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Characters / The Dresden Files Chicago PD and FBI

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Characters from The Dresden Files, Chicago Police and FBI.

WARNING! Due to the books relying heavily on mystery and surprise, the pages would be virtually unreadable with excessive spoiler tags. Therefore, all spoilers except for the most recent novel (Battle Ground) are UNMARKED. Tread carefully.

The various mortal law enforcement that Harry finds himself in contact with - and, often, mistakenly pitted against.

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  • Agent Scully: Most law enforcement are dismissive to Dresden at best...
  • Inspector Javert: ...and immediately suspect him of being a criminal at worst.


Chicago Police: Special Investigations

     In General 
Special Investigations (or S.I) is nowhere near as impressive as it might sound, and a strange. For its businesslike name, the unit is the ass end of Chicago's police force. They're dispatched to look at cases that seem to be beneath the notice of most police in Chicago, such as bigfoot sightings. Unfortunately, as the latter is actually real in the Dresden Files verse, along with most supernatural creatures, S.I is often unwittingly dispatched to fight genuine supernatural threats. While the officers of S.I can be trusted (more or less) to help Harry out and serve as his main source of employment for the first few books and are all reasonably competent, the rest of the police department treats them as their pool filter.
  • Blatant Lies: Their official job, though the public doesn't see it as such. If something supernatural happens, such as a werewolf sighting or a troll attack, it's S.I's job to write them off as large dogs or large ugly men on drugs.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first few books depict them as something like a competent, respected police unit, while later books add the aspect of them being the black sheep of Chicago PD.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: They can be considered Chicago PD's equivalent of Dresden himself - competent in their respective area, but rarely if ever respected.
  • No Respect Guy: They rarely - if ever - get any respect from the rest of the department.
  • Police Are Useless: Played With. While they are genuinely competent against supernatural forces, the rest of the police force constantly conspires to keep them useless. However, they are usually only competent when they know what they are doing and have advance warning, which is why Murphy keeps Harry as a consultant.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The officers wildly range in experience and ability - you have people like Murphy who deserve better, old beat cops like Rawlins or Stallings, and Rudolph - who was sent there for sleeping with a councilman's daughter.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: If someone isn't in S.I for asking too many questions about a supernatural occurrence, then they're in S.I as a punishment.
    Harry: "Special Investigations was the CPD’s version of a pool filter. Things that slipped through the areas of interest of the other departments got dumped on SI. Lots of times those things included the cruddy work no one else wanted to do, so SI wound up investigating everything from apparent rains of toads to dogfighting rackets to reports of El Chupacabra molesting neighborhood pets from its lair in a local sewer. It was a crappy job, no pun intended, and as a result SI was regarded by the city as a kind of asylum for incompetents. They weren’t, but the inmates of SI generally did share a couple of traits—intelligence enough to ask questions when something didn’t make sense, and an inexcusable lack of ability when it came to navigating the murky waters of office politics."

     Lieutenant Karrin Murphy 

Lieutenant/Sergeant Karrin Murphy
"Tiny. But fierce."

"The law isn't perfect. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to make it work."

Murphy looks like someone's favorite aunt. She's five feet even and has blond hair, blue eyes, and a cute nose. Unfortunately for the bad guys, she's a lot more dangerous than she looks; she's a cop with some serious martial arts skills and enough stubbornness and ingenuity to really inconvenience anyone who annoys her. When she was reassigned to the Special Investigations department, a political death sentence, she responded by taking the department and helping it to become a lot more effective. Since SI got all the cases involving, say, vampire attacks, trolls eating people, or the results of some other sort of magical mayhem, this meant her most effective step was probably hiring Harry. Initially distrusting of Harry (albeit considering him a capable asset to her unit), the two of them eventually became close friends (with a heaping helping of Unresolved Sexual Tension).

Narrates the short story "Aftermath".

