For the last decade, Jaime "Jim" Bordine, tenaciously fought two foes: crime and cancer.
As a homicide detective in the San Diego Police Department, he played key roles in investigating some of the most publicized slayings of recent years.
As a cancer patient, he underwent surgery for two brain tumors and had part of his lung removed.
"He never complained," said his supervisor, Sgt. Jim Munsterman. "He would always put up a big fight and come back to work, because his work meant so much to him, just as his family did."
Mr. Bordine, whose illness forced him to retire from the Police Department April 19, died Sunday in his Eucalyptus Hills home in Lakeside. He was 52.
Shortly after his transfer from robbery to homicide in 1986, Mr. Bordine was involved in the investigation of the murder of motorist Cara Knott. Evidence he helped compile resulted in the arrest and conviction of former California Highway Patrol Officer Craig Peyer, who is serving a life sentence.
For his efforts, Mr. Bordine was awarded an exceptional performance citation. He received commanding officer citations for his roles in the 1990 investigation of the murders of six women in the Clairemont area and a series of beatings of elderly North Park women in 1994.
Cleophus Prince was convicted in the Clairemont killings and is serving a life sentence. Phillip Lee Jackson was sentenced in February 1996 to the equivalent of two lifetimes in prison in connection with the North Park beatings, which resulted in two deaths.
"Jim was one of the best employees I ever had," said Munsterman. "When I came over to homicide with no experience, he basically trained me. Because of his bilingual abilities, he was involved in cases outside of his own teams and he was always eager to help."
Mr. Bordine joined the San Diego Police Department in 1968 after serving four years in the Air Force. He began his law-enforcement career in patrol, later serving in juvenile investigations.
A native of Camino Real, Sinaloa, Mexico, he spoke only Spanish when he moved to San Diego with his family at age 9. Mr. Bordine learned English quickly, progressing through the San Diego city school system and graduating in 1963 from Lincoln High School, where he played football and ran cross-country.
One of his passions was deep-sea fishing in his boat, "The Fifth Up," a term used by police to signify that a homicide team no longer was on call. "For Jim, 'Fifth Up' meant time to go fishing," Munsterman said.
"He fished off the coast of San Diego and at Bahia de Los Angeles in Baja. He loved going after albacore, dorado and yellowtail, big-game type fish."
Last April, when Mr. Bordine retired from the department, more than 100 police officers attended a party for him at his home.
"He was highly respected throughout the law-enforcement community," Munsterman said.
Mr. Bordine is survived by his wife of 29 years, Marcia; two daughters, Tammy and Pamela Bordine, a son, James Jason Bordine, his mother, Maria Bordine, sisters, Virginia, Thelma and Norma Bordine, and brothers, Tony and Andy Bordine, all of the San Diego area.