Gloria Simmons was a naive 15 year old living in Detroit in the 60's when she met the handsome and charismatic Lowell Baldwin in Ann Arbor, where he was attending college on scholarship at the University of Michigan. Lowell dropped out of college, became a hippie living in a commune with Gloria, and drove a school bus for a living. His mother Florence expressed disappointment at Lowell's disinterest in his education after falling for "that young Detroit girl". Gloria got pregnant and their son Michael was born. Lowell and Gloria were Viet Nam war protesters as part of a non-violent hippie branch of the activist group "The Weathermen". During one protest rally that consisted of a confetti-bombing of a bank, someone substituted a real bomb, and a janitor was killed. The bomb went off just as Lowell arrived with the intent to stop them, and was seen as a suspect when he tried to help those who were hurt. Rather than raise a young child on the run, Lowell abandoned Gloria and fled to Canada.
Eventually, Lowell returned to the U.S. and was a College Professor in Southern California. Lowell had an affair with a French grad student, she got pregnant, and he was fired from the university as a result. Eden's mother had a drug problem, disappeared after Eden was born, and died. In 1993, Lowell exchanged identities with a man named Richard Gerick, so as far as his daughter Eden knew, their last name was Gerick. Lowell, always on the run, raised Eden to be self-sufficient in case he got caught, home-schooling her to be far advanced for her age.
Meanwhile ten years after Lowell left her, Gloria was still living in Detroit working as a waitress at a diner, when she married Tom Fisher, and their son Kevin Fisher was born. But Kevin's father "Terrible Tom" was a drunk who took out his frustration and anger by abusing the kids physically and verbally and often locked Kevin in a closet. Both Kevin and Michael left home when they were of age, and grew up to get in a lot of trouble. Michael went to law school and became a highly respected Attorney in Genoa City, but ended up in prison. After he did his time, Michael managed to pick up his career and enjoyed his success. It wasn't until years later when Kevin was accused of another crime that he showed up at Michael's office expecting help, but Michael turned his long-lost half-brother away. Kevin had to flee Genoa City to his mother Gloria's who was living in the same seedy apartment in his and Michael's hometown of Detroit. Gloria was shocked to see him, and hugged and rocked him, begging him to love her now, after she had turned her back on the abuse all those years. Michael showed up just before the Detroit police knocked on the door wanting Kevin. Michael called Detective Weber back in Genoa City, and convinced him to let him bring Kevin back. Gloria and Michael hadn't seen each other in many years either, and Michael was obviously resentful of her. But Gloria talked Michael into letting her return to Genoa City with Kevin. Kevin ended up proven innocent of the crime, but later committed worse ones. But Kevin turned his life around, becoming the owner/manager of Crimson Lights Coffee House. Michael married Department store heiress, Lauren Fenmore, and they had a son, Fenmore. Gloria stayed on in Genoa City wreaking havoc on both her son's lives with her multiple marriages to rich men who left her widowed, the return and murder of "Terrible Tom", and the never-ending, sometimes illegal, tricks that she pulled.
Jana Hawkes and Kevin Fisher decided to marry with a hippie style wedding at an ashram in Malibu. All in hippie attire except for Jana's white lace gown, Amber Moore was her maid of honor and Daniel Romalotti, Kevin's best man, with Michael as groomsman. Michael's wife Lauren, Gloria and her current husband Jeffrey attended, and Colleen Carlton tagged along as Daniel's date. To everyone's shock, the guru officiating turned out to be Michael's long lost father Lowell "River" Baldwin! Gloria and Michael gave him a tongue-lashing over his abandoning them before Michael was born, and Lowell retorted with cosmic gibberish about fate and the universe, and asked them not to turn him in to the Feds. Michael gave him hell with tears of hurt in his eyes, but left saying he would not turn him in.
It wasn't long before River turned up at Michael's door trying to explain and make amends for the past to Michael and Gloria, claiming he was not guilty of the death in the 60's. Gloria had a very touching reunion with Lowell, and she and Michael both made peace with him. Just as he was about to leave town, Lowell was apprehended by the FBI. Gloria’s current husband Jeffrey later admitted that he turned Lowell in. Not long afterward 15 year old Eden showed up at Michael’s looking for her father River. Lowell explained to Michael that when he was teaching in California he got a grad student pregnant, and was fired from the university as a result. Eden's mother had a drug problem, disappeared after Eden was born, and she died. Lowell raised Eden to be self-sufficient in case he got caught, home-schooling her to be far advanced for her age her idols being Ernest Hemmingway and Jim Morrison. He asked Michael to take her in, and Lauren convinced Michael they should give it a try, but Eden was sullen and belligerent.
Attorney Dick Dentner, a former activist himself, saw Lowell as a hero and took his case with plans to "stick it to the man". Michael attempted to help, but Lowell was not interested. But when Lowell was about to be extradited back to Michigan, Michael acted as his lawyer and got his trial held in Genoa City, Lowell finally accepted Michael to defend him. Michael spent days pouring over four decades of files from the 1960’s trial of Lowell's cohorts. He found and met with a buddy of Lowell’s, Howie “Kite” Sullivan, who told him that he was with “River” the day of the bombing, and that “River” was not responsible for the janitor who was killed. That it was meant to be only a confetti bomb, but someone substituted a real one, and River was only there to try to stop the protest. Howie claimed he was an FBI informant who, when he refused to testify against Lowell, ended up doing time. Meanwhile Gloria located a note in the files where the prosecution had scrapped Howie’s testimony because he refused to cut a deal, which verified his story.
Back at the jail, after a visit from Jeffrey that convinced him that ever going free was hopeless, Lowell took a capsule that would make him sick so he’d get taken to the hospital. He left a note for Michael, and with Eden causing a distraction, Lowell escaped out a second story window hurting his ankle. Eden met Lowell at a warehouse, but he convinced her to stay with Michael to have a decent life. Not long after she left, the police surrounded the warehouse. Michael arrived and talked Lowell into surrendering. While working on Lowell’s case, Michael found a photo of the activist group, and Lowell identified everyone, including Gloria. Michael was particularly interested in finding Lowell's former best friend Marshall. He suspected he was the one who substituted the real bomb, but he turned out to be deceased. Also among the old evidence was a tape of a witness named Tonya condemning Lowell as a violent ringleader, the voice undeniably Gloria’s. When Michael confronted her with it, Gloria broke down and admitted she was coerced into it by the police under threat of getting Michael taken away from her. When Michael told Lowell, he said he had known all along, understood the circumstances and forgave her long ago. Gloria walked in the visiting room, overheard, and they cried and embraced.
In June 2008 Noah Newman went away to summer camp at age ten, and returned in August fifteen years old and getting into trouble with his buddies who are into drinking beer and partying. He convinced his parents to let him attend Genoa City High School instead of Walnut Grove. Noah was rebuffed and called a loser by newcomer Eden when he tried to befriend her. One night both were invited to a party in a warehouse. When Noah arrived he realized he was tricked into convincing his parents it was chaperoned and no drinking, then Eden stole his cell phone when he tried to leave. Out past curfew, Nick and Sharon burst in on the party and took Noah home just as the police were showing up and Eden sneaking away.
Eden finally was letting down her defenses and she and Lauren were finally starting to bond as they shopped for winter clothes together. Noah has since taken an interest in Eden, and persuaded her to go on a French Class trip to France. The trip went well and Noah was enjoying Paris, but Eden was bored and wanted to see the real Paris where her mother grew up. Meanwhile Sharon arrived to meet Noah and do some sightseeing with him, but has run into Nick who is there to find Victor. Eden and Noah went to the Père Lachaise Cemetery where Jim Morrison was buried, Eden opened up to Noah about her mother who grew up in Paris, and they ended up in an embrace. But they were interrupted by some young thugs who stole the necklace Eden's mother had left her, and roughed up Noah. Eden got away and called the police. The thugs got away dropping the necklace which Noah retrieved, and Noah and Eden were taken to the police station until Sharon was located and picked them up. Noah and Eden are becoming close and kissing when they can get away with it, since they are now forbidden to see each other because of the trouble they got into in Paris.
Months later in court, thanks to Michael's expertise and Gloria's last minute testimony, River's charges for the bombing of the Michigan bank building and resulting death of the janitor were dropped. Then a California tax bill for the ashram which was in Eden's name arrived, causing Michael to realize the only way River would have had the 4.5 million dollars to buy the ashram was if he had stolen the 4.5 million the bank claimed lost in the bank during the bombing. Confronted by Michael, River admitted he had gone there for the money, not to stop the bombing as he claimed, and that he had conned everyone since. River left town, stopping only for Eden's teddy bear which he had stuffed with the remaining $60,000 of what Kay had left at Crimson lights that Jana had given to him. But Eden caught and confronted him. River told her she was better off with Michael and Lauren and left her behind. Eden was crushed to realize he was a conman all along, but glad that she and Noah had discovered and hid the money, so he had only a bear full of paper. Jana and Kevin thought River had taken the money with him when he skipped town, but Kevin overheard Eden and Noah saying that they found it hidden in Eden's old teddy bear and hid it in the tack house. Jana has had it with karma and being the June Cleaver of Genoa City, and helped Kevin steal the money back.
