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Hello, RPD Series readers! This is the second installment in a series of questionnaires, character profiles, if you will, answered by the men and women of the Riverdale PD and Calera County Crime Lab themselves.

This time, we are joined by the intrepid, and charming, Detective Allan Franks:

Name: Allan James Franks

Age: 38, as of June 9, 2013

Height: approx. 6’2″

Weight: usually around 195

Occupation: I am a Detective with the Riverdale Police Department

About: Where do you want me to start? I guess I could address your flattering, yet maybe not so accurate description of me in the intro to this interview. I would have to say that, of all of us – meaning the RPD and the crime lab folks – that Noah and Conrad are definitely the more intrepid ones; though, Conrad is more on the crazy, reckless end of that spectrum, in my opinion. I mean, the guy swims with sharks, for crying out loud!

Charming, however, is totally me. Just kidding! Otherwise that would completely shatter the charming illusion, right?

[JIO: Right…]

Umm…I’m a pretty simple kind of guy, so I guess the most important things to know about me are that I love my job, my family and my friends. My job may seem all about death and misery and the worst sort of criminals on the planet – and it is, mostly – but what I love about it is figuring out the puzzle, and giving the grieving a measure of closure when we catch the bad guys.

It’s always interesting to me to see what motivates someone to go so far as to take another being’s life. The most petty of jealousies, the simple greed or just base self-interest or selfishness; the sick minds and dark souls; the hottest rage or the most coldhearted disregard for human life…I cannot imagine any scenario in which I would even contemplate killing someone. And that’s not just because I’m a cop, or someone who believes in God; it’s because I cannot fathom how taking a life could ever remedy anything. Life is sacred, even the life of the lowest, most vile criminal. But if said criminal ever levels a gun at me or someone else, I will not hesitate to put him/her down. I just pray that doesn’t happen.

[JIO: As do we all. You mentioned your family. Tell us about you them.]

I lost my father when I was 28 and my mom passed away as well in 2006. I have a half-brother, Steven, from my dad’s first marriage, but he lives in Germany so I haven’t seen him in years. We were never really close to begin with, though, so… I have a few aunts and uncles and cousins and all their kids around here and there that I get to see on occasion, which is great, and our family reunions are always a lot of fun. Except when Uncle Henry has too much to drink – he’s not so fun then, and I usually have to escort him away from the rest of the family for a while.

[JIO: Friends?]

My best friend also happens to be my first partner here in Riverdale. Noah can tell you, and probably did, that we didn’t hit it off very well at the start. But no wonder: here I was a stranger from a strange land, so to speak, barging in in the middle of his grief – I mean, he’d just lost his first partner/mentor a few short months before. I was also new to the world of homicide investigation, so he was stuck showing me the ropes til I wasn’t so wet behind the ears. But, when I got shot during our first case, he didn’t let me die, so that was promising!{laughs} Seriously, though, we’ve gotten each other through some of the worst times of our lives so far and there’s no one on earth I’d rather go through any more with. I like to think he’d say the same.

That’s enough with the chick-flick moment.

[JIO: Speaking of flicks…]

[Laughs] Yes, speaking of flicks, the other most important thing to know about me is that I am absolutely, maybe even certifiably, obsessed with movies. I love the history of cinema, even the history of that very word is fascinating, and I love how films have been a huge force in not only chronicling the events and cultural climate of our society but how it can actually shape our culture and society. I’m talking about everything from the silly words or phrases that become popular and adopted into the collective consciousness to the hugely political, psychological or moral movements that have been incited by issues portrayed in cinema. Film is the mirror and fire-brand of society.

Sometimes, of course, it’s none of those things. Sometimes, it’s just good fun!

My favorite genre of film is noir, hands down. I like gritty crime dramas, as well, but they usually aren’t very realistic. I also like thrillers, comedies and sci-fi/fantasy. Basically, if it’s on celluloid, I’ll probably watch it. Unless it has Paris Hilton in it. Or Tara Reid. Or- okay, maybe I should stop there, because that list could get really long!

Um, what else?

[JIO: Books? Music?]

Books? Yeah, I like to read. Not a lot, but I do enjoy a good book when I have the time. I read mostly literary fiction, but not like those book snobs that look down their noses at popular fiction as some sort of sign of lower intelligence, or whatever. I just like the classics, you know? But I do love a good pulp fiction, dime novel, penny dreadful kind of book, too.

My favorite music? Well, I grew up in Alabama and Georgia, so I was raised on good ol’ country and southern gospel. And I still like that, quite a bit, but my musical horizons are a little bit broader than that now. I like my music to be the kind that stirs the blood and the imagination. One of my favorite musicians is a guy named A.A. Bondy, and he’s from Alabama, who is just a genius with his lyrics and melodies. He can tell a story in, like, two lines, and the atmosphere of the music is always a little surreal, a little like…I get images of rainy streets in the dead of the night and dust motes hanging in, like, that old-timey, golden light you see in your good memories whenever I hear his stuff. Is that weird? Or do you get what I mean?

[JIO: I do, actually. And it’s only a little weird…]

Nice. Thanks a lot.

[JIO: So what else do you do for fun, or to relax?]

What do I do for fun when I’m not working…other than movies, books and music I do a little Tae Kwon Do from time to time. I got my first degree black belt just this year, so that really felt like an accomplishment. Uh, I don’t really know what else to tell you, since I don’t get a lot of down time with the job, you know?

[JIO: And speaking of the job… It can be really dangerous, what you do. Case in point, the explosion in which you were injured.]

You want me to talk about the explosion? I mean, I can tell you what happened, but I don’t really…it’s not something I just talk about, okay? But yeah, I was on the job, we went to this apartment building where we thought we’d find this suspect we’d been hunting for. Instead, he was down in the streets, and when he saw all the cops surrounding his building, he set off a bomb that he’d planted in the fireplace – gas fireplace. It was a small bomb, but what with the gas line and all that, the whole apartment and several of the adjoining ones went up like a roman candle. I was in there, with a few others from the crime lab, but, uh, luckily we saw the bomb and were trying to get out when it went off, so we weren’t at ground zero, so to speak, when it did.

Part of the ceiling collapsed on top of me, and it was, um, part of it was on fire. I got burned, on my hands and forearms mostly, but some across my chest right around my collarbone. I don’t really…I mean, is that good enough? Cuz I’m not really comfortable with…okay. But, yes, thank you, I am doing fine now; all healed up, just a few scars.

[JIO: Good to hear. Now, end us on a fun note. Give us something juicy.]

Okay, something juicy? {grins} Hmm, let me think about that one for a minute…How ’bout the time I stole my dad’s truck to sneak off to see my girlfriend at three a.m.? {laughs}Yeah, pretty scandalous, I know. Maybe I shouldn’t tell you that we were ten at the time, and she lived down the block. And her dad caught me before I even got out of the truck – probably because I’d run over their mailbox – so that romance got well and truly snuffed out before it ever began. You know, I still remember her name: Ellabelle Schulke. Ah, it just flows off the tongue, doesn’t it? Right. But she was a pretty thing…I wonder what she’d look like now? {looks around} Hmm. I was half expecting this would be like “This is Your Life” and she’d come walking in and give me some cheesy stuffed teddy bear or something.

[JIO: Sorry.]

{laughs} Probably best it wasn’t, I have work to get back to. So…bye, everyone!

Thanks, Frankie! Join me next time as I sit down with everyone’s favorite tall, dark and enigmatic criminalist, Neil Coates.

Until then, read a book! (Preferably one of mine!)

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