Cold Case Wiki
Lawrence Gardner 2005
Gardner in 2005
Lawrence Gardner 2009
Gardner in 2009
Lawrence Gardner
Portrayed by Jason Thomas
Episode The Long Blue Line,
Into the Blue
Status Deceased

Lawrence Gardner was a member of the Pennsylvania Military Institute (PMI) Class of 2009. A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native, Gardner was a Cadet Sergeant and a member of the Regimental Honor Guard when Kate Butler arrived at PMI. A staunch advocate of old PMI tradition- which includes the Corps of Cadets at PMI being all-male- Gardner was discovered to have written several hate-mail letters to Butler's home address, attempting to discourage her from even setting foot on the campus. Gardner was skilled in martial arts, and was described by Major Moe Kitchener as being "the best pugil stick in Echo Company". Despite this, however, Butler beat him when she challenged Gardner to a pugil stick match.

Intensely religious, Gardner used extensive biblical references in the letters, several times mentioning the angel with a flaming sword that God stationed to prevent Adam and Eve from re-entering the Garden of Eden. Outwardly a model cadet, Gardner was fanatically loyal to PMI and its old traditions and believed female cadets like Butler had no place at the Institute. He attacked Butler while she was in the shower during the Fall of 2005 semester, cutting her hand with his sword when she attempted to grab it. Gardner often spoke as if quoting scripture; when he attacked Butler in the shower, Gardner shouted, "Are you hiding from the sight of God?"

In the spring of 2009, Lawrence Gardner was a college senior at PMI and held the rank of Cadet Major, being the cadet Operations Officer and part of the Regimental Staff in PMI's Corps of Cadets. Gardner was not initially suspected as having any role in Butler's murder, and since he was never told Butler was in fact murdered, the only opinions he offered on her are of a "non-hacker", a dropout who could not make it in PMI's demanding military environment. Gardner worked closely with PMI commandant Colonel Murillo and Major Moe Kitchener, having access to Institute-owned vehicles and keys to rooms and buildings. He was a strong believer in PMI and its traditions, going so far as to tell Detectives Lilly Rush and Scotty Valens that "on the Eighth Day, God created PMI".

He would later be found dead in Kate Butler's room. It was first thought he committed suicide, but actually he was murdered.