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Laura Palmer

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  Laura Palmer was a high school student whose death shook the town of Twin Peaks, Washington and sparked an investigation led by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. She was Donna Hayward's best friend and the girlfriend of Bobby Briggs.


Early lifeEdit

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Later life and murderEdit

In February, 1988, in the Red Diamond City Motel, Teresa Banks came to Ronette Pulaski and Laura with money from a man who chickened out of his planned threesome with them. Laura observed Teresa's ring when she adjusted her hair.[1]

Her smile

The next year, on February 5, Laura gave half of a heart necklace to James Hurley, with whom she had a secret relationship.[2]


Then on February 12, Laura went on a picnic with James and her best friend, Donna Hayward[3]

One day, later in the month, Laura walked to school with Donna Hayward, passing their boyfriends, Bobby Briggs and Mike Nelson on the way, the boys declaring Mike to be "the man." [1][4]

When they arrived at school, she stopped briefly with James, then went into the restroom, where she snorted cocaine before heading to class.[4]

At 2:30, she secretly met James and said that she was "long gone" like a "turkey in the corn." James requested her to never leave and they shared a kiss. On the way out from school, Laura and Donna encountered Bobby, who was angry over the fact that he had not known her whereabouts for the previous hour. However, she easily calmed him down and they went to Donna's house, where they discussed James and Bobby, the former being "the one."[4]

Laura went home and to her room, where she looked into her diary and noticed pages had been ripped out.[4]

Laura's mother then came home from the store and Laura frantically asked for the car, claiming to have forgotten her books. She nearly took the cigarette she caught from her mother's mouth, but her mother advised her that she would never become a smoker if she did not start.[1]


She went to Harold Smith's home and told him that BOB was responsible for the missing pages, though he told her that BOB was not real. She then told him about her history of BOB coming for her since she was 12 years old. She said "fire walk with me," briefly getting a corpse-like face, and then burst into tears. She had him hide the diary before she left, saying she did not know when she could come back.[4]

When Laura came home, her mother had figured out that she lied about the books. She told her mother that she had to see Bobby, which frustrated her as she always wanted the truth from her daughter.[1]

In the dining room, Laura's father, Leland, trudged in, loudly declaring that he was hungry. He then taught them how to introduce themselves in Norwegian, as potential business partners from Norway were coming.[1]

That night, Laura got into a semi-truck to "party" with a trucker.[1]

The next day, she loaded up a Meals on Wheels delivery with assistance from the Double R Diner's Shelly Johnson, then saw an elderly woman with a young boy wearing a mask. The woman gave her a painting and the boy said that the "man with the mask" was looking for her diary in its hiding place. Laura then told Shelly she could not do the Meals on Wheels delivery and frantically left for home.[4]

When she arrived, she went to her room, where she saw BOB searching her hiding spot and she ran out of the house, hiding in a neighbor's bushes. She looked back at her house and saw her father leaving. She tearfully feared that her father may have actually been BOB, but she tried to deny it. She then went to the Hayward home.[4]

When Laura came crying to Donna, the latter said that she worried Laura did not want to be around her because she was uptight, but Laura assured her that even just thinking about her made her happy. They went inside and Donna got Laura's opinion on whether she should sleep with Mike. However, Laura cast doubts that Donna actually had any feelings for him. Donna then asked her mother for a muffin, and her father then came in, trying to perform a magic trick. Laura then lit a cigarette and Doctor Hayward questioned why he let her do this. Mrs. Hayward then brought out huckleberry muffins for the girls. Doctor Hayward then read Laura a "secret message" for her: "The angels will return, and when you see the one that's meant to help you, you will weep with joy." Laura's father then called the house and she went to return home.[1]

When she arrived, her father sat at the dinner table. He insisted that she had not yet washed her hands and examined them, noting one fingernail in particular. He then asked about her necklace - half of a heart. He insisted that it was not from Bobby and he frightened Laura, with her mother coming to her aid. Leland then told her to wash her hands, which she got up and does in tears.[4]

That night, when she was sitting at the desk in her room, her father came in, crying, and told her that he loved her, kissing her on the head before going back to his room. She then began to cry and looked at a painting of an angel, asking, "is it true?" She then looked at the painting given to her by the old woman and hung it up before she went to sleep.[4]

As she slept, she heard a man's voice saying "don't take the ring." She turned to see a woman named Annie in her bed. Annie told Laura "the good Dale is in the Lodge and can't leave" and to write it in her diary. Annie then disappeared and a ring appears in her hand, the same one Teresa had worn. She got up and started to leave her room, noticing herself appearing in the painting. However, she was then back in bed.[4]

She woke in the morning and took the painting down. That evening, Laura made herself a drink with plans to go out and Donna came, asking where she was going, but Laura said she was not going with her. She went to the Roadhouse where she encountered the Log Lady.[4]

She went inside, where a blonde singer performed onstage. Laura watched her and broke down into tears. She soon began to smoke a cigarette and nodded to Jacques Renault, who sent two men to her table, wishing to pay for her services as a prostitute. However, Donna came over, the men wondering if she was "part of the deal," which Laura denied, but Donna's actions insisted that she join them.[4]