In late January of 2009, Sharon went up to the Abbott cabin at Twin Lakes to be alone and think about what to do with her life after divorce papers were served on Jack. Brad showed up and declared his love, but Sharon sent him away. On the drive home, Brad had car trouble, got out, and heard the screams of Noah Newman who had gone skating with Eden and fallen through the ice. Brad died a hero after he pulled Noah from the hole in the ice, when he fell through himself and drowned. Colleen and J.T. found Brad’s car about the same time Noah remembered and told Victoria that it was Brad who rescued him. J.T. and Colleen heard a boy playing on the ice scream as he discovered Brad's body showing through the ice. J.T. checked out the situation and had to deliver the bad news to Colleen. Colleen and Abby were both devastated by the news, and Victoria and Ashley commiserated over the loss of their former husbands. Noah and Sharon both felt guilty over Brad's death.
Phyllis, knowing all to well that forbidding Noah and Eden to see each other would only push them together, talked Nick and Sharon into letting them see each other so long as they followed the rules of curfews and permission. That same evening they were tempted to have sex, but Noah wisely stopped it.
Sharon began to experience black outs picking up random objects from other people's houses, then later wondering where they came from. After checking out at the bookstore, Sharon added books not paid for. Eden arrived with Noah, Noah left with Sharon, leaving the bag of books on the counter. Eden grabbed them to take to her, was caught by the security system, detained for shop-lifting, and the police were called. Meanwhile Sharon visited her mom in the hospital, and Doris recognized the same behaviors Sharon had as a teen over the guilt she felt when Doris became paralyzed. She asked Sharon if she wasn’t feeling similar guilt over Brad’s death, but Sharon denied it. Back at the bookstore, after Lauren and Michael had no success getting the owner to reconsider pressing charges, Eden was arrested, and later given into Michael’s custody at Juvenile Detention. When Sharon found out what happened, she had no recollection that she was involved, and attacked Nick for trying to help calm her panic.
Once again, Noah and Eden were not allowed to see each other, but when Victor asked Noah to meet him later at the ranch, they showed up together early, thinking they could be alone there together. Instead they walked in on a surprise 16th birthday party for Noah, and Eden made a hasty exit. Victor gave Noah a new car for his birthday, despite the fact that he'd been misbehaving and his parents disapproved.
Eden and Noah took off together for the Abbott cabin at Twin Lakes to be alone and have sex for the first time, but they reconsidered and had left by the time both Sharon and Nick got there to stop them. Once again, Sharon & Nick fell back into the old attraction and had sex there themselves. Nick admitted to Phyllis what had happened and suggested they separate until he could decide who he really wanted. They arrived at home to find Eden and Noah having sex on their couch. Nick spent the night at Victoria's, and Phyllis went crazy in Sharon's hotel room, screaming and cutting up her clothes. She discovered Sharon's stash of stolen items, and notified the police. When Sharon arrived back at her room, she was arrested for theft. Jack bailed her out, Nick accused Phyllis of setting her up, and Victor decided it was time Noah came to live with him. Once Sharon admitted she had been shoplifting, Eden, Noah and Michael were relieved that Eden was not guilty.
Noah and Eden became accepted as a couple and managed to stay out of trouble for quite some time. Noah was shocked when Sharon suddenly married Adam, but he and Noah got along well.
College girl, Daisy, convinced Lauren to hire her at her boutique and that she was a sweet, hard-working girl who had no family. When Eden began seeing through Daisy's con job, Daisy set the Carlton house on fire while Eden and Noah were upstairs making love. Noah's uncle Adam arrived in time to save them and Noah's dog Fisher. Eden confronted Daisy with a Fenmore's card found at the scene, certain that Daisy set the fire. Not long afterward, Eden was contacted by her aunt Juliet in Paris, asking her to live with her for awhile and attend a prestigious school there. While she hated to leave Noah, she persuaded Michael and Lauren to let her go. Once Eden got to Paris she told Noah she was confused that her Aunt thanked her for contacting her and requesting to come. Noah soon got permission to join her there.
