A Guide to The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur Murder Conspiracy Theories

Who shot ya?

By – Ben Smith

Today marks the 19th anniversary of the murder of Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G., inarguably one of the most gifted hip-hop lyricists of all time. Sadly, his legacy as an artist will always be tied to the circumstances of his death, and the similar drive-by shooting death of his friend turned rival Tupac Shakur, which happened almost exactly to the day 6 months earlier.

No one has ever been arrested for either crime. This is an incredulous statement. Both men were music superstars that sold millions of records. They were gunned down in major cities, in plain sight, with one must assume countless witnesses. As Chris Rock once joked, “Tupac was gunned down on the Las Vegas Strip after a Mike Tyson fight. Now, how many witnesses do you need to see some sh-t before you arrest somebody? Sh-t, more people saw Tupac get shot than the last episode of Seinfeld.”

In the absence of any definitive answers or evidence, a cottage industry of conspiracy theorists, journalists and investigators has filled the holes left by law enforcement indifference and the streets’ code of silence. The most popular suspects for both murders seem to be the Crips and Bloods street gangs, however the motives and particulars vary from one book, article and DVD to the next. The following is a timeline of important moments related to both murders and the roots of each particular conspiracy theory. Hopefully one day the truth will be revealed and the families of the deceased will get the justice they deserve.

September 7, 1996

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Tupac Shakur is shot repeatedly while riding passenger in a car with Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight, in Las Vegas, Nevada. They are in town to attend the Bruce Seldon vs. Mike Tyson boxing match at the MGM Grand. Earlier in the evening Shakur, Knight – who is a reputed member the Bloods street gang, and their entourage assaulted Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, an alleged member of the South Side Compton Crips gang. The attack is in retaliation for the robbery of a Death Row Records associate several months prior. Shakur dies from his injuries on September 13th. His body is cremated the next day. The Las Vegas Police initially say Anderson is not a suspect in the slaying, though he is held by police a month later in Compton, California, which has seen a surge in gang violence following the rapper’s death. No charges are ever brought against him or any other suspects in the slaying.

November 5, 1996

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