Laura and Donna traveled with the men up to Canada, Laura having a good time. When they arrived, one of the men (identifying himself as Buck) gave her some cocaine.[1]

The group went to the Pink Room, where they met with Jacques. Laura danced with Buck, who removed her shirt. Ronette Pulaski soon joins them and Jacques came to them. They talk about Teresa Banks and Jacques invited the girls up to his cabin later in the week.[4]

Laura and Ronette then sat in a booth, receiving oral sex from Buck until Ronette pointed out Donna, topless with Laura's shirt tied around her waist. This caused Laura to become upset, saying she did not want her to wear her clothes, and that she wanted to go home.[4]

The next morning, at the Hayward home, Donna questioned why Laura lived the way she did. Leland then came to pick up Laura for breakfast and along the way, they were followed by a man recklessly driving a camper. Laura said she smelled something burning - the car's engine. The man drove around the block and stopped next to Laura and Leland, shouting "you stole the corn!" among other incoherent-seeming statements, including "it's your father!" to Laura. She was frightened as they stopped at a mechanic. They both sat and talked about the man. She then asked her father if he had come home the previous week, which he denied until Laura said she thought she saw him and he admitted that he came home briefly to take aspirin on Friday.[4]

Later, Laura sat in her room and thought about the ring she had seen in her dream, as well as on the man's finger, and previously on Teresa's finger. She later put a plastic bag with a key inside in her diary.[4]

During breakfast the next, Leland came through the dining room to remind Laura and her mother that it was Johnny Horne's birthday. Johnny was a mentally handicapped boy that Laura had tutored.[1]

At school, she met Bobby, who said there was a big score of cocaine to get that night. At night, they drank in woods, also taking what little cocaine they had left until the drug supplier showed up. He said he was sent by Jacques and showed a bag of cocaine before drawing a gun. Bobby pulled out his own gun and killed him. Laura began teasingly insisted that he killed Mike, much to his anger.[4]

Later that night, she received a call from her psychiatrist, Doctor Lawrence Jacoby, wondering why she did not see him the previous day, which she said was because she was with Johnny. He asked her to make him a tape and she said she might the following day. He asked her to send him a kiss and she hung up.[1]

The next day, Bobby has her store $10,000 in a safety deposit box while he went out to the woods to test the dealer's product. She continued to tease him that he killed Mike.[1]

Later, James showed up outside the Palmer home and Laura went to him. He asked where she had been the previous night, sure that it was drug-related. He asked when he could see her, but Leland showed up and Laura said she had to go. James then left.[4]

She went inside and BOB spoke to her through the ceiling fan above the stairs and she slowly grinned at it until her mother asked her if she had seen her blue sweater, which she was wearing. This caused Sarah to cry, believing she was having a mental breakdown.[1]

In the evening, Laura sat in her room, snorting cocaine. When she was in bed, she heard the hallway fan turn on. BOB then came in through her window and he began to assault her while she asked him who he was until his face turned into her father's.[4]

At breakfast the next morning, Laura did not eat much and did not wish to speak with her parents. She left the dining room and when Leland followed, she told him to stay away from her. She had trouble making it through the school day, the world seeming to spin around her.[4]

At 5:00 in the afternoon, she went to Josie Packard, a Chinese immigrant whom she helped speak English twice a week. Laura commented to Josie that she understood how she felt about her husband's death that had occurred a year and a half prior. She left after an hour.[3]


She complained to her mother about asparagus that evening and asked to go to Bobby's to do homework. She went to the Briggs home and was let into the house by Mrs. Briggs and went down to the basement, "where [Bobby] belongs." Bobby told her that the cocaine from the dealer was actually baby laxative. After giving her the cocaine from his private stash, Bobby walked her out of the house.[1][4]

When home, she told her mother goodnight, then went to her room, using the cocaine Bobby gave her. Her phone rang, with James calling. She arranged to meet him in fifteen minutes. She looked at the angel painting again and left through her window, hiding as she watched her father enter their house.[1] James then came for her and they rode away and to the woods. She told him about the murder Bobby committed and began to act strangely. She said that he did not know her, and even Donna did not.[4]


James began to take Laura home, but she jumped off of his bike. In tears, she told him she loved him and ran off into the woods, where Jacques, Leo Johnson and Ronette waited near a cabin. There, they engaged in sex and cocaine, Jacques tying her up against her will. After he had his way with her, she requested Leo to untie her, but he angrily refused. Leland then showed up, possessed by BOB and took Laura and Ronette to a train car. BOB places a mirror in front of Laura's face, in which she briefly saw BOB and screamed as he taunted her. Ronette escaped and the ring appeared on the floor. Laura placed it on her finger just before BOB murders her and wrapped her in plastic. He sent her body afloat and entered the Black Lodge.[4]

Murder investigationEdit

Laura`s dead

Laura's body was found the next day, February 24, by Pete Martell and was identified by Doctor Hayward and Sheriff Harry S. Truman.[2]

Later, her father came and identified her body. Her mother noted that the last time they saw each other was around 9:00 the previous night and that Laura's final words to her were "good night," and that she had received a phone call.[2]

FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper arrived in town and examines her body at the Calhoun Memorial Hospital, finding a small piece of paper with the letter 'R' under the nail on her left ring finger. Her diary was also examined, containing a safety deposit box key. A videotape of Laura and Donna was also found, filmed by James at their picnic. In the video, she wore her half of the heart necklace.[2]

In the evening, James told Donna about his activities with Laura the night before. He says that she seemed like a different person and said there were things about her not even Donna knew, and that Bobby had killed someone. James said that she wrapped her arms around his neck, screaming "I love you," before running away. James and Donna buried his half of the heart necklace since the authorities believed it was in possession of the killer.[2] However, after they left, Doctor Jacoby came and dug up the necklace to have it as a keepsake of Laura.[5]

The day after her body was discovered, Laura's autopsy results were presented by Doctor Hayward, who only assisted due to an emotional attachment to Laura since he had delivered her and she was his daughter's best friend. The results revealed the time of death to have been between midnight and 4:00am, the cause of death was loss of blood, bite marks were on her shoulders and tongue, and lesions were on her wrists, ankles, and upper arms. It was also found that she had sexual relations with at least three men within twelve hours before her death and that her killer also attacked Ronette.[3]

James confirmed to Cooper and Truman that he filmed the video of she and Donna, but denied knowing who the missing half of the necklace was given to.[3]

Doctor Jacoby later listened to a tape made by Laura and took James' half of her heart necklace out of a coconut in his office.[3]

The following night, she was seen in a dream by Agent Cooper. When Cooper asked if she was Laura, she answered that she felt like she knew her "but sometimes [her] arms bend back." A little man then described her as his cousin and being full of secrets. When the little man began dancing, she went to Cooper and kissed him, and whispered in his ear the name of her killer.[6] However, Cooper had forgotten the name by morning.[7]

Agent Cooper then learned that morning that Laura had worked at the perfume counter at Horne's Department Store, the same place as Ronette Pulaski.[8]

A fight later broke out fight between Albert Rosenfield and Doctor Hayward over Laura's body, Rosenfield wishing to hold it for further analysis while Hayward wanted to release it to the family for Laura's funeral. When Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman interfered, the body was released. Laura's cousin, Maddy Ferguson then arrived for Laura's funeral.[8]

Rosenfield delivered his findings to Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman: traces of cocaine were found in the plastic bag inside her diary and she was addicted to the substance; two different kinds of twine were used on her wrists and arms and she had been tied up twice; industrial strength soap particles were found on the back of her neck, as the killer had washed his hands and kissed her after she had died; claw marks and bites were on her neck and shoulder; and a small plastic particle was found in her stomach.[8]

At the funeral, Bobby and James got into a fight and Leland broke down, throwing himself onto Laura's casket.[8]

On March 10, Laura's killer struck again, this time murdering Maddy just before she intended to go home.[9]

Two days later, Benjamin Horne had been arrested by the sheriff's department, with Sheriff Truman convinced that he had done it. However, Agent Cooper did not agree and called a gathering to the Roadhouse of several people. By the use of "magic," he remembered the name Laura had whispered into his ear in his dream.[10]

Leland was taken back to the station and while under control of BOB, he confessed to killing Teresa, Laura, and Maddy. Soon, BOB slammed Leland's head into a metal door and ceased control over him, causing Leland to express guilt for all of his actions. However, Laura forgave him as he passed away.[10]

Black LodgeEdit


Laura appeared to Cooper in the Red Room, where she sat next to the little man and greeted Agent Cooper, saying "I'll see you again in 25 years. Meanwhile," and disappeared after doing the gesture of "tree" in sign language.[11]

In the Black Lodge, her doppelgänger appeared to Cooper and screamed at him after saying "meanwhile" and doing the "tree" gesture as well. In another room, she took Annie Blackburn's place and screamed at him again, then had her place taken by Windom Earle.[11]


Later, Laura appeared in the Red Room, with FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper placing his hand on her shoulder as she saw an angel and cried while smiling and laughing.[4]

Non-canon appearancesEdit

International PilotEdit

Laura appears in a room with red drapes, where she sits and joins hands with a little man. When Cooper asks if she is Laura, to which she answers she feels like she knows her "but sometimes [her] arms bend back. The little man describes her as his cousin and being full of secrets. When the little man begins dancing, she goes to Cooper and kisses him, and whispers in his ear.

Between Two Worlds Edit

Laura describes her experience in the Lodge to David Lynch.

Behind the scenesEdit

Laura was played by actress Sheryl Lee, who also played Maddy Ferguson. She was given the role of Maddy after David Lynch was impressed by her performance while filming the picnic videotape.

Lee is to appear in the 2017 revival. Whether she is playing Laura, Maddy, or a new character is unknown.


  • Cards released during the show's run and The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer state her birthdate as July 22, 1972. However, since the show states her death to have been February 24, 1989, this would make her 16 at the time of her death, when it is explicitly stated that she was 17 years old. Because of this, this birthdate cannot be assumed as canon.
  • Also, in The Secret History of Twin Peaks, there is a document written by Jacoby after Laura's death that gives her age as 18, which happened 6 months before her death.


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