Tupac Shakur &
Who Killed Them?
For over 25 years, the details of the deaths of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G (Biggie Smalls) have been shrouded in mystery. They're still considered cold cases to this day. Were their deaths a result of the east coast/west coast rivalry? Was Tupac murdered by his own friend?
This episode explores the evidence compiled by retired LAPD detective Greg Kading.
*This is not an exact transcript, but rather an outline of my notes.
This case is considered solved, solved cold case? It’s like unofficially solved. Investigators pretty much know who’s responsible for the deaths of Tupac and Biggie Smalls, but weren’t able to gather enough evidence to “solve” it and close the case.
There wasn’t follow through from the police departments.
My main source for the information I’m about to give you is investigator Greg Kading.
In September 2011, he self-published the book Murder Rap: The untold Story of the Biggie Smalls & Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations. In it, he included new evidence in the rappers' murders that he said implicated entertainment mogul Sean Combs and CEO of Death Row Records, Suge Knight.
He made a documentary based on the book. I believe it’s coming to Netflix later this year. It’s also called Murder Rap.
Tupac Shakur was born June 16, 1971 in the East Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City. He was raised by his mother, Afeni, who was a leader in the Black Panther Party in NYC during the 1960-70’s.
Afeni became pregnant with Tupac while out on bail for conspiracy charges, stemming from a supposed plot to bomb department stores and police stations, she was arrested with other members of the Black Panther Party, called the Panther 21;
Afeni’s bail was revoked just a month into her pregnancy, and she ended up spending most of her pregnancy in jail. She was released just a month before Tupac’s birth.
All 21 were acquitted by a jury in May 1971, after revelations during the trial that police infiltrators played key organizing roles.
Afeni married a guy named Mutulu Shakur who was also a member of the Black Panther Party. He had a son, Mopreme Shakur, and he and Afeni would have another child, Tupac’s younger half-sister.
In 1981, Mutulu was arrested for participating in an attempted armed robbery that ended in the deaths of two police officers and a security guard.
The family then moved to Baltimore, Maryland. Afeni had a hard time working and she started using crack. This was a dark time for Tupac, but he found solace in poetry and theater, and attended the Baltimore School of Arts, which Afeni says saved Tupac’s life. Afeni raised the kids on welfare, which Tupac describes in his songs.
Near the end of high school, the family moved to California. Tupac got in touch with his step-brother, Mopreme. The two of them kind of dabbled in drug dealing, and they came up with Thug Life, which was actually this kind of code of ethics for drug dealing. It was kind of like a truce among gangs so that people didn't get caught in crossfire anymore. They were somewhat careful about crack getting into the wrong hands because like, Tupac had seen firsthand how it affected his own family.
Tupac became very focused on his music and became a roadie for the Digital Underground’s Shock G (aka Humpty Hump)
Tupac signed with Interscope Records in 1991; debut album, 2Pacalypse Now, was released in November 1991. Aside from "If My Homie Calls", the singles "Trapped" and "Brenda's Got a Baby" poetically depict individual struggles under socioeconomic disadvantage.
Tupac was said not to have always been a violent guy, but that something in him changed after the release of his movie Juice in 1992.
In ‘92 he drew a legally registered gun during fan meet & greet after a convention. This was outdoors and he’s like talking to fans and signing autographs. Some guy comes up and starts talking shit to Tupac, and things kind of became hostile and Tupac drew his gun. Idk if planned on firing it or if he was just trying to scare the guy. But he ended up dropping the gun. Someone in his entourage picked it up and it went off, and it actually shot a 6 year old boy in the head, killing him instantly.
No charges were filed, but Tupac paid the family a half-million $ settlement.
Just 8 months later, did 10 days in jail, after he swung a baseball bat at a guy named Chauncey Wynn during a concert in Michigan.
Just a few months after that, he was involved in gun battle with a couple of off-duty cops, and he shot one of them in the ass.
After a taping of In Living Color, he beat up the limo driver, who had complained about him smoking weed. He was never charged for that crime.
In Juice, Tupac played a guy who was addicted to the thrill of killing following a botched robbery. It’s said that when he saw himself playing this character at the premiere, he was never the same.
Tupac started hanging out with gang members and acting like them.
Suge Knight was one of the founders of Death Row Records. He actually started out as a football player. In fact, he attended the UNLV, the University of Nevada Las Vegas for two years, and played two games for the Rams in the NFL.
After the NFL, Knight found work as a concert promoter and a bodyguard for celebrities including Bobby Brown. In 1989, Knight formed his own music publishing company. His first big profit in the business came when Vanilla Ice (Robert Van Winkle) agreed to sign over royalties from his smash hit "Ice Ice Baby", because the song included material allegedly written by Knight's client Mario Johnson. Knight and his bodyguards confronted Van Winkle several times. There was a rumour during that time, that claimed Knight entered Van Winkle's hotel room and allegedly dangled him by his ankles off the balcony. However, Van Winkle has said that never actually happened, only that Knight threatened to throw him off the balcony; the claim was resolved in court.
At that time, Dre and The D.O.C. wanted to leave both N.W.A and their label, Ruthless Records, run by Eazy-E. According to N.W.A's manager Jerry Heller, Knight and his henchmen threatened Heller and Eazy-E with lead pipes and baseball bats to make them release Dre, The D.O.C., and Michel'le from their contracts. Ultimately, Dre and D.O.C. co-founded Death Row Records in 1991 with Suge.
It goes without saying that Ruthless Records and Death Row Records had beef.
Suge was associated with the bloods, so gang members were frequently hanging out at the Death Row studio.
In 1993, Tupac met fellow rapper Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls.
Biggie Smalls was born May 21, 1972 in the city of Brooklyn, NY. It’s said that he was dealing drugs as young as age 12. He was also a rapper and although he was getting some recognition, he wasn’t known all that much outside of Brooklyn. He flew to California and met Tupac, and they became really tight. They hung out at Tupac’s place playing with unloaded hand and machine guns while Tupac grilled steaks. They would often stay with each other when they traveled to each other’s cities. Tupac kind of mentored Biggie, giving him advice and letting him onstage to rap at his shows. Biggie actually wanted Tupac to be his manager, but Tupac instead directed him to Sean Combs, aka Puff Daddy, aka P. Diddy, saying that he would make him a star.
We’ll call him Puffy today. P Diddy sounds like poop to me.
Puffy founded Bad Boy Entertainment in 1993 and he signed Biggie, as well as other artists like Faith Evans, 112, Total, and Father MC.
Biggie’s debut album Ready to Die (1994) was met with widespread critical acclaim, and included his signature songs "Juicy" and "Big Poppa". The album made him the central figure in East Coast hip hop, and restored New York's visibility at a time when the West Coast hip hop scene was dominating hip hop music.
Meanwhile, Tupac was falling further into the criminal world. In ‘94, he did the film Above the Rim. to research he hooked up with Haitian Jack (this guy robbed drug dealers)
Even Biggie told him not to hang out with Haitian Jack.
With Haitian Jack, Tupac was charged with committing the worst act of his life.
Accused of gang rape;
In November 1993, Shakur and two other men were charged in New York with sodomizing a woman in Shakur's hotel room. The woman, Ayanna Jackson, alleged that after she performed oral sex on Shakur at the public dance floor of a Manhattan nightclub, she went to his hotel room a later day, when Shakur, record executive Jacques "Haitian Jack" Agnant, Shakur's road manager Charles Fuller and a fourth man never apprehended forced her to perform non-consensual oral sex on each of them. Shakur was also charged with illegal possession of a firearm as two guns were found in the hotel room. Interviewed on The Arsenio Hall Show, Shakur said he was hurt that "a woman would accuse me of taking something from her", as he had been raised in a household of just females and surrounded by women his whole life.
He denied it all, but admitted to being in the next room and regretted not doing anything to stop it. He was sentenced to 1.5-4.5 years in prison.
Haitian Jack plead out on two misdemeanors. In Tupac’s mind, this meant that Haitian Jack had to have been a snitch and set him up to take the fall. And he made his feelings known and called out Haitian Jack in the press.
11/30/94– Quad Recording Studios in Time Square. Coincidentally, Biggie and Puffy happened to be there at that exact time, recording on a different floor. Tupac showed up to record a guest verse for a guy named Little Shawn.
Just as he was about to get on the elevator, he was approached by 3 guys wearing Army fatigues. Tupac assumed that these were Biggie’s friends because this was the style in Brooklyn.
Just before the elevator doors opened, the guys pulled out guns. Tupac went for his gun, but as he tried to pull it out of his waistband, he pulled the trigger and shot himself instead.
The guys then beat the shit out of him and stole all his jewelry. When they left, he stumbled into the elevator and took it up. Btw Tupac would say that he was shot 5 times, but he was not. He shot himself the one time; the other wounds were from the beating and being pistol whipped.
When the doors opened, there stood Biggie, Puffy, and a friend of Haitian Jack’s named Henchman Rosemond.
Tupac later said that when he looked into the eyes of Biggie and Tupac, they looked surprised and guilty.
It’s suspected that Haitian Jack was responsible for this. Many people, including Tupac, suspected Lil’ Cease, who called ‘Pac from the 8th-floor window before he was shot. Ultimately, Tupac was certain that Biggie and Puffy were the ones who set him up.
However, in 2011, a guy named Dexter Isaac admitted to being one of the guys who beat up Tupac, adding that it was on direct orders of Henchman, working on behalf Haitian Jack.
So it was a total coincidence that Biggie and Puffy were there and they really had nothing to do with the attack. In fact, they were only there because the Bad Boy crew were friends with Little Shawn. Henchman was there because actually the manager of Little Shawn.
But Tupac believed whole-heartedly that Biggie and Puffy were the ones responsible and there was no changing his mind. To make matters worse, he went to prison almost immediately after the assault, and guys were constantly coming up to him saying “hey, I heard Biggie and Puffy shot ya!”
And then, Biggie Smalls released a song called “Who Shot Ya”, with lyrics that could be seen as a kind of admission of guilt. Specifically the lyrics “you rewind this, Big Boys behind this.”
The problem was that the song was actually recorded months before Tupac was attacked.
But it was absolutely interpreted as taunting Tupac for the shooting, and there was no talking to Tupac about it, he was like being taunted about it so he sat in prison just stewing over it.
Tupac’s bail was set at 3 million $ though, and he had nowhere near that money.
With no one to turn to, he reached out to someone he knew had that kind of money: Suge Knight.
Suge saw a big opportunity in this. He already had the best producer in LA, Dr. Dre, but now he could also have the best rapper and Death Row could be one of the biggest labels on earth.
And he agreed.
In exchange for Death Row legal services and bond, Tupac appointed Suge as his manager and signed on for 3 albums with Death Row Records. So now Suge is his manager and his label rep.
Less than a month later, Tupac’s bond was paid and he was free.
In reality though, Death Row was just loaning him the money. It was like an advance on his future royalties, further binding him to Suge.
While Suge was visiting Tupac in prison, Tupac told him all about how Biggie and Puffy were plotting to kill him.
By ‘94, Suge was even more brazen and violent. He ordered his entourage to stomp a Crip to death during a Death Row party at the El Rey theater.
In 1994,he opened a private, by-appointment-only nightclub in Las Vegas called Club 662, so named because the numbers spelled out MOB on telephone keypads, MOB standing for Member of Bloods.
Suge’s close friend and bodyguard Jake Robles (also a known Mob Piru Blood gang member) was shot at an after party for Jermaine Dupri at a club called Platinum House.
There was an altercation that got out of hand, and Suge believed that Puffy’s bodyguard was the one who fired the fatal shot. Suge Knight fully believed it was ordered by Puffy. This further ignited the eastcoast/westcoast war.
In December 1995, Suge had a christmas party at his home. He beat and tortured a record promoter (and friend of Puffy’s) named Mark Anthony Bell. He was like “let’s go talk” and they took him upstairs and tied him to a chair, and started beating him senselessly, before forcing him to drink Suge’s urine from a champagne flute.
The guy said that he didn’t drink it, he tried jumping off the balcony instead, and they beat the shit out of him.
This whole thing was basically to torture Mark Anthony Bell until he revealed the address where Puffy’s family lived. So it’s now clear that Suge Knight is going after Puffy.
At the Source Awards in August ‘95, Suge went up to accept an award. He talked about pledging to support Tupac, and publicly dissed Puffy, saying:
“Any artist out there that want to be an artist and want to stay a star, and don’t have to worry about the executive producer trying to be all in the videos, all on the record, dancing… come to Death Row!”
Puffy did insert himself into everything, into everyone’s music videos. What was huge about this was that the awards took place at Madison Square Garden, meaning that Suge did this in NYC, which is Puffy’s turf.
Suge didn’t make any threats but he had such a reputation, that he scared the shit out of Puffy after this. At this point, Death Row was totally allied with the Bloods. Before, the whole gang war started, the Crips would come to Death Row and hang out with like Snoop Dogg for example, but by now, it had been all Bloods for a while.
