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Thursday, June 17, 2010


The story of Frankie and Johnny is one of trust and deceit leading to the death of Johnny. It has been played out with different casts and different scenarios but the result is the same; death for the unfaithful. The following is a true story of a guy gone wrong and how he paid the price.

Sam Cooke started as a gospel singer, but ended up singing Rock and Roll. Lisa Boyer was the name of the woman Sam met on the evening of December 10, 1964. She was a singer as well and she was dining with friends. Sam was to sing the last song of his life, "Good News". Apparently he offered to give Lisa a lift home, and ended up taking her to a club called PJ’s.

Sam had some sort of altercation there, and they left. He offered to take her home, but he was still fuming from the altercation and drove very fast, all the way to the Hacienda Motel on South Figueroa. The motel is gone now; and it wasn’t in a very nice neighborhood.

He registered under the name Sam Cooke, at 2:35am. The woman that signed him in was called Bertha Lee Franklin. She noticed that he was not alone, so she made him change the name to Mr. and Mrs. Sam Cooke. (You must be morally correct to sleep in a 3 dollar a night motel room.)

They got to the room, and everything fell apart. According to her testimony, Sam began ripping her clothes off, and yet still proclaiming they were "just going to talk." Lisa was positive she was going to be raped. She asked if she could use the bathroom, but the door wouldn’t lock, and she couldn’t get the window open.

When she returned, Sam was naked. He went into the bathroom after her, and she saw this as her cue to escape. Grabbing her clothes (and apparently some of Sam's), she ran out the door, and started to pound on the manager’s door. There was no answer. (Bertha was on the phone to the motel owner, Mrs. Carr) Lisa then fled, to find a phone booth, where she made a call to the cops. By the time the manager opened the door, Lisa was gone.

Lisa’s call was logged in at 3:08 am. "Will you please come down to this number? I don’t know where I am. I’m kidnapped."

Meanwhile, Sam blows a gasket. He goes to the manager’s office, positive she is in there. He pushed his way in, demanding, "You got my girl in there!" They got into a scuffle – keep in mind Sam was wearing only a sport coat at this point – nothing else. He tried to shove his way into her apartment, positive that Lisa was hiding in there. He searched it, but couldn’t find her, and then he grabbed Bertha and demanded to know where the girl was.

 Bertha seized her trusty .22 and shot Sam three times. One of the shots was made only an inch from his heart, blowing a hole in Sam’s chest, collapsing both lungs. "Lady, you shot me," were his last words.

One might say what a waste. The tragedy is it will be repeated over and over again for people will never learn.

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