The final nail in Biggie’s coffin was hammered down last week as the FBI has decided to close its investigation into the rapper’s 1997 murder. Federal prosecutors reviewed the evidence and concluded there was no basis for prosecution, Louis J. Caprino Jr., acting head of the criminal division of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said in Friday’s editions of the “Los Angeles Times.”
The Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was shot to death in March 1997 in front of hundreds of witnesses as he left a music industry party in Los Angeles. Investigators have pursued various theories, including one that the killing was a retaliatory hit following the murder of Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas the year before. Biggie represented the East and Tupac the West in a much-hyped East vs. West hip hop rivalry.
The FBI had also spent 18 months investigating the possibility that a rogue Los Angeles police officer working with Death Row founder Marion "Suge" Knight had orchestrated B.I.G.’s killing. Knight, whose Death Row Records boasted Tupac as a signed artist, denied any involvement.
Investigators had said the officer, David Mack, owned a car matching the description of one seen speeding from the murder scene. A witness had also placed him at the scene hours before the murder.
However, detectives abandoned the rogue cop theory after other information gathered by investigators did not support it. Mack, who has since been imprisoned for robbing a bank, has denied any involvement in the killing. FBI officials dropped the probe in January after learning the lead agent on the case had talked with lawyers for Notorious B.I.G.’s mother, who is suing the Los Angeles Police Department for allegedly covering up police involvement in her son’s slaying.
Voletta Wallace’s suit, which seeks unspecified damages, is scheduled to go to trial April 12 in federal court in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Perry Sanders, an attorney for Mrs. Wallace, isn’t buying the FBI’s explanation of why they backed off the case. He told the “Times” that the LAPD "exerted political pressure on the FBI to lay off the case."
But Assistant FBI Director Richard T. Garcia denied this claim.
“No one at the FBI was asked or directed to stop anything,” he said. “This investigation was reviewed diligently by [Carson’s] boss on a regular basis and the results were submitted to the U.S. attorney’s office. They determined that the evidence was insufficient for prosecution. So we dropped it.”
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