Every good villain has a tragic backstory and John Kramer is no different. His intriguing philosophy about “appreciating life” is fully explored after Strahm quizzes Kramer’s ex Jill (Betsy Russell). Though not involved in Kramer’s crimes, she has insight into the darkness that consumed her ex-husband after they both suffered a tragic loss. A flashback reveals that one night while working at her clinic, Jill met Cecil (Billy Otis), a patient who was looking for drugs. When trying to force his way in, he accidentally slammed the door on Jill, resulting in the loss of her pregnancy. This was just the beginning of Kramer’s dark path. His relationship with Jill soured due to the loss, and after surviving an attempt on his life, he realizes that life is precious. Let the games begin.
Kramer’s first victim is Cecil, whom he clearly identifies as in need of rehabilitation. But Cecil’s addiction runs deep and he doesn’t survive the trap, unable to change his behavior. This only convinces Kramer even more that people need to be taught that life is a gift. Kramer doesn’t actually want people to die. In fact, he wishes people would survive his tests and improve with the life they are given. Although his methods are highly suspect, his philosophy is interesting. This point of view brings audiences even closer to the villain known as Jigsaw and further establishes him as a thought-provoking character to build a franchise.