Working as a laborer in the City of London, Frank was employed by industrialist John Ashton to work the coal-powered crane on one of his sites. Like all other employees, Frank disliked his employer, who was in the habit of cheating his employees out of their wages and cared little for their well-being.
At some point in 1868, Ashton was murdered, the initial conclusion being that he was crushed under a crate dropped by the crane. Frank told the Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye that he had taught Eddie how to work the crane a few days before, and that he had been buying an apple down the street at the time of the incident. The Frye twins verified his alibi, eliminating Frank as a suspect.