The FBI has released case files on the shooting murder of rap artist Christopher "Biggie Smalls" Wallace, AKA Notorious B.I.G. The files, detail the case investigation, dating from Smalls' murder in 1997 through 2005 when the case was closed. Three files have been released online as part of the FBI's 'Vault' program.
The three files contain hundreds of pages of investigation. While heavily redacted in places, the files report the speculation that Smalls was murdered in retaliation for the murder of Tupac Shakur, and that Death Row records and Los Angeles police officers were involved. The Skanner News Video: Biggie and Tupac
"Several sources have identified the shooter as a light-skinned Black male wearing a suit and a bow ties," the file says on page one. "It has also been noted by several sources that (name is redacted) and several other LAPD officers attended this party and were seen with (name redacted) just prior to the shooting."
FBI agents on both coasts participated in a nearly two-year investigation aimed at finding out who gunned down the Notorious B.I.G. and whether any Los Angeles police officers were involved, according to recently released records.
The inquiry ended in early 2005, after federal prosecutors concluded there wasn't enough evidence to pursue a case against any officers or another man implicated in the rapper's 1997 shooting death.
The decision was made after agents in Los Angeles, San Diego and New York tried to track down potential suspects and witnesses who might shed new light on the unsolved killing that came months after another rap superstar, Tupac Shakur, was shot dead in Las Vegas.
The New York Daily News has reported that the files say the bullets that killed Smalls were a "very rare" German ammunition that could pierce metal. The FBI traced the 9mm Gecko bullets to just two distributors in the U.S. -- one in New Jersey, the other in California.
The rare ammunition was found in the home of a rogue L.A. cop named David Mack, who was was arrested for armed robbery. According to the New York Daily News report, Mack's name was redacted in the files but his identity was clear because of details about his arrest for armed robbery and the discovery in his home of a "shrine" to Tupac Shakur. Mack has denied any involvement in the case. He was released from jail in May 2010.
Mack has denied any MM Mac
The investigation started out as a civil rights violation and public corruption review, but efforts were made to solve the homicide case. The FBI's file included police reports.
Informants told the FBI that the killing of B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, may have been aided by corrupt police officers. The heavily redacted case files include several mentions of sources who wouldn't talk to Los Angeles police investigators about Wallace's death because of suspicions about corruption.
The records showed that agents conducted surveillance on one man in San Diego who they thought may have fired the fatal shots at Wallace, and even went through his mail and garbage. They also showed an agent consulted frequently with a civil attorney who was pursuing a wrongful death on behalf of Wallace's estate against the city of Los Angeles.
No one has been arrested for Wallace or Shakur's killings, although both deaths have been the subject of rampant speculation about the motives. The one-time friends became rivals and instigators in an East Coast-West Coast rap rivalry during the mid-1990s.
Wallace was shot and killed with a 9mm gun on Wilshire Boulevard in March 1997 after leaving a Los Angeles music industry event.
The FBI released Wallace's file on March 27 on its website, The Vault, which contains the bureau's most requested case documents that can be released. The FBI on Friday publicized that it had added more than 25 new files that it had never released electronically and by Wednesday, fans and journalists were poring over the Wallace file.
Wallace's family dismissed a federal lawsuit against Los Angeles last year, which their attorney said was done in order for the FBI and other agencies to pursue new leads in the case. A 2005 trial ended with a mistrial after attorneys for Wallace's family discovered the city had withheld a trove of LAPD documents.
Attorney Brad C. Gage said Wednesday he had not reviewed the recently released FBI documents.