The Mob Piru Bloods were basically Suge’s enforcers.
A few weeks after Suge publicly dissed Puffy at the Source Awards, Puffy hired a bunch of Crips as security for Biggie’s Anaheim & San Diego shows in exchange for free tickets.
Puffy also associated with a section of the Crips that were specifically against the MOB Piru crew, which caused more friction with Death Row.
Hiring them meant that he was aligning himself with the Crips. So now there’s actual gang affiliation.
One thing to note–
Puffy wasn’t really a gangster. I mean, the same could be said about a lot of these rappers. The tough act was really just for show, and those of them who were producing music didn’t really have time to do a lot of gangster stuff.
Tupac started with his principles of Thug Life, and it wasn’t until later that he really started acting like a gangster. In fact, Tupac resonated a lot with the Quran. From my understanding, he identified as a Muslim for a while, and then as a Christian. He also encouraged those close to him to read the Quran for an understanding of life. He also turned down a role for the movie Menace 2 Society because they wanted him to play a “muslim gangster,” which Tupac said wasn’t a thing. According to him, if you are a gangster, you are not a muslim.
In my opinion, I wonder if the reason he stopped calling himself muslim was because he had become a gangster. Like perhaps it wasn’t so much that his beliefs changed as it was that he didn’t deem himself worthy of calling himself a muslim.
For the most part, Tupac, Biggie, and Puffy were just in it for the music. But Suge was very much a big bad guy.
Now Puffy had gotten involved with the Crips and started flexing. Just a couple of weeks after Suge dissed him publicly, Puffy announced to a room full of crips at Biggie’s show in Anaheim that he’d do anything for the head of Suge Knight.
It seemed like he wasn’t serious at that point, but then the murder of Suge’s friend Jake Robles happened, and Suge publicly blamed the death on one of Puffy’s bodyguards.
Puffy denies having anything to do with Robles’ death. He was actually standing right next to Suge when it happened.
But Suge was certain that Puffy was behind it.
This was partly why Tupac released the song “Hit Em Up” in ‘96.
This was the first time that someone really threatened the life of someone else so violently and calling them out so specifically.
I mean, just look at the lyrics…
“That's why I fucked your bitch, you fat motherfucker”
“They don't wanna play my song
But they want to play Fat Boy all goddamn day”
“You claim to be a player but I fucked your wife
We bust on Bad Boy niggaz fucked for life
Plus Puffy tryin' ta see me weak hearts I rip
Biggie Smalls and Junior M.A.F.I.A. Some mark-ass bitches”
“Biggie, remember when I used to let you sleep on the couch
And beg a bitch to let you sleep in the house”
But we ain't singing, we bringing drama
Fuck you and your motherfucking mama
We gon' kill all you motherfuckers
Now when I came out, I told you it was just about Biggie
Then everybody had to open their mouth with a mother fucking opinion
Well, this is how we gonna do this:
Fuck Mobb Deep, fuck Biggie, fuck Bad Boy as a staff, record label and as a motherfucking crew!
And if you want to be down with Bad Boy, then fuck you too!
“Die slow, mother fucker.”
So this was a direct attack on Biggie, Puffy, and Bad Boy.
Tupac made it clear that he was serious. This was in no way light-hearted, he wanted to kill them.
The last minute and a half is just him talking, and he’s just getting angrier and more aggressive as he goes.
According to Keefe D (friend of Puffy’s and LA crip), Puffy wasn’t going to take the chance that Tupac was serious.
Keefe D (Duane Keith Davis) was known as the president of the southside crips.
The two would meet up everytime Puffy was in LA, but as the years went, the conversations became more and more about the East/West coast rivalries. One day they had a serious conversation where Puffy explicitly offered him $1 million to kill Suge Knight and Tupac Shakur (according to Keefe D).
Some speculate that Puffy wasn’t serious, he just needed to look tough but didn’t actually expect Keefe D to kill them.
Now that Puffy was now surrounded by the Crips, maybe it made him kind of bold and he took things too far.
Either way, Keefe D took it seriously, and the word was out– Kill Suge & Tupac, get $1 million.
In July 1996, Travon "Tray" Lane, a member of the M.O.B. Pirus, was a footlocker at the Lakewood Mall south of LA with two fellow gang members. He was wearing a diamond cut medallion with the Death Row logo, which was something that Suge Knight only gave to his inner circle.
A group of crips also happened to go to that Footlocker, led by Orlando Anderson, a member of the crips who had been charged with many attempted murders, and also was the nephew of Keefe D.
Orlando wanted that Death Row necklace. It’s rumored that Puffy put out a $5,000 bounty to whoever could bring him one, (at least one 1 confidential informant corroborated this). It’s possible that Orlando just wanted it as a personal trophy.
Puffy had the crips working for him and he had been talking shit about Death Row to the crips, so it’s possible this guy was just pumped up about taking down Death Row.
The 8 crips stomped the 3 bloods, and Orlando got away with the Death Row medallion.
So now there’s a crip stomping a blood over a Death Row necklace, and Tupac would end up inserting himself into the conflict on September 7th, 1996.
On that evening, Tupac and Suge and their entourage went to see a Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
Keefe D was also there with his nephew, Orlando Anderson. They didn’t actually go there to kill Tupac, they actually went to see the fight. It was something they always did. And they also left their guns at home, so they were unarmed.
Tupac had just recorded the song “Let’s Get it On” for Mike Tyson, which was played as he entered the ring. So Tupac was absolutely hyped, he’s in his thousand dollar seats, his song is playing for Mike Tyson. He was on top of the world.
After the fight, Keefe D went to dinner with Zip. Tupac and Suge were going to Suge’s nightclub, 662. Travon Lane was with them, btw. (hes the one who got his necklace stolen)
On their way out of the MGM, Travon saw Orlando Anderson in the casino, and he went and whispered to Tupac that this guy was the one who stole his Death Row necklace and assaulted him at the Footlocker. Immediately, Tupac starts running towards Orlando asked “you from the south” and punched him, sending him to the floor. Suge and his entourage caught up and jumped in and beat the hell out of Orlando while he was down.
When they thought he’d had enough and security started coming out, they all ran out of the casino and went to their hotels.
There’s footage of the moments right before this, when Tupac’s walking through the casino apparently looking for Orlando, and he’s pumped, and a huge group of people are behind him. I’ll see if I can find it and upload it to the website.
Unfortunately, Tupac didn’t realize that the guy he was beating up, was the nephew of the guy who was allegedly just hired to kill him.
While Keefe D and Zip were having dinner, someone comes and tells them that Orlando was attacked. They instantly planned a retaliation.
Zip was the one who introduced Keefe D to Puffy. It is to be noted that Zip was Puffy’s uncle and the godfather to one of B.I.G.’s children.
And Zip thought this would be a perfect opportunity to cash in on the $1 million reward to kill Suge and Tupac.
They go to the parking lot and Zip pulled a gun out from a secret compartment in his car, and handed it to Keefe D. Zip offered to help and provide some back up, but they were like “nah, we got this.”
Everyone knew that Suge and Tupac were headed to club 662 where there would be a big charity event and Tupac would be performing; so Orlando, Keefe D, and a couple of other guys named Terrence Brown and Deondre Smith hopped into a white cadillac and went out looking for them.
Tupac and Suge decided to ride together in Suge’s black BMW, leaving their security to travel in separate vehicles. The entourage would consist of at least six vehicles.
From my understanding, they headed north on Las Vegas Blvd and were blasting music, enjoying the traffic. They were pulled over by LV police for their music being too loud.
At this moment, Orlando & Keefe D and their group hadn’t located Tupac yet. But when they got pulled over, some fans started yelling Tupac’s name and saying “look it’s Tupac, it’s Suge Knight!”
This is what caught the attention of Orlando and Keefe D before they spotted Tupac hanging out of the sunroof of the black BMW.
According to two of these female fans, Tupac told them something like “we’re going to 662, come with us.” so the girls joined the caravan.
They started following directly behind Suge and Tupac, which cut them off from their security. The security starts like signaling to tell the women to move out of the way and let security get ahead of them.
The caravan continued up LV Blvd and turned right onto E Flamingo Rd. As they approach Koval Ln, the girls’ get over into the next lane, allowing security to catch up to Suge and Tupac.
So imagine the left lane has 6 cars (Tupac’s entourage) and the second car is Suge and Tupac. The girls move into the middle lane where they’re the first car, so they’re now just in front and to the right of Tupac and Suge.
Right at the moment they passed Suge’s BMW, white cadillac that had Orlando and Keefe D in it pulled up next to Suge’s BMW.
Keefe D, on the passenger side, handed the gun to Orlando, who was in the seat behind him. Orlando leaned across the other guy in the back seat and fired the gun 9 times into the side of the vehicle.
4 of those shots hit Tupac.
Keefe said that Suge looked right at him.
The girls heard the shots and instinctively tried to pull forward and turn right onto Koval, and this white cadillac that was behind them tried to speed away ahead of them, almost causing a collision with the girls, and then both cars continue on Koval Ln.
And one of the cars with Tupac’s guards chases after the cadillac and starts shooting back, so the girls are freaking out because their car’s right in the middle of the crossfire.
One of Tupac's bodyguards, Frank Alexander, got out of his car and ran over to check on Tupac. But Suge immediately pulled away and did a U-turn and tried to flee, but one of his tires had been shot so he lost control and hit a concrete median, and ultimately lost control. Suge had been grazed by one of the bullets, in his face.
One of the cars in the entourage had a couple of members of the Mob Piru in it, and they tried to chase after the white cadillac. The cars shot at each other but ultimately, Orlando & Keefe D’s car got away.
They parked the car, stashed their guns, and then walked back to the crime scene to watch the aftermath. Then they went back to their hotel, got drunk and smoked weed all night and retrieved the murder weapon and cleaned up the shell casings the next day, and didn’t tell anyone.
When the cops showed up, they immediately thought that Suge and his crew were the perpetrators and threw them to the ground and handcuffed them as Tupac sat bleeding in the passenger seat.
Tupac was really calm. He had been shot before and he was kind of telling everyone else “it’s gonna be ok”.
When the ambulance arrived, Tupac was still conscious, but he soon slipped into a coma. He was taken to the UMC Trauma hospital in Las Vegas, where he died 6 days later at just 25 years old on 9/13/96.
Orlando was a suspect early on but with Suge and the bloods not wanting to cooperate, LVMPD couldn’t build a case. But it’s said that Orlando got back to LA and told everybody about how he killed Tupac. He bragged about it.
A relative said that he bragged about it at family gathering. Keefe D even told warned him to keep his mouth shut.
9/14/96, the day after Tupac’s death, Mob Piru Bloods met at Leuders Park and discussed the murder of Tupac at the hands of Orlando Anderson, a crip. They declared open season on the crips.
Keefe D returns to LA and meets with Zip. Puffy called Zip and handed the phone to Keefe D. Puff said “was that us?” about the murder. Keefe said “yeah that was us.” Apparently when Puffy heard the news, he was kind of pleased to hear that it was a crip who killed Tupac.
So Zip was like “ok I’ll go get that money”. After a few weeks, Keefe D was like “hey where’s that money?” and Zip was like “oh Puffy didn’t give it to me yet.”
Keefe D never got his money. It was rumored that Zip was paid the money, but he never paid the bounty to Keefe D or Orlando.
Biggie was crushed when Tupac died. Absolutely heartbroken. He wrote songs about it. He didn’t really understand what exactly happened that resulted in Tupac’s death. According to Keefe D, Biggie was never involved in any of these conversations about Tupac, only Puffy and Zip were involved.
Suge wanted to get back at Puffy for taking his greatest artist, so he decided to take Puffy’s biggest artist: Biggie Smalls. But he was caught on surveillance participating in the beating of Orlando Anderson, meaning he was violating his parole, and he was sent back to prison for 9 years, but would end up being 5 years.
Suge was desperate to get out offered Orlando Anderson $16k to testify that he wasn’t actually trying to assault Orlando, but trying to help him.
Keefe D accompanied Orlando to lawyer for this deal, and wasn't happy about it; thought he was selling out.
A lot of violence followed this and it often wasn’t on the orders of Suge Knight, it was the gangs. And regular people were getting caught in the crossfire.
Theresa Swann, a long time associate of Suge Knight, went to visit Suge in prison, and that’s where they organized the death of Biggie Smalls.
6 months after Tupac’s death, Biggie and Puffy traveled to Los Angeles on business. They were recording and shooting for the Hypnotize video, and also attended the Soul Train awards. With Tupac dead and Suge in jail, there may have been a false sense of security.
Suge knew that Biggie was going to be at the Soul Train awards, because Biggie was expected to present an award to Toni Braxton, and he’d likely be at the Vibe Magazine party the following evening.
Biggie planned to skip the party, but he wanted to network. He wanted to be an actor and there were a lot of opportunities and connections at the party.
The party was totally overcrowded. There were thousands of people, including tons of celebrities, and outside of the party, there was a crowd of people who couldn’t get in. The group started to get rowdy (this included gang members). Near midnight, the fire marshall shut the party down.
Biggie and Puffy were ready to go and headed out to their cars.
They got into their car and started heading out around 12:30ish. The entourage included 3 SUVs. Puffy in the first car, Biggie in the 2nd car, and security in the 3rd car.
Puffy’s vehicle kind of gets too far ahead and the two cars behind him struggle to catch up. A white SUV cut in between the second and third cars, and the third car then sped ahead of it again. It’s theorized this white car was involved.
Then, a dark Chevy Impala pulls up to Biggie’s vehicle and starts firing into his car.
The shooter was described as a black male, he was holding the steering wheel with his left hand, while his right hand was reaching across through the driver window while shooting the gun.
After firing, the car made a quick right onto Willshire Blvd. the security team in one car tried to give chase, but they lost them.
Biggie’s vehicle is now at a stop, and Puffy’s vehicle, which was up ahead, had done a U-turn and returned to the scene. He got out and opened Biggie’s door and saw that he had been shot and was now unresponsive.
The entourage arrived at the Cedar-Sinai hospital within 5 minutes.
1:15 am– doctors notified Puffy and Faith Evans that Biggie had died.
Autopsy report showed that Biggie had been shot 4 times. The fatal shot entered near his hip and went upward towards his shoulder, hitting his heart and lung. He likely died just moments after being shot.
Biggie’s murder was initially investigated by detective Kelly Cooper, but was later given to a team led by Russell Poole.
Russel Poole (responsible for the conspiracy theory of dirty cop work by LAPD; wrote book LAbrynth.
theory): Dirty cop David Mack and friend (Nation of Islam member) Amir Muhammad.
Mack, among other cops, was allegedly on Death Row’s payroll.
David Mack did a lot of work in regards to this investigation, he had compiled a lot of evidence and so Voletta Wallace, Biggie’s mother, used the evidence gathered to sue the LAPD for wrongful death for half a billion $$.
So now LAPD needed this case to be solved. The investigation was federalized and detective Greg Kading was put in charge of a task force to solve the murder of Biggie Smalls.
In reality though, it wasn’t so much to solve the murder as it was to clear the LAPD of involvement in the crime.
In the process of this investigation, he ended up revealing a lot more than he anticipated and finding a lead to the unsolved case of Tupac’s death.
LVMPD had done little to no work to solve Tupac’s death. They blamed failure to investigate on lack of cooperation from Suge and the bloods.
Kading debunked Poole’s theory. His theory stemmed from a phone call with jail informants and the details just didn’t add up. Amir Muhammad ended up being nobody really, just a mortgage broker and friend of David Mack’s who happened to visit him in prison.
(a guy named Michael (Psycho Mike) Robinson said shotoers name was:
Either Kenny, Keeky, Abraham, Ashmir, or Amir.
He also gave a bunch of info about Amir that did not match Amir Muhammud. This man had no gang affiliation.
He would later recant his statements and admitted to gathering this information from word of mouth by other inmates.
A big problem was that all kinds of people were calling in making claims– Oprah killed Tupac. Jay-Z killed Biggie. Theories were running rampant. Amir Muhhammud’s life was ruined by this.
Kading’s taskforce had access to a federal racketeering investigation against Deathrow which ran from 1995-2001. (The case was abandoned after 9/11)
The investigation was really slow and it took the team 2 years for them to get their first big break.
Duane Keith (Keefe D) Davis (president of the southside crips)
One of the people who took the crips from LA to national.
Kading reached out to Keefe D because he was one of the only people who was present for both the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.
Kading made Keefe D talk by making plans with the DEA and using an informant to make a fake buy for a gallon of liquid PCP. The deal went through with no problems but a few days later, Kading and a bunch of DEA agents showed up to Keefe’s house and laid all the evidence of the drug deal, showing that they had more than enough on him to put him away for life.
And then they were like “there is a way out though. We are homicide investigators….”
And that was it. They said that and then they left. They didn’t tell him what murders they were investigating.
Less than an hour after kading left, keefe’s attorney called and said that keefe was ready to talk.
Kading let him sweat for a while, like a month. They wanted him to wonder about what murder they were talking about.
