“The greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th.” It’s about the only thing from Canibus that everyone paid attention to. Whether you agree or disagree doesn’t matter. Christopher Wallace made his mark on the world in a very short time with a powerful, albeit short catalog. That was all shattered with four shots in the night air on March 9th, 1997 on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax in Los Angeles. The case remains unsolved 15 years later, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t theories. The strongest and most supported theory so far comes from ex-LAPD Detective Greg Kading, whose book Murder Rap blows the doors wide open on both the case of Wallace’s murder and that of Tupac Shakur. In part two of our hard-hitting interview, we dispel a lot of rumors, introduce you to a lot of facts and get to the heart of the tragic murders of Christopher Wallace, Randy “Stretch” Walker, and so much more. The Book Of Revelations Volume 2: The Murder of Christopher Wallace.
Planet Ill: How many people working with Death Row were FBI agents? I know Kevin Hackie was purported to be one. How many people working for them were in fact agents? Not the police, but how many were FBI informants?
Detective Kading: Ok now that’s a better word than agent, let’s say informant. There were a number. I’m going to go ahead and say half a dozen. There were actually people that were Death Row associates that were acting as informants for the FBI. And then you had another dozen that were merely witnesses. They weren’t actively providing information but they were telling their side of the story they were providing the detailed information about the inner workings of Death Row and its associations and criminal activity. These people weren’t technically informants; they were more like witnesses.
The FBI had done a remarkable job. They interviewed hundreds of people and they were right on the verge of a really good racketeering case. But it just never came to fruition and Suge Knight, once again, escapes justice and there was a lot of information that was surfacing out of that camp.
Planet Ill: Yaki Khadafi was in the entourage when Tupac got shot and he said he saw the shooter yet he never testified. Was that [Death Row Attorney David] Kenner as well?
Detective Kading: That was Kenner as well, and Khadafi never said he could identify the shooter he thought I could identify the driver. He gives a description of the driver. It’s very vague; ambiguous. Even though he say he can identify, I doubt he’d have been able too because the description he gives doesn’t match Terrance Brown, who we know is the driver. So I think he was doing the best he could; he wanted to help. Once Kenner or the other Death Row attorney became aware that he was going to cooperate with Las Vegas Police Department, he was advised not to.
Obviously Las Vegas was very interested in talking to him, but his cooperation would have only compounded Suge Knight’s legal problems because it might have brought up the fact that people in the entourage had guns. It might have brought up the fact that people in the entourage shot down range at the fleeing Cadillac. That’s the last thing that Death Row wanted Las Vegas Metropolitan police to know.
Planet Ill: So we move on. Six months later, Peterson Automotive museum. Lot of eyes; very crowded place. There’s even an amateur video that gets the other side of the car. Biggie Smalls is murdered in Los Angeles. There’s a lot going on that night. They’re under surveillance. A few months before that, Biggie Smalls was arrested; his Teaneck apartment was raided. Weed guns and all that stuff. What were they actually under surveillance for in Los Angeles. By the FBI?
Detective Kading: It was a combination of things. You’ve got a multi-agency task force on the East Coast. A few of the things they obviously are pursuing are the narcotics and drugs that were seized out of Biggie’s house in Teaneck and of course you’ve got this Federal investigation of Puffy Combs. And Puffy was aware of this at the time. He was aware that there was this surveillance; he was aware that there was this investigation of him. And so that’s what was happening.
East Coast law enforcement was out here doing surveillance and gathering information. That’s what we [law enforcement] do. There was nobody there that night and I can absolutely confirm this. At the Peterson Auto Museum, there was no New York law enforcement at least nothing ever surfaces to substantiate that. We’ve spoken to those guys, we’ve got their logs we’re got their statements and they have no reason to lie. I know there’s a public misperception that they were there that night; they weren’t. But they had been in the days prior.
Planet Ill: There had been rumors that perhaps the seed money from Bad Boy came from nefarious places. There’s a mob rumor. There is a BMF rumor as far as seed money. Is any of that legitimate or is it just speculation?
Detective Kading: I only know those as rumors. I can’t say confirm or deny whether that’s legit. I read that same stuff and heard those same rumors. The guys from New York that were part of that Bad Boy federal investigation would be better equipped to answer that question. I don’t know. I can tell you about Death Row and its seed money.
Planet Ill: How did they manage to get Death Row from Harry O? I know his wife was carrying out that lawsuit. How did that end up anyway?
Detective Kading: That was another Kenner production. Kenner was Harry O’s attorney. And then at some point Suge Knight and Kenner marry up. Obviously it was drug money. It was coming from more than one source. There was more than Harry-O. Harry O was in prison and Suge Knight and Kenner hook up and Death Row becomes wildly successful. That’s the background it’s really that simple. That’s why Harry O ended up suing Death Row and ended up getting that $120,000,000 settlement…or at least judgments
Planet Ill: Yeah a judgment just means I owe you it don’t mean you’re getting your money!
Detective Kading: That’s a lot of zeroes on a napkin I owe you.
