The sinister yet charismatic Mitch Laurence arrived in Llanview in 1985. Mitch had met Tina Clayton several years earlier while they were living in California, and he followed her to Llanview after learning that she was the late Victor Lord's illegitimate daughter. Mitch seduced Tina and, together, they plotted to get their hands on the Lord fortune. During their scheming, Mitch discovered a clause in Victor Lord's will in which the entire estate would revert to Tina if Viki were to ever relapse into her alternate personality, Niki Smith. Mitch concocted a plan to kill Viki's husband Clint Buchanan in an attempt to force out Niki Smith, but Tina backed out when Mitch revealed his treacherous plan. Unbeknownst to Mitch at the time, Viki had already begun lapsing into her alternate personality after learning about her father's affair with her college roommate, Irene Manning.
Jilted by Tina's disloyalty, Mitch continued the plan to kill Clint and added Tina to his list of enemies. He kidnapped Tina and Viki, who was under the influence of her alter, and attempted to lure Clint there so he could kill him. But Niki's lover Harry O'Neill showed up instead, and Mitch shot and killed him before he realized who it was. The shock of the death forced Viki to emerge. Mitch fled the scene before authorities could arrive and, thanks to some advanced planning, made sure he had an airtight alibi. Tina was arrested for the crime, but during the trial Viki took the stand and morphed into Niki Smith, who named Mitch as Harry's killer. After a statewide manhunt, Mitch was eventually apprehended and sent to Statesville Prison. While in prison, Mitch had one of his outside henchmen, known as "Stick," kidnap Niki. The bumbling Stick, however, was no match for the crafty Niki and the plan failed miserably.
Mitch was paroled after convincing prison officials that he had reformed his evil ways. He returned to Llanview in January 1986, claiming to have had a spiritual awakening. He formed a religious commune that bilked people out of their money and lured in many of Llanview's citizens, notably naïve young women such as Joy O'Neill and Mari Lynn Dennison. Mitch secretly plotted to get revenge on Viki and Tina, using his converts to do his dirty work for him. Banner reporter Cassie Callison posed as a member of the cult to expose Mitch as a fraud, and she pretended to fall for his charms. When Mitch discovered Cassie's plan, he strung Cassie along and tried to get her to sleep with him. When Cassie refused, Mitch became violent and knocked her unconscious. As he prepared to rape her, Cassie's mother Dorian Cramer Lord walked in and knocked him out with an art object, seemingly killing him. Unable to prove that she was only defending her daughter, Dorian was convicted of murder and sent to Statesville Prison. Later, she was exonerated when a tape recording surfaced that proved her story.
Shortly before Mitch's apparent death, he had programmed another of his followers, the young and naïve Allison Perkins, to kidnap Viki Buchanan's baby once she had given birth. In September, after Viki gave birth to a baby girl named Jessica, Allison sneaked into Llanfair and kidnapped the infant from the house. Allison seemingly returned the child four weeks later, although the truth about that fateful incident wouldn't be revealed until many years later.
In 1987, Viki had an out-of-body experience while being operated on for a brain aneurysm. She appeared to be traveling to Heaven aboard the "Star Ascension" spaceship and encountered many Llanview citizens who had died, including Mitch Laurence. During a high-stakes battle to determine whether she would live or die, Viki was able to destroy Mitch's power over her.
In 2002, an alive and well Mitch Laurence quietly returned to Llanview using the alias, Michael Lazarus. Mitch befriended an unsuspecting Natalie Balsom, who had recently come to town and revealed herself as Viki Buchanan's daughter, a fraternal twin sister to Jessica Buchanan. Natalie's relationship with Cristian Vega had hit the skids, and Mitch eventually convinced her to elope with him while keeping his identity a secret from the rest of Llanview. When Viki finally met Natalie's new husband, she was stunned to come face to face with the supposedly dead Mitch Laurence. Mitch shocked Viki by claiming that he was fully aware that Viki had given birth to twin girls all those years ago, and that he had instructed that Allison to switch them as babies. But the biggest bombshell came when he revealed that he was Jessica's biological father! Before he had supposedly died back in 1986, Mitch had drugged, raped, and impregnated Viki during the same timeframe in which Viki had slept with Clint. Jessica was Mitch's daughter, while Natalie was Clint's. Viki's obstetrician, Dr. Walter Balsom, was one of Mitch's cult followers and went along with Mitch's scheme to hide the twin pregnancy from Viki. After Viki gave birth to her first baby, Mitch appeared in the delivery room and watched as Viki delivered a second child. Mitch took his baby, Jessica, while Clint and Viki brought home Natalie, thinking she was Jessica. Later, however, Mitch instructed Allison to kidnap baby Natalie and switch her with Jessica, so his daughter could live in the lap of luxury. Natalie was placed with Dr. Balsom and his hard-drinking wife, Roxy. As Mitch recounted the horrible tale, Viki's suppressed memories came flooding back to her, and she knew that the story was true.