Daisy got Lauren to feel sorry for her and allow her to live in Eden’s room. While packing up Eden’s things, Michael found a receipt for the purchase of a rat from a pet store. The clerk remembered selling it to a young dark-haired girl with an attitude. Michael phoned and confronted Eden, who swore she was being setup and suspected Daisy. Lauren began having terrible headaches and being short-tempered with everyone, refusing to believe that Daisy was not the sweet helpful girl she appeared to be. Jana was suspicious of Ryder, suspecting he and Daisy were more than new acquaintances. After convincing Kevin, Ryder was fired from Crimson Lights and asked to move out of their apartment. Ryder began living on the streets by day, and sleeping at the boutique at night, then later at the homeless shelter. One day Ryder watched some young trick-or-treaters and gazed at a ripped photo of himself as a young boy. Ryder recalled arguing with another boy about costumes. As Ryder remembered the boy taunting and calling him "chicken boy," he wiped a tear from his eye, saying, "I didn't mean for it to happen." Jana found a photo of Daisy with a kid named Max Potter, and discovered on the Internet that he had disappeared from camp one Halloween night. During a date at the Athletic Club, while Kevin was trapped in the elevator, Jana found a card on her plate inviting her to a movie theater to finish their date. On her theater seat was a scrapbook with photos of Daisy and Ryder as babies. Realizing they were twins and who their mother was, Jana screamed, then was abducted. Kevin began frantically searching for Jana, finally enlisting the help of Michael and Detective J.T., convinced that Ryder and Daisy were behind her disappearance.
Meanwhile Jana was being held in a cage at an abandoned amusement park attended by a reluctant Ryder, while Daisy plotted to get rid of Jana by leaving a trail to convince everyone that she had left Kevin and disappeared. Daisy, Ryder and their mother abducted Lauren and Lauren ended up in a cage near where Jana had been placed in a crate after she tried to escape and they were able to talk. Daisy confronted Lauren, admitting to being involved in everything from framing Daniel for murder, sending Eden to Paris, planting the rats and the toxin in her office wallpaper. Daisy claimed that she and Ryder were twins were raised by someone else because the ongoing feud between Lauren and their mother Sheila Carter stole her away from them, and inferred that Sheila was still alive and there with them. Lauren demanded Sheila show herself, and “Mama Bear” appeared – with Lauren’s face. Lauren and Jana ended up together in the cage where “Mama Bear” told them she was Sheila’s sister Sarah, and that she intended to avenge Sheila’s death. Sarah then took Lauren’s wedding ring, and left in Lauren’s clothes, and stepped into Lauren’s life. Michael’s joy at “Lauren’s” return was dashed when she told him she had awakened that morning in a strange man’s bed, and began acting very abnormally. Michael got her an appointment with Psychiatrist Dr. Emily Peterson. When Sarah passing for “Lauren” met “Emily” she recognized her immediately as Patty Williams. Sarah had been Patty’s nurse at the surgical center in Argentina where they both had their plastic surgeries, and they vowed to keep each other’s secrets and help each other should the need arise.
Six months later, Noah returned from Paris saying only that he and Eden had broken up, and he was home to stay.
Michael had apparently been in regular contact with Eden, then after not hearing for her for a few months, Michael called Eden's aunt Juliet in Paris expecting to speak to Eden. Juliet told Michael that Eden was traveling, but she was unsure where. Meanwhile, Abby Newman was surprised to discover that Eden was back in the United States, and a resident of the same Connecticut rehab facility as Abby, and was a bulimic.
Eden and Abby came to understand each other, and the day that Eden was to be released and return to Paris, Abby had a surprise visit from Noah. Noah told Abby that the attempted murder charges had been dropped against Ashley, so Abby decided to check herself out and return home with Noah. Although Eden had been adamant that she would not return to her past, she changed her flight plans for Genoa City instead of Paris. Noah, Michael and Lauren were surprised to see Eden again, and she had a heart to heart talk with Noah, apologizing for all that she had put him through in Paris, and Eden told everyone that she was a different person thanks to rehab. Since Heather was out of town for an extended period of time, Eden sublet Heather's apartment and took a barista job at Crimson Lights. But when Heather finally returned, Eden moved across the hall to Kevin's as a roommate.
One stormy night, after a canceled movie date, Daniel and Eden had no-strings sex and ended up covered in artist paint. But some time later, Daniel began taking care of Chloe after Kevin left her at the altar and disappeared. After discovering that Kevin may have run off with Angelina, Chloe got drunk, and Eden caught Chloe and Daniel kissing out behind Jimmy's bar. Disgusted with Daniel, Eden began hanging out with Ricky Williams, hoping to make Daniel jealous. Daniel and Chloe later told Eden that they were drunk and got carried away, and were just friends. But Eden had already emailed a photo of them kissing to Kevin. When Kevin returned weeks later married to Angelina, Eden was afraid that the photo had triggered Kevin's rash decision. But Kevin assured her that it had not. When Kevin moved out of the apartment, Eden invited Ricky to move into Kevin's bedroom and become her roommate.
