BROOKLYN, NY and LOS ANGELES, CA (PIX 11)—New information from the FBI on the murder of hip-hop legend Biggie Smalls reads like a suspense novel, but some key information is missing. Still, the newly-released documents may point to a killer.
It's been fourteen years since somebody murdered the artist also known as Notorious B.I.G. in a drive-by shooting outside of a Downtown L.A. awards ceremony, but now the FBI has released 359 pages of documents from their investigation into the murder of the rapper whose real name is Christopher George Wallace.
But virtually every page of those documents has patches of white covering passages of text, where the FBI redacted, or whited-out, some of the most important material, including names and addresses.
Despite that, other information in the documents may point to the killer. They say that whoever launched the hail of gunfire that killed Biggie Smalls used "very rare" German ammunition that could pierce metal, like that of Biggie Smalls's SUV, in which he was fatally shot.
Those 9 millimeter Gecko bullets could only be bought in New Jersey and California, and some of them were later found in the home of ex-LAPD cop David Mack. Also in Mack's home was a shrine to Biggie's West Coast rival, Tupac Shakur, who'd been murdered in 1996 in Las Vegas in a still-unsolved drive-by.
CLICK HERE TO READ ALL THE FBI DOCUMENTS ON BIGGIE SMALLS
Various theories have linked the two homicides, neither of which has been solved. Some believe the two men were killed as part of a rivalry between East Coast and West Coast rappers, or between their two music labels at the time, Marion "Suge" Knight's Death Row Records, based in Los Angeles, and New York-based Bad Boy Entertainment.
Whether or not David Mack killed Biggie as payback for Tupac's murder is a question that remains as open as the LAPD investigation into the crime. The FBI investigation is closed. Prosecutors have not pressed charges in either case, citing a lack of evidence.
Police arrested Mack shortly after Notorious B.I.G.'s death, but he was not charged with the homicide. Mack was instead taken into custody in relation to a $700,000 bank robbery. He was convicted, served a 14-year prison sentence, and was released in May 2010. He has not spoken with investigators about where the money is, or what role, if any, he played in the death of Biggie Smalls.
A federal judge last year dismissed a wrongful-death suit filed by the family of Biggie Smalls against the city of Los Angeles charging that officials covered up police involvement in the rapper's slaying.
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES REPORTING STAFF CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT