Verna Sawyer-Carson, also known as Mother Sawyer, is the mother of Jedidiah Sawyer and Loretta Sawyer and is the grandmother of Heather Miller. Verna serves as the matriarch of the Sawyer family, and was portrayed by Marilyn Burns in Texas Chainsaw 3D and by Lili Taylor in Leatherface.
Verna grew up in the the Sawyer Clan, a family of cannibalistic serial killers and eventually became it‘s matriarch. She had several sons and at least one daughter, to an unknown father, or possibly father’s (it is possible that her children were the result of incest in the Sawyer family).
In 1955, her son/nephew/grandson Jedidiah Sawyer was taken away from the family by Texas Ranger Hal Hartman, after Drayton Sawyer killed his daughter Betty. Jedidiah was placed in a mental institution and Verna spent the next ten years trying to get him out. During that time, she married Benjamin Carson, a wealthy man and used some of her new fortune in her attempts to get Jed released.
After another failed attempt to get Jed back legally, she attempted to get him out by forcing her way in and taking him. She was stopped by guards and thrown out of the hospital but not before starting a riot that would inadvertently lead to her son escaping with several other Asylum patients. Hearing later about the escape, she bribed a Sheriff Deputy to report any news on the investigation. When the Deputy reported Jed’s location, she had Drayton and Nubbins stab him and feed him to the pigs before going after Jed.
Once Verna had found Jed and taken him back to the Sawyer farm, she attempted to fix his face by keeping it together with a harness after it had been shot through by Hal Hartman, who they had taken captive along with a Nurse the inmates had taken hostage during the escape, Lizzy White. She rejoiced with the other Sawyers when Jed finally joined the family way and killed Hartman with a Chainsaw before decaptitating Lizzy when she tried to escape and insulted Verna.
After her family was killed including her son‘s and beloved daughter, she started tracking down information the people involved with massacre which she found her daughter's infant daughter, being raised by Gavin and Arlene Miller.
She keeps tabs on her granddaughter until she was older. When Verna became sick, she started writing Heather a letter explaining her bloodline and her inheritance which includes the manison and her cousin Leatherface. She was buried next to her daughter.
- It is possible Verna’s children are products of incest between her and other members of the Sawyer family, since she was believed to be Leatherface’s great-aunt in Texas Chainsaw 3D, but in Leatherface, she is confirmed to be his mother. Also her granddaughter Edith is believed to be Leatherface’s cousin, as Verna herself does confirm in the Texas Chainsaw 3D, however since Edith’s mother was actually Leatherface’s sister, that would make him her uncle.
- Marilyn Burns previously portrayed Sally Hardesty in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
- Angela Bettis was originally in talks to play Verna in Leatherface, before Lili Taylor was cast.
- Although Verna's headstone at her grave says that she was born in 1937, this is impossible, since her children whom we've seen in the films are too old to have been born long enough after that: Drayton was born in 1920, Nubbins was born in 1945, Loretta was born in 1946, and Jed was born in 1947. She should have been well over 100-years-old when she died in 2012.