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Lawrence Fowler

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Affiliation
Scientist, SYSTEX
Inventor of the HAVOC system
Status
Terminated from position
Episode Appeared In
Played By


Lawrence Fowler was a research scientist at Systex Corporation, a leading defense contractor. Fowler is relatively mild-mannered and prone to fits of panic when under pressure. James "Sonny" Crockett would describe him as "Mr. Wizard" in reference to the children's science-themed television show. Fowler is noteworthy for having been the inventor of the HAVOC device. HAVOC stands for High Voltage Vehicle Override Capacitor, and it is essentially a stun gun for vehicles instead of people. The HAVOC works by sending high-voltage electricity to the vehicle which in turn shorts out its electrical system. The motor dies, allowing the pursuers to capture the vehicle. The HAVOC can stop a wide variety of vehicles—cars, trucks, even boats—without harming them or their occupants, as long as the proper power setting is used. The power level can be adjusted to disable, or when necessary, to destroy. Although originally developed for military use, Systex determined that the HAVOC had law enforcement applications as well. In 1989 Fowler's invention was tested in front of numerous law enforcement agencies, among them the FBI and the Metro-Dade Police Department, including Sonny Crockett and Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs. Fowler himself conducted the test, and took questions from the assembled guests. The observers were initially dismissive of the HAVOC's potential, with even Crockett calling it a "sci-fi gadget" that could never work. However, during the course of the demonstration, a group of men impersonating a catering company broke into the Systex grounds, put on masks, and using Mac-10 machine guns that were concealed in buffet trays shot several people, and stole the HAVOC device. During the escape, the men used the HAVOC to disable a pursuing police cruiser, much to the amazement of Crockett and Tubbs. Upon further investigation, it was determined that Fowler himself was complicit in the theft, conspiring with Salvatore "Sal" Lombard in exchange for $200,000, much more than the $5,000 bonus Systex paid Fowler for the invention. Fowler lamented that HAVOC was worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Systex, but that the paltry $5,000 bonus wasn't even enough to pay for the car insurance for his two teenaged sons. Fowler intended to use the $200,000 to start his own research laboratory and work for himself. Fowler's fate remains unclear. Although Crockett and Tubbs had suggested the possibility of a plea deal in exchange for Fowler's cooperation in the investigation into the theft and related murder of Sal Lombard, it is probable that he was terminated from Systex. Ultimately, Crockett used the HAVOC device to snare Frederico Libirizzi, going so far as using it to destroy Librizzi's boat as a demonstration of the device's power and authenticity.

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