|“||I take what I want. You put everyone else first, because that's the easier way. You'd rather accept the life you have... than risk having the life you want.||„|
|~ Laura Gabriel defending her self-serving ways|
Laura Gabriel is a recurring antagonist from Season 12 of CSI. She is the wife of Mark Gabriel (the president of Ceressus Logistics), and an old friend of Catherine Willows.
She was portrayed by Annabeth Gish.
Laura first appeared in episode 12.09, "Zippered," getting reacquainted with Catherine during an investigation regarding the murder of a gun runner. It was at the end of the episode that Laura had voiced her concerns to Catherine regarding the death of Stanley Merrill eleven months prior, as she believed that Mark had a hand in the murder to eliminate his competition. Mark was confirmed as the mastermind of that murder and the killing of a witness to his illegal arms dealing, using a group of assassins known as the Hit Squad to kill on his order.
Unbeknownst to Catherine (and especially Mark), Laura decided to use the Hit Squad to carry out murders to frame her husband. Her villainous plan began in episode 12.11, "Ms. Willows Regrets," when she sent the Hit Squad, which consisted of Paul Obrecht, Sandra Pence, and Geoffrey Kruger, to kill Malcolm Turner (a lawyer Catherine recommended to Laura in "Zippered"). The group killed Turner and two other employees, and used irradiated hyde bugs to devour the bodies and leave no physical evidence when they were later found by CSI. The villainess also sent the squad to kill her own cousin, Helen, and her husband—while Laura hid in a crawl space. She was later "rescued" by Catherine, and she portrayed the role of a victim who escaped the Squad's murder spree.
Laura's motive was to leave her husband for FBI Agent James McQuaid, her lover, and co-conspirator in the scheme. The pair also faked their deaths by having Paul kill Sandra and Geoffrey and burn their bodies beyond recognition. After they hacked into Catherine's email and sent a fake resignation letter to D.B. Russell, the evil Laura attempted to have Catherine killed, but McQuaid, who had feelings for her, fired a warning shot to save her.
In the following episode, "Willows in the Wind," McQuaid was killed due to saving Catherine, and as the episode progressed, the CSI group figured out that Laura was alive, as the identities of the bodies in the car were revealed to be the two Hit Squad members. Catherine later acquired Mark's help to bust Laura, which included Mark paying Paul twice his normal salary to take the contract off his head and put it on Laura's. Laura's official reveal came when she was shown in her house, with Paul entering with a silencer. He fires, only to see no one in the shower, and turns around to see Catherine and the FBI holding Laura under arrest.
Catherine confronted Laura, who callously boasted about using Catherine to her advantage. She also boldly admitted her self-serving ways, only for Catherine to respond that Laura would spend the rest of her life behind bars.