Former LAPD Detective Proposes A New Theory Surrounding Tupac’s Murder
In 2003, author Randall Sullivan published a book called LAbyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., the Implications of Death Row Records’ Suge Knight, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Police Scandal. Much of the book centered around Russell Poole, a former LAPD detective who implicated fellow officers in Christopher Wallace’s (The Notorious B.I.G.) death, among other things. The story provided Heads with an explosive theory into the death not only of B.I.G., but also Tupac Shakur, suggesting Suge Knight’s direct involvement.
It was only one of a handful of Tupac murder theories that have sprung up since he was killed in Las Vegas, Nevada in September, 1996 and while some are more fantastical than others (Tupac is alive and living on an island with Elvis), others seem to have more convincing evidence behind them.
Nearly 20 years later, there has been a virtual lack of movement in even an attempt to solve the case. However, Poole’s name has resurfaced as he spearheads a movement to re-open the case of ‘Pac’s murder. In December of 2014, authors Richard “RJ” Bond and Michael Douglas Carlin published Tupac 187: The Red Knight, a book that explores the evidence and motives mentioned in LAbyrinth but takes the investigation much further, examining police documents that allegedly prove witness tampering, cover-ups, and more. Previously unreleased phone conversations and a newly unearthed confession letter in addition to contributions from Poole make the book one of the most in-depth book-shelf offerings relating to Tupac’s murder.
According to a new feature interview with VICE, Poole is convinced that the rapper’s death was orchestrated by Knight’s ex-wife (Sharitha Knight) and his former Head of Security (Reggie Wright, Jr.) who conspired to take over control of Death Row, in Knight and Shakur’s absence. Per the report, the alleged shooters were brothers Danny and Malcolm Patton (the latter being the alleged writer of the aforementioned confession letter and Lil 1/2 Dead, a rapper and fringe member of Death Row Records who had his own bone to pick with Tupac. Shakur was fatally shot in the incident at the intersection of Flamingo & Koval. Knight was reportedly struck in the head by a bullet as well, though would not be kept at the hospital, following the drive-by.
The motives, as explained in Jeff Weiss’ VICE feature, are that Sharitha Knight was facing a divorce from her then-mogul husband. Before divorce, the then-manager of Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound would own her husband’s label, which Dr. Dre had walked away from earlier that year. Wright, then Head of Security and fellow Compton, California native, would become Death Row’s acting head while Suge faced a five-year incarceration, for the very actions caught on surveillance camera the night of the Las Vegas shooting. In May of 1996, Lil 1/2 Dead released his second studio album, Steel On A Mission, which debuted at #59 on the Rap/R&B charts. The Long Beach, California MC (amicably referenced by Snoop Dogg on 1992’s “Lil’ Ghetto Boy”), allegedly had a vendetta against Shakur (per the theory) for penning elements of Tupac’s breakthrough single, 1991’s “Brenda’s Got A Baby.”
During his incarceration, Suge Knight would marry Michel’le, a Death Row Records artist, who previously had mothered a child by Dr. Dre, and been a World Class Wreckin’ Cru member. Wright severed ties with Death Row and Knight in the early 2000s, following Suge’s incarceration. Lil 1/2 Dead’s most recent musical project is 2012’s Dead Serious. Knight is currently facing life in prison for multiple charges, including a 2015 incident that left one man dead, and another paralyzed. Knight has maintained the incident was an act of self-defense.
What do you think?
As the 20th anniversary of Tupac’s death inches closer, Heads are sure to have ‘Pac’s death on their minds more than usual. Who will solve the murder mystery?