Natalie was horrified to learn the truth about the man she had married, while Jessica was mortified to discover that Mitch was her biological father. Mitch wanted nothing more than to be a father to her, but Jessica told him that she wanted nothing to do with him. Natalie wanted out of the marriage, but Mitch said he would grant her an annulment only if she agreed to sleep with him. Natalie reluctantly agreed, but Viki and Cristian burst in and stopped her. Mitch then teamed up with Jen Rappaport, Cristian's ex-girlfriend, who was jealous of Natalie and Cristian's relationship. When Mitch goaded Cristian into punching him, Cristian was arrested and Jen testified that Cristian attacked Mitch first so Cristian would be sent to jail. Later, however, Jen felt remorseful and retracted her story. Jen came to realize what an evil man Mitch was and broke into his house to find incriminating evidence against him. She narrowly missed getting attacked by Mitch when he arrived home and discovered her there.
Mitch suddenly agreed to grant Natalie an annulment, and Viki sent Natalie and Cristian away to protect them. Todd Manning confronted Mitch about harassing Viki and her family, and Mitch got even by attempting to kidnap his daughter Starr. Starr's mother Blair Cramer intervened, however, and Mitch took Blair hostage at gunpoint. To free his ex-wife, Todd agreed to kidnap Natalie and bring her to Mitch in exchange for Blair. But the plan went awry when Todd accidentally shot Cristian, and Mitch made off with Natalie. Mitch drugged Natalie, dyed her hair blond, and then took her to a secluded clinic. There he introduced her as "Jessica" to an ailing, but very much alive, Victor Lord, who had been living in a remote location since supposedly dying in 1976. Victor was now close to death and needed a heart transplant to survive, but he insisted that the heart come from a blood relative. Mitch agreed to bring Victor his granddaughter in exchange for Victor altering his will in Mitch's favor. Not wanting to forsake his own daughter, however, Mitch instead presented Natalie-who was prepped for surgery and nearly sacrificed before a stunned Viki arrived along with Cristian and Jessica. Victor was rushed to the hospital but died soon after.
On the day of Victor's funeral, Mitch and his gang of followers cornered Todd, tied him up and placed him in Victor's tomb. When the police later opened the tomb, it was empty, and everyone assumed that Mitch had killed him. In April 2003, Dorian Lord returned to Llanview after traveling abroad for several years and shocked her family by announcing that she was marrying Mitch, the same man who had nearly raped her daughter Cassie all those years ago. Dorian insisted that her feelings for Mitch were genuine, and Mitch appeared to believe her. But in reality, Dorian planned to make Mitch pay for all of his sins while getting her hands on Victor Lord's estate, which Mitch had just inherited. After Mitch was blinded by chemicals during an encounter with an angry Jessica, Dorian began gaslighting Mitch in an attempt to make him believe he was going crazy.
In May 2003, a man showed up in town claiming to be Mitch's estranged brother, Walker "Flynn" Laurence. Mitch hadn't seen Walker in years and believed he was dead. Mitch was lured to the docks after Blair, Dorian and Jen's mother Lindsay Rappaport kidnapped a willing Jessica in an effort to make Mitch pay for his crimes. Mitch tried to "free" Jessica, who accidentally pushed him into the Llantano River. Everyone assumed Mitch was dead, but Walker rescued him and nursed him back to health. Mitch was convinced that the man was his brother, but in reality the imposter was none other than Todd Manning. It turned out that Todd had been severely beaten by Mitch's goons and left on the side of a road, where he was rescued and brought to a local hospital to recuperate. Todd learned of Mitch's brother and, after paying him off, had extensive plastic surgery to physically resemble Walker. While appearing to be Mitch's ally, Todd worked against Mitch to protect Blair and Jessica from his wrath.
