Ralph Howards was a career policeman achieving the rank of Inspector before retiring. While a rookie in the police force, he was knocked unconscious by robbers who stole an estimated $25,000 from the Odyssey Bank. When Spencer Barfield's body was found in a secret room in the basement of Whit's End, Howard was the investigator. Barfield was thought to be one of the robbers. Thinking Whit was getting in his way, Howard told Whit that he thought Barfield was murdered by the other robber, when he really was investigating on his own.
Any family he may have is unknown.