The next time they met, he revealed that he was investigating the murder of Biggie Smalls. Unfortunately, Keefe said he didn’t know anything about that murder. But he did know something that would “blow his fucking mind”. He said “that one wasn’t us”.
In the past, Keefe claimed he had nothing to do with Tupac’s murder. He also was the one who claimed that Suge was the person responsible for Tupac’s death, in fear that he would leave the label.
But now he was telling Kading that that story was bs, and this is the real story:
Keefe D came to the Bad Boy record scene in ‘95.
Kading didn’t give his information on Tupac’s murder over to the LVMPD just yet, because that meant losing Keefe D as a source. Plus they knew that LVMPD didn’t really care about this case.
Now that Kading knew that Puffy was involved in the death of Tupac, he was sure that Suge was involved in the murder of Biggie. All he needed was someone to talk.
He found Theresa Swann.
Theresa Swann is her alias. She was a close associate of Suge’s and an accomplice in many of his schemes. She had committed fraud and perjury in the past and had a dozen fake identities. She’s also the mother of one of Suge’s children.
Eventually Death Row crumbled and Suge had to file for bankruptcy. There were some mastertapes and some property that weren’t included in the bankruptcy and Theresa kept them safe. They found out she was involved in Suge’s bankruptcy fraud.
Kading’s task force met with Theresa at a Starbucks. They brought in the LA County Sherriff’s dept and the IRS to apply pressure on Theresa for all the charges against her.
They met with her again at a different Starbucks and told her that they were investigating the murder of Biggie Smalls.
She started sobbing. They moved to DEA headquarters.
Theresa admitted that she knew who killed Biggie Smalls because she was the one who hired and paid the guy. under Suge’s direction.
This was named Wardell “Poochie” Fouse, and he was a friend of Suge’s and enforcer suspected of multiple murders on Suge’s payroll.
Poochie was the guy that Suge always called to take care of problem people. One time Suge called him up just because a guy was annoying him, and Poochie showed up and killed him.
Witnesses said that Poochie would show up and have a quiet, private conversation with Suge and then leave, and then soon after, someone would die. So if Suge wanted to have anyone killed, Poochie was the guy he called.
(conducting a ruse)
The police made a fake confession letter using Poochie’s alias and showed it to Theresa and made her believe he had written it from his death bed.
Theresa was terrified that Suge would find out she was cooperating with police.
She looked over it and said “that’s what happened. What Poochie said, that’s what happened.
Theresa paid Poochie $13k for the murder. The contract was for $25k, so it’s believed Theresa may have kept the other $12k for her part in the job.
There were rumors that Bad Boy owed southside crips $1 million. Some believed it was for concert security while others believed it was for Tupac’s death.
This is why Keefe was interviewed.
Orlando was among the biggest suspects in Tupac’s murder. He was arrested by LVMPD, but they were mostly only able to get circumstantial evidence and didn’t have enough physical evidence against him.
Murder of jake robles–
Interview with deputy howard off duty.
Shows howard footage and he was certain that orlando and corey were present during robles murder.
Howard also says altercation was robles vs suge and guy in powder blue jacket. Suge said “i know yoru family, i know your momma.”
Also told robles “hush, i’ll take care of it when we get back on our own turf”.
Howard confirmed person in powder blue jacket was orlando anderson.
So now Kading’s task force decides to use Keefe D’s information to take down Zip.
Rumor of Suge killing Tupac–
Other Mob members said that if they wanted to get rid of him, they could’ve kept him in jail
Combs responded to the allegation by telling Los Angeles local reporters in emails that "this story is pure fiction and completely ridiculous". Knight has not addressed the claim. Lil' Cease, a rapper and childhood friend of Smalls, told radio host Sway Calloway on the "Sway in the Morning"-show that he didn't believe Combs had ordered Shakur's shooting as Kading alleged in his book.
In response to Combs's denial of the claims, Kading said on the All-out-Attack-Podcast with Harry Robinson that Combs needs to "let the people have what they deserve, and what they deserve is the truth".
The book also details what Kading described as the behind-the-scenes failure by the LAPD to arrest Shakur's and Smalls's killers. The families of Shakur and Smalls have not responded to the allegations.
Kading was taken off the case after an internal affairs investigation. He misquoted a witness and they used that to remove him.
They never assigned new lead detective to the case, and it was shelved within a year.
Greg Kading retired from LAPD in 2010.
Judge dismissed the wrongful death suit in April 2010 as there were “no changes or new leads”.
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