With the release of Jigsaw this year, the seemingly never-ending Saw franchise now boasts eight instalments. Though the series may be losing its sheen somewhat, it did give us a memorable antagonist in the shape of John ‘The Jigsaw Killer’ Kramer – a dying dude who ensnares people he deems are taking life for granted in intricate, deadly traps rigged to kill them if they fail to escape. Seems for some impressionable minds, he’s a bad guy too impressive to ignore.
In 2007, two bored teen girls in Tennessee left a message on a woman’s mobile phone saying a friend was hidden in her home, which was about to be filled with a toxic gas – a scenario suspiciously similar to one from Saw II. The woman was so scared she had a stroke and though she recovered the pair were charged with phone harassment.
A couple of years later, two teenage boys in Utah were busy plotting the Saw-style kidnap, torture and murder of two classmates and a police officer but were thankfully thwarted when one of the lads’ mothers overheard their plans and reported them to the police.
Not so lucky were the victims of two Saw obsessed Brits. In 2011, drug-addicted Benjamin Scott stabbed his neighbour over 100 times and later described the murder as “like something out of a Saw film” and the following year, Matthew Tingling tortured his friend into handing over his PIN number to buy crack before stabbing him repeatedly and mimicking a death from Saw by trying to sever his spinal cord.