weather icon Clear

Link between Tupac, Biggie killings cited by lead Metro detective

The Las Vegas detective in charge of the renewed investigation into Tupac Shakur’s murder testified that the killing is related to the fatal shooting of fellow hip-hop icon Christopher “Biggie” Wallace, according to court transcripts released Thursday night.

Former Metropolitan Police Department homicide detective Clifford Mogg, who took over the Tupac investigation in 2018 before he retired earlier this year, told a grand jury in early September that the two slayings have long been connected in the public eye. But Mogg testified that he investigated a theory pushed by the late Los Angeles Police Department detective Russell Poole.

“Did you or did you not establish that Detective Poole was accurate in his theory of the Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur murders?” a prosecutors asked Mogg.

“His theory was accurate that they were related,” Mogg testified.

Prosecutors did not ask Mogg about the specifics of Poole’s theory, but it has been publicized that Poole believed Death Row Records CEO Marion “Suge” Knight planned Wallace’s killing, with the help of former LAPD officer David Mack, in retaliation for Shakur’s murder, Rolling Stone magazine reported in 2015.

Poole reportedly suffered a heart attack in 2015 during a meeting with Los Angeles law enforcement about a cold case.

Duane Davis, the suspect on Shakur’s killing, has long denied being involved in Wallace’s killing, and Mogg testified that his denials are accurate.

“So when you say they were related, you’re not saying perpetrated by the same individuals?” Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo questioned Mogg.

“That’s correct,” Mogg testified.

Davis, who goes by “Keefe D” or “Keffe D,” has been indicted on a murder charge in connection with Shakur’s fatal drive-by shooting, which prosecutors allege was part of an ongoing feud between the South Side Crips and the Bloods-associated Mob Piru. Davis is accused of orchestrating Shakur’s killing in retaliation for an attack on his nephew, Orlando Anderson, who was shot and killed in 1998.

Previously released transcripts of hearings show that prosecutors questioned multiple witnesses about the rivalry between Death Row Records and Bad Boy Records, the East-coast label started by Sean “Diddy” Combs. Knight was known to hire members of Mob Piru and off-duty and retired police officers as security for Death Row. Meanwhile, Bad Boy was connected to members of the Crips and was known to use gang members as security, according to court records.

Wallace was killed in a drive-by shooting while leaving an awards show after party in Los Angeles, six months after Shakur was killed. Authorities have never charged anyone in connection with Wallace’s death.

Mogg also testified that as part of his investigation he reviewed the BET documentary “Death Row Records,” about the investigation into Shakur and Wallace’s killing, along with Davis’ own book and portions of a recorded interview between Davis and law enforcement that was publicized by former LAPD detective Greg Kading.

After Davis’ first court appearance on Wednesday, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson was asked if other law enforcement agencies have been corroborating with Las Vegas police about Wallace’s killing.

“I’m not going to comment on anything involving that other matter,” Wolfson said.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.