Planet Ill: While Suge was in jail there were rumors that he was funding Murder Inc. with Irv Gotti and those guys. Is there any real connection to that? There was some speculation that Death Row and Murder Inc and J Prince from out of Houston were going to form a coalition to distribute[records] whichis really the real power in music. Do you think that was a legitimate rumor? Were some of these incidents machinations [by the powers that be] to stop that?
Detective Kading: I would go probably with the former theory. I think it was an idea that was in progress but never came to fruition. I think Terius Carter out of BMF from out of Detroit. SO you had Carter and there was some rumors out here that he was hooking up with Suge. And you have the thing going on with Rap A Lot in Houston and whether or not that was actually funded by Harry- O.
So there was all this stuff that was being rumored and it all seemed like probably there was some kind of networking going on but I never really seemed to come to fruition. At least to the level that law enforcement could see it tangibly. You hear about it through the rumors but we never actually saw it in progress.
Planet Ill: Lil Cease is in the car. B.I.G. is in the passenger seat. Cease is sitting behind him; I think D Roc is in the car. Why don’t they cooperate? Is there something sinister afoot or is there stop snitching? I mean someone killed your friend, unless you think you got enough juice to get them back there’s really no reason to not cooperate. Is there something more to this?
Detective Kading: Yeah I’ll do my best to explain it because I don’t think there was anything nefarious about their lack of cooperation. Obviously we have Eugene Deal and the second guy the name escapes me that came out publicly and said they were told by Puffy not to cooperate. They came out publicly and said that. They said puff has basically directed us that if we cooperate we’re not going to have a place in New York.
So the fact that Puffy would have tried to suppress their cooperation raises a huge question why. Why would Puffy not want these guys to cooperate to the best of their ability IF he wants to see Biggie’s case solved? So I think that any more inquiries into Biggie’s murder is going to lead back to Las Vegas. And I think he realized that. And so all of this is a big can of worms and they’re trying to keep a cap on it.
These guys were partying; they’re all having a good time. They’re out in Los Angeles. They’re at this thing; champagne flowing blunts are getting smoked. Everybody’s having a good time. They are just literally shocked that all of a sudden they are on the receiving end of gunfire. And it’s a very shocking situation.
So Lil Cease is there, Eugene Deal is developing a theory in his head because of the confrontation in the parking lot with this so-called Nation of Islam guy and I mean these guys did the best they can under those circumstances, but really nobody saw much except that we’ve got this green Impala. And thank God for that amateur video that you mentioned which captured that actual Impala. Very, very important piece of evidence. But their cooperation was as good as it could be under those circumstances. I gotta assume that these guys are half inebriated, they’ve been partying and all of a sudden somebody is shooting at you. What the hell! So they did the best they could and then theories start to develop. And then they start asking regarding information; they’re kinda like bouncing stuff off each other and influencing each other’s statements. And that became a problem.
Planet Ill: Just to go back a bit. Stretch Walker was with Tupac when they were assailed in the lobby. A year to the day, stretch was murdered in Queens. Was that related or just random?
Detective Kading: To be honest with you, it’s an unsolved murder. I’m being told by credible sources out here that he was actually killed by a Mob Piru guy That a West Coast guy went out there and actually did that murder. I don’t know if it’s true, that’s what I’m being told by people who are in a position to know. It was never my homicide to investigate. So I can’t give a lot of details but the rumor is and it’s form a pretty good source that a Death Row guy went out there I think his name was Knob. I’m saying I think that was his name off the top of my head, went out there and killed Stretch.
Planet Ill: So obviously it’s somebody from Death Row perhaps Pac thought that Stretch was part of the setup.
Detective Kading: Right. That’s the only thing that makes sense. But again this is just speculation.
Planet Ill: Jacques Agnant spent a lot of time in L.A. After that incident. Are you aware of any of his motions or things that went on with him?
Detective Kading: Yes, as a matter of fact, Jack’s handler, one of his law enforcement handlers is a close friend of mine so I got a lot of inside details about all of that. We actually interviewed Jack when he was in federal prison prior to his deportation so I do have some insight into all of that.
Planet Ill: How did that thing develop with him, Tupac and that rape case? From my understanding, which is fairly limited, Tupac wasn’t actually to committer of that, but he watched it go down and didn’t say anything and was collateral damage. Can you expound on that?
Detective Kading: I don’t know. My instincts tell me that Pac was kind of setup. Again this is me thinking outside the box in California. I’m not in New York. I don’t really know these guys and that environment that they were in out there. In reviewing all the material it sure seems like it was a ploy to get Pac into a position where he was going to have to do what they wanted or else he’d suffer the consequences False rape allegations you’re going to suffer the consequences, being robbed. I think it was all an orchestrated attempt to get Pac under their control. That’s my instinct I don’t know if it’s true or not.
Planet Ill: For someone whose music was technically righteous at the time they went under, what were the circumstances of Pac’s signing of Death Row? Their aesthetic runs counter to what he was trying to accomplish musically. Was he trying to get off Death Row? You hear people say that But when you’re so immersed in that lifestyle, screaming MOB and all that other shit, sending Pirus out to New York to get people, did he get involved in the role a little too much? Or was he really trying to get off Death Row?
