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Laurel Linwood.png
The hate bubbles and bubbles and it spreads until you can't stand it anymore and you have to do something.
~ Laurel justifying the murder she committed

Laurel Linwood is the main villainess from "Something Happened," episode 19.07 of Law & Order: SVU.

She was played by Melora Walters.


Laurel Linwood is the older sister of Leah Linwood, an attorney. The sisters' backstory revealed that when Leah was six, she was molested by their father; an act that was caught by Laurel herself when she walked in on them. Laurel was horrified by what she had seen, but not because of the immorality of the act; rather, she was jealous of Leah and had been ever since she walked in on them. Leah's molestation continued for years, as did Laurel's jealousy of her sister.


Laurel and Leah's father passed away slightly before the episode's events, and on the day of the funeral, Laurel went to a bar and met a man named Greg Harvey. The pair engaged on consensual sex, with Greg complimenting Laurel regarding her beauty. However, Laurel had seen Greg as a reminder of her father, and still harbored rage that he never did to her what she did to Leah. She suddenly snapped and attacked Greg with a pair of scissors, stabbing him to death. The beginning of the episode showed Laurel at a museum, where she was found by a class of children.

Laurel was later taken to SVU, where she was interviewed by Olivia Benson. She stated to Benson that she met Greg following her father's funeral, after which Greg raped her. The sexual assault case became a case of murder when Greg's body was found, and it was at that moment that Leah appeared at her sister's side, while also serving as her legal counsel. During this, however, Laurel revealed to Benson that she had walked in on Leah being molested by their father, who Laurel continued to talk about fondly, after which Leah left, voicing her gratitude that their father was now dead. Laurel then made claims that she was also molested by their father, all the while prodding into Benson's past, which had Benson revealing that she was conceived via rape.

However, the episode's climax had Benson revealing that Laurel lied not only about Greg, but her father as well, with Laurel making up a story of being raped by her father out of jealousy of her sister. After insisting over and over that she was raped by her father and by Greg, Laurel finally admitted the truth about everything, including killing Greg in a psychotic rage. After this, Laurel came to terms that she would be going to prison, and she was eventually arrested (off-screen) for murder.