Local actress stars in local story

Toni Gaal on cable TV July 19

Forest Lake High School grad Toni Gaal plays a leading role in a local tragedy. The story will air at 5 p.m. Thursday. (Photo submitted.)

Toni Gaal, a Forest Lake High School graduate, plays a lead role in a story from the Twin Cities on cable TV’s Blood Relatives.

The episode “Reap What You Sow” casts Gaal as Elizabeth in the story of the 2008 murder of Edwin Hawes that happened in Anoka County.

In this story the Hawes family, of Golden Valley, run a successful landscaping business. The trouble begins when money disappears, pitting sibling against sibling.

In a phone conversation, Gaal said working on such a tragic story “stays with you.  You feel for the family.”

On the other hand, the acting experience was one of the best she’s ever had, she said.

“There was really no script,” she explained.  “You had to come up with what to say.”

She especially remembers the scene in which her character is beside a bonfire when the police approach.

Gaal said she grew up in Crystal, moving to Forest Lake in her junior year.  Her parents, Lori and Dennis Breen, live in Columbus.  So she felt the local connection.

The wardrobe and make-up artists on the set were also from Minnesota, she said.

The episode originally aired on June 14.  It will air again on ID Discovery at 5 p.m. on July 19.