  • Action Girl: She attacked both an ogre and a plant monster ("chlorofiend") with a chainsaw. And those are only among some of her least badass actions in the series.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She dates Kincaid, a dangerous mercenary who is implied to not even be human, for a while.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Definitely likes men, but her narration comments appreciatively on Georgia's curves "beckon[ing] the eye" in "Aftermath" and she gets rather flustered when Freydis propositions her.
  • Badass Adorable: Looks like someone's favorite aunt. Probably is someone's favorite aunt. Also stands barely over five feet in heels-and is an incredibly dangerous warrior, probably the most dangerous one who isn't an Empowered Badass Normal.
  • Badass Normal: The scariest mortal in a fist fight is five ft. and 100 lbs. In her first canonical appearance, Murphy, just a beat cop then, throttles a troll with her nightstick before using a joint lock to disarm him.
  • The Big Guy: Often fills this role, despite aforementioned stature. As shown by Blood Rites, she is capable of fatally breaking a normal woman's neck with one kick.
  • Broken Bird: In Ghost Story, Harry's death has hit her hard.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: In Skin Game, Murphy uses Fidelacchius for the wrong reasons, while she had Nicodemus helpless on the ropes, and ends up breaking the sword and becoming horribly injured.
  • By-the-Book Cop: A lot of her early drama with Harry is that he really is lying to her while she's trying to investigate a homicide. When Harry tells her about the full extent of the supernatural world, she starts to make a lot more allowances for his behavior.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Murphy doesn't have magic. She makes do with ruthless exploitation of her enemies' weaknesses instead. In "Aftermath", for example, she deals with an enemy sorcerer by shooting him in the head, while he's focused on different things.
  • Conflict Ball, Mixed with Idiot Ball: In the first two books, she was practically married to it for the purpose of giving Harry a bit more conflict in the current plot, which reached its horrible zenith in Fool Moon where she arrests Harry for some ridiculously trumped-up charges, with an uncomfortable side of Police Brutality. She gets better, though, and Harry eventually admits that due to his own issues with trust, she wasn't entirely wrong to be so hostile towards him since he was so needlessly pigheaded and reluctant to share important information with her.
  • Cute Bruiser: Sanya sums her up as "Tiny.. But fierce"
  • Deadpan Snarker: She can easily keep up with Harry in Snark-to-Snark Combat (see her interactions with him in "Something Borrowed" when they're investigating Georgia's trashed apartment for just one example), and generally gives off a world-weary cynical and sarcastic attitude.
  • Dye or Die: As part of a disguise/"makeover" in "Aftermath".
    "If I hear montage music playing, I'm cutting it short."
  • Fair Cop: Harry often notes she looks more like an adorable favorite aunt, or even a cheerleader, than an expert martial artist and monster ass kicker.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: or rather, the first and second cut. Karrin's two major reasons for not getting together with Harry are the Mayfly–December Romance potential of their differing lifespans, and that her two broken marriages have convinced her she's incapable of a successful relationship - in Cold Days she tells Harry she "runs relationships straight into the iceberg." Given what we see of said husbands it's highly likely that the marriage breakups were because of bad luck for the former and Karrin marrying an asshole (Rich) for the latter, but it's pretty hard to convince her of that.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: After taking up Fidelaccius.
  • Heroic BSoD: After Grave Peril, when a supernatural nasty pretending to be Harry mind raped her. It took her several books to get back on her feet—and kicking—again.
  • Hero of Another Story: An entire series could be written chronicling her adventures (both as a member of Special Investigations and outside of it), and it'd be pretty much just as eventful and interesting as Harry's own.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The tiny to Harry's huge.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: She has blue eyes and she is tough as nails.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: She causes a few crushes among the Einherjar and Valkyries by being able to keep up with them as a vanilla mortal, even after she's battered around and only has about 50% mobility left.
  • Inspector Javert: Has shades of this in the first couple books, largely because Harry refuses to tell her pertinent information regarding supernatural cases out of a misguided need to "protect" her. She gets better, as soon as she gets info and some perspective on the limits of mortal law and weapons.
  • Irony: The Tragic kind. The fearless woman who constantly throws metaphorical haymakers at supernatural threats far above her weight, has an affinity for using mortal firearms, trains her martial arts skills by sparring with freaking Einherjaren, and doesn't hesitate to charge into incredibly dangerous situations to help people in need, is killed in a stupid accident by one of the most cowardly characters in the series, one of her former colleagues in the police, during a lull in actual combat. Vadderung's Valkyries overlook the technicality that she did not actually die a heroic death in combat to induct her as an Einherjar after death anyways note .
  • Kill the God: She is the one to finally kill Winter Lady Maeve with a bullet to the brain.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Karrin is a born cynic who fights her absolute hardest for justice. She so embodies this trope that she actually appears to Harry as a bloodied angel with his Sight.
  • The Lancer: She grew into this with Harry. in Changes when they were at the Red Court base, Harry told her to take the lead if something happened to him and later took over as a top defender of Chicago. In Skin Game Harry picked her to be his backup over Thomas.
  • Likes Older Men: Zig-zagged. Out of the four significant relationships Karrin is shown or mentioned to have had, she is "of an age" with Harry, and in Blood Rites she is 30/31 when her second ex-husband is "mid to late thirties". However, her first marriage took place when she was 17 and the groom 29, and she was roughly 31 when she hooked up with Kincaid, who met Ebenezar as an adult approximately 200 years pre-series.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: A small variation. While she knows her father was a policeman in his life, Karrin's mother and his comrades didn't tell her he was in charge of the Black Cats, the Special Investigations of his era.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Her first name, "Karrin," is a Greek name literally meaning "pure". On the surface, this may seem to be an Ironic Name since she's actually a very cynical Knight in Sour Armor, but a significant part of Murphy's Character Development turns out to revolve around her struggling to maintain her iron-clad beliefs in the sanctity of the modern legal system and the need for justice to be done when the supernatural world is almost completely antithetical to its very nature. In other words, she's trying to stay "pure" in a world of literal monsters.
    • Her last name is Irish for "descendant of sea warrior"; she first gets "recommended" in Small Favor for her possible future job as a Knight of the Cross when fighting a Fallen Angel trying to capsize The Water Beetle.
  • Noodle Incident: She and Kincaid had some sort of adventure during their Hawaiian vacation, which led to Karrin coming home with her left arm in a cast, possibly for a broken wrist.
  • One of the Boys: To her fellow police officers. After Changes, she becomes this to a gang of immortal Viking warriors.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: She's five foot even, and one of the most badass characters in the whole series.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: In Changes. Implied to be an Archangel speaking through her due to her wielding Fidelacchius at the time.
    "False gods! Pretenders! Usurpers of truth! Destroyers of faith, of families, of lives, of children! For your crimes against the Mayans, against the peoples of the world, now will you answer! Your time has come! Face judgment Almighty!"
  • Properly Paranoid: She learned the hard way about beings looking like her friends and hurting her when her guard was down. When Mort comes to see her in Ghost Story the minimal test to enter her home is to bleed.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Not her, but she becomes a victim of this courtesy of Rudolph, when him panicking in the face of Battle of Chicago and his poor gun handling ends up discharging a round into Murphy's neck, killing her.