When Kyle Abbott returned to Genoa City in his early twenties, Eden and Kyle hooked up.
After Ricky's threats against Phyllis scared Eden, she asked him to move out of her apartment. After Daisy moved in with Daniel, Ricky blackmailed Daisy into giving him her apartment and paying his rent, or he would tell the courts how he took Lucy to get custody from Daniel. Ricky let Eden know that he was living across the hall from her, then later let himself into Eden's apartment, cautioned her not to tell Michael of his threats against Phyllis, returned her key, but kept a copy. So when Noah returned to town and needed a place to stay, Eden asked him to move in with her platonically, to help safeguard her from Ricky.
Eden overheard Ricky and Daisy plotting to get Daisy and Lucy out of town and away from Daniel. And later after Daisy disappeared under circumstances that led police to believe that Daniel had murdered her, Eden became suspicious. Eden searched Ricky's room and found Daisy's wallet, credit card, and phone. Ricky discovered her there, saying, "Now you know my secret, and now I have to kill you." Ricky threw Eden against the bathtub, and she was knocked unconscious. Kevin told Paul that Eden was missing, and that Eden was sure that Ricky was involved in Daisy's disappearance. Meanwhile Ricky held a knife to Eden's throat, asking Eden's limp body if she was ready to die, and telling her that no one would ever find her body or Daisy's.
Paul arrived at Ricky's. Paul and Ricky argued, and Paul refused to leave until they came to an understanding. Ricky told Paul how lonely he had been as a child with no one to be a parent to him, that his grandparents were too old to have a child, and never understood him. Ricky told Paul how he had visited Isabella in the mental institution, but when she got too violent and had to be doped up, he no longer had been allowed to. He reminded Paul that as his father, he had only sent cash on birthdays. Trying to get rid of Paul, Ricky agreed to try to get to know Paul the next day. Paul grabbed Ricky's room card on his way out, and noticed a backpack on the floor. Ricky returned to the bathroom to kill Eden.
Paul realized that the backpack was Eden's and ran back up to the room. Opening the bathroom door, Paul found Ricky on the floor with a knife at Eden's throat. When Ricky refused to drop the knife, Paul pulled a gun on him. Paul pleaded with Ricky, to drop the gun and not kill Eden. Ricky admitted, "Rachel thought she could leave me. I killed her, and got away with it too." Ricky also told Paul that Craig Hunt should have kept his mouth shut, or he wouldn't have had to kill him. Admitting the he had gotten rid of Daisy, Ricky said that Daisy had it coming, and felt he had done the town a favor. Ricky exclaimed, "Are you proud of your boy? This is all your fault, the reason I turned out this way, a product of your neglect. Are you going to take out your own kid?" Paul begged Ricky to drop the gun. Ricky begged Paul to shoot. Ricky stood up to stab Eden, Paul shot him, and Ricky flew backward and out of the window. Paul stood at the window sobbing as he looked down below at his dead son, Ricky.
When Eden awoke on the floor, she looked out the broken window and saw Ricky's dead body lying on the ground below. She asked Paul what had happened, but he just told her to call the police. When they arrived, Paul was in shock and could not speak, but Ronan persuaded Paul to tell him what had happened. The police were skeptical since no knife was found, and Eden could not back up his story. Eden had suffered a head injury, and was unconscious at the time, and later could not even remember why she had been in Ricky's apartment or why she had texted Kevin. Michael and Heather took Eden to the crime scene, but she still could not recall anything. So Paul was arrested for first degree murder. Eden later agreed to hypnosis. Daniel, Kyle, and Christine witnessed the session. Eden had obviously been terrified of Ricky, but the doctor could pull out no more from her subconscious.
Eden had a dream where Ricky chased her down a dark alley, cornered her, and said crazy nonsensical things which she wrote down after she woke up. Paul, Christine and Heather analyzed them with Eden and believed they were clues to the location of Ricky's video of him killing Rachel. Because Paul could not leave the state, Christine volunteered to investigate the clues which were mostly in California. Christine returned with the video on her laptop, fearing that it was not enough to get the charges against Paul dropped. But after seeing the video, Michael presented Paul with acquittal papers, and Paul dumped all the cards and letters he had saved from Ricky into the trash.