The Friday The 13th Timeline
By Serge Dee
Of all the continuing series in existence, only Star Trek seems to be constantly prodded, poked and analyzed by countless individuals. Yet the Friday The 13th movies have their own specific timeline, established by numerous references and hints, that has often been ignored by the sequels' writers. Despite the time sequence that has been slowly formed over the years, the scriptwriters have approached each entry with a "year of release" mentality.
This is sometimes fun to watch, as occasionally the films' events haven't even been consistent with the release years. For example, in Part VIII, Rennie (as a young girl) is seen being attacked by Jason (as a young boy) in Crystal Lake. Even if Part VIII was set in its release year of 1989, it still wouldn't work; Jason was a youngster in the late '50s, and if Rennie was alive then, she'd be an over-40-yr-old high school senior. Obviously, no one bothered to check the details.
Therefore, in honor of this month's video release of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, we present the following timeline, based on dates supplied in the films and using a perpetual calendar (displaying each yearly configuration) to determine which years will actually contain Friday The 13ths in given months.
The future Pamela Sue (last name unknown) Voorhees is born. She will marry Elias Voorhees and bear two children.
Jason Voorhees is born to Pamela Sue and Elias Voorhees.
Jason drowns while swimming at Camp Crystal Lake; the body is never recovered.
1957-1965 (Exact date unknown)
A girl is born to Pamela and Elias Voorhees; she is named Diana.
In Jason Goes to Hell, Diana appears to be in her late 30s/early 40s, making her birthday sometime within the stated dates. Pamela says Jason was her "only child" in the first film, but it is entirely possible that Diana was put up for adoption after her birth.
Two Camp Crystal Lake counselors are murdered; the killer is never found. "Camp Blood" becomes the locations nickname sometime thereafter.
Attempts to reopen Camp Crystal Lake are met with fires. The person responsible is never apprehended.
Enos, while giving Annie a ride to "Camp Blood" in the original, mentions the fires. One may assume that others attempted to reopen the camp and were met with arson as a deterrent. Presumably Pamela set the blazes, indicating that the perpetrator was never caught.
Another effort to reopen Camp Crystal Lake is aborted due to the water being bad. The jinx legend continues to grow
Steve Christie attempts to reopen Camp Crystal Lake. He and his counselors are slaughtered by Pamela Sue Voorhees; only a girl named Alice survives.
In The Final Chapter, we see Pamela's gravestone, indicating her birth and death dates and setting up a starting year for the series.
Two months later, Alice disappears. The case is considered a homicide based on traces of her blood on the walls of her apartment. The body is never recovered.
In Part 2, at the campfire, Paul tells when this event occurred; one can assume the body was never found.
Chris Parker, while at her parents' summer home with her family, is attacked by an unknown assailant. The man is never caught.
In Part 3, Chris tells of Jason attacking her the previous year. Based on her parents' reaction when she was found, it is clear no attempt was made to track down her assailant.
Five years after the Camp Crystal Lake massacre, Paul Holt opens a counselor training camp across from the site. The place is attacked by an unidentified man, with only one survivor. The killer is not apprehended.
Two days later, the killer's body is found at a lake house where he has murdered 12 more people. The body is sent to the morgue and vanishes shortly thereafter.
The killer's dead body is found at the jarvis residence after another spree of murders. The perpetrator is identified as the thought-dead Jason Voorhees. Twelve-year-old Tommy Jarvis, recognized as Jason's killer, and his sister are the only survivors.
Crystal Lake resident John Shepherd is killed accidentally when his dock collapses while he's standing on it. His 7-year-old daughter Tina blames herself and is sent to a mental hospital for treatment, where Dr. Crews takes charge of her case.
Since a calendar seen in this Part VII prologue indicates that it's Friday October 13th, and the rest of Part VII takes place 10 years later, a perpetual calendar can be used to determine both this date and that of Part VII's main action (comparing it against that of Part VI)
Eight years after he killed Jason, a disturbed 20-year-old Tommy Jarvis is sent to a mental outpatient center at Pinehurst. The murder of a resident there by another patient sparks the victim's father, Roy Burns, to go on a killing spree, using Jason's legend to cover his tracks. This is believed impossible by the town's mayer, as he's been misinformed about Jason's burial. Roy is killed in self-defense by Tommy, who is one of the three left alive; later, Tommy kills Pam, another of the survivors, and is sent to a sanitarium.
The mayor tells Sheriff Tucker that Jason was cremated. Since this totally contradicts Part VI, we can figure he was misinformed. At the end of Part V, one may assume that Tommy did kill Pam and was locked away for it. His escape at the beginning of Part VI marks his return to sanity.
1992-1997 (Exact date unknown)
The town council proposes a name change, from Crystal Lake to Forest Green, in an effort to forget the area's bloody history. The motion is passed and made law, although the name of the lake itself remains the same.
Since Crystal Lake is still referred to by that name in Part V, and its then called Forest Green in Part VI, we can hypothesize that the moniker was changed between the two films, though the lake itself still bears its original name in Part VII.
At age 25, Tommy Jarvis along with fellow inmate Allen Hawes, proceeds to a cemetery to burn the body of Jason Voorhees. Tommy is later found at Camp Forest Green after a new series of murders, claiming Jason returned to life and committed the slayings. He escapes from police custody, never to be seen again.
Deputy Cologne mentions that it's a Friday The 13th when this film's homicides occur; since the camp is just opening, it's safe to assume that is June. Using a perpetual calendar, the most reasonable year containing a Friday June 13 in which the film could take place is found to be this one. Part V's date can also be determined based on this deduction. Considering how unlikely it is that the cops would believe Jason came back to life, and the fact that Tommy is never again seen in the series one might surmise that, after explaining the whole story, Tommy is blamed for the crimes and escapes, going underground and leaving his post with Jason behind forever. Since Jason's body is never recovered from the bottom of the lake, Tommy must not have divulged its location for fear of Jason being disturbed and rising from his watery grave.
At age 17, Tina Shepherd goes back to her old house, along with her mother and Dr. Crews, for therapy. A string of murders takes place nearby, and Tina and a young man named Nick, the only survivors, claim that jason Voorhees is responsible. A hockey mask is found at the location and put into account.
At the end of the school year, the graduating class goes on a cruise to New York City. At the dock, a boat belonging to a Mr. Miller, with the bodies of his son Jim and his girlfriend, Suzy Donaldson, is found. A distress call from the S.S. Lazarus to the coast Guard is cut off. The next morning, the ship's debris is found floating several miles from New York. Two survivors from the accident are found in the city. They inform the authorities that Jason Voorhees is behind the murders and was involved in the Lazarus' destruction.
The NYPD calls in the FBI, and they begin researching the history of the Crystal Lake Murders.
A sting operation, with agent Elizabeth Marcus as a decoy, is successful in killing the person believed to be Jason Voorhees. Famed bounty hunter Creighton Duke makes an on-camera statement that Jason is in fact still alive. Later, a series of murders happen around Crystal Lake and are again credited to Jason, but no body is discovered and there are no eyewitnesses. Duke's body is found in the old Voorhees house, and he is blamed for the deaths.
One can expect that the FBI didn't just suddenly jump on the Voorhees case after New York, but would determine the actual threat Jason poses and then act. Since Jason was sent to hell, the body would most likely not be found, nor would Steven and jessica bother to discuss their parts in Jason's "real" demise to the cops. Who would believe them? Since Duke's corpse was left at the Voorhees house, it's probable that he would be tied to the murders.
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