Crowley was brought to the Barn by Captain David Aceveda with the intention of replacing Detective Vic Mackey, if he failed as leader of the Strike Team. When Aceveda suspected that Mackey was making deals with drug dealers, he convinced Terry to serve as witness against him. However, Mackey found out about it and murdered Crowley during a raid on a drug dealer's house.
Before Season 1 EditTerry Crowley joined the police 8 years before his death. He spent some time in the Robbery Division earning two commendations. At some point, he met Captain David Aceveda, who tried to convince him of joining the Narcotics Division. However, Terry decided to stay at Robbery.
When the Barn started operating, Aceveda brought Terry to present him the opportunity of joining the Strike Team. He told him that he wasn't sure that Vic Mackey, who was chosen as leader of the team by Assistant Chief Ben Gilroy, would be suitable for the job. Aceveda then told Terry that he could replace Mackey when he failed, or if he didn't, it would still be a good position with a greater income.
Terry accepted and was introduced to Vic Mackey shortly after. Mackey then took him to the Strike Team clubhouse and introduced him to the team. At first, Shane, Lem, and Ronnie started mocking him for being from the Robbery Division, but they all became friends soon after.
Season 1 EditFour months after Crowley joined the Strike Team, Captain David Aceveda asked him to keep him informed on any apparent illegal activity. After Crowley spotted Vic and Shane being friendly with drug dealer Rondell Robinson, he informed Aceveda of it. Aceveda and Moses Hernández, from the Department of Justice, offered Crowley the chance to be a witness against Mackey on a federal case. Although reluctant at first, Crowley agreed after requesting a transfer to Washington, DC, a car, and other expenses. However, Ben Gilroy, Assistant Chief of the LAPD, informed Mackey of Terry's intentions. This prompted Mackey to orchestrate a raid by the Strike Team on the house of Two-Time, a drug dealer that Mackey had been targeting. As they arrived at the house, Mackey and Shane Vendrell went first and cornered Two-Time in his bathroom. After he shot at them several times, Mackey and Shane killed him. When Crowley walked in the room, Mackey took Two-Time's gun and shot Crowley on the face with Shane as his only witness. The other team members, Lem and Ronnie, weren't involved in his murder.
Crowley didn't die in the act, and Mackey called 9-1-1. Crowley was taken to the hospital after midnight. However, he was pronounced dead at 2:13 AM.
The murder of Terry would haunt the Strike Team, particularly Vic and Shane, for years after. Although Terry was the newest member of the group, Shane still felt remorse and guilt for his part in the murder with Vic. In the follow-up investigation of Terry's death after the raid on Two-Time's house, Vic and Shane were interrogated. Vic was visibly stoic and unable to show emotion of it after the deed was done, but Shane was more visibly affected, which the investigating detectives recognised. Vic managed to pull him out of the room in time, but Shane nearly broke down emotionally about "killing a cop". Vic convinced him to never speak of Terry again.
Fellow Strike Team members Curtis "Lem" Lemansky and Ronald "Ronnie" Gardocki were not informed on Terry's secret undercover status and Vic and Shane's murder plot and were not involved in the eventual murder due to various reasons. Lem was notably closer with Terry as shown by his reaction to the news of his death, and was acknowledged by Vic and Shane as being the most conscientious of the team, both facts which would have proved problematic. Ronnie was generally left out of the most questionable of the Team's illegal activities due to his less active role within the team, though this would eventually change as he became closer to Vic.
Regardless, both men would later individually find out the truth behind Terry's death years later; Lem through Jon Kavanaugh, and Ronnie through Shane. Both had varying reactions to the revelation. Lem seemed visibly shocked and soon doubtful that Vic was innocent, but Vic ultimately convinced Lem that Kavanaugh was lying about the murder to split up the team, with Vic's ulterior motive to stop Lem from defecting. Ronnie expressed slight surprise when Shane told him of the murder in order to turn him against Vic, but Ronnie ultimately agreed in the murder needing to be done. He later told Vic he had always suspected his involvement but was unable to confirm it. Ronnie also told Vic that he wished he had involved him and that he probably could have helped Vic deal with the murder better than Shane. Captain Aceveda was certain that Mackey was behind Terry's murder and set out to send him to prison for it, but he never succeeded.
In Season Five, Lieutenant Jon Kavanaugh of internal affairs made it his personal mission to send Vic to prison for Terry's murder. He commandeered the Captain's office in "The Barn" and plastered it with grisly photographs of the Crowley murder scene. He even tried to force a confession from Vic and Shane by ordering them to revisit the crime scene and describe what happened in front of Terry's weeping brother. Vic and Shane, however, calmly stuck to their original story and Kavanaugh's crusade ultimately ended in the destruction of his own career.
However, rumors of Vic's involvement persisted even after Kavanaugh went to jail and was exacerbated by Lem's fate. Cassidy began to question her father's ethics and several other unnamed officers showed doubt in his innocence after the investigation ceased.
As the series moved toward a close, Vic finagled a Federal deal for full immunity from prosecution for every crime he admitted to. Using Shane's memoirs as a guide, he spoke in detail about everything the Strike Team had done, including his murder of Terry. Being the last team-member left other than Vic, Ronnie was arrested for his involvement in Crowley's murder based on Vic's confessions, despite not originally being involved in the murder plot in the first place. As a result, Vic was regarded as scum by his former colleagues at the Barn and was trapped in a cubicle by his new employers at I.C.E.
- The actor that portrayed Crowley, Reed Diamond, was advertised as a main cast member in Season 1 (and appeared in the pilot's opening credits), to surprise viewers with his death at the end of the first episode. His only subsequent appearances on the show came in a flashback sequence in "Our Gang" and in "Co-Pilot", a flashback episode in Season 2.
- Although Crowley is killed in the pilot episode, his death is referenced in all the seasons of the show.
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* appears in a flashback scene