Halloran’s investigation. As such, only one explanation regarding the Detective’s perpetrator remains.

Kramer’s Secret Protégé: A Vindictive Logan Nelson

Logan and Eleanor arrive at the barn where Kramer killed Anna and the others, while Detective Hunt leads the investigation against Halloran due to the newfound evidence of Edagr’s bullet. The latter coroner tracks down a virus found on one of the victims in the barn, allowing her access to the exact location where Jigsaw’s game unfolded. In turn, Halloran follows the pair into the barn, convinced that they’re the ones behind the killings. As the cop attacks the pair, Eleanor manages to escape, leaving both men behind. In her escape, Logan and Halloran end up captured.

When they awake, they have a contraption around their neck that can shoot lasers into their head. Kramer’s same recorded voice speaks to them, compelling them to confess their sins if they wish to escape their deaths. For his part, Logan confesses that he was the medical practitioner who mixed up Kramer’s medical results as a sloppy mistake that prolonged his suffering and prevented him from finding proper cancer treatment. Nonetheless, the confession isn’t enough, leading the lasers to take over his head, soaking the man in a pool of blood.

Afterward, Halloran’s turn comes up, and the cop frantically confesses to his various corrupt dealings, bringing the laser to a stop right before they make contact with his skin. However, an unseen twist awaits the Detective on the other side. Despite the previous show of lasers and blood, Logan isn’t really dead. Instead, the man only faked his death to push Halloran into confessing on record. As such, the reveal arrives that Logan Nelson has been behind the Copycat killings this entire time.

The truth turns out to be much more complicated than one would expect. While Kramer had killed Anna and the others in the same barn, that game occurred ten years ago when the serial killer was still alive. However, the authorities simply never found out about that game, keeping it out of the public’s consciousness. Logan was apparently one of the players in the game. Ten years ago, Kramer abducted Logan and four other people to be a part of his death game.

Nevertheless, Logan perished in the first round, passing out before he could finish the task to earn his momentary freedom. Still, the man was only severely injured and didn’t die. As such, Kramer decided against his initial idea of punishing him for messing up his medical reports and decided to give him a second chance. Thus, Logan recovers and becomes Kramer’s protégé, learning all about traps and murder from the older man. Years later, after he becomes a pathologist, he begins to get sick of the numerous dead bodies that end up on his table as a result of Halloran’s misdeeds.

Consequently, Logan plans the entire charade to catch Halloran and frame him as the Jigsaw Killer Copycat. The dead bodies that the cops have been receiving so far were duplicates of the original players from when the coroner replicated the game again in the present. Furthermore, he planted evidence, including Kramer’s DNA, to trick the cops. Similarly, he also swapped the real bullet that killed Edgar— belonging to Logan himself— with Halloran’s bullet to push the odds against him.

Moreover, Logan also planted other evidence in his apartment to push Hunt’s investigation against Halloran. In the end, the Jigsaw Killer successor was working on a revenge-fuelled plan, following Kramer’s legacy and delivering punishment to the Detective for his corruption— which inevitably led to the death of Logan’s wife. In the end, Logan kills Halloran, adding him to the list of his victims.

Read More: Is John Kramer Based on a Real Serial Killer?