Howard Drew

Howard “Howie” Drew (b. 1987) is a LAPD homicide detective with a strong personal code that drives him to seek justice for his victims.


  1. This Wiki describe events from the Howard Drew Novels by Larry Darter.
  2. This Wiki May contain spoilers! Don’t read unless you’re willing to learn the identities of killers and other important details about the character Howard Drew.



Howard is the son of Wade Drew and Rita Drew. He is the brother of Natalie Drew (d. 2003), an older sister who was murdered in Los Angeles, California in 2003.

Howard lives at the Hancock Park Apartments on Wilcox Avenue.

Physically, Howard is 5 feet 10 inches tall and is lean because he is a dedicated long distance runner. He has light brown hair cut in the same high and tight fade that he became accustomed to while serving in the military. Howard is right handed.

Personality wise, Howard is reserved, and soft-spoken. He sometimes suffers from anger management and authority issues related to post-traumatic stress disorder he developed during  combat tours in Iraq, including his unit’s deployment from Fort Carson, Colorado as part of General David Petraeus’ fabled surge in 2007 to 2008, and a second deployment to Iraq in 2009. He has received minimal treatment from the Veterans Administration and sometimes involuntarily re-experiences aspects of the his traumatic combat events in a vivid and distressing way. This includes flashbacks, reoccurring nightmares, and repetitive and distressing intrusive images or other sensory impressions from the events.  Other symptoms of PTSD Howard suffers on occasion include hyper-vigilance for threats, exaggerated startle responses, irritability, difficulty in concentrating, and insomnia. His symptoms sometimes present as emotional numbing and he experiences feeling detached from other people. This makes it difficult for him to sustain lasting intimate relationships, though he often shows surprising compassion for other people, especially murder victims and their families.

Howard is an avid fan of country western music.

Early Life

Drew was born at Martin Army Community Hospital, Fort Benning, Georgia, while his father Wade was posted there with his family and served with 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

In 1994, when Drew was eight years old, his father left the Army after his Ranger unit participated in the ill-fated Operation Gothic Serpent aimed at capturing Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. Wade Drew and his Ranger unit fought against Somali militiamen loyal to Aidid during the Battle of Mogadishu on 3–4 October 1993, that was immortalized in the novel and movie, Blackhawk Down. He came away from the experience disillusioned with how the U.S. political and military leaders had handled the operation feeling the country had squandered the lives of his fellow soldiers for no real purpose.

Staff Sergeant Wade Drew left the Army when his enlistment expired in 1994 and moved his family back to Los Angeles where he and Howard’s mother had both been born and raised. Wade Drew joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1995. Two years later, when Howard was eleven-years-old. his father was killed in an on-duty motor vehicle crash while driving his patrol unit leaving Howard to grow up without his father. From that point on, Howard’s mother raised Howard and his older sister Natalie as a single-mother.

In 2000, tragedy again struck the Drew family. At age eighteen, Howard’s sister, Natalie was abducted and murdered by a sexual predator. The killer was eventually identified, arrested, and prosecuted but accepted a plea agreement and did only fifteen years in a California prison for his crimes.

After her daughter’s murder, Howard’s mother Rita suffered from debilitating depression, generalized anxiety. Facing his own demons, his mother’s mental state was one of the reasons Howard enlisted in the Army after completing two years of study at Los Angeles City College. While Howard was in the Army his mother remarried and moved to Phoenix, Arizona with her new husband. For a variety of reasons, Howard and his mother became somewhat estranged afterwards.

In 2007 Howard followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Army. Following basic training, he volunteered for the infantry and after completing advanced individual training was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado. His brigade, a Stryker unit, twice made combat deployments to Iraq, first in 2007 and then again in 2009.

In Iraq Howard served as a fire team leader and later as a squad leader. He served in the capital city Baghdad during his first tour and in the cities Baghdad and Ba’qubah in Diyala Province during the second deployment. In December 2007 he suffered shrapnel wounds from an IED while his unit was clearing buildings in operations against Al-Qaeda Iraq insurgents. His wounds became infected and he spent four weeks recuperating at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center next to the U.S. air base at Ramstein, Germany. He was awarded the Purple Heart medal twice for injuries in Iraq as well as the Bronze Star with the “V” Device for acts of valor during combat operations in Diyala Province. Howard completed his four-year enlistment and was honorably discharged from military service as a Staff Sergeant (E6) in 2011.

Career With Los Angeles Police Department

After leaving the Army, Howard returned to Los Angeles with the intentions of completing his college education at UCLA. However, he ran into an old friend from high school who was a Los Angeles Police Department patrol officer. The friend encouraged Howard to apply to LAPD when he admitted he had no real career plan in mind. Howard applied in 2011, was hired, and started the academy. Upon graduation, he was assigned to Hollenbeck during his probationary year.

Drew was a patrol officer for five years, primarily in Newton and Hollywood. In 2016 he passed the exam and was promoted to Detective I. His first assignment as a burglary/theft detective at Hollenbeck. He later transferred to the robbery table at the West L.A. Community Station. In 2019 when he was promoted to Detective II, he landed an assignment he had coveted since becoming a detective, homicide investigations at West Bureau.