• NE Unsolved: Popular '80s musician gunned down in Dorchester


    NEW ENGLAND'S UNSOLVED – In the early 1980s, Melvin Franklin, a Dorchester man known for making music, was on top of the world as part of the group Planet Patrol. Planet Patrol is known for a song that sill gets airplay called, "Play At Your Own Risk."

    Mary Franklin remembers the first time she saw Melvin performed.

    "They were on Soul Train with the late Don Cornelius. Just wonderful. Opened up for Madonna in the 1970s," Mary said.

    Mary and Melvin Franklin wed after Plant Patrol ran its course and settled down. Melvin became the Westin's first African American doorman, and together, he and his wife raised two children.

    Melvin Franklin then worked at Northwest Airlines as a Skycap.

    On Oct. 15, 1996 around 11 p.m., Melvin Franklin was fatally shot to death near his home on Woodrow Avenue in Dorchester. Melvin was found on the sidewalk and rushed to Boston Medical Center, but he had died by the time Mary and their children arrived.

    Police never made an arrest and believe Melvin Franklin may have been the victim of a robbery gone wrong.

    "I refuse to let Melvin's death be just another minority or black man who died in the inner city streets. And he's forgotten about. No," Mary Franklin told FOX 25's Bob Ward.

    According to Superintendent Kevin Buckley, the Boston Police Department's Commander of the Criminal Investigation Division, Melvin Franklin was unconscious when officers first arrived and he was unable to give a description of his attackers.

    Buckley said nothing in Melvin Frankin's past would point to why he got killed that night.

    However, there is information on that street that says Melvin Franklin may not have been the intended target that night and that he may have interrupted a street robbery.

    Melvin Franklin's murder completely upended Mary's life. She has started a program called Melvin's Mission. It is dedicated to helping other women left reeling by homicide.

    Mary says she will never let her husband be forgotten, nor will she stop looking for Melvin's killer.

    "Whoever did this, they need to be punished for this. They took a life. They took a dad from their kids. They took a husband from his wife. They took a son from his mother. They took a friend from hundreds and hundreds of people."

    Next Up: