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Nancy Grace

Who Killed Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls?

Aired August 23, 2013 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tupac Shakur was and is an icon. He`s to the point where you just see his likeness on the front of a T-shirt, and everybody knows it`s Tupac. He was gunned down at age 25, such a young age. But he has affected the lives of so many.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A leading proponent of West Coast-style gangsta rap, Tupac Shakur had an explosive impact in recording studios, on movie sets and on the streets. Shakur`s rapping was released on the controversial label Death Row Records. He came to the attention of a wider audience in 1993 when the family of a slain Texas policeman sued the record company, claiming his music induced the killer to action. By that time, he had made his first film appearance in Ernest Dickerson`s (ph) "Juice."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want respect, you got to earn it!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You damn right! You got to be (INAUDIBLE) stand up and (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the 1993 John Singleton film "Poetic Justice," Shakur co-starred opposite pop singer Janet Jackson.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Shakur seemed to spend as much time in courtrooms and jail cells as movie sets. A 1993 confrontation with two off-duty Atlanta police officers led to charges that were later dropped. In 1994, he was sentenced to 15 days in jail for assault and battery on a music video producer.

In November of 1994, he was shot five times and robbed of $40,000 worth of jewelry in the lobby of a New York recording studio. In 1995, Shakur he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a female fan in a New York hotel room. He served eight months before winning release pending his appeal. In 1996 a judge ordered him to serve 120 days in jail for probation violations. An appeal was pending.

When the rapper appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards three days before the Las Vegas shooting, he explained why he stayed in touch with members of his posse by two-way radio.

TUPAC SHAKUR, RAPPER: Well, today, every young black man needs to be physically inclined and military-minded. And this is part of the military mind. The soldiers are out there. I`m not the same guy that will come to the awards, have a problem with somebody and whup their ass in front of everybody.

So now I got -- right here, I see a problem, we quelch it. It`s out. No big fires, just small, little, tiny sparks that can be put out. That shows my growth. It shows, you know, our brain power, so it`s the organization and not just Tupac, but Death Row as a whole.


GRACE: Tupac Shakur was actually born Lesane Parish Crooks in New York. He then morphed his name to Tupac Shakur, and then ultimately just to Tupac.

Now, even though he became the epitome of West Coast rapper, again, Shakur was born in New York. He had a hard-knock life. It was not easy, his parents involved heavily in the Black Panther movement. They moved around several times during his youth.


SHAKUR: My name is Tupac Shakur, and I attend Taylor Paya (ph) High School and I`m 17 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you like being 17?

SHAKUR: It`s, like, 17`s such a weird age. (INAUDIBLE) in the middle age. You`re not 18 yet, and you`re older than 16. But I like it. It`s nice.

It was like I was given the responsibility before I wanted it, and so now I can`t really differentiate what great responsibility is because I`ve had it for so long. You know, so she taught me how to be ready for it. And so that`s good, and I think it`s good because I know that -- and it`s taught me that when you get out there, the responsibility is staggering. And I`m ready -- I`m going to be a little more ready than someone who`s grown up in Disney World, you know, with Santa Claus is coming. And so you know, I think I`m growing up good in all sense of the word. I think I`m growing up to learn about responsibilities and everything.

But frequently, teenagers are stereotyped in being loud, music-loving, girl-chasing, car-wanting, not caring about the world, cokeheads, you know, drinking coke and smoking and being drug addicts.

And I mean, in some ways, we are. I mean, I chase girls with the car and loud music, but I like to think of myself as really being socially aware, and not just socially aware as being trendy, you know, (INAUDIBLE) not that. I really think that teenagers, they got a lot of responsibilities and a lot of burdens because, in fact, we`re not -- I mean, we`re given a horrible world. We`re given -- the gift that we`re getting when we got to take over is horrible.


GRACE: That`s an interview with Thug Angel (ph).

The situation was so awful, so violent in the streets of Baltimore that his mother actually sent him across the country to the West Coast in the hopes that she could help him escape gang violence in Baltimore.

When you hear about East Coast-West Coast wars between rappers -- Shakur was gunned down as a West Coast rapper, but he was actually from New York. That`s the irony of his murder. Also, the irony that his mother, who loved him very, very much, sacrificed being with him to send him away to save him, when the reality was, that`s where he met his death.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know if the direction will change. I hope that it will. I plan to be an agent to help it change, but I don`t know if it will or not. If it`s the grace of God, then we will. And if it`s not, then we won`t.

