Ask Jacky… What’s the Real Story Behind Sam Cooke’s Death?January 11th, 2012
I really love your site!
I was wondering if you have anything else on Sam Cooke death?
Sam Cookedied on December 11, 1964.
There are conflicting accounts regarding the death of Sam Cooke. Los Angeles police however ruled it justifiable homicide. Not unlike today though, Los Angeles PD were known to be overtly racist when investigating crimes against African Americans doing little to no real work in investigation.
Ike Turner was the first person to tell me the real story, which I have since confirmed with other sources including several within the LAPD who all told very similar (although not identical) stories.
On the night of December 11, 1964, Sam had withdrawn a considerable amount of cash, reportedly to buy Christmas presents. At Cooke’s request the manager of the Hacienda Motel in South Central, where he was staying in, Bertha Franklin (who had shot and killed a man six months earlier at the same place), made arrangements with a local prostitute named Elisa Boyer who was 22-years old, to scoop Sam at a local bar and bring him back to his motel. As he and Boyer entered the room Sam was hit from behind and knocked unconscious.
Elisa Boyer took Sam’s money and met Bertha in the motel office.
Sam soon awoke disoriented and without most of his clothes and belongings. Cooke headed towards the motel office and saw through the office window, the prostitute and motel manager counting his money He demanded his stuff be returned and when they didn’t open the door, Cooke banged until the door fell off its hinges. When Cooke regained himself the hotel manager Bertha Franklin shot him and told Boyer to run and call police from a phone booth. Boyer told the police a phony story about a rape and fled the scene.
Sam was dead when the police arrived and, since the whore had stolen his wallet, they had no idea who it was and took it as a routine justified homicide in the ghetto.
The coroner’s inquest should have been a slam-dunk, but not one pertinent question was asked by an investigator, now with a background check made that would have revealed Bertha Franklin’s deadly past. The authorities simply took her made-up story as “gospel”.
Sam’s murder was chalked up as just another unidentified “rapist” killed in Watts. It wasn’t until the following Monday morning that a reporter found out Sam Cooke was signed in to the motel registry as himself and that one of the world’s greatest talents and a true human being was dead, under shady circumstances that might never be covered by the media.