Frankie Lymon: Was It Murder? Pt. 3

First let me say that I thought part two was going to be the last one but after uncovering more information I had to do part three. If you haven’t read parts one and two please do so before checking this one out.

Pt. 1 https://www.google.com/amp/s/tremg.info/2020/12/03/frankie-lymon-was-it-murder/amp/

Pt. 2 https://www.google.com/amp/s/tremg.info/2021/05/08/frankie-lymon-was-it-murder-pt-2/amp/

It’s really odd that Frankie Lymon passed away in 1968 and with all the things that point to foul play no one has ever tried to find out what really happened. No autopsy or anything proved that he overdosed but since he had an addiction to heroin in the past everyone believed it and just marked it as another celebrity overdose. The Lymon family at the time could’ve found out what happened and possibly gotten justice as well but they were probably too afraid to say or do anything because as mentioned in the previous articles Morris Levy was basically a mob gangster. If it wasn’t Morris Levy then maybe it was a drug dealer and if it was then maybe he’d threatened the family. Also if Frankie was murdered by a dealer then he was probably attacked and given a hot shot (a dose of heroin contaminated with a toxic substance), the attack would explain the bruise on his forehead. It’s also quite possible that heroin wasn’t used to kill him and whoever did it left the syringe as a cover up.

Now let’s look at Sam Bray who was mentioned in the previous articles but since then I’ve found more shocking information.

Sam Bray

Frankie Lymon & Sam Bray playing pool Ebony Magazine – January 1967

As mentioned in part two Sam Bray was the reason Frankie Lymon went back to New York even though he didn’t want to go. In the December 15, 1978 issue of “Record Digest” Bray recalled Lymon’s response when he asked him to come back, “Sam, please don’t ask me to come back to that jungle.” This shows how much Frankie didn’t want to go but after being promised a chance to record new songs and a tour in Europe he finally agreed.

In the same issue of “Record Digest” Sam Bray said that once Frankie got to NY they discussed a new song and “a new soul sound”. They then recorded the song and according to him Frankie loved it and was so excited to release it that he said “I can’t get over it”, “we picked a winner!” Seeing how enthused he was Sam said he pleaded with Frankie to keep clean but a few hours later he received a phone call from Howard Lymon(Frankie’s father) who said “our Frankie is dead.” When talking about the day of Frankie’s death Bray said that from the time he and Frankie last spoke, till the time he died “Frankie must have run into the devil himself.” Keep in mind that Frankie had been clean for quite some time and had no reason to go back to drugs especially then when he’d just gotten a new record deal and was ready to go out on the road again.

Sam revealed two more things during the interview.

1. The song that was recorded just hours before Frankie’s death had not not been released and was still in his possession.

This was in 1978 so that means the song he was referring to was not “Seabreeze” nor “I’m Sorry”, they were both released in 1969.

2. He’d recently completed a book about Frankie Lymon titled “Why Do Fools Fall”

No I didn’t mean to type “Why Do Fools Fall In Love”, Frankie’s manager who claimed to care so much about him said he’d written a book about him and named it “Why Do Fools Fall”. That seems more than a little disrespectful. Maybe he didn’t though because here we are in 2021 and no one has seen the book nor heard the song and that kind of makes you wonder was he lying about everything including the things he promised Frankie Lymon…

Now you’re probably saying to yourself “this Sam Bray character seems a bit shady” maybe but wait it gets worse. He started a record label called “Big Apple” and for some reason only one artist was signed to that label and that artist was Frankie Lymon. When Lymon died Bray stuck around for about a year to release “I’m Sorry” & “Seabreeze” and to promote the music of a former child star he aligned himself with a soon to be child star… or so he made it seem. He started managing Paul Hunt, an eight year old kid who was the son of Tommy Hunt (The Flamingos). The kid’s career never took off but Sam Bray did, he took off to Miami, Florida where he opened a small business and started a new life. This makes it look like Sam Bray was a man who had only gotten into the music business to get close to Frankie Lymon. Why though? Well as said in part two it could be that he was sent in by Morris Levy to set Frankie up and make more money off of him. The way Bray left the music business and New York was like he was saying my work here is done or mission complete.

Jet Magazine – October 2, 1969
Record Digest – December 15, 1978

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