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Details on Overdose Death of Gene (Big Daddy) Libscomb

May 11, 1963 - A 25-year-old drinking companion of Gene (Big Daddy) Lipscomb (pictured with a fan in 1961), outstanding defensive tackle of the NFL, told police today that he and Lipscomb were “shooting” heroin just before the athlete died yesterday. Timothy N. Black, in whose West Baltimore apartment the 31-year-old Lipscomb’s unconscious body was found, has been charged with possession of narcotic paraphernalia. He faces a preliminary hearing tomorrow. Maryland’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Russell S. Fisher, said the “presumption is that this man is dead as a result of an overdose of narcotics, possibly accidentally injected.” Captain Joseph F. Carool of the Baltimore narcotics squad said the sequence of events, according to Black’s statement, ran as follows. Black and Lipscomb, after spending Thursday evening with two girls in Black’s apartment, went out, bought a quantity of heroin, and returned with it to Black’s apartment. Lipscomb, Black said, filled a homemade syringe with a mixture of heroin and water and injected it into a vein in his arm. Black said Lipscomb collapsed almost immediately. Black said he had known Lipscomb for more than a year, but the 284-pound, 6-foot-6 tackle had been on heroin only for a few months. Black told police Lipscomb had gone to the West Coast several months ago and was “mainlining” heroin when he came back. Mainlining is the injection of a narcotic directly into the blood stream.


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