Real Name: Robert Gaston Fuller
Nicknames: Bobby Fuller
Location: Hollywood, California
Date: July 18, 1966
Details: Bobby Fuller was a big singing star in the Sixties; his band, "The Bobby Fuller Four" signed with Del-Fi Records and became famous with their cover of the song, I Fought the Law. By 1966, the band was headlining at hotspots throughout the country. On the night of July 17, 1966, he left in his mother's Oldsmobile. The next morning, she woke up and found that he had not returned. At 5PM, fourteen hours after Bobby had left, the car was back, parked in the vacant lot next to the apartment building. His mother found his bruised and bloodied body, which was already in deep rigor mortis, in the front seat of the car.
Next to him in the sealed yet unlocked vehicle was a one-third full gas container with a a hose attached; Bobby himself was drenched in gasoline. It appeared as though someone had tried to burn his remains but got distracted. Blood was found on his face and the car seat next to his head. The state of his body showed he'd been dead at least three hours. Based on his mother's statements, someone had to have driven the car into the parking lot after his death.
Despite the evidence, investigators were convinced that he committed suicide. At first, they believed that he had died from drinking gasoline. However, the coroner found no gasoline in his stomach. The coroner's office determined that he had died of "asphyxia due to inhalation of gasoline," There were also discrepancies in the coroner's report. One page listed his death as an "accident" while another page had question marks next to "accident" and "suicide". Injuries on his body, including a broken finger and other bruises, suggested that he had been assaulted before his death.
Worse yet, evidence was destroyed or discarded and the vehicle was never dusted for prints. Bob Keane of Del-Fi Records witnessed one of the investigators throwing the gas can into the garbage. When asked why the can was being thrown away, the investigator said that Bobby was "just a rock-and-roll punk who killed himself". His family believes that investigators incorrectly assumed he committed suicide because his mother stated that he was upset around the time of his death. However, she and the rest of his loved ones stated that he was not depressed or suicidal.
Bob Keane did recall that he and Bobby had gotten into a disagreement about his music sounding too much like his idol, Buddy Holly. However, he does not believe that this upset Bobby enough for him to kill himself. Rumors began to swirl that Bobby may have been murdered because his girlfriend, Melody, had connections to the mob. Bobby's drummer, Dalton Powell, had been confronted by three violent guys looking for Bobby before the murder. Others said Bobby was depressed over a cancelled tour. However, the full circumstances surrounding his death are yet to be revealed.
Suspects: No known suspects; however, his family and friends believe that his death may have been related to his girlfriend Melody. No one knew Melody very well and the couple's relationship was apparently clandestine. Some people believed that they kept the relationship secret because Melody's boyfriend, who allegedly had ties to the mob, was still involved with her.
According to Bobby's brother Randy, the couple planned to go to a party at a beach on the night before Bobby was found dead. Melody apparently drove him to the party, where people allegedly were drinking and doing drugs. Rumors circulated that Bobby died of a drug overdose or a fight while at the party and his death was covered up because other celebrities were at the party. However, no drugs were found in his system.
Extra Notes: This segment originally aired on the October 18, 1996 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Unresolved. On the night of the broadcast, Bobby's girlfriend Melody called the telecenter. Although she confirmed several facts in the story, she did claim that she did not date anyone who had ties to the mob, and that she was not with Bobby the night he died. However, she also believes that Bobby did not commit suicide.
Years later, Bobby's death was changed from "suicide" to "accident", and his family now hopes that his body will be exhumed in order to find out what happened to him.
In a 2015 book co-written by Randy Fuller, it is theorized that Morris Levy, the Roulette Records owner known for his strong-arm tactics and Mafia ties, was involved in Bobby's death. In 1966, Bob Keane signed a deal with Roulette to distribute Bobby's music. Randy believes that his brother may have been killed because he wanted to back out of a business deal with Levy, who died in 1990. However, this theory has not been confirmed.
- Bobby Fuller on Unsolved.com
- Bobby Fuller on Wikipedia
- The Death of Bobby Fuller
- Bobby Fuller's mysterious death explored in new book
- The short life and mysterious death of Bobby Fuller
- New Book May Finally Put to Rest the Mystery of Bobby Fuller's Death
- 50 Years Ago: 'I Fought the Law' Singer Bobby Fuller Dies Mysteriously
- Facebook link
- Bobby Fuller on Find a Grave