  • Religious Bruiser: Considers herself Catholic and routinely beats the hell out of bad guys. Downplayed in that she is shown to be mostly non-practicing as an adult.
  • Supporting Leader: The leader of the Brighter Future Society (a.k.a. "the Justice League of Chicago") in Ghost Story.
  • Survival Mantra: During "Aftermath", she often repeats "I can't believe he's dead" in regards to Harry.
  • Take a Third Option: In Blood Rites Karrin finds out her second ex-husband is marrying her younger sister. According to one of the Dresden Files RPG manuals, this is why Karrin left town in Dead Beat: the weekend the book takes place is also the weekend of Lisa and Rick's wedding. So rather than suffer through the wedding or get guilt-tripped by her mother/bad-mouthed by Lisa for staying home, she called up a semi-human hitman/mercenary and went to Hawaii for a sex vacation.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: As a cop Murphy was trained in proportionate response, to never go beyond the attacker's danger, but after learning about the supernatural world and the powers some forces have, this trope applies. For that reason in "Aftermath" she adds a suppressor to her P-90 and goes for upper body and head shots. And after the turtlenecks were down and dead, she used her SIG and put a few more in their heads just to make sure and burned their master's remains with a can of turpentine, saying there's no such thing as overkill when it comes to supernatural types.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Although it's not her fault — she inherited the decor from her grandmother — tough-as-nails martial arts expert Murphy's home is full of frilly tablecloths and lace doilies, which she easily could pack up in the attic if she didn't like them.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Not that she was weak to begin with, but Changes takes things to a whole new level once she agrees to "borrow" Fidelacchius, and amongst other things, proceeds to One-Hit Kill a Physical God.
    • In the six months between Changes and Ghost Story, she formed and headed an underground alliance of Chicago's lesser magically-talented individuals, and managed to kill two warlocks who were at Council-level strength, as well as lesser talents under Fomor command. For an ordinary human with no magic, that's a big deal.
    • She became an Einherjar after her death. However, the limitation imposed upon them (they can only come out when the living memory of them fades) means that we might not get to see her in action like this.
    • Deconstructing this trope is arguably the thematic purpose of her character throughout the series. While she temporarily uses Cool Sword Fidelacchius several times during the series in times of dire need, Murphy explicitly rejects taking up the role of Knight of the Cross, and largely relies on mortal human means like her martial arts skills, firearms, and heavier military ordnance to help Harry fight his battles against the supernatural. But by Ghost Story, she is increasingly becoming heavily outclassed by the escalating supernatural threats Harry must face, and her usefulness as an ally in combat begins noticeably waning. This culminates in Skin Game, when she attempts to kill a surrendering Nicodemus out of anger using Fidelacchius, which de-powers the Sword and allows Nicodemus to regain the upper hand, shatter the sword, and deal crippling wounds to her. Now no longer even able to physically keep up with Harry in battle, even Harry recognizes she has reached the limits of her usefulness as an ally and attempts to keep her to the sidelines during the events of Battle Ground. But Murphy's fundamental inability to back down from a challenge leads her to rejoin the fight with him anyways, leading to her tragic death at Rudolph's hands in a panicked accident just after slaying a Jotun with a rocket launcher.
  • Tsundere: Type A, usually towards Harry, but implied to be part of her interactions with Kincaid as well. We just don't see enough to really know in that case.
  • Undignified Death: She is killed by accident by one of her former fellow officers accidentally discharging a shot into her neck.Thankfully, the valkyries overlook that and induct her to the Einherjaren anyway.
  • Undying Loyalty: A mutual case with Harry, once the Conflict Ball / Early Installment Weirdness cleared up. In Dead Beat, Mavra gets Harry to act on her behalf by blackmailing him with Murphy's ruin; in return, Harry threatens to come after Mavra with every weapon and upgrade he can get his hands on if Mavra ever tries it again. Harry lists off his potential options for this, and Harry flatly refuses every single one of them in later books... until he heads off to save Maggie in Changes, whereupon every single one of them is either taken up or seriously considered as a plan b. In Cold Days, Harry gets this equal parts touching and terrifying line from Karrin:
    Murphy:"I don't know what I'm meant to do or who I ought to be. But what I do know is that I've got your back. Always. [...] So goddamit, don't you start taking the highway to Hell. Because I'm going to be right there with you. All the way."
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Harry, in spades. In Changes, they were going to resolve it, but Harry caught a bad case of sniper.
    • Resolved as of the end of Skin Game. Well, once she's out of the hospital and healed up a bit, anyway.
  • Vague Age:
    • Her age is never mentioned, but she and Harry are supposed to be "of an age". This is fine, until you consider that by the time we first meet her, she is a police lieutenant running her own unit and has two divorces under her belt already. According to Word of God, Harry is twenty-five years old in Storm Front, which, presumably makes Murphy anywhere from roughly 23 to 29. Kinda young for a twice-divorced police lieutenant.
    • There are hints that her promotion to lieutenant and assignment to Special Investigations was more of a "get her out of the way" move because as a detective she was the type to ask uncomfortable questions of powerful people in the notoriously corrupt Chicago Police Dept. Still, at younger than 30 she shouldn't have even been a detective yet, nor in any position to be asking those questions in the first place.
    • Her first marriage was while she was still in high school (she might have graduated early, but Karrin says outright in Grave Peril that she was 17), and it didn't even last a year. Plenty of time between age 18 and 25 for there to be another unsuccessful marriage. But yeah, her already having been a detective and now a lieutenant is a bit of a stretch.
    • In Blood Rites Marion tells Harry that Karrin was 11 when her father died. Lisa is mentioned at the picnic as being 20, making Karrin 30 or 31 note . According to internet research a police officer can usually expect to make Lieutenant between 7-12 years on the force. If Karin went straight into the force at 18, (maybe the effort of picking up a Criminal Justice degree while working on the force was part of why her second marriage broke up?) she could have been made Lieutenant (which was part of becoming head of the SI unit) at 26/27 ish. Karrin has always been shown as an exceptionally skilled cop, which would justify rapid promotion - and the rapid promotion would explain why she had a lot of enemies in the department.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend:
    • While Harry and she are not boyfriend-girlfriend (yet), harming Harry will always incite a response from Karrin. The sight of Maeve preparing to shoot Harry caused Karrin to shoot first and then think about what would happen to Maeve's mantle.
    • This is also her flaw as Nicodemus invoked her rage in Skin Game making her wield Fidelaccius in a moment of anger and tried to kill the unarmed and fallen-less Nicodemus. It worked and depowered the blade.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Considering the amount of snarkery that she exchanges with Harry, dear God yes. It helps that they've saved each other's lives plenty of times.
  • Waif-Fu: A realistic version — Murphy is tiny compared to the things she ends up fighting.
  • The Watson: Harry frequently ends up expositing, usually about magic, to her. "Egad, Holmes."
  • Weak, but Skilled: In "Aftermath", she uses tactics and brains to do what Harry could have done with brute force.
  • Weapon of Choice: For serious encounters Murphy packs her P90 submachinegun, which is tiny, but fierce, like herself. She calls it George.
  • The Worf Effect: The only two beings she's ever lost to in hand-to-hand combat that we see are an Einherjar with both thousands of years' worth of experience and a couple hundred pounds on her, and Nicodemus.
    • In the short story "Something Borrowed" she gets nearly killed by Jenny Greenteeth, The Dragon of Winter Lady Maeve.
    • In the comics, while she puts up a good fight she has absolutely no chance against Puck. Then again, as a wild fey nominally on the side of the winter court, ancient, and possessing ridiculous amounts of magic, Puck is out of everybody's league except for high ranking members of the fey courts or powerful non-human mystical entities.

     Detective Sergeant Henry Rawlins 

Detective Sergeant Henry Rawlins
Rawlins on the warpath.

Chicago police officer and former detective who has encountered the supernatural in the past, and thus is willing to believe the resident crazy wizard. Has a history with Murphy; apparently her father saved his life from a monster while he was on patrol long ago. Eventually is forced to join SI due to politics within the CPD, due to his issues with authority. He becomes Murphy's partner once she's demoted from Lieutenant.

  • Badass Normal: It takes a special kind of badass to effectively declare war on the White Court when he thought they'd tried to kill Murphy.
  • Cool Old Guy: Snarks almost as much as Harry, but with a lot more cheer.
  • Genre Savvy: As noted below, he knows that it's likely he'll be killed of Retirony.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Rawlins is an honest cop, so honest it got him thrown into SI. However, that doesn't keep him from sitting back and watching when Harry and Murphy need to bend the rules on a deserving suspect. In fact, he asks them to wait so he can make popcorn. However, he's usually pretty kind to his own allies.
  • Old Soldier: Old police officer actually. Anyway, Rawlins is getting up there in years, but he can still hold his own. Giant scarecrow monsters and hook-claw-wielding serial killers who are Immune to Bullets don't even make him flinch.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He listens to Harry's advice and respects him.
  • Retirony: Discussed trope. In Battle Ground he says to Harry that he's two weeks from retirement and based on the present situation, going to die of "cliche poisoning." We don't see whether or not he actually does.

     Detective Sergeant John Stallings 

Detective Sergeant/Lieutenant John Stallings

Another SI officer. He's promoted to lead the unit after Murphy is demoted due to her disappearance during the SplatterCon fiasco.

  • Da Chief: Becomes this after Murphy's demotion.
  • Friend on the Force: Acts as one to Harry, even providing him with some evidence from police lockup during the 'Grave Peril' case.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Acts as one after his promotion. He agrees to hire Harry when necessary, even though the higher-ups frown on the expense.

     Detective Micky Malone 

Detective Micky Malone
A typical day for Micky Malone.

Another SI detective. Disabled during the loup-garoux attack in the Fool Moon case, Malone opted to retire. Was subsequently attacked by the Nightmare during the Grave Peril case.

  • Butt-Monkey: Spends most of the first few books getting beaten up and mangled by various monsters.
  • Handicapped Badass: Still holds his own against a sorcerer after his encounter with the Loup-Garou
  • Happily Married: And it makes his threshold all the stronger.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Downplayed but Harry notes he perfectly makes a difficult non-lethal shot at a long distance with his shotgun.
  • Mundane Solution: Everyone else brings something magic, faith, holy water etc to the fight with Kravos. Micky just shoots him.
  • Retirony: Averted off-screen. He goes on One Last Job to take down Kravos, but lives through it.

     Detective O'Toole 

Detective O'Toole

A brawny SI detective, and a nephew of Micky Malone.

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Was more or less replaced in the narrative by Rawlins, and in fact has not yet reappeared in the books after Rawlins was introduced.
  • The Worf Effect: His function in the story is mostly to be a muscular guy who gets taken down by Murphy to demonstrate her martial arts skills.
  • You Owe Him: Murphy says O'Toole would help Dresden battle the Black Court scourge in Chicago, even though it's incredibly dangerous, because of what Dresden did for his uncle. Dresden, though, refuses, since he thinks O'Toole (and the rest of SI, except for Murphy herself) is too inexperienced to be of use on the mission.

Chicago Police: Other


     Commissioner Howard Fairweather 

Commissioner Howard Fairweather

Chicago's police commissioner, and thus Murphy's boss when she ran the SI department.

