Cold Case: Detective makes finding killer personal mission - KPTV - FOX 12

Cold Case: Detective makes finding killer personal mission

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Dan Frakes said there aren't enough superlatives in the dictionary to describe his beloved dad.

"He was funny, he was very charismatic, outgoing, kind, understanding," he said.

In the 1980s, Clyde Frakes ran a small car dealership on Northeast Union, which is now Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The Frakes family lot specialized in trucks and vans for working-class people not unlike themselves.

On Dec. 21, 1985, Portland homicide detective Molly Daul said Clyde Frakes, 40, arrived at the lot in the afternoon.

"He went into work as usual, by himself," Daul said.

"We were probably the last lot on the avenue without a fence around it. He always said the bad people should be behind the fence, not him," Dan Frakes said.

But something bad, truly horrific, happened on the lot that day.

"His body was found on the lot by a person who was a potential customer. He had been shot and was bound," Daul said.

Police said it looked like Clyde Frakes' lunch had been interrupted. He had been robbed and shot, and police said it was likely more than one suspect was responsible.

The initial investigators were stymied and leads turned to dead ends.

For Daul, the case is personal. She went to high school with the victim's son.

"I had no idea at the time I was going to end up a police officer, let alone a homicide detective," Daul said. "But when my career did go that way, I always thought, if I get into a position, I'd like to look at that case again."

"He was just beautiful and he's missed very much," said Shirley Fagin, the victim's wife. "I would like to find out who did it and why they did it because I was told it didn't go down like a normal robbery."

Daul hopes science has caught up with the forensics collected in 1985. Evidence is being retested.

She says nothing would make her happier than to give the Frakes family the news they're still waiting for.

"The effect it had, the powerful agony that this family had to react to it was an event that I'll always remember," Daul said. "The best part of my job is to provide the family with the killer of their loved one."

If you have any information about this crime, you can leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at or text CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by your tip, or call 503-823-HELP (4357) and leave your tip information.

Visit to download the Crime Stoppers app for the iPhone or Droid.

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