ROLONDA WATTS, HOSTS OF "SUNDAYS WITH ROLONDA: He had a charisma about him. He had a smile about him. He -- when he walked in a room, you knew that this was a power, that there was a very special magnetism about him. And he was quite an artist, and he was getting all of the attention and finding a positive way at that time to express himself, despite his tough background.

SHAKUR: I was loving that somebody came and said, Tupac, you`re a great actor. You know, You did a great part. So now I want to, you know, do that even more and do other parts. I want to do better parts. Like, I want a "Terminator 2" role or something, something different so people can really see the diversity because even now, I think some people are going, Well, wait a minute, that`s just him being him. How hard is it to be crazy? You know, now I want to do something, you know, sane, or I want to be in love or something so people can see the diversity of what I can do.


GRACE: That`s from Viacom`s MTV News.


WATTS: Hip-hop music came along around the same time as the Black Panther Party was starting to get noticed, as well, and the Black Panther Party was in some ways a threat to the United States government.

There were people who thought that that this music that Tupac Shakur was singing did not belong in this society. Those words came from our vice president, Dan Quayle. There were others who felt that it was giving permission to an angry segment of America to go out and shoot cops, blow them away.

There were people who were very concerned about what this was doing. In fact, there were people -- there was incident where a young man said that he was incited by Tupac`s music to go out and shoot.

And there was a tremendous concern not only among government officials, who were concerned about militant groups like the Black Panthers, but people who were also in the community concerned about what really was another situation of black genocide among young black men when this warfare and all of this gang talk started cropping up, and crime became so glorified. This was very threatening.


GRACE: Tupac Shakur`s first solo album came out in `91. He had gone to the single name Tupac. And he shot up the charts. The lyrics of his work dealt with drug dealing, racism, police brutality, single mothers, what African-Americans had to deal with.

He saw the world through a set of eyes that many people had never experienced. And the establishment, not just white establishment, African- American establishment, but particularly even Washington, came out against Tupac Shakur. Dan Quayle, our vice president then, blasted Tupac and said that lyrics like his did not have a place in our society, instead of realizing that lyrics like his highlighted a segment of our society that desperately needed help.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Together we`re going to push back darkness and we`re going to let the light shine in Baltimore! Let`s do it today!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today we want a miracle!



GRACE: Tupac Shakur, true, rapped about violence and guns and drugs, the world that he lived in. But he was not just a street rapper. This guy had so much talent. He even crossed over onto the big screen. He starred back in `92 in "Juice," about urban violence. That was with Samuel Jackson and Queen Latifah. He also starred in a movie with Janet Jackson, as I recall. That was "Poetic Justice," in the mid-`90s when that came out. And he was great. He was a scene stealer.


SHAKUR: (INAUDIBLE) phone number.


SHAKUR: Lucky.



JACKSON: Come here, Lucky. I want to whisper something to you.


GRACE: That`s from Sony Pictures` "Poetic Justice."

I`m not saying Tupac Shakur was an angel. He was anything but an angel. He`s got a rap sheet. Let`s see, it goes back -- there was a concert in Michigan where he beat a local rapper with a baseball bat, all right? That`s aggravated assault. Then there was another attack about a year later on a music producer. That was an assault. Then a 19-year-old woman accuses Shakur and three of his friends of a sex assault on her.

The next thing you know, he`s in New York in a recording studio and he is ambushed, shot five times in a New York recording studio. It had to be a setup. He`s robbed of all of his gold jewelry. He lives. This is not when he was murdered. He lives after taking five bullets, getting robbed of all of his gold jewelry.

It was an ambush, all right, set up, planned, orchestrated, hence the bad blood, East Coast/West Coast. This happened, coincidentally, again in a New York sound studio.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It took the jury just a short time to convict Ronald Ray Howard (ph) of capital murder, but attorneys expect sentencing to last perhaps as long as three weeks. That`s because jurors will be asked to consider what type of influence rap artists like this one had on Howard.

This rapper is called Tupac, one of Howard`s favorites. And attorneys are both sides say it`s music like this that encourages young, troubled black men to kill cops. That`s what the 7th grade dropout has been convicted of doing. He`s charged with killing trooper Bill Davidson (ph) in April of 1992 near Victoria. Davidson had stopped the teenager in a stolen Blazer that had a burned-out headlight. Howard said he felt he was being picked on because he was black.

Several of Tupac`s songs talk about problems the black community has with cops.


GRACE: Now, I want to get back to the sex assault claim. Remember the 19-year-old woman that claims Tupac Shakur and some of his friends assaulted her? So he gets four years, four-and-a-half years behind bars.

He`s behind bars. He gets a visit from Suge Knight, a famous, famous rapper. Suge Knight offers him a recording deal, and if he will sign a recording deal with Suge Knight, then Knight will pay for the appeals process. Tupac Shakur walks out of jail on a $1.4 million appellate bond financed by Suge Knight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He helped launched the careers of such artists as Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre, but this afternoon, Suge Knight is here in the hospital after being attacked at a post-all-star game party. Scottsdale police got the call from security at the W Hotel around 3:30 in the morning. When officers arrived, they claim to have found two men pummeling hip-hop mogul Marion (ph) Suge Knight. Recorder producer Digger Dan Lee (ph) says he saw the whole thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone was (INAUDIBLE) and it was such a quick spurt (ph), like, by the time you really turned around, it was just a mob of individuals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators allege as Knight left a VIP party at the W, he got in a fight with 38-year-old Robert Carnes, Jr., a member of hip-hop star Acon`s (ph) camp.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as the hip-hop world, unfortunately, that is part of it. And it`s really the fake (ph) part of it that`s a reality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police alleged Thomas Anderson joins Carnes, and together they attacked Knight so hard, officers had to taser the men to get them off him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t know what it was about. Most likely, it had something to do with business and it got out of hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knight had to go to the hospital because of the beating he suffered. Police hauled Carnes and Anderson off to jail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They did exactly what they accomplished (ph) to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to get some press out of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They got some attention. Somebody`s going to say something. These was the cats that got involved with Suge. Suge has a name worldwide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knight is said to have multiple broken bones around his eye socket. As for Carnes and Anderson, they remain behind bars in the Scottsdale jail. I`m Tim Vester (ph), ABC 15 news.



GRACE: About one year after Tupac Shakur gets out of jail, makes it big, goes platinum times five -- he`s riding high. It`s Saturday night, September 7th, MGM Garden arena, championship fight between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon, Tupac Shakur sitting on the front row with Suge Knight. Mike Tyson comes out into the arena with Tupac Shakur`s song "Knock You Out" blaring. Tyson wins the fight. That is the night Tupac Shakur is gunned down.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flashing police lights quickly replace the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip and police try to piece together the shooting of rap star Tupac Shakur, seen here recovering from a New York shooting back in 1994. Just after the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon fight, Shakur, along with record company executive Marion Suge Knight, headed for a nightclub along with about 10 other cars. But while stopping at this intersection, a car with four people pulled up and opened fire on Shakur and Knight.

Tourist Page Huff (ph) was one of hundreds nearby when gunfire broke out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were just hanging out, taking photos at the time. We ran up the street as cops were running past us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Huff soon ran to the scene. As you can see from her home video, crowds and the police began searching for answers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We didn`t know if we`d heard gunshots or -- we didn`t really know exactly what we heard. We heard a lot of screaming, a lot of cars screeching.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Soon Tupac, along with Knight, were rushed to the hospital, Tupac suffering multiple shots to the chest, Knight only a minor wound.

Friends and family have gathered here at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas to wish well Tupac Shakur. He`s returned to the intensive care unit tonight after another surgery, still listed in critical concern. I`m Kyle Ebosh (ph), reporting in Las Vegas, channel 5 news at 10:00.



GRACE: So that night, September 7th, Tupac Shakur, Suge Knight leave the MGM after the fight. He`s heavily guarded with bodyguards. They get into a convoy of cars. They`re driving a black BMW. They`re en route to Tupac performing at Club 622 there in Vegas.

En route from MGM Grand and Club 622, they`re pulled over by police. Suge Knight`s car is pulled over, pulled out of this convoy. And the reason for that was police say his radio was too loud and he had an obscured tag. Suge Knight, Tupac kid around with police. They settle the problem. They go on to Club 662.

They keep going down a Las Vegas boulevard. They stop at an intersection. Tupac Shakur is flirting with women outside, talking to everybody. Everybody is having a good time. Nobody notices a white vehicle, a white Cadillac, pulls up. An arm comes out of the window with a semi-automatic, aims directly at Tupac Shakur. He takes five bullets.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Las Vegas, September 7th, 1996. Mike Tyson is fighting Bruce Seldon at the MGM Grand Hotel. Multi-platinum rap artist Tupac Shakur is there to watch Tyson, his friend. After the fight, Shakur rode with his boss, Suge Knight, the CEO of Death Row Records, to a party just off the Las Vegas Strip. Their security team went in separate cars.

Knight was behind the wheel, Shakur in the front passenger seat, when, witnesses, say a white Cadillac pulled up next to them at the intersection of Flamingo and Coval (ph). Witnesses then say a gunman in the Cadillac extended his arm out the back seat window and fired a semi-automatic pistol at Shakur from close range.

After the shooting, the white Cadillac made a right-hand turn here on Coval, speeding away. Suge Knight with Tupac bleeding in the front seat made a U-turn on Flamingo and started driving back towards the Strip.

Two police officers who were on duty heard the gunshots, but when they responded, they followed Suge Knight and Tupac, which allowed the white Cadillac to get away.

There were several possible motives for the murder. Three hours before the shooting this MGM casino surveillance video shows Shakur, Suge Knight and their entourage attacking Orlando Anderson, an LA-area gang member. Many believe that Anderson, seen here after the beating, and his friends shot Shakur in retaliation.

CNN asked Anderson about the accusation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you involved in any way in the death of Tupac Shakur?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I was not involved.

ROWLANDS: Anderson was shot and killed months later in a gang-related shooting.

Another theory focused on the gangster world that Tupac sang about. Many believe the murder was part of an East Coast-West Coast rap war and a dispute between Shakur and this man, a one-time friend named Christopher Wallace (ph).

Made famous with his hits bike "Big Poppa," Wallace, a New York rapper, was known as Biggie Smalls or Notorious B.I.G.

There had been an ongoing public feud between Biggie`s record label, Bad Boy Entertainment, run by Sean Puffy Combs, and LA`s Death Row Records, run by Suge Knight, which represented Tupac.

Six months after Tupac`s shooting, Biggie Smalls came to California to promote an upcoming album. During an interview with San Francisco radio station KYLD, Smalls denied any involvement in Tupac`s death and seemed to want to put any rap war to rest.

BIGGIE SMALLS, RAPPER: I`m just getting over, you know, seeing this whole situation with this East Coast-West Coast things (INAUDIBLE) I just came over, you know, saying, like, basically, squash it.

ROWLANDS: Four days later, on March 9th, 1997, Biggie Smalls was shot and killed in Los Angeles. Smalls was leaving a music industry party. He was shot at a busy intersection while riding in the passenger seat of this Suburban. The shooting was eerily similar to Tupac`s six months earlier.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Given the fact that they were both gangster rap artists, naturally, our people will be contacting the Las Vegas authorities to see if there`s any connection in the two.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where this blue vehicle is where Biggie`s Suburban was. He was stopped just like this vehicle right here.

ROWLANDS: Former LAPD detective Russell Poole (ph) was one of those assigned to the Biggie Smalls case. Witnesses say the gunman looked like this. He was alone, drove up next to Smalls, and shot him at close range. Poole is convinced that Suge Knight ordered Biggie Smalls`s murder, even though Knight was behind bars at the time. He also believes that off-duty LAPD officers who were working for Knight`s Death Row Records helped plan the murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suge Knight ordered the hit. Reggie Wright (ph), Jr., the head of security for Wrightway (ph) Security and Death Row, organized the personnel to plan the hit. And I believe police officers were a big part of the hit.

ROWLANDS: Poole says he believes Suge Knight also had Tupac Shakur killed because the rapper was planning to leave Knight`s Death Row Records. Poole says he retired early from the LAPD out of frustration because of this case, saying the department didn`t allow him to pursue leads that involved other cops.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I was getting too close to the truth. I think they feared that the truth would be a scandal.

ROWLANDS: Poole later assisted Biggie Smalls`s mother in a lawsuit claiming LA police covered up officers` involvement in the shooting. Bernard Parks (ph) was the chief of police when Poole was investigating. He`s now an LA city councilman. He tells CNN Poole`s accusations are, quote, "absurd," saying, quote, "We would have never ignored a lead that could have helped us solve that murder."

We couldn`t get Suge Knight to sit down for an interview, but he has told CNN he had nothing to do with either murder. Reggie Wright, Jr., did agree to appear on camera. He was Death Row Records`s head of security, who says he ran the company while Suge Knight was in prison.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you have anything to do with Tupac`s murder?




ROWLANDS: Wright says he believes that Tupac was simply killed in retaliation for the casino fight, and Suge Knight, whom he says he no longer talks to, was not involved.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know that he 100 percent had nothing to do with the murder of Tupac Shakur -- Suge, Suge Knight. Biggie Smalls, I honestly do not know.

