Lawson wore a black leather jacket with a white t-shirt, blue jeans, black shoes, and had greasy black hair to give it a typical greaser gang look. Sometimes he would have a cigarette on his right ear. He carried a switch blade in his back pocket which was his signature personal belonging. He also drove a black 1955 Chevy 150.
As the leader of his gang Lawson was known as an arrogant bully according to how him and his gang treated both Jimmy and Wayne when he first appeared in the movie. He demanded for them to give his gang some money, but the boys refused as Wayne told him to leave him and Jimmy alone. Him and his gang refused as the other gang member Vinnie Vincent grabbed Wayne where they started to push him around. So when Lawson didn't get what he wanted he would try his best to get it. Lawson was also known to have a short temper as he would pull out his switch blade when he would get punched in the face. He pulled out his knife a couple of times to kill Jimmy's students and even to scare his son Scott, but mainly he would pull it out in anger when he would get punched. The first time this happened was when Wayne punched Lawson shortly before his death. When he stood back up he pulled the knife out saying "Nobody hits me and lives man!". He got punched a second time when Jimmy's wife Sally punched Lawson so he won't kill Scott. Lawson laughed as Vinnie grabbed her. He walked over smiling and grabbed her head telling her "Don't you know Sally that nobody hits me and lives? Huh?"! He didn't pull out the knife, but he was angry where he wanted to kill her, but wanted to save it for when his gang meets with Jimmy later in the movie at the tunnel. The third time was when Wayne came back as he punched Lawson while the gang was tyring to kill him again. He pulled out the knife again. Another example of his short temper was when one of Jimmy's students Kate said that Lawson, along with some troublesome classmates, was idiots which caused him to stare at her. Later on that day Kate was lynched by Lawson and his gang where Jimmy found out the next day.
Lawson was worse as dead than alive. Of course when he was alive he felt slight remorse for killing Wayne, but at the same time of course he was afraid of being told on by Jimmy who was a witness. With Lawson being dead he was an evil arrogant demon who stopped at nothing to torment Jimmy and the ones he cared about and loved. He was the mastermind behind the murders of Wayne, Billy Sterns, Kate, and Chip. He scared Scott half to death by chasing him in his car attempting to run him over. This is triggered by his short temper again when in the previous scene Jimmy grabs Lawson into the lockers as he told him to leave his family out of what his gang has planned for their revenge on Jimmy for their deaths. He broke into Jimmy's home terrorizing Sally and Scott until Jimmy arrived to stop him and his gang friends of doing whatever they had planned to do to them. Lawson showed that he was sexually attracted to Sally due to in the church scene when the gang took Jimmy's family as a hostage. After he told Sally about no one living when he gets punched he said "You lucky I have a date tonight to keep. Otherwise you and I might have a little fun of our own" followed by him licking her face. This indicates that he wanted to rape her. Overall, Lawson was a sinister punk, alive or dead, who enjoyed making others lives miserable even if the film didn't go to much of its extremes. He wanted Jimmy dead the most, but wanted to do all he can to torture him mentally and physically to the best of his ability first. However, the oncoming train that killed him and his gang in 1963 came back 27 years later to bring them back to hell.
- "You know I bet Vinnie here a whole nickel, that your old clunker wouldn't burn rubber Jimmy. But I was wrong, everything burns."
- ―Lawson and his gang laughing as they destroyed Jimmy's van.
- "Time to rock, jock!"
- ―-Lawson turns around and pulls out switch blade at Chip.
- "Nobody hits me and lives man!"
- "Now give us some money."
- "Welcome to Milford Jimmy."