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Podcast puts up $100K reward for info on Tupac Shakur slaying

David Kohlmeier is trying to solve some of the most enduring mysteries in Las Vegas, a town where he knows that nothing motivates like cold hard cash.

So the 46-year-old retired New York City and Henderson police officer is trying to stir up the conversation — and tips that break open cold cases — around some of the valley’s most puzzling questions.

He’s doing this by offering — or facilitating other people to offer — money for information through that 21st century true crime storytelling vehicle, the podcast. His is called The Problem Solver. Las Vegas has seen lots of seemingly unsolvable problems over the decades, and he is trying to solve them.

One of those questions Kohlmeier is asking is who killed Tupac Shakur? With the 26th anniversary of the hip-hop legend’s death on Sept. 13, Kohlmeier wants to spark a resolution in the case. So he and another podcaster, Jon Orlando of the Action Junkeez podcast, say they are offering $50,000 each for a total of $100,000 for any information that would lead to an arrest and conviction in Shakur’s killing.

“It’s safe to say in America that reward money will make people talk,” Kohlmeier says.

Solving other mysteries

Kohlmeier says he also wants to solve other Vegas-area mysteries: The recent spate of bodies found in Lake Mead, beginning with the body of a slain man found in a barrel in the lake in May. And the recent serial killing of horses in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

“In the long run, I mean the goal is really to close cold cases and put the person to rest,” Kohlmeier says in a May 2022 episode in which he talks with expert diver John Robert Pierson about the Lake Mead barrel body.

If a certified diver is able to find a second body in a barrel, there’s a $5,000 reward. There is also money for tips about any of the other recent bodies in Lake Mead that would lead to an identification.

After the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals offered a $5,000 reward for information that would lead to the arrest of the person who shot and killed four horses at the Cowboy Trail Rides in Red Rock Canyon, one of his podcast guests, Derek Parent, a Las Vegas mortgage officer, offered to match it on air. The Friends of Red Rock Canyon nonprofit is also offering $1,000 — for a total reward of $11,000.

“We want to bring closure and do a little bit of crime prevention from this show,” he says on a Problem Solver episode about the body in the barrel, which hasn’t yet been identified. But the grim discovery has triggered intense speculation that the body is a relic from Las Vegas’ days as a mafia hotbed.

As a former police officer, Kohlmeier is also trying to help people solve their own personal legal problems. He wants to let them know what their options are when navigating the justice system. He says people who have criminal records are more likely to be arrested or ticketed than those who don’t, and that some people with records can have them sealed.

He also shares an idea about how to cut down on DUIs in Las Vegas — a ride-sharing system where you can hire a driver to take you home, while at the same time, a second driver brings your car home from the bar.

Corporate sponsors are putting up the money, Kohlmeier says, declining to identify them. But the money is there, he pledges. The money is good, he says.

Revisiting the Shakur case

There has been no arrest in the Tupac Shakur case. But in the years since Shakur was targeted in a car-to-car drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, a Los Angeles gang member named Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson has repeatedly surfaced in media reports over the years as being the killer.

Anderson was involved in a brawl with Shakur at the MGM Grand after the Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon fight there on Sept. 7, 1996. Hours after the brawl, which was caught on the MGM Grand’s security cameras, Shakur was shot while riding in a BMW with Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight at Flamingo Road and Koval Lane.

Anderson was killed in a gangland slaying in Los Angeles in 1998.

Kohlmeier is skeptical. While it’s possible Anderson pulled the trigger that felled Shakur, Kohlmeier says, he isn’t convinced because in his view, Las Vegas police would’ve closed the case if there were strong enough evidence to pin the killing on Anderson.

“I think if they really felt it was him and they had evidence, the case would be closed,” Kohlmeier says.

Kohlmeier also says anything is possible. Decades ago, those who dumped bodies in a much-deeper Lake Mead likely never would’ve considered the water would recede enough to reveal their long-missing victims. What once seemed impossible becomes possible, and that’s how Kohlmeier views the Tupac Shakur killing.

The Metropolitan Police Department had nothing more to add about the Shakur case, a spokesperson said.

“The LVMPD does not have any investigative updates for the Tupac Shakur case,” officer Larry Hadfield wrote in an email.

But Kohlmeier sees hope in keeping the conversation alive, eliciting tips and providing that information to Metro, he says. On Thursday, a psychic, Laura Powers, was in the studio with Kohlmeier to share her thoughts about Shakur, the Lake Mead bodies and other cases. Anything to get people talking, he says.

“I’m trying to be a little bit creative and different to get people talking about it,” Kohlmeier says.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.COm or 561-324-6421. Follow @BrettClarkson_ on Twitter.

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