Detective Kading: That’s a complex question and you’ve really got to understand the complex person of Tupac Shakur and I can’t say I’m an expert but just from an outsider’s perspective looking in, you’ve got to consider his background, the way he came up. They type of person he was, his social perspectives and all of that. He’s a fatherless guy on the streets and all of a sudden he’s in prison and he’s probably wondering, “What the hell is happening to me?”
He gets set up now he’s in prison looking at doing serious time. He doesn’t want to do that. And here comes Suge literally a knight in shining armor. Suge Knight rescues him from this dilemma, gets him out of prison. Paid I think what was a million dollar bond. So there’s always going to be a loyalty there. You might have your differences of opinion. But you’re always going to remember who bailed you out.
So he comes out here, he gets immersed in, he take on the persona of MOB and all of that. I think eventually, he’s a smart guy, he would have gotten out of that. But as far as him leaving and having real animosity with Suge, we don’t see that. He was evolving some creative ideas with his own label Euthanasia. We know that he felt he wasn’t being paid enough or he wasn’t getting the money he was due. Every single artist in Death Row was saying that. But as far as these rumors about him getting killed over those matters that he was going to leave, or these rumors that he was having Death Row audited, it’s all bullshit. There’s nothing to substantiate that. It’s all pure speculation.
We know why the IRS audited Death Row. It had nothing to do with Tupac. And there’s nothing in the investigation by any of these insiders that was saying that Suge and Tupac had this major hostility. It was love between those two dudes. Here’s the thing. The love was so much that after Tupac was murdered, Suge Knight had Biggie murdered in retaliation. If Suge Knight is responsible for Tupac’s murder, then there is no reason whatsoever for Suge Knight to now kill Christopher Wallace. It doesn’t make any sense.
Planet Ill: I want to clear one rumor up real fast. Since they were both driving Suburbans, that Biggie wasn’t actually the target, that Puffy was the target. That’s not legitimate, correct?
Detective Kading: Yeah we don’t think that’s legitimate and I’ll give you a few reasons why. If you watch that amateur video, you can see Puffy sitting with his hat on. He’s five feet away from the murderer. The murderer is sitting in that car right next to him and he could have easily executed Puffy right then and there. He doesn’t. He waits until Christopher comes around the corner and then he shoots him.
So right then and there was the golden opportunity if Puffy had been the target. Here’s the other thing and this is a very important point. After Tupac was killed in Las Vegas, the LA Times reported that Biggie was behind it.
Planet Ill: That was the [Chuck] Phillips piece, no?
Detective Kading: Here’s the thing. Those types of media reports influence the streets. They take that as gospel. So now you’ve got a report out about Biggie Smalls providing the gun and soliciting the murder and having all to do with it. Well now Tupac is dead, Suge Knight knows that these Southside Crips are associated with Biggie by way of Death Row[Bad Boy], it’s a logical conclusion to draw, “Wow, Biggie is behind this.”
Planet Ill: So now we have the shooter [of Tupac] Orlando Anderson. How do we know who shot Biggie Smalls? How do we know with certainty that that’s him?
Detective Kading: Everybody’s going to have to define what certainty means to them. I’m certain of it. Here’s why. The girl [Theresa Swan] who gave the confession on how everything went down, she meets with Poochie on several occasions and it giving the directives to him. Pays him the money and not only agrees to it, but after the shooting meets with her again, gets more money and says, “I got to get out of town.”
So he admits essentially that yes I gotta get out of town because I killed Biggie, she’s making the payments to him. She has no reason whatsoever to lie. To lie only hurts her. Under the conditions of her confession, it makes no sense that she makes any of this up. And here’s the other stuff. We’ve got a whole theory of other individuals who were present when Suge Knight solicited other murders through Poochie. He’s the go-to guy. Even the insiders in Death Row knew that Poochie was Suge’s go-to guy in these situations.
So you’ve got this circumstantial stuff, you got reinforcing statements and then you have this confession. This is very strong evidence. This is as strong as it’s probably ever going to get. And then, of course you’ve got the car. The green Impala. Which she tells us that she had an Impala and it was an aqua colored impala. If somebody’s not going to buy that then you’re never going to convince them. It’s about as strong empirical evidence as you’re going to get.
Planet Ill: Does this testimony go with Keefe D’s testimony or was it solicited separately? What compelled her to confess?
Detective Kading: She was compelled to confess because she was in a position where she feared losing her children. Her children would have been taken from her. She was going to go to jail. She had been involved in years of fraudulent activity. Perjury. She was involved in Suge Knight’s bankruptcy scheme She was involved in forgery and fraud on some vehicles. She was involved in extortion of a vehicle that at one time belonged to Tupac. There’s a whole bunch of things that opened up an avenue to put leverage on her. When we confronted her she said okay, the jig’s up; ultimately this has all caught up with me, what can I do to help myself? And we said tell the truth.
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