- Celebrity Guru - Hollywood Street King
RSS Urban Guru Hollywood Street King on Twitter Official Hollywood Street King Facebook Page

Ask Jacky… What’s the Real Story Behind Sam Cooke’s Death?

January 11th, 2012

Ask Jacky

Hey Jacky,

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On the night of December 11, 1964, Sam had withdrawn a considerable amount of cash, reportedly to buy Christmas presents.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.


Leave a Reply

59 Comments on "Ask Jacky… What’s the Real Story Behind Sam Cooke’s Death?"

March 30, 2015

what an interesting story. i’d forgotten how big a star Mr. Sam Cooke was.


Edward Owens
February 27, 2015

I never knew Figueroa went through Watts,I haven’t read this whole article, but after seeing that, I know this is just someone speculating.


Brandon Garrett
December 2, 2014

I think Sam Cooke forseen his death earlier in life. Listen to the song I’m So Glad w/ the soul stirrers. Soon one morning, soon one morning you know when death come creeping I my room, oh soon one morning I I I I I I’ll be tried Iknow soon one morning you know death comes creepin in my room now oh my lord oh my lord what shall I do


September 28, 2014

I believe that Sam Cooke was set up to be murdered for most of the reasons stated here and I believe that the police was also involved. He was into the Civil Rights movement and this irritated the police because while they were wanting the crowd to shut up about Civil Rights, here was another black man with power who was stirring them up. Whether he would have lived if he wasn’t out with a prostitute is irrelevant, when its your time to go, its your time to go. I do believe that there were others there who beat him and then drug him to the office unconscious. I believe that he came to sooner than expected and was then shot. He was a great and wonderful man and performer. God will deal with all of those involved.


July 21, 2014

They talked about a biopic movie about Sam for years. But I believe that his image after his death (accused of attempted rape) puts a damper on it. Also getting the rights to his music also plays a big role. Barbara is still alive and resides in the united states. He has fathered 8 biological children, and has 1 stepson, for a total of 9. Two have passed away. Vincent Cooke and Denise Sommerville. His children reside in different states Ohio, California, Chicago, and one of his daughters lives in Africa. His daughter Linda and her children, still are in the music business. Lindas daughters (Sam’s grands) perform in california alot, and can be found on facebook and youtube. His son Keith Bollings, had a hit in the 1970’s with the group Chee chee and peppy, if you youtube that name you can hear their songs. His other children attend their fathers yearly memorials.





HSK Exclusive


Mobitalent App