What’s in the Letter? Is Burt Hartman dead or alive?


John Luessenhop of “Lockdown” fame directed the 2013 slasher horror project “Texas Chainsaw 3D” (or “Texas Chainsaw”). Although the film ranks seventh in the franchise, it attempts to be a direct sequel to the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” horror film. Even then, it muddles the sequence of events a bit.

The morbid massacre of August 19, 1973 seeps into the present as Heather Miller discovers her true lineage. Following the death of Verna Sawyer Carson, Heather inherits her family estate in the small township of Newt, Texas. Unbeknownst to Heather and her friends, the opulent mansion holds terrible secrets. A hitchhiking friend is eager to steal a thing or two when the party is away, but he unwittingly opens a door he shouldn’t have. The ending is decidedly bloody, though it does leave quite a few plot holes and loose strands for fans to figure out. If you’re having trouble doing the math, let us help. FRONT SPOILERS.

Texas Chainsaw 3D Plot Synopsis

The town sheriff comes to the Sawyer house, demanding that the Sawyers give up the menacing enigma called Leatherface. The family complies, but a group of thugs arrive with Molotov cocktails. On orders from Burt Hartman, the goons set the house on fire. Meanwhile, Gavin Miller, another townsman present at the scene, enters the stable to discover a mother and her toddler. He continues to trample the dying mother, Loretta Sawyer, and takes the child away. As the Sawyers die, Burt Hartman becomes mayor of the township with public support.

In the present day, Heather receives a letter from Verna Carson, her grandmother, and confronts her parents. She learns that Gavin and his wife Arlene are her adoptive parents. Moreover, the letter encourages him to embark on a journey to find his lost roots. Heather, her boyfriend Ryan, her best friend Nikki, and Nikki’s boyfriend Kenny travel to the Texas town of Newt to catch a glimpse of the heirloom. Along the way, they meet Darryl, a hitchhiker who must reach Shreveport. Upon reaching the estate, Heather meets Farnsworth, the Sawyer family attorney.

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Farnsworth gives Heather a letter from her grandmother and gives the password – zero-eight-nineteen – perhaps better remembered as a date. When Heather and her crew go out to buy barbecue stuff, Darryl volunteers to set up the grill. Instead, he packs up everything he can and heads to the wine cellar, in search of new bounties. Unknowingly, Darryl opens the door keeping Leatherface locked. After the visceral and bloody deaths of her friends, Heather finds herself at the police station and uncovers her family’s history.

Texas Chainsaw 3D Ending: What did Verna Carson write in her letter? How old is Heather?

At the end, Heather opens Verna Carson’s letter, which predictably informs her of Jed Sawyer’s presence in the house. Heather realizes she should have opened the letter in time rather than delaying it until her friends died. Verna Carson also informs in the letter that Heather’s real name is Edith Rose Sawyer, which ties the plot to the original story.

Edith Rose Sawyer, daughter of Loretta Sawyer, is the only existing member of the Sawyer family, aside from Jed. Therefore, Heather, or Edith, is the rightful owner of the inheritance. Heather also builds the story from scratch by following the letter and records. The people of Newt had a problem with Leatherface. After the first film’s story, Burt Hartman and the gang burned down the Sawyer house. Gavin rescued Edith and adopted her, while Verna knew of Edith’s existence.

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However, according to the first film, the massacre took place in August 1973. And the events of this film take place in 2012 if we consider the date on Verna’s tombstone. Considering the fact, Heather (or Edith) should be in her forties. But in Alexandra Daddario’s portrayal, she’s a deme in her twenties. The director wanted to go back to basics and present a campy teen horror, and that’s fine.

While the timelines don’t match in the film, it still offers tremendous entertainment value for those who haven’t seen the previous classic. However, the film loses some charm when placed canonically due to the misplaced timeline. We learn that the writers originally sought to set the film in the 90s, which would have made more sense. However, while a bit of the 90s vibe remains, the film is set in the present day and Heather is still in her twenties.

Is Burt Hartman dead or alive? Do the police catch Jed?

Heather reaches the police station in the thrilling finale, escaping the chainsaw madness. Burt Hartman, the bigoted mayor, urges the sheriff to launch a lawsuit for the guy who destroyed his carnival. The Sheriff thinks the assailant may be Jed Sawyer (the first time Leatherface has gotten a proper name in the franchise) and therefore wants the patrol officer to remain on standby. Officer Marvin enters the house and discovers the catacomb through the wine cellar. He finds a pile of chopped up corpses and sends the stream to the sheriff.

After getting instructions from the sheriff, Marvin opens the freezer to look inside. Nikki is in the freezer, but in a momentary panic, Marvin pulls the trigger. Nikki dies, while on the other hand, Heather realizes her sprawling family history as she sifts through the records of the massacre. She escapes in no time and regroups with Farnsworth, the Sawyer family attorney, at a downtown bar. Burt and his henchmen catch up with Heather soon after, and while they defeat Farnsworth, Heather flees.

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Heather meets Deputy Carl on the way, asking for help. As Carl invites him into the vehicle, it is later realized that he is Burt’s son. Carl takes Heather to the old Sawyer butcher shop on Burt’s orders. Jed picks up Marvin’s radio transmission and heads to the butcher shop to eliminate Burt. He arrives on the scene to find Heather tied up. Although Jed attempts to turn on the chainsaw, he recoils looking at the mark on Heather’s chest.

While Jed frees Heather, Burt and his associate capture Leatherface from behind. They chain her to a gigantic grater and Heather flees, though she later returns to save her cousin Jed. The film portrays Leatherface as a tormented anti-hero, and with the help of Heather, he gives the mayor a taste of his own medicine. On the mouth of the machine, Jed quickly slices off Burt’s legs, and the rest of the body falls onto the teeth of the grater. Burt Hartman dies in the scene. Remembering past atrocities, Sheriff Hooper turns a blind eye to death. Plus, he knows Burt would have done the same with Heather and Jed, and his ethical judgment weighs on the Sawyer family.

Read more: Movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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