Miami Vice Wiki

Frank Hackman


Convicted murderer of Metro-Dade Detective Frankel
Murderer of Caitlin Davies
Deceased, shot dead by James "Sonny" Crockett on Caicos Island
Episodes Appeared In
Played By

Frank Hackman was a career criminal, specializing in armed robbery and home invasion. He was also a lover of old music, especially that of Hoagy Carmichael. He was incredibly vicious and cold-blooded when on a mission, and never hesitated to murder anyone (including cops and young children) who witnessed his misdeeds.


In 1979, Metro-Dade Robbery Detectives James "Sonny" Crockett and Frankel were working the case of a robbery of an armored car, and had Hackman and his crew (including Gus Albierro and Tommy Barkley) fingered for the crime and were prepared to arrest him as soon as they accumulated enough evidence to make the charges stick. Crockett and Frankel worked Hackman for around a year and got close to him, but Hackman eventually somehow found out they were undercover cops.

In early 1980, before he could be busted, Hackman shot Frankel dead in the detective's home while his wife and kids watched in horror (because Frankel's cover was blown). Just a few hours later, Crockett arrested Hackman and charged him with the murder of Detective Frankel, though Hackman claimed he was not the murderer and that he in fact had just got back from Daytona (a story he would maintain for six years). Later on in 1980, Hackman was tried and convicted of the detective's murder (with a ton of circumstantial evidence). Because he was a cop killer, Hackman was sentenced to death in the electric chair.

1986, Hackman's Execution

Hackman after being pardoned, his head shaved in preparation for his electrocution

In late 1986, Hackman's execution scheduled execution date was coming up, and he claimed he was "ready to die", despite maintaining his innocence. Crockett got word from Father LaFrano of a local church that an unidentified parishioner came to him indicating that Hackman was not in Miami when Frankel was murdered and that an innocent man is going to be executed. The parishioner turns out to be Gus Albierro, who had originally testified to Hackman's "intent" and whose testimony helped get Hackman convicted and sent to Death Row. Albierro stated that he had found out Hackman was having an affair with his wife, Felicia, at the time, and that he was planning on killing Hackman himself before the latter was arrested.

But Albierro is now dying from pancreatic cancer, and to care for his family he accepted money from Hackman to recant his testimony, because Hackman knew Crockett would "do his job" and make sure he got off Death Row after Crockett interviewed another Hackman gang member, Tommy Barkley (a well-remunerated confidential informant, who was officially reported killed in a prison riot but was, in fact, living in luxury in Stuart, Florida, when tracked down by Crockett and Tubbs), who, after being knocked around by Crockett, corroborates Albierro's story that they were all in Daytona the night of Frankel's murder. Albierro is shot dead execution style in his garage by Felicia presumably to cast doubt on Hackman's guilt. (It is unclear if Albierro knew this was part of the plot and there is no evidence tying Felicia to the crime.) The detectives convince Florida's governor at the 11th hour to pardon Hackman -- despite the objections of the prosecuting D.A., an aspiring politician -- by providing testimonials from Felicia and Barkley confirming the phony Daytona alibi. Crockett learns (to his horror) that Hackett did kill Frankel, which Hackman cheerfully acknowledges as soon as he leaves the penitentiary, where he was nearly put to death. Hackman leaves with Felicia (who is in fact his own lover or wife, as can be seen by how they kiss each other) and Barkley, all three smiling and waving as they drive away while the incredulous Crockett digests the fact that he has gotten a cop killer off Death Row and free.

1988, Hackman Returns

Hackman 1988

Two years later, Hackman returned to Miami with a new gang including Felicia, Johnny Blatt, and his girlfriend, Julia Adams, pulling home invasions, killing a family (including a teenaged girl hiding in her bedroom) execution style and robbing only high-quality items. Crockett suspected Hackman was back after hearing that the original shotgun blast was followed by a .380, which was Hackman's style (though, in 1980, he did not kill Frankel that way). Hackman felt safe that Crockett would not pursue him because he worked Vice, not Robbery (as he did circa 1979-1980), but Hackman was proven wrong, as Crockett and Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs raided Hackman's hideout, and Felicia was killed in an exchange of gunfire (by a bullet from Hackman's gun, not Crockett's). Hackman, feeling Crockett killed Felicia, took revenge by entering Club 1235, where Crockett's wife Caitlin Davies was performing a concert, killing the light operator, then he set his sights on Crockett. Hackman was about to kill Crockett, but at the last minute had a sudden cold-blooded change of heart and killed Caitlin in Crockett's arms, sending him into a downward spiral of grief, anger, drunkenness, and lust for revenge, intensified by the fact that Caitlin was pregnant when she was killed (something she tried to tell Crockett before she died but was unable to). During Crockett's self-imposed exile, Hackman went island-hopping, first to Martinique (registering under Crockett's name), then to Caicos Island, where Hackman arranged to prevent his extradition by bribing the police and judge with their pensions. With Hackman's gang in custody, Crockett found Hackman, gave him his cross back (the one he wore on Death Row), and shot him dead, avenging Caitlin's death. These actions accelerated Crockett's slide which culminated in his transformation into Sonny Burnett, his drug dealing alter-ego.


  • Perhaps more than any other antagonist in the entire series, Hackman greatly obsessed over Crockett to the point of briefly using Crockett's name as an alias shortly before his death. It's possible this was because Crockett was the only cop cunning and determined enough to ever successfully bring him to justice. Hackman also may have seen Crockett as his polar opposite; A representation of what Hackman's life could have been like if he had chosen to be on the side of the law. It should also be noted Crockett (as Burnett) was incredibly ruthless and efficient as a criminal and killer, not unlike Hackman.
Main Characters:

James "Sonny" Crockett Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs Gina Calabrese Stan Switek Larry Zito "Big Booty" Trudy Joplin Martin "Marty" Castillo Lou Rodriguez

Minor Characters:
Caroline Crockett Billy Crockett Caitlin Davies Isadore "Izzy" Moreno Nugart "Noogie" Lamont Esteban Calderone Orlando Claderone Al Lombard Lester Kosko Valerie Gordon Frank Hackman Oswaldo Guzman Frank Mosca

Miami Vice Film:
James "Sonny" Crockett Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs Trudy Joplin Zito Castillo Gina Calabrese Michael Switek