  • Bad Boss: He uses Murphy and the SI department as scapegoats for unsolvable crimes like the Tomm, Stanton, and Randall murders. By deflecting blame onto them, he hopes to maintain his own image.
  • The Ghost: He's never actually appeared in the series.
  • Meaningful Name: Due to his priority on politics, is a fair-weather friend.




A forensic technician assigned to examine the scene of Dresden's murder.

  • Mr. Exposition: His role in the story is basically to tell Murphy about the evidence found at the crime scene, such as the blood spatter patterns and the fact that neither Dresden's corpse nor the bullet were found.


     Detective Sergeant Greene 

Detective Sergeant Greene

The best homicide detective in Chicago. Greene crosses paths with Murphy and Dresden during the Proven Guilty case.

  • The Generic Guy: He's a brilliant detective, but he tends to act boring and generic when not actively interrogating suspects. Murphy comments that he'd have made captain if he was just a little more personable.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: He plays the bad cop.
  • The Nondescript: He doesn't look like a brilliant cop—just another late-forties, balding, overweight guy. He doesn't stand out in a crowd at all. Which is exactly how he likes it.
  • Perp Sweating: Tries this on Dresden. It doesn't work.
  • Rabid Cop: He doesn't much care about legal niceties, and even tries to interrogate Molly—a minor—without parental consent, which is illegal.

     Detective Dougherty 

Detective Dougherty
Dougherty, with his Weirdness Censor fully engaged.

A homicide detective. Appears in Wild Card.

  • Agent Scully: Refuses to believe that anything unusual happened with Jordan's death.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Has this with Murphy when she and Rawlins begins to evaluate the murder of Manny Jordan; Dougherty feels that, since it's a homicide, it should be his department instead of Special Investigations that handles it. He does, however, allow Murphy and Rawlins to investigate on their own.
  • Weirdness Censor: Despite seeing the bizarre injuries that Officer Jordan suffered, he initially insists that the killers must be mundane gangbangers or other standard thugs.

Internal Affairs

     Detective Jerome Rudolph 

Detective Jerome Rudolph
Rudolph displaying his usual amount of composure and poise.

A police officer who used to be in Special Investigations; he was sent there after sleeping with the wrong councilman's daughter. Soon after he joined SI he developed a grudge against Harry and the rest of the department, refusing to believe in the supernatural and sucking up to anyone who could get him a transfer. Eventually joins Internal Affairs.

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Desperately begs for his life after Harry comes after him for killing Murphy in Battle Grounds.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: He suffers total bladder and bowel retention failure when Harry goes full blown Winter Knight on him after he kills Murphy in Battle Ground.
  • Depending on the Artist/Depending on the Writer: Rudolph is described in the novels as young and good looking, but in the comics he's drawn as older and with scraggly hair.
  • Dirty Cop: His house is suspiciously fancy for someone making a detective's salary. Dresden and Murphy theorize the Red Court is paying him off.
  • Dirty Coward: When given the chance in a bad situation, he will run to cover his own ass.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Rudolph is introduced in Fool Moon as a rookie justifiably scared by the loup-garou rampaging around in the next room. In Grave Peril, he gives Harry a If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her... regarding Murphy. However, two books later, he's transferred to Internal Affairs and becomes the Rudolph we love to hate.
  • Hate Sink: It really says something that in a series full of supernatural monsters, many of them presented as horrific and quite a few as pure evil, arguably the most detested character is an arrogant, greedy little toad of a cop who flat-out refuses to admit that the world is a lot bigger and scarier than he thought.
  • Hero Killer: In Battle Ground, he panics and fatally shoots Murphy in the neck after witnessing her kill someone (a Jotun, not that he's willing to believe that) with a rocket launcher.
  • In-Series Nickname: SI refer to him as "Rudolph the Brown-Nosed Cop Cop".
  • Inspector Javert: This guy loves to try and screw up whatever Harry's case is in any way he can.
  • Internal Affairs: His department after Death Masks.
  • I Reject Your Reality: He just absolutely refuses to acknowledge any kind of supernatural...well, anything.
  • The Quisling: Indicated to be in the pocket of the Red Court in Changes.
  • Rabid Cop: He attempted it in Changes to get Harry to confess to blowing up his own building. It... didn't work, and only resulted in Harry laughing his arse off.
  • The Resenter: Hated his position in SI.
  • Smug Snake: He's firmly become this by the time of Changes, shown when he thinks he can nail Dresden and when he's in the process of getting Murphy fired.
  • Suspicious Spending: Dresden and Murphy think he is dirty based off the fact that his house is much fancier than someone with his paycheck ought to have.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: See the entry for Face–Heel Turn.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • Is alive at least twice over because of Harry and Murphy. This has just made him hate them more, in such a banal, petty way he comes off as more detestable than many of the series' major villains.
    • It seems to stem from the fact that the price of his survival was having The Masquerade forcibly broken for him; he couldn't remotely handle it and has retreated into denial with an insistence that verges on lunatic. It doesn't do much, if anything, to take away what a foul little toad of a man he is.

     Detective Brian Bradley 

Detective Brian Bradley

Rudolph's partner in Internal Affairs.

  • Badass Normal: Manages to hold off a wave of Fomor from attacking a daycare centre filled with kids in Battle Ground. Granted, the tide was starting to turn against him until Harry and the Knights turned up, but he still stood his ground very effectively until then.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Despite being Rudolph's junior partner, he's much more competent and smarter than Rudolph, and is also effectively in charge of the team. It's implied that he's only junior because Rudolph's better at climbing the political ladder.
  • Large and in Charge: Described as being 'about five feet, six inches in all dimensions.' Dresden even compares him to a tank. He's also effectively in charge of Rudolph, even though Rudolph is technically senior to him.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he realises how rabid Rudolph is.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Had Bradley been a little bit careful about the weapons on himself, it wouldn't have slipped out of its holster right where Rudolph could pick it up and shoot Murphy dead.
  • Papa Wolf: His defending the daycare centre in Battle Ground wasn't just about saving the kids inside; one of them was his own daughter. Suddenly, his determination in standing his ground makes a whole lot more sense.

