Franco was a world-famous artist who had earned a vast fortune by photographing recreations of murder crime scenes. Crimson magazine arranged to host Franco's gallery opening in exchange for his agreement to be featured on Crimson's front page. Maxie Jones was put in charge of the project. She was also asked to persuade Franco to agree to do the photo shoot for the magazine's spread about his work.
Franco easily convinced Maxie to pose for one of his pictures. Afterwards, Franco and Maxie made love. Maxie immediately regretted her tryst with Franco because she was in love with Damian Spinelli. Maxie was unaware that Franco had plans for Maxie and her friends, especially Jason Morgan.
Franco's story began years earlier when he had been a teen in New York City. Franco was a graffiti tagger, whose friend, Ronnie Dimestico, had robbed a liquor store. Franco had taken the fall for Ronnie. Franco went to jail at the age of 18, and while he was there, Ronnie joined the police force. In jail, Franco met numerous men who had bragged about the people that they had killed.
Franco became intrigued with the idea of killing, so shortly after he was released from jail, Franco killed someone. He wanted to see what it was like. As the man lay dying, Franco realized that he didn't feel a thing. Franco decided to turn the murder into art. He picked up a can of spray paint and sprayed "C077X" near the crime scene. C077X was the file number of Franco's arrest for the crime that his friend Ronnie had committed.
A young rookie cop by the name of Dante Falconeri caught Franco tagging near the murder crime scene. When Ronnie caught wind of Franco's arrest, he quickly took steps to eliminate Franco as a suspect for the murder. The unsolved case went cold and eventually Ronnie and Dante were reassigned to undercover work in the crime syndicate. Ronnie and Dante's assignment led them to Port Charles, where Dante went by the name of Dominic, a mid-level mobster. Dominic spotted "C077X" tags all over Port Charles. They were familiar to him, but he couldn't pinpoint where he had seen the tag before.
One night, Jason Morgan and Sonny Corinthos arranged to meet another mobster by the name of Joey Limbo, who had been hired by Anthony Zacchara to kill Sonny. Joey's plans to ambush Sonny and Jason went awry. After a brief exchange of gunfire, Sonny and Jason managed to escape unscathed. However, as they fled the scene, Jason noticed a vagrant standing on the sidewalk and waving to Jason. It was Franco. He had been awed as he watched Jason eliminate Joey's men, one by one. After Jason and Sonny were out of sight, Franco walked over to Joey, who clung to life after multiple gunshot wounds. As Joey begged for help, Franco slowly rested his foot on Joey's windpipe and then crushed it.
Worried about the witness to the shooting, Jason decided to search for the vagrant. He realized that it was Franco when he spotted Franco leaving the gallery opening with Maxie. Jason realized that it would be difficult to kill such a public figure as a famous artist. Things changed when Jason received a disturbing picture in the mail. It was of Maxie posing for one of Franco's photographs.
Jason received another picture from Franco; this one was of Jason standing over Claudia Zacchara's hidden grave in the woods. Weeks earlier, Michael had killed his stepmother as she had attempted to kidnap his newborn sister. Sonny and Jason had quickly covered up the incident. As Jason looked at the incriminating picture, he realized that Franco had to be dealt with.
Jason would soon discover that it was easier said than done. Franco had been watching Jason Morgan for some time. Franco viewed the mob hit man as a kindred spirit. It was soon revealed that Franco had been planning his encounter with Jason for months. Franco wanted to know what Jason would do if he were forced to choose between those he loved. With that in mind, Franco set out to kidnap Sam and then Carly. Franco snatched Sam and then locked her away in a soundproof prison. Next, Franco grabbed Carly, but his plans changed when word reached Franco that Jason had been arrested for Claudia's murder. However, it was a ruse; Jason had enlisted Lucky's help in the hopes of catching Franco off-guard.
