Character Profile – Blake Franklin
Blake Franklin is the son of Kent and Martha Franklin. Kent is the Police Chief in Fort Worth, Texas, and Martha is a stay-at-home mom, raising Blake and worrying about Kent.
Blake was very active in athletics through his Little League years and was offered scholarships when he finished high school, but chose to focus on academics, knowing he didn’t have the size for athletics beyond college. Blake graduated in just under five years with a bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Management and a minor in Law Enforcement from Texas Tech University. He was just a few hours short of a dual degree when he graduated in May of 2007
Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast at the beginning of Blakes’s Junior year. After graduation, Blake joined the Coast Guard and reported for training in Cape May, New Jersey in July 2007. His training was eight weeks of rigorous, physical training. Blake became a Rescue Swimmer, the toughest position to obtain in the Coast Guard – not unlike SEAL Training in the Navy with respect to water requirements which required another twenty-four weeks of training.
His first duty assignment was in Portsmouth, Virginia. 2008 was cursed with a very active hurricane season and Blake was part of a rescue team that operated during a hurricane to save lives of yacht owner, crew and family. One member of the family was lost at sea and Blake never forgave himself, though sixteen others were saved in a harrowing rescue. His guilt made it impossible to wear the Medal of valor awarded him.
Blake finished his last two years in New Orleans where his crew made frequent arrests of drug runners in the Gulf and on the Mississippi where his base port was located. Blake had one more rescue attempt during an active hurricane and, having the rank of Lieutenant, Blake was in command of the helicopter rescue team and a collision with the fishing trawler when it raised from a trough sent his helicopter spinning into the Gulf Coast. Blake saved the injured pilot from going under with the chopper and his entire team was rescued by another team and none of the trawler crew was lost. Blake was again awarded a medal of Valor.
A short while later, Blake completed his service with the Coast Guard and returned to his home in Fort Worth, Texas where, against his father’s wishes, he became a Fort Worth police officer. Blake served nine years on the force and had a spot-free record and was put up three times to take the Detective exam and he failed it each time. He would later discover the reason for his testing stumbles and it would add to the chilling divide with his father.
For Blake, the best thing to come from his repeated testing experiences was meeting the Testing Administrator at the Police Testing Center. Tristan Leach was a beautiful, young woman in the Human Resources and Development Division of the Fort Worth Police. Not long after Blakes third failure, he left the police force and Tristan left as well. Their reasons, unbeknownst to them, were similar.
During Blake’s first case, he met with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office to bring charges against a suspect, and while there, he bumped into Tristan who had taken a job in Human Resources with Tarrant County. They began dating soon after he closed his first case. They married two years later.
Blake’s second case resulted in a $2.5 million payout for rescuing a kidnap victim which prevented the necessity of a $25 Million ransom payment. To say he was surprised would be an understatement. The finders fee and the friendships developed during those early years of the Franklin Agency enabled a remarkable trajectory for the Texas Private Investigator. Working with people he loves and respects makes the job a joy and not a chore.
Watch for more profiles of the characters you love from Blake Franklin Investigations. Next up – Kegan Langley, the first Investigator to come to work with Blake in his new venture.
Kegan Langley, called Langley by everyone because it sounds ,more “spy-like”. Langley grew up in Abilene, Texas. His father was in the Air Force for twelve years and his last duty-station was Dyess AFB. He transitioned out of the military and went to work for Oak Farms Dairy as a driver where he worked for thirty-eight years. Langley grew up with a doting father and a mother who loved him but cussed like a drunken sailor on shore leave. She worked at a convenience store as a manager and Langley hung out at her store playing amusement games and staying out of trouble.
After graduating from Cooper High School, Langley went to Texas Tech. In his Sophomore year, he gave up on trying to pledge to a fraternity, feeling like there was no way to please the guys that came from big Texas money. He met Blake Franklin at an on campus pizza shop and the two became fast friends. Blake invited Langley to be a roommate after his previous roommate transferred out. They remained roommates and best friends until Blake graduated three years later. Frustrated with the weight of class schedules, Langley quit school just a semester short of graduation. He returned to Abilene, Texas.
Abilene offered Langley very few opportunities and after a year of killing time, Langley sought out Blake’s wealthy uncle Lewis, who was in the oil business with West Texas and Anadarko wells. Langley worked for just over a year and was invited to find other employment because he had a penchant for injuries on the job. He returned to Lubbock and worked a series of jobs on and around Texas Tech. He was managing the old pizza shop where he met Blake, when Blake came back into his life. This meeting would change Langley’s life.
Known as a funny guy that took very few things seriously, Blake hired him to be the first Investigative hire of Franklin. Blake paid for Langley to finish his degree and take a course in Law Enforcement, a requirement to be licensed in Texas as a Private Investigator.
Langley, in a addition to being known as a joker, was also known for having a lot of girlfriends. Everywhere he goes he walks away with telephone numbers of the women he meets. It is his version of “head on a swivel” to always be looking for women who are looking back. Though he has never crossed the line of dating a married woman, he has dated a lot of women who brought up the subject of marriage. Few things made Langley move faster.
Langley is very close with Sharon Longstreet Raymond, and calls her mom. Sharon is the loving, nurturing and classy mom Langley needed when he first met Sharon as a client of Franklin.
A recent development in his the book Seven SEALS changes Langley’s life again.
Langley is the Lead Investigator for Franklin and still considers Blake to be his best friend – and the feeling’s are mutual.
Mindy Grayson McAllister, the early brains of the Franklin Investigations Agency was a former girlfriends of Blake’s. They dated seriously for two and half years before going their separate ways when Mindy tired of hearing Blake brood over failing the Detective exam multiple times. Blake was a perfectionist on the job and it led to obsessing over on the job issues during his off time.
Mindy grew up in East Texas, just outside of Tyler. Her father was a fireman in Tyler and died on the job when Mindy was twelve years old. Her mother, a stay at home mom until her fathers tragic death, began selling Insurance and did very well until Mindy went off to College at The University of Texas Arlington. While Mindy was matriculating two miles away, Mindy’s mother died in an automobile accident.
After college, Mindy worked in retail and learned the ins and outs of inventory control and book keeping and developed a very strong work ethic.
Mindy was a retail manager in a mall in North Richland Hills, Texas. Her store was suffering the effects of Online shopping and the entire mall was dying a slow death. One day during a particularly slow period she was pursuing social media and came across a link from Blake’s personal page to a new professional page for Franklin Investigations and saw a post that he was looking for a front desk receptionists. She called Blake and he hired her.
On the first case to walk in the door, Mindy proved her computer skills were advanced and extraordinarily helpful in the investigation. By the time the first case was closed, Mindy was a full partner in the Agency.
Mindy met her husband Tate McAllister who was an attorney and partner of a law firm in the first building the Franklin Agency officed. Tate has sent a lot of business their way and continues to do so because he can count on them for results.