Frankie Lymon is best known for his 1956 hit ‘Why Do Fools Fall in Love’. There’s no question Frankie had one of the most unique voices ever but the answer to the question of what really happened to him really remains a mystery.
Of course every article concerning Lymon’s death says he died of a heroin overdose in February of 1968. This isn’t one of those articles, in this one we’ll look at the reasons why many believe he may have been a victim of foul play.
It’s well noted that Frankie Lymon struggled with drug addiction but by 1968 he’d been clean for years and had started a new chapter in his life. He’d recently gotten married and for the most part lived a normal life in Agusta, GA. That is until his manager Sam Bray called him to come back to New York.
Of course people relapse every day but there’s more than a few red flags in this case. Let’s take a look shall we?
Let’s start with a statement from one of Frankie’s ex-girlfriends, Antonia Figueroa. In a 1998 interview with Westword she said the following. “Frankie owed money to drug dealers who collected in blood.” She then went on to say “He was starting a new life, he had everything to live for. Why would he go back to drugs. Why? Frankie was murdered. I know that with all of my heart.”
Elizabeth Waters (Lymon’s first wife) revealed that she’d seen Frankie right before he died and he seemed happy. She also said that she seen his lifeless body and there was a bruise on his forehead… perhaps there was a struggle?
All reports say that a needle was found beside Frankie’s body and not in his arm. Also there was no autopsy performed on his body.
Daughter of one of The Teenagers said that her father also believed Lymon was killed.
At this point you’re probably saying ok maybe he was murdered but why?
During a low point in his life Frankie sold the rights to his song ‘Why Do Fools Fall in Love’ to his former manager Morris Levy. In 1968 (right before Frankie passed) Levy and Frankie’s new manager Sam Bray were planning to release some of his earlier work along with new songs he’d recorded including ‘Seabreeze’ & ‘I’m Sorry’.
With Levy in full control of just about all of Frankie’s older material and with Sam Bray in control of his new projects is it possible that the two of them put something together to gain more money from Frankie’s name?
It’s also been said that around the time of Frankie’s death he and the other members of The Teenagers were getting ready to sue Morris Levy for unpaid royalties.
It’s well noted that Morris Levy was connected with the mafia.
Was it murder? Or did Frankie Lymon simply relapse when it seemed everything was finally going his way?