Organized Crime

     Detective Malone 

Detective Malone

Another nephew of Micky Malone. Murphy calls him for a favor during the "Aftermath" case.

  • Friend on the Force: Acts as this to Murphy after she's suspended. He provides her with information accessible only to active-duty police, such as Marcone's last-known whereabouts.
  • You Owe Him: Murphy gets Malone to help her by saying it's about Dresden. Since Dresden rescued Malone's uncle from psychic torment, Malone agrees to tell her the information she needs.


     Officer Dwayne 

Officer Dwayne

A beat cop who testifies in Hamilton Luther's murder trial during the Jury Duty case.

  • Knight in Sour Armor: Seems resentful of his situation, and when Luther asks how they know each other, he sarcastically snaps that he arrested Luther "the first damn time."
  • Police Are Useless: Instead of finding the girl Luther was trying to save, he just arrested Luther and washed his hands of the case.

     Officer Grayson 

Officer Grayson

A patrol officer. After Dresden is run off the road in Proven Guilty, Grayson is the officer that finds him.

  • Meddlesome Patrolman: Not intentionally, and he does help Dresden by alerting Murphy to the car crash, but he still poses a potential problem when he begins asking about the car crash and Dresden's bloody clothes. Fortunately, Dresden and Murphy get rid of him before he begins investigating Dresden in earnest.

     Officer Manny Jordan 

Officer Manny Jordan
Officer Jordan walking his beat.

A patrol officer. Killed by Puck during the Wild Card case.

Chicago Between Bureau

For Uriel, see his entry under the Church.

     Captain Collin "Jack" Murphy 

Captain Collin "Jack" Murphy
A rare quiet moment for Collin Murphy.

Murphy's dead father. A police captain in life, he ran the Black Cat squad, the Special Investigations of his era. He died from a gunshot wound that might have been from a suicide attempt. After his death, he sends Harry back to the land of the living, and works for Uriel.

  • Action Dad: Is Murphy's father, whom she inherited both badassery and the job as the chief of the police department. When alive, he also blew away monsters with Abnormal Ammo from his shotgun.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Karrie for Karrin.
  • Ate His Gun: His wife Marion says he committed suicide at his desk, implying this trope.
  • Badass Normal: He only needs a shotgun and rock salt to ruin a demon's day. Back in day, his department handled the same stuff Murphy's does.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: He runs the Chicago Between office under the purview of Uriel.
  • Cool Old Guy: Well, cool dead guy.
  • Disappeared Dad: Died when Karin was eleven note  and Lisa was a baby.
  • Driven to Suicide: He killed himself when Karrin was eleven.
  • From a Certain Point of View: He told Harry that if he didn't help his friends in Ghost Story, three of them would die. Turns out he didn't actually know and was simply guessing — after all, Harry's life is so dangerous that some of his friends would probably die anyway (and besides, they're mortal, so they're guaranteed to die at some point).
  • Good Is Not Nice: Fully willing to lie and manipulate Harry to get him to do what he wants.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Carmichael says he's grumpy if he doesn't get his cup. Sadly, since he's dead, there is no more coffee to drink.
  • Posthumous Character: He was dead before the series started.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: He killed himself suddenly, with no signs of being suicidal before it happened. Turns out, it's because he wasn't suicidal before it happened.
  • Refuge in Audacity. He hung up on Uriel. On speakerphone.
  • Unfinished Business: As with everyone working in Uriel's office. They aren't quite ready to abandon the good fight and move on.

     Detective Sergeant Ron Carmichael 

Detective Sergeant Ron Carmichael
This is his happy face.

Murphy's original partner, killed by the loup-garou in Fool Moon. As of Ghost Story, he's now employed by Uriel.

  • Agent Scully: Very skeptical towards the supernatural before he was killed, even outright calling Harry a fraud to his face.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: Now that he's dead, he works for one under the direction of Captain Collin Murphy, who is under the purview of Uriel.
  • Fat Slob: Part of his Obfuscating Stupidity. Fat, unkempt, suit looks like he sleeps in it, and his ties all have permanent coffee stains.
  • Jacob Marley Apparel: Averted. When he appears in Ghost Story he looks younger and physically fit with fitting clothes, not the blood-stained apparel he died in.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He dresses like a slob and acts like a boor, which Harry is quick to point out belies his razor intellect.
  • Pet the Dog: Previously portrayed as a severe Agent Scully who didn't trust Harry. Immediately before his death, it's revealed that he does believe Harry's one of the good guys, and that he keeps stuffed animals in his desk to give to children brought into the precinct.
  • Posthumous Character: After Fool Moon anyway.
  • Sacrificial Lion: To the loup-garou.


     Special Agent Barry Tilly 

Special Agent Barry Tilly

FBI agent working at the Chicago FBI office. Heads the investigation into the destruction of Harry's office building, but unlike a lot of government officials and police, he is willing to listen to Harry and pay attention to what's really going on.

  • Death Glare: He gives a really good one to Rudolph. Dresden describes it as being a glare that, when it's focused on you, you see a little bit of old man Death.
  • Excellent Judge of Character: He is very good at telling when people are lying to him, so good that Harry suspects he has some latent magical talent helping him along. As a result, he's a very good judge of character. In fact, he develops a quick dislike for Rudolph (who is generally an asshole and turns out to be a pawn of the Red Court) and pegs Harry as trustworthy almost immediately.
  • I Believe That You Believe It: Once Harry recognizes the below-mentioned gift, he outright tells Tilly that it was vampires that are responsible. Tilly just about mentions this trope by name, saying that while Harry is telling him what he believes to be the truth, that doesn't mean he's right about it.
  • Living Lie Detector: He says he's got a talent for always knowing when someone's telling the truth. Harry recognizes this as a minor magical gift.
  • Loophole Abuse: Falls victim to it when Harry explains the events of Changes non-supernaturally. While they're not the exact events due to Harry excising any details such as vampires, murder, or a satellite dropping on Ortega, the basic structure is enough for him to believe Harry.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: One of very few officers or law enforcement outside of SI who is willing to hear Harry in spite of his public reputation, and doesn't assume the worst of him. Plus, he has no patience for Rudolph.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Overlapping with Reasonable Authority Figure, he delivers a short but sweet one to Rudolph:
    Tilly: “You’re useless, unprofessional, and impeding this deposition. Get. Out.

     Agent Rick Boughton 

Agent Rick Boughton

An FBI agent recently relocated to Chicago. Murphy's second ex-husband; their relationship fell apart and ended in divorce because he wanted a family while Murphy wanted to remain on the job. He subsequently arrested Murphy's little sister Lisa for public drunkenness and wound up marrying her, to the delight of Marion (Karrin's and Lisa's mother) and the dismay of Karrin Murphy herself.

  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: With the Murphy clan.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: After Dresden sees him try to play Good Cop, he sees Rick as this. Especially because he threatens to search Dresden for a weapon after Dresden calls him out for illegally detaining Molly.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Plays the Good Cop.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Dresden sees him this way. Much of the fandom agrees.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: What most of the fandom think broke up his marriage to Murphy. Murphy implies that she thinks so too - or at least that Rich didn't like being married to a woman who was better at being a police officer than he was an agent.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Murphy implies their marriage broke up because Rick wanted her to do this. Given her temper where he's concerned, it should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Especially since we haven't seen him or Lisa in so long.
  • Squick: invoked One that becomes especially apparent post-#Me Too movement. In Blood Rites, Lisa is explicitly said to be 20, and Karrin was 11 when their father died, making her 31 at most. And according to the mostly-official timeline Rick is in his mid to late thirties. We never see Harry mentioning Murphy going through or being recently granted a divorce; granted, they weren't always at the True Companions level but they're close enough by Grave Peril, at least, that he would have. Meaning Murphy and Rick were divorced when she was roughly 26 or 27 at most. Meaning Rick knew Lisa when she was too young to drive, possibly even in middle school. Unfortunate Implications at best, and thinking he was already grooming a backup plan doesn't seem like a stretch. All things considered, quite a few readers get (possibly unintentional) chills when re-reading Proven Guilty, when he's illegally interrogating then-17 year old Molly, with the only witness a cop who would never call Rick out on inappropriate behavior towards her. note 

     Agent Phil Denton 

Agent Phil Denton
Denton as a human . . .
. . . and as a (badly bleeding) hexenwolf.

A no-nonsense FBI agent from Fool Moon and also the Big Bad of the book. He's obsessed with maintaining law and order at any cost, even to the extent of becoming a werewolf (specifically, Hexenwulf) to hunt down criminals who escaped justice. Gradually goes off the deep end.

  • Big Bad: Of Fool Moon.
  • Fallen Hero: He was a genuinely good man and honest agent before years of disillusionment and despair drove him to do the whole Hexenwulf thing for what he thought was the power to make things right. Then its poisonous influence destroyed everything good left in him.
    • It's implied in Cold Days that he might have also been influenced by Nemesis.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: He took on a magical talisman to be able to fight drug dealers and other people which cannot be touched, like Marcone, but ended up corrupted by the power and driven to make an innocent man the scapegoat for his and his peoples' crimes.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Thanks to using Black Magic.
  • Knight Templar: He’s a firm believer that people who break the law should be punished, and that anyone who gets in the way is a "necessary sacrifice."
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: He needs a belt possessed by a demon wolf spirit to transform; which someone gave him. Later books hint it was either agents of Nemesis, or the Black Council, or possibly both if they are working together.
  • The Stoic: His intense self-control helps him resist the sanity-sapping effects of the belts for longer than any of his comrades... though not to completely ignore them.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Another Black Council pawn, though the memory of his kneeling to receive the belt implies that it might not have been totally unwitting.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Although in Cold Days it’s implied that Nemesis drove him to it.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: The most horribly twisted version ever. His continued rationalization for using the belts, long after he cannot fail to notice the horrible effects they are having on himself and his men, is that they have a duty to use them to kill Marcone, and any innocent deaths in-between are "necessary sacrifices."
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Genuinely believes that what he is doing is right. After Harry points out that he is as monstrous as his enemies Denton essentially denies it.

     Agent Deborah Benn 

Agent Deborah Benn
Benn as a human . . .
. . . and as a hexenwolf.

An FBI agent in Denton's unit. The most strongly affected by the hexenwolf belts, and probably the most mentally unbalanced of them.