ROWLANDS: Both the Los Angeles and Las Vegas police departments say the investigations into the shootings of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls are ongoing. Ted Rowlands, CNN, Las Vegas.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The shooting has been surrounded by mystery. Now, following a lengthy investigation, "Times" reporter Chuck Phillips (ph) has some answers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was shot by a gang called the South Side Crips, who were from Compton.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Phillips`s sources say Suge Knight had hired members of a Compton gang, the (INAUDIBLE) Bloods, to act as bodyguards. Two hours before the shooting, Knight, Tupac and the Bloods were leaving the Tyson fight at the MGM Grand when they spotted and beat up a member of a rival gang, the South Side Crips. The man they beat up was 21-year-old Orlando Baby Lane (ph) Anderson.

He then got together with other members of the South Side Crips and put in a call to Notorious B.I.G., who was also in Vegas for the Tyson fight. Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac were engaged in a long-running feud. Chuck Phillips reports that his information points to Notorious B.I.G. agreeing to pay for the murder of Tupac Shakur.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to the people involved, he was staying at the MGM Grand in a penthouse under a false name. And he -- they say, We`re going to -- we`ll kill him for a million bucks. And he agrees and he provides a gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Phillips reports that Orlando Baby Lane Anderson took the gun supplied by Notorious B.I.G. and opened fire on Suge Knight and Tupac Shakur. The shooting, Phillips reports, was in retaliation for the beating Anderson had received. The allege payoff from Notorious B.I.G. was just a way of making some money while striking back at the Bloods. In the months to come, both Notorious B.I.G. and Baby Lane Anderson would be shot and killed in the Los Angeles area.


GRACE: Then just one year later, another murder rocks the rapping community, Notorious B.I.G., Notorious BIG, also murdered. Now, Big was born Christopher Wallace in Brooklyn, New York. He was a doper. He was a drug dealer. He was discovered by Sean Puffy Combs. At least, that was his name at the time. He shot to stardom with his very first debut album, which was "Ready to Die." "Ready to Die" basically told Big`s own life story, going from doper to rapper.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) what are you doing? You saying your prayers?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Praying that card (ph) teaches you how to (INAUDIBLE) .

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You ain`t got nothing I haven`t seen!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re going end up like those worthless bums you hang with. Don`t you see that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of you is going down for carrying an illegal firearm. You decide who.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This (INAUDIBLE) you got going on, they don`t come around every day. If you make it, we all make it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if I don`t make it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not going back on the block, not if I take this bid (ph) for your ass.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell Puff I`m down with chasing the dream. Whatever he want me to do, I`m in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got sex appeal like (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little bigger than that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What, like heavy d (ph)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, a little darker than that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, he look like Wesley Snipes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The West Coast, they got Snoop. They got Dre. The East Coast, they just waiting for somebody to fill that void.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Plus, maybe in the right hands, I could be one of the greats.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you a bad guy trying to be good?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you seeing anybody?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m someone trying to make you laugh.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whatever you say, Big Poppa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of grown-ass man calls himself Puffy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By the time you`re 21, I`ll make you into a millionaire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just keep an eye out for the media, for the public and for your fake-ass friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give it up for Notorious B.I.G.!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell him he needs to visit his daughter every once in a while.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Try to set me up!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Be careful, son. Nobody`s invincible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s change the world, Big.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can`t change the world unless we change ourselves.



GRACE: They`re so intertwined, Notorious Big, Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, because remember when Shakur was ambushed in that Manhattan recording studio? He always blamed Notorious Big He always blamed Big for that.

In fact, shortly after the ambush Tupac comes out with a song, "Hit `Em Up," where he clearly claims he slept with Notorious B.I.G. wife, Faith Evans.

In 1997, March, Biggie is presenting at the Soul Train Music Awards. He takes the stage to present to Tony Braxton. The whole crowd breaks out in boos. Everybody is on him, and he tries to lighten it up, yelling out like something, What`s up Cali, you know, reinforcing, really, the East Coast-West Coast feud. The booing and the animosity increases.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the Soul Train Music Award goes to Notorious B.I.G.!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... to study its impact on society, on people`s lives. Where does this music come from? When it`s angry, what are people trying to say?


GRACE: That`s "California Love (ph)" on Death Row and Interscope (ph) Records.

That night, the night of the Soul Train Music Awards, there`s a huge after-party at the Peterson (ph) Automotive Museum, big, big, big multi- story museum dedicated to cars. The party`s going. It`s wild. It`s packed. The fire marshals come to shut it down.

Everybody starts leaving. Sean Puffy Combs and Notorious B.I.G. stay behind because Biggie has a leg problem. They wait for everybody else to leave, then the two of them and their entourage go to their cars. Their cars are parked out on the street because the valet was overwhelmed.

So they go to their cars. Now, Biggie gets into a dark green SUV. Puffy gets into a black one. They`re right there together. Sean Puffy Combs takes off first, Big and his entourage right behind him. They get to the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire. It`s a red light.

Somebody calls out to Big. You know, the music`s blaring in his car. He was playing his new album. He thinks it`s a fan, lets down the window. A black male dressed in a suit and a bow tie pulled out a .9 and shoots Big multiple times. He dies there in LA.

The rap world goes upside down. The feud is on. Everybody`s afraid they`re the next one to be murdered. Snoop, as he was known then, Snoop Doggy Dogg, puts off, postpones a tour. Ice T says he`s afraid.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The young Bloods and Crips that are out here doing what they`re doing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) the youth and the ones of us who can teach them, can (ph), should sit down and talk to them and change their minds, help them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Death is glorified, the guns are glorified, and that has to stop.

WATTS: The theory is that Biggie was the distraction, that they wanted to create -- you know, those who believe -- and that -- the cop, Russell Poole, who says that he believed that Suge was behind it, but they created the East Coast-West Coast fight as a distraction, just as the distraction of Suge beating up the guy in the Vegas Strip on the camera, the Cadillac, you know all of this distraction, distraction to take away from what many believe was Suge`s hit on them.

RANDALL SULLIVAN, AUTHOR, "INVESTIGATING MURDERS: Well, I have to admit, I`m a little more equivocal about the Tupac murder but -- and I acknowledge that what it looks like on the surface is this is basically just a beef with some Crips gang members, who shot Tupac to death. But there is a lot more that suggests otherwise. Orlando Anderson was a Crip. Suge Knight was a Blood. And the twain never does meet. And yet Orlando Anderson came to court to testify on Suge`s behalf before Suge was sent to prison.

There`s a lot of confidential informant evidence that Orlando Anderson was on Suge`s payroll. Snoop Dogg told the Los Angeles County sheriff`s department that Suge had Tupac killed. A number of other people have said the same thing. Tupac`s bodyguard made a lot of statements to the police that suggested that he thought there was something very odd about what happened that night and that that whole fight in the casino was a setup.

So I mean, it`s something that should have at least been investigated. And in fact, it never was.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Based upon witness accounts at this point, we have a white, late `90s Cadillac four-door. Depending upon which witness we listen to, it either had California or Nevada plates on it. And nobody at this point has been able to give us any numbers or letters that may have been on that plate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Public interest in Shakur`s condition has been so intense, the hospital has set up a recorded hotline. Meantime, police are hoping someone will call them with information about the shooting.

WATTS: One of the interesting observations is that during this killing so many years ago, you didn`t have the marches in the streets, the "No justice, no peace" reaction from Americans across the country over Tupac, the way we saw for Trayvon. Here we have Tupac Shakur, young man in his 20s, Biggie is a young man in his 20s, blown off the face of the earth in front of hundreds of people, and nobody knows a thing!

After a one-year investigation, according to "The LA Times," no one knows anything more than we knew the night he was shot. How does that happen? And I think that that`s an amazing thing.

I don`t -- and you wonder why there wasn`t the Trayvon Martin type reaction, communities angry that nobody had found the killers. Is it because the community, the society at that time was fed up with all of this, fed up with all of this music about killing, fed up with losing 10- year-old girls in crossfires, of gang warfare, tired of cops being scared of getting shot by young black men?

Maybe society was tired of it because I heard a lot of people at that time, as I covered the story, say, You live by the sword, you die by the sword.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s been a lot of speculation, a lot of theories, but no one has ever been held accountable for either murder. And that`s one reason why we still care about this.

And also, the level of celebrity we`re talking about. You`re talking about Tupac. You`re talking about Bigggie. I mean, there was nothing bigger at the time than these two stars and the battle, the very public battle they had, East Coast, West Coast, battles that took place in the music that they recorded, as well, cultural icons, both of them, both of them murdered at a young age, both murders unsolved.


GRACE: Look at the similarities. Both men, Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., died from multiple gunshot wounds from automatic weapons. They both die in the street. They both die at an intersection. They both die in a big city. They both die after a huge event with literally thousands and thousands of people there. They both die with their own entourages around them. They both die after attending these events, easily watched as they leave, easily identified.

The similarities are overwhelming. It`s as if the same person killed both of them.