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NOTE: This page is only about his film incarnation as the comic incarnation of John Doe was not voted Pure Evil, and thus only the film version of John Doe's info and crimes should be put here.

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I visited your home this morning after you'd left. I tried to play husband. I tried to taste the life of a simple man. It didn't work out. So I took a souvenir...her pretty head.
~ John Doe bragging about murdering Tracy Mills.

John Doe is the main antagonist of the 1995 dark psychological mystery-thriller film Se7en. He is a serial killer who murders people he believes are guilty of the Seven Deadly Sins.

He was portrayed by Kevin Spacey, who also played Lex Luthor in Superman Returns and Frank Underwood in House of Cards.

Overview

Nothing about Doe's background is revealed; it is implied that "John Doe" is not even his real name. He is a patient, methodical killer who has planned the murders far in advance in order to stay one step ahead of the police at all times.

He believes that he has been chosen by God to "punish the wicked" and show a corrupt world the error of its ways. His death at the hands of Detective David Mills is also part of his plan, a way of atoning for his own sin - envy.

In the film

Doe murders people he judges to be guilty of the Seven Deadly Sins: an obese man (gluttony); an unscrupulous lawyer (greed); a drug-dealing pederast (sloth); a prostitute (lust); and a beautiful but vain woman (pride). His murders shock even hardened police officers with their cruelty, especially the sloth victim, whom Doe strapped to a bed and tortured for a year.

Doe attacks the detectives working on the case, William Somerset and David Mills, when they get too close, injuring Mills. The following day, he walks into their precinct headquarters and surrenders, and offers to plead guilty to all of the murders if Mills and Somerset accompany him to find the last two victims. On the ride over to the supposed burial site, Doe tells the detectives that he has set an example for a sinful world that will be remembered forever.

When they reach the site, they are met by a delivery van containing a package - the severed head of Mills' wife, Tracy. Doe tells Mills that he broke into Mills' home after he left and tried to "play husband", and then cut off her head to take as a "souvenir". He confesses to envying Mills' normal life, making himself the "Envy" sinner. He entreats Mills to "become Wrath" by killing him, and gloats that Tracy had begged for the life of her unborn child; he then sees from Mills' reaction that he hadn't known about the pregnancy, in which Doe takes particularly sadistic delight. He then closes his eyes as Mills shoots him dead, thus completing the cycle of murders and, in Doe's mind, making him a martyr.

What Makes Him Pure Evil?

  • Torturing five people to death for his seven deadly sins serial killing project:
    1. Gluttony: Overfed a man to near death and then finally kicked his stomach to make it burst.
    2. Greed: Forced a man at gunpoint to remove a pound of flesh. While he deserved it for letting killers and rapists back on the streets, it’s still an act of murder.
    3. Pride: Drove a woman to overdose after cutting her nose off.
    4. Sloth: Strapped a man to his bed, malnourishing him for a whole year and cutting off his hand. While he certainly deserved it as he was a drug dealing pedophile, it’s still an act of murder.
    5. Lust: Forced a man at gunpoint to rape a woman to death with a dildo made from a knife.
  • Murdering a pregnant Tracy Mills out of envy and putting her decapitated head in a box for her husband David Mills to see, which is low even for John as she wasn't sinful in the slightest. Also corrupting Mills by letting him avenge Tracy's death, thus causing him to get arrested for wrath.
    • It's subtly implied that he raped her too, judging from his "I tried to play husband" line.
  • Being a massive hypocrite overall, as he claims to despise people who commit deadly sins despite himself displaying a fair amount of wrath (being a serial killer), pride (enjoying being one), lust and envy (raping and murdering Tracy out of jealousy for David's normal life). Even Mills points out John's hypocrisy when he scorns the Greed victim for keeping murderers and rapists on the streets despite being one of each.

Trivia

  • Only the movie version is Pure Evil, since the comic version has a tragic backstory as the two are separate canons.

External links

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           1200px-New Line Cinema.svg.png Pure Evils

Films
Freddy Krueger (1984 | 2010) | John Doe | Elizar Kane | Deacon Frost | Jack Shepard | Sauron | Saruman | Alex | Gothmog | Leland Jones and Billy Orser | Eddie Kim | Azog | Lord Roderick | Bathsheba Sherman | Diana Walter | Claire Wyden | Gabriel

See Also
Middle-earth Pure Evils | The Conjuring Pure Evils

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