Once Mitch regained his sight, he kidnapped Jessica and dragged her to Lion's Heart, the gothic mansion where Victor had been living all those years. Mitch drugged and mentally tortured Jessica, who managed to send several cryptic messages to her family and her new boyfriend, Antonio Vega. Viki and Antonio located Jessica, but then Viki was taken prisoner as well. When a kind young cult member named Brian tried to help them both escape, Mitch shot him in cold blood. The police arrived and arrested Mitch.
Still posing as Mitch's brother, Todd got Mitch released from jail and then led him to the docks to make an escape. When Mitch tried to kill Todd, Jessica appeared and knocked Mitch over the head with a lead pipe, killing him instantly. Even though both Jessica and Todd confessed to killing Mitch, Police Commissioner Bo Buchanan abandoned the case for lack of evidence and no one was charged. Even in death, Mitch managed to get one over on Dorian, as he had changed his will to make Jessica his sole heir. Dorian contested the will, but a judge ruled that the estate rightfully belonged to Viki.
Six years after his supposed demise, Mitch resurfaced in Napa Valley, California, where it was revealed that he was behind the recent stalking of Jessica. He had even and had bribed Jared to participate by threatening to reveal that Jared's father Charlie had killed Jared's stepfather in a drunken stupor when Jared was a child. Mitch had lured Jessica, Natalie and Jared to Nash Brennan's old vineyard and arranged for Nash's decaying body to be exhumed and sent to Napa Valley, where he was discovered by a horrified Jessica. Holding the trio at gunpoint, Mitch revealed that he had been planning the reunion for months and was eager to reunite with Jessica and his bride Natalie, but said he would have no further use for Jared. As John McBain and Brody Lovett closed in on an unsuspecting Mitch, Jared tried to lure Mitch out into the open but Mitch got the upper hand and shot Jared, who was rushed to the hospital and later pronounced dead. Mitch was arrested by local authorities, but he was released after Mitch claimed self defense. He made a grand appearance at Jared's funeral in Llanview, popping out of Jared's casket. Before being hauled off to jail, Mitch shared his first encounter with Rex Balsom, who had just learned that Mitch was his biological father, and told Rex that they had much work to do. Mitch was charged with killing Jared's step-aunt, Pamela Stuart, and Jared's former cellmate Wayne Landers, but a confident Mitch told John McBain he would never do a day for those crimes, that all the evidence pointed to Jared as the killer. Worried that Mitch would go free, Natalie took a letter opener from Jared's desk and marched to the police station, where she stabbed Mitch in the chest while John's back was turned. When Mitch came to in the hospital, he learned that John had claimed Mitch stabbed himself and turned the tables on John by claiming that John had actually done it.
Rex visited Mitch in the hospital and was horrified to learn that Mitch wanted to raise Rex's unborn child with Stacy, saying he considered the child as his heir apparent who would carry on his evangelical work. Stacy visited Mitch and briefly considered his offer to give over her baby in exchange for a life with Rex, before coming to her senses. From his hospital bed, Mitch launched the next phase of his plan by blackmailing his old nemesis Dorian Lord, who had just been elected mayor of Llanview. Mitch threatened to harm Dorian's "girls," going so far as to poison a bowl of punch that they were about to drink and making it clear that he could arrange for accidents to happen to Adriana, Cassie and Kelly even though they were far away from Llanview. Dorian agreed with Mitch's demand to fire Bo, and then shocked her family by hiring disgraced former Mayor Stanley Lowell as Bo's replacement, even though Lowell had earlier spearheaded a drug ring in town and nearly got Cole, Starr and Hope killed. Lowell dropped all charges against Mitch, meaning he was free to wreak havoc in town. Mitch and one of his minions, Nurse Charles, tried to drug a pregnant Stacy and kidnap her but Rex intervened and hired round-the-clock security to ensure Stacy was protected. Mitch wrote Jessica a letter asking her to meet him on the docks, knowing that Brody would go in his place. A vulnerable Jessica was drugged by Nurse Charles and taken to Fort Osborn Geological Observatory on Llantano Mountain, where Mitch told Jessica he wanted her to raise Stacy's baby once it was born. When Jessica refused to leave behind Bree and the rest of her "real family," Mitch decided he needed to make Jessica forget about her past and administered electroshock therapy on her.
Jessica was in a zombie-like state when Nurse Charles arrived with Stacy, who she managed to kidnap from the hospital. Mitch nearly killed Stacy after she revealed that the baby she was carrying wasn't his grandson, but Jessica convinced Mitch to spare her and he threw her out into a snowstorm instead. Mitch decided he would make his own heir and prepared to rape Jessica when Brody burst in and shot Mitch, harming him just long enough to get him under control. Charlie Banks showed up and planned to shoot Mitch as part of a murder plot with Dorian, but Charlie was startled when Dorian arrived and he misfired, shooting Jessica instead. As he was being taken into custody, Mitch threatened to hurt one of Dorian's daughters, just as Jessica had been injured. Dorian was relieved with all of her girls were safe and accounted for, but when her sister Melinda was found dead of an apparent heart attack, Dorian suspected foul play. Mitch denied having any part in Melinda's death, although it appeared that his revived accomplice Allison Perkins may have arranged it on his behalf. Allison brought Mitch some surprising news, that he was still connected to baby Sierra Rose even though Rex wasn't the father. Allison kidnapped the baby from Schuyler's apartment and then ordered Schuyler to help break Mitch out of prison in exchange for the baby.
Mitch faked a seizure so he would be moved to the prison's medical clinic, where Schuyler was waiting for him. But instead of helping him escape, Schuyler injected Mitch with a drug that he said would kill him if he didn't hand over Sierra. Mitch summoned Allison, who arrived at the prison with the baby and a gun. Inside the locked medical room, Allison revealed that baby Sierra was actually Mitch's granddaughter because Schuyler was Mitch's son, not Rex! Allison explained that the baby Roxy had delivered (Schuyler) was very ill when he was born so Allison switched the baby with a healthy newborn (Rex) who had been abandoned by his parents and brought to the hospital. Baby Schuyler made a full recovery but it was too late to reverse the switch, so Allison told her sister Leah that she had given birth to the baby but didn't want it and asked her sister to raise the baby. Schuyler refused to administer the antidote that would save Mitch, instead throwing it under the bed and walking out of the locked room with Sierra in his arms. Allison pleaded with the police to save Mitch, which they did, and then Mitch ordered Allison removed from his sight. After hearing that Rex wasn't Mitch's son, Bo told Mitch he never deserved to be Rex's father and punched him in the face before Mitch was transported back to solitary confinement.
On New Year's Eve 2011, Mitch and hundreds of other prisoners escaped from Statesville during a blackout. Mitch arrived at Llanfair and shocked Natalie, who tried and failed to fight back. Mitch wanted to see Jessica, but Natalie said she didn't know where she was. When Clint showed up, Mitch knocked him out and prepared to kill him before Natalie pleaded to save her father. Mitch took Natalie to an empty church and called Viki to demand that she hand over Jessica in exchange for Natalie. Viki and Clint refused, but Jessica agreed to go with John McBain to meet Mitch. John showed up first, gun in hand, and demanded that Mitch hand over Natalie. When Jessica arrived, Mitch let Natalie go but Jessica spit in his face and told him to go to hell. Robert Ford suddenly ran into the room and tackled Mitch. They struggled for the gun and it went off.
A large chandelier crashed to the floor, pinning Ford underneath. As John and Mitch faced each other with guns drawn, the girls struggled to lift the chandelier off of Ford and Mitch let John call for an EMS. After Ford and Jessica had gone to the hospital, John demanded that Mitch let Natalie go and John fired a shot, striking Mitch. John went to check on Mitch and he tackled him. As they struggled, Natalie picked up John's gun and fired several shots into Mitch, ending his reign of terror once and for all. Two angels of death, Stacy Morasco and Eddie Ford, arrived at the church to accompany Mitch to hell. As they walked him out, Stacy revealed that Jessica wasn't Mitch's daughter after all (Allison Perkins had lied to him all these years) and Mitch screamed out in dismay.