  • Ax-Crazy: All of Denton’s agents have been rendered dangerously unhinged by prolonged use of the Hexenwulf belts, but she seems to be the more outwardly violent of them. Her reaction to Karrin questioning Denton is to assault her without provocation and then attempt to shoot her, only narrowly being talked out of it. Later it’s revealed her insanity goes way deeper when she’s shown to get a sexual thrill out of violently murdering her enemies in wolf form.
  • Amazonian Beauty: When she tears off her shirt as a prerequisite to changing, Harry can't help but describe her chest as "impressive in a number of senses."
  • Blood Knight: Loves fighting more than fighting smart.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Killing things as a wolf really gets her in the mood. Harry feels sick when one of the agents in wolf-form mounts her during the slaughter of the lycanthrope biker gang.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Same as Denton. She started out trying to bring criminals to justice who couldn't be touched by the law, and wound up indulging in wholesale slaughter.
  • Knight Templar: What she became.
  • Polyamory: Implied. being a hexenwolf is a rush to every instinct, and though it seems her preferred partner is Denton, one pack member was watching them hungrily while they made out, and in the book it's not clear which hexenwolf she had sex with as the pack gorged themselves on Parker.
  • Unequal Pairing: Has some kind of relationship with Denton, her superior.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Uses one of the belts to become a wolf-man.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The hexenwolf belt gave her power, and also drove her completely mad with rage. When Denton ends up hiding the belts, Harris describes her as "so far gone it was like she wasn't even human."

     Agent George Wilson 

Agent George Wilson
Wilson as a human . . .
. . . and as a hexenwolf.

An FBI agent in Denton's unit. The most laid back of the team, though the hexenwolf belts ultimately worked on him as well as they did the others.

     Agent Roger Harris 

Agent Roger Harris
Roger as a human . . .
. . . and as a hexenwolf.

An FBI agent in Denton's unit. The youngest of the team.

  • Hypocrite: Admits to having done some cocaine in college while describing the effects of the belts.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Same as Denton. He started out trying to bring criminals to justice who couldn't be touched by the law, and wound up indulging in wholesale slaughter.
  • Knight Templar: What he became.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: He has them in the comic adaptation, and they're shiniest when he's doing evil things.
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: When Harry swipes his belt, he goes into withdrawal and starts getting . . . twitchy.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Uses one of the belts to turn into a wolf-man.

Library of Congress, Special Collections Division

     In General 
Initially introduced in Dog Man, this organization is not actually namedropped until Battle Ground. According to Lara Raith, they're a secret division of the United States government under the Library of Congress tasked with investigating the supernatural.
  • Badass Bookworm: As to be expected from any group operating under the purview of the Library of Congress.
  • Badass Normal: They're a secret division of the United States federal government that worries even the likes of Odin.
  • Cerebus Retcon: As it turns out, willful ignorance and human stupidity aren't the only reasons why The Masquerade exists in The Dresden Files - There's also a secret branch of the US government that researches the supernatural and intentionally shuts down any potential leak to the public.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: First appear in Dog Men, but don't actually get named until Battle Ground and even then still have yet to actually take a genuinely prominent role in the series' narrative.
  • The Conspiracy: Not only do they research and seek out information concerning the supernatural, but they help maintain The Masquerade when it starts to fall through. Bonus points for them being apparently descended from the actual Masons.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: Part of their job description seems to be this, as evidenced by the events of Dog Man where they're hunting down a group of shapeshifters in Mississippi for a series of murders and mistake the local Dogmen as the perpetuators. From what little is described of them, they're basically a much better funded and trained version of the Venatori Umborum (though also probably considerably smaller) with the official backing of the United States government.
  • Covert Group with Mundane Front: They're an organization that scares even the White Court of Vampires... and operate under the banner of the Library of Congress.
  • The Dreaded: We have no idea what exactly they do other than general description by Lara that they have an insatiable thirst for knowledge of the supernatural, but according to Word of Jim: "Do NOT screw with the Librarians. Holy moly. Just don't". In Battle Ground, the Accords treat their possible involvement post-Battle of Chicago with considerable amount of concern. Lara called Vadderung an optimist when he suggested that they are already in the city and might have already identified each and all of them.
  • Foreshadowing: The video of Murphy and Dresden killing the loup-garou in Fool Moon getting taken down after only two days now makes a lot more sense as implication of there being someone high up in power wanting to keep the existence of the supernatural quiet.
  • Horrifying the Horror: The Unseelie Accorded nations are all absolutely terrified of the Librarians.
  • The Men in Black: They're a mysterious branch of the US federal government tasked with upholding The Masquerade. Suffice to say, Harry is quite surprised to learn of their existence in Battle Ground after having unwittingly met them before in Dog Men.
  • Muggles Do It Better: They sent National Guard attack helicopters to Chicago to wipe out the remainder of the Fomor's forces. They succeeded with extreme prejudice.
  • Seeker Archetype: Part of what so unnerves the Accorded nations about the Librarians isn't just that they're Badass Normals, but that they're obsessed with compiling and seeking knowledge related to the supernatural.
  • Shout-Out: Their description by Lara makes them sound quite similar to the Men of Letters from Supernatural. However, their actual name and nickname of being "Librarians" is likely an allusion to The Librarians 2014.
  • Walking Spoiler: Only scant at best implication was ever given of the Librarians' existence until Battle Ground.

     Agents Biggs and Lytle 

Agent Biggs and Agent Lytle
Biggs (left) and Lytle (right).

Two FBI agents who are part of a government group that doesn't officially exist but seems to have an interest in the paranormal. They are dispatched to investigate a series of unusual murders in Taylor, where they come into conflict with Dresden and Listens-To-Wind. In Battle Ground, it turns out that they are part of the aforementioned Special Collections Division.

  • Jurisdiction Friction: Both agents are adamant that the investigation is theirs and Dresden and Listens-To-Wind are not to interfere.
  • Ironic Name: Lytle is much larger than Biggs.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Dresden, Listens-To-Wind, and the Dogmen against the ghouls infesting Taylor.