The ploy worked. Jason managed to rescue Carly from Franco's studio. Franco was not discouraged though; he quickly nabbed Lulu and then locked her away in a warehouse with a bomb strapped to her chair. Franco lured Jason to his studio. He informed Jason that Sam and Lulu were exactly two miles from the studio, in opposite directions. Franco then revealed that Jason had eight minutes until the bombs that Franco had planted in each warehouse went off. Dominic aided Jason and both women were rescued.
To Jason and Sam's surprise, it turned out to be a fake bomb. However, the bomb under Lulu's chair was not. That bomb exploded. Everyone believed that Lulu and Dominic had perished in the blast, but as the dust settled, they stumbled out of the rubble, unharmed. Meanwhile, Franco slipped out of town.
Franco's obsession with Jason continued when Michael was sentenced to prison after he confessed to the murder of Claudia Zacchara. Claudia's father Anthony agreed to look after Michael in prison in exchange for Jason keeping Anthony's son Johnny alive. Jason did not trust Anthony to protect Michael so he made an arrangement with Claire Walsh, the federal prosecutor that had handled Claudia's murder. Jason pled guilty to some charges in exchange for receiving the exact sentence Michael had. The other condition was that Jason would be Michael's cell mate.
By the time Jason arrived in Pentonville, Michael had already been attacked by a man named Carter. Michael initially refused to share any details of the attack with Jason, but he later told Jason that Carter had raped him. Jason killed Carter and as Carter died, he told Jason that "Franco says hi." When the judge that had sentenced Michael learned he had been attacked in prison, he agreed to release Michael into Dante's custody. Although Michael went free, Jason remained in prison.
Franco wanted Jason released from prison so he sent Dante pictures of a murder victim. The pictures were taken before the police arrived. Claire Walsh was interested in bringing Franco to justice and she realized she needed Jason to make that happen. While Franco waited for Jason's release from prison, he posed as a homeless man and lurked around Harbor View Towers. He also sent Maxie several dozen roses anonymously and hand delivered the final flowers to her. She had received a total of sixty-six flowers. Franco asked Maxie to say "hi" to Jason and then he disappeared.
Claire secured Jason's release into Dante's custody until Franco was apprehended. Then Jason would return to prison to complete his sentence. Jason and Dante tracked down Franco's mother in Woodstock, New York and questioned her about her son, although she denied having one. Franco visited his mother after Jason and Dante left and apologized for their intrusion. His mother worried Franco had gotten into some sort of trouble, but he assured his mother that everything was fine.
When Franco returned to Port Charles after visiting his mother, he observed Jax playing with Josslyn in the park. Franco made his presence known and he presented Josslyn with a small toy monkey. He left when Jax called the police but he promised Josslyn he would see her again soon.
Franco used the number sixty-six as a hint to Jason. Sixty-six was the number of roses sent to Maxie and Franco rented a house off of highway sixty-six. Franco expected Jason to find the mansion and he left him another clue. It was a flyer promoting a singer named Kalup Ishmael. Franco paid Coleman ten thousand dollars in exchange for Kalup to perform for one night at Coleman's bar Jake's. Kalup only sang one song. He performed "Route 66" which Jason interpreted to be another hint from Franco. He left similar hints with Sam and Lulu.
Franco's hints led Jason to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Dante accompanied Jason. They were met at the gallery by a man named Willhelm. He represented Franco and commented that Franco had described Jason as a true artist. Willhelm showed Jason and Dante a special collection of Franco's work which included replica furniture from Jason's life such as Josslyn's crib. All the furniture was tagged with Franco's signature "C077X." Franco also left Jason a television and a dvd which showed a conversation between Carter and Franco. On the DVD, Franco instructed Carter to handle Michael any way he wanted to in prison as long as Jason received the message "Franco says hi."
Franco returned to the art gallery and prepared for his new exhibit to open. He explained to Willhelm that there would be two players in the show. Franco named his exhibit "Francophrenia" and it was several large screens which played his encounters with Jason. There was a special introduction that personally welcomed Jason and warned that only one would survive the evening.
The audience believed they were witnessing performance art when Franco grabbed a woman and held a gun to her head. Franco pushed the woman into Jason and he escaped into a stairwell. A videographer followed Franco into the stairwell and Franco strangled him to death.
As Jason hurried after Franco, Dante received a call that Elizabeth Webber's newborn son Aiden had been kidnapped from the hospital. Lucky was working on the case and suspected Franco was involved in the kidnapping since all of the hospital television monitors were wired to run a speech by Franco. In his speech, he mentioned that Aiden was a big part of the next stage of his plan. Aiden's hospital identification bracelet also ended in the number 66. Jason found Franco on a catwalk above the gallery and Franco admitted he started to understand Jason's connection to Michael since he met Josslyn. As Franco stood on the catwalk, he yelled that he knew where the baby was and then he fell from the catwalk onto a "Route 66" road sign on stage. Jason and Dante believed Franco was dead.
Franco was very much alive and he paid a surprise visit to his mother. He did not arrive alone. He had Elizabeth's son Aiden with him. Franco explained to his mother that he had privately adopted the child for his mother to raise and he arranged for his mother to start a new life in a new location. His mother questioned why he gave her an infant and Franco told his mother she deserved a chance to raise a child that was not as difficult as he had been. Franco was pleased when his mother named the baby Pablo and agreed to be the child's mother. Lucky tracked down Aiden and he was returned to Elizabeth.
Franco took off on a private jet. While Franco was on the jet he made a call to book a specific model for his next project. The model was Brenda Barrett. She refused to work with him.
Franco was gone but he wanted to make sure Jason still thought about him. He accomplished this by arranging for Carly to find a picture of him in with Josslyn's christening photographs. Carly relayed the information to Jason and they decided that Franco remained a threat. Franco was not heard from for a few months until Josslyn was recovering from a kidney transplant. Carly received a message from Franco promising that he would be keeping a closer eye on Josslyn.
Although Franco did not appear to the residents of Port Charles, he continued to monitor Jason's relationship with Sam and he watched their wedding reception through a hidden camera. When the couple honeymooned in Hawaii, he made contact with Carly inquiring about Josslyn.
As Sam and Jason continued their honeymoon, Franco watched them on hidden cameras that he had planted in their villa. He drugged both Sam and Jason and locked Jason in a room with a video monitor which showed Sam and Franco in the bedroom of the villa. While Sam was drugged, Franco took her out of the shower and placed her on the bed. He covered up the camera so Jason was unable to see what happened next.
By the time Jason escaped, Franco had disappeared and Jason informed Sam that Franco had been there. Sam was unable to determine if Franco had raped her or not and the couple returned home. Franco sent a message to Josslyn again and left graffiti tags around Port Charles that referenced creation. He also sent Jason a video in which he announced that he and Jason were going to be a father. His taunt proved to be correct after Sam realized that she had conceived a child while in Hawaii and was unsure who the father was. Jason eventually tracked Franco down and Franco was presumed deceased. It was later revealed that Jason was the child's father.
However, Franco secretly survived Jason's ambush while Jason was killed by Cesar Faison. Shortly before Jason's death, it had been revealed that he and Franco were fraternal twins. A few months after Jason's death, Franco arranged for Jason's loved ones to gather together and he revealed that he was alive. Everyone was shocked and Franco announced that he wanted to make amends for the pain he had caused. Franco shared video footage which showed that he had never raped Sam, nor had he instructed Carter to rape Michael while he was in prison.
After the party, Franco hired Diane Miller to represent him and he was released on bail. Franco planned to take control of his shares of the Quartermaine family business ELQ while he searched for the daughter he had never gotten to know. Franco knew that his daughter Kiki was in Port Charles because her mother Ava had paid him a visit and warned him to stay away. When Franco arrived at the Quartermaine mansion, he was not welcomed by the family but he did meet his daughter.
Kiki wanted nothing to do with her father and Franco blamed Ava for keeping them apart. Ava refused to accept Franco's blame and revealed that she knew he was responsible for tampering with ELQ brand condiments which brought company stock prices down. Ava agreed to keep Franco's secret and help him develop a relationship with Kiki in exchange for her share of the wealth Franco planned to gain from ELQ. Ava and Franco pretended to be in a relationship together to show Kiki that Franco was not dangerous.
Kiki remained wary of Franco until he was hospitalized after an altercation with Sonny Corinthos and his enforcer. Sam's mother, Alexis Davis, found him and brought him to the hospital. She explained that Sam's son Danny had leukemia and was in need of a bone marrow transplant and that Franco was a potential donor. He agreed to be tested and as he was treated for his injuries sustained from the assault, he suffered a seizure. After the seizure, Franco believed that he was Jason and set out to protect Sam and Danny from Franco. He took Danny out of the hospital. Sam confronted him and demanded that her son be returned. An altercation occurred between the two and Franco left Sam unconscious and fled with Danny.
Meanwhile, test results showed that Franco suffered from a brain tumor. It was the same type of tumor and located in the same region as the tumor Jason had previously experienced. While Franco had Danny, he grew more confused and Carly reached out to him. She convinced him to return Danny and he returned to the hospital to undergo surgery to remove his tumor. Franco's attorney convinced a judge that his prior crimes were a result of the tumor and the charges against him were dropped.
As Franco recovered from surgery, he learned that although he was a free man, Kiki was not his daughter and that he was not eligible to be a bone marrow donor for Danny. He was disappointed by the news about Kiki and Franco hoped that Carly would be there for him. Carly was reluctant to trust him but they spent his birthday together. However, Franco's progress with Carly was halted after Heather Webber paid Franco a surprise visit and he was forced to allow Carly to believe that he had slept with someone. Carly confronted Franco and they shared a kiss.
Franco continued to pursue Carly romantically but she refused to forgive his past transgressions against her family until the night of Franco's art show. Heather made a scene at the gallery and announced that Franco was her son with the newly appointed district attorney Scott Baldwin. Heather went on to explain that Franco was the product of a tryst she and Scott and shared in the past and she supplied proof. As Franco tried to process the news, he rescued Carly's son Michael from the harbor and Carly chose to believe that Franco had changed. She reached out to Franco and they became lovers.
Although Franco was overjoyed to have Carly in his life, he feared for her safety after Heather threatened to harm her. Franco caught his mother in an attempt on Carly's life but he turned the tables on her and stabbed her in the stomach with her own knife. He believed that he had killed her and buried her body, unaware that Heather was still alive. Heather's "death" at his hands caused Franco to wonder if he had truly changed since the tumor and he sought out professional help from Dr. Kevin Collins. He was relieved when Kevin agreed that his attack on Heather did not fit the pattern of the crimes he had committed in the past.
Carly and Franco made their relationship public although Carly's friends and family did not approve. When Carly suddenly disappeared, her family immediately suspected that Franco was involved even though he was adamant in his claim of innocence. Eventually the evidence started to amount against Franco and his father Scott Baldwin, was forced to arrest him. Franco found an ally in Kiki and she stated that Heather was safely locked away in a psychiatric care facility. He explained that Kiki's report was impossible and she helped him escape from police custody. Franco was shocked to discover that Heather's grave was empty but a note was left in the place where her body had been. He believed that his mother was responsible for Carly's disappearance and that she had framed him. Franco turned to his father for help and was surprised when Scott agreed.
Franco's theory regarding his mother was correct and he rescued Carly. He continued to protect her even after Heather shot him in the chest. Heather was taken into police custody and Franco was transported to the hospital for surgery. He survived and was grateful to have Carly by his side as he recovered. They declared their love for one another and Franco helped Carly keep secret that Sonny had killed Michael's biological father A.J. Even though Carly had confided in Franco, he was bothered by the closeness she shared with Sonny. Franco moved in with Carly but he doubted her reassurances that he was her priority over her ex-husband.