Gunnar Burns was a suspect in the murder investigation of Grimsborough University freshman Cindy McMinn in Final Cut (Case #37 of The Conspiracy) and the killer of tennis player Stephanie Griff in Game, Set, Murder (Case #40 of The Conspiracy).
Gunnar is the 50-year-old chief of the landscaping crew at Grimsborough University. He has messy gray hair, sideburns, a beard, and a mustache, as well as eye bags and wrinkles. Gunnar wears a dark gray t-shirt under a green jumpsuit with orange accents and two chest pockets. Furthermore, he sports a watch on his right wrist.
In his first appearance, it is known that Gunnar eats chili.
In his second appearance, he has a bruise on his left cheek. It is discovered that he uses heat cream, believes in astrology, orders Kangaroo and uses cypress oil.
Events of Criminal Case
Gunnar became a suspect after Gloria and the player found his university badge at the island which the film crew used as a movie set. After Gunnar said that he did not know Cindy, the team asked him why his badge ended up at the movie set. Answering about this, Gunnar explained that he might have lost it when he went to the island to clear his head.
Later, after beat cop Mia Loukas reported the team of a fight between him and a university student, Toby Hansen. The team quickly headed to the university entrance, where they found Gunnar threatened Toby with a pair of hedge clippers for damage to campus property. The team then arrested Gunnar for attempted criminal assault.
After Gunnar was taken into custody, the team (per Rita) found out that he had cleaned the chainsaw which Cindy's killer used to kill her by professional-grade cleaning products. When being asked about why he cleaned the murder weapon, Gunnar told that he did not know about it as he thought that the blood on the chainsaw was chili. In the end of the conversation, Gunnar denied killing Cindy.
Later, the team found out that Gunnar was innocent for the murder as they discovered the killer of Cindy was Toby Hansen. However, for his attempted assault on Toby earlier, Gunnar still remained in custody.
Gunnar became a suspect after Jones and the player found his tool belt at the tennis court the victim played at. After being told about the murder, he told them that the victim would be on the court all the time with a "tall fellow with bushy hair and a red headband". This description prompted Jones and the player to interrogate John McKenzie.
Gunnar was spoken to again about his snarky message about the victim. He claimed that the victim would not have been such a success without him because he was the one who would set up "her" court so that she could practice. He complained about the victim's persistent use of him to Dean Donna Walker, but was told to do whatever Stephanie wanted.
In the end, it was revealed that Gunnar was Stephanie's killer. Upon admitting to the murder, Gunnar said that he killed Stephanie while torturing her by knocking her unconscious and slowly crushing her head with the vise to reveal "what she knew." However, he stopped himself from giving any more information. Judge Powell then sentenced him to life in prison without possibility of parole.
Post-trial, Jones and the player found a photo of Gunnar digging up the tennis court. At the tennis court, they found the remains of a skull. Per Martine, the skull belonged to Clara Burns, Gunnar's ex-wife, who had been murdered over 20 years ago. With this newfound information, Jones and the player interrogated Gunnar about Clara's murder, who reluctantly confessed that he had killed her after Clara had taken everything from him after their divorce. He explained that he had buried Clara in his backyard, but after the council wanted to dig behind his house to install some internet cables, he attempted to relocate her body beneath the tennis court, where he was spotted by Stephanie.
- Gunnar is a reference to Gunnar Hansen, an American actor and author.
- Additionally, his name is also a parody of the aforementioned person, along with Marilyn Burns, an American actress.
- Gunnar is one of the characters to appear as a suspect in two cases.
- Gunnar is one of the characters who animate (or move) during at least one cutscene in the game.
- Gunnar is one of the killers who are interrogated once more during the Additional Investigation.
- Being 6 feet, 5 inches tall, Gunnar is one of the three tallest killers in the game, the others being Jorge de la Cruz and Elwood Grimes.
- He is also the tallest killer in The Conspiracy.