FBI releases 'secret' reports on hip-hop's Notorious murder case

Agency investigated links between killings of rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur

Even at the time it seemed like a conspiracy theory of the highest order, but a trove of documents released by the FBI yesterday shows that the agency took seriously the suggested link between the 1990s murders of two of hip hop's biggest stars

Posted on an FBI website in response to a Freedom of Information request, the papers show that the agency was engaged at the outset of its investigation in searching for links between the death in the 1997 of Brooklyn's Notorious B.I.G, also known as Biggie Smalls, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, and the murder just a few months earlier in Las Vegas of another hip hop star, Tupac Shakur. Almost a decade and a half later neither the Los Angeles murder of Wallace or of Shakur has been solved and the twin mysteries of their violent deaths continue to grip the hip-hop scene.

The papers also confirm that the FBI received tip-offs from informants pointing to an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. They describe what appears to be solid ballistic evidence linking the killing to the officer, whose name, like many other identifying details, was redacted from the documents before their posting.

Even if the FBI long ago closed its investigation leaving the case cold, the new information will again shift the spotlight on the LAPD officer. Other passages in the documents, when cross-referenced with information already in the public domain, make clear he is David Mack, who soon after the Wallace slaying was convicted and sent to prison for a bank heist. He was unsuccessfully targeted in a wrongful death civil suit by the Wallace estate in 2007.

The documents, 400 pages of typed reports, subpoenas, surveillance logs and emails, do not appear to offer any entirely new information. But they do add fresh details and context, including confirmation that the bullets used to kill Wallace were extremely rare metal-piercing bullets manufactured in Germany and only available from two US suppliers, in California and in New Jersey.

The FBI also followed leads suggesting that Wallace may have been killed in retaliation for the slaying of Shakur, or that his murder was inspired by a bitter rivalry between the East and West Coast rapper camps or even between the two main record labels on each side of the country, Death Row Records in Los Angeles founded by Marion "Suge" Knight and P. Diddy's New York-based Bad Boy Entertainment.

Wallace had just left a music industry event at a Los Angeles museum in March 1997 and had settled in the back seat of a car waiting outside when someone in a black Chevrolet Impala drew up alongside and opened fire, the documents say. The rapper was declared dead at the scene.

Mack has always denied any involvement in the Wallace case as have both Knight and P. Diddy. Yet the documents serve as a reminder of the many leads that at least appeared to cast his protestations in doubt. Bullets of the same kind used in the slaying – Gecko 9mm – were found his home. He had known ties to Marion Knight and had a shrine to Tupac Shakur in his home. He also owned a black Chevrolet Impala.

The FBI said there was nothing significant about the timing of the release of the documents and the LAPD confirmed that for now it has no new leads. "We have followed up on all of the leads we have at this time to the best of our ability," noted Captain Kevin McClure. "If anything new comes along we will certainly look at it."

Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

Arts and Entertainment
Dapper Laughs found success through the video app Vine

comedy Erm...he seems to be back

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)

tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Arts and Entertainment
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly flanking 'Strictly' winners Flavia Cacace and Louis Smith

tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect