David Tapp
David Tapp.1
Gender: Male
Portrayed By: Danny Glover
First Appearance: Saw

Detective David Tapp is a fictional character from the Saw franchise. While introduced as a supporting protagonist of Saw, Tapp did not become a major character until Saw: The Video Game (which featured him as the protagonist and playable character). He also made a brief appearance in a flashback in Saw V. He was portrayed by veteran actor Danny Glover in the films and voiced by Earl Alexander in the game.



In Saw, Detective David Tapp investigates a series of crime scenes linked to the same murderer. The victims have been placed in to traps that attempt to teach them to appreciate their life, a quality they decidedly lack. The victims who fail these "tests" have a jigsaw piece cut out of their bodies. This has earned the killer the alias The Jigsaw Killer by newspaper writer Oswald Mcgullicuty. Saw II later reveals these missing pieces have been intended to show the missing survival instinct of Jigsaw's victims.

At one of the crime scenes, Tapp and his partner, Steven Sing, discover a penlight with fingerprints on it. Forensics indicate that the fingerprints belong to Doctor Lawrence Gordon, who is coaxed to the police station for questioning. Saw V later revealed that Jigsaw accomplice Mark Hoffman had planted this penlight to arise suspicion on Gordon. While a few victims have already been discovered, one victim named Amanda Young manages to survive her test. Lawrence watches while Tapp interrogates Amanda for her testimony. After hearing her testimony, Tapp gives Lawrence a ride home and becomes more suspicious that Lawrence is Jigsaw.

Tapp recovers and studies the video tape left at Amanda's trap location and deciphers the location of Jigsaw's lair. Tapp and Sing find Jigsaw in his lair, but fail to arrest him due to Jigsaw non-fatally slashing Tapp's neck and Sing falling victim to one of Jigsaw's traps. Following Sing's death, Tapp becomes unstable and begins to obsess over catching Jigsaw, causing him to be discharged from the police force and to be divorced from his wife.

As Jigsaw was able to hide his identity when his lair was raided, Tapp still believes that Lawrence is Jigsaw (ironically, this would foreshadow Lawrence later becoming Jigsaw's accomplice in Saw 3D), and spends much of his time to harass and pester him, unknowing that Lawrence had been abducted and is currently in a trap of his own. This causes him to stake out his home; he uses a video camera to watch it from another apartment. During this, Tapp sees Zep Hindle at the Gordons' house and then hears gunshots coming from the house. Tapp responds and discovers that Alison Gordon and her daughter Diana are being held hostage by Zep. A gunfight ensues, allowing Alison and Diana to escape. Tapp chases Zep to the site of another Jigsaw game, later revealed to be Lawrence's trap. Before discovering the trap site, Zep and Tapp engage in a brief struggle, and Tapp is shot in the chest, leaving him alone to die in a sewer.


David Tapp appears very briefly at the end of the film through archive footage taken from the first Saw. He is seen during the montage of the first three films at the very end of the film.

Saw IV

The scene where Daniel Rigg is watching Jill Tuck's interrogation at The Metropolitan Police Department features a very brief picture of David Tapp. He is briefly seen as Rigg looks through a folder containing pictures of several police officers he has lost. The picture of Tapp is the same picture that becomes framed and shown at the memorial in the fifth film.

Saw V

In Saw V, a memorial service is held for the deceased officers from the Jigsaw murders. Tapp's police picture is held next to his partner Steven Sing. He appears in a flashback, inquiring Dr. Gordon about the penlight Mark Hoffman planted. Danny Glover was set to make a cameo appearance as David Tapp in Saw V but could not show up due to scheduling issues.

Saw favicon

Saw vte
Films SawSaw IISaw IIISaw IVSaw VSaw VISaw 3D
Characters BillyJigsawMark HoffmanAmanda YoungJill TuckLawrence GordonEric MatthewsDavid Tapp
Traps Reverse BeartrapThe BathroomAngel TrapThe PendulumThe CubeThe Fatal Five

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