Brow Beat

Did Gorbachev Really Ask George H.W. Bush to Find Out Who Killed Laura Palmer?

Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) on Twin Peaks.

© 1990 ABC/Spelling Ent./CBS Paramount Domestic Television

The recent book Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks contains a remarkable story from TV executive Jules Haimovitz. Haimovitz worked with Aaron Spelling Productions, which produced the David Lynch–directed show. Spelling got a call, Haimovitz says, from a co-owner of Spelling Productions, Carl Lindner, asking who killed Laura Palmer. Spelling asked Haimovitz, who asked Lynch. Lindner, it’s important to note, was a friend and supporter of George H.W. Bush.

I called David and he says, “I can’t tell you.” I don’t want to press David, so I call Aaron back to “‘David won’t tell me, who wants to know?” and he says, “President Bush.” What happened was Gorbachev called Bush, who called Carl, who called Aaron, who called me. So I called David back and I said, “This isn’t going to go anywhere, it’ll be a secret. You have to tell me who Laura’s killer is.” That’s when I realized David had no idea who killed Laura Palmer.

This section was flagged a few days ago by Ryan Hamilton Walsh on Twitter, and has been making the rounds online. But the Moscow Times, an independent English-language newspaper based in Russia, apparently went to Gorbachev himself with the matter:

When asked about the claim during an extensive interview Tuesday, Gorbachev told The Moscow Times that he had no recollection of the show.

Could Gorbachev have been such a fan and not remember Twin Peaks? It seems doubtful.

By the way, Haimovitz prefaces his story by saying that “Twin Peaks aired in Russia and Mikhail Gorbachev was a big fan.” But according to the Moscow Times, the show aired in Russia in 1993, long after Palmer’s killer had been revealed in the United States. If, at that point, Gorbachev really wanted to know who killed Laura Palmer, he could have asked any American.