On the 15th anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.‘s death, retired detective Greg Kading sat down with Complex and discussed why many of the theories surrounding the slaying are bogus, how police mishandled the case and why both Voletta Wallace and Afeni Shakur are owed apologies.
A 25-year law enforcement veteran, Kading was assigned to the Christopher Wallace murder case in 2006, about a year after Wallace’s mother Voletta filed her first wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles. Kading eventually grew so frustrated with his department’s handling of the case that he quit the police force, taking with him copies of the evidence he’d compiled during his investigation — evidence he shares in his book, Murder Rap: The Untold Story of the Biggie Smalls & Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations.
Kading contests that a man named Wardell “Poochie” Fouse was paid by former Death Row CEO Suge Knight to kill Biggie.
“Confidential sources from the Death Row entourage, the Mob Pirus, and [Suge’s girlfriend, identified in Kading’s book by the alias “Theresa Swann”], said Poochie had done shootings for Suge in the past,” Kading tells Complex.
“[Suge’s girlfriend] and Poochie agreed to terms. He received two payments, one for $9000 and one for $4000. Poochie lay in wait outside the Petersen Automotive Museum. As soon as he became aware of where Biggie was sitting in his car, he drove up and he shot him.”
Kading says that although the L.A.P.D. knew who had committed the murder, they made a conscious decision to shelve the case after Ms. Wallace’s lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed and the city no longer stood to lose hundreds of millions of dollars.
“Once that threat dissipated, the L.A.P.D. said, ‘You know what? We’ve spent enough time and money. We know who killed them. The D.A.’s not going to file charges. So everyone go back to work.’ And the case ended up getting shelved,” he says. “They just shelved the whole case after the Wallace camp retracted their lawsuits.”
Kading also contends that although case has been shelved, department officials will continue saying the investigation is still open just to pacify the public.
“That’s what a police department is always going to say — not just the L.A.P.D., any police department, about any unsolved murder case. They’re always going to say, ‘Yes, it’s an open investigation. It’s an active investigation,’ but it’s really just a way to appease those types of inquiries.”
In the end, Kading says that neither Biggie’s nor Tupac’s murder cases will ever officially be solved and that no one will ever be prosecuted.
“Both law enforcement agencies — the Las Vegas Police Department and the L.A.P.D. — have drawn the conclusions that Tupac was killed by Orlando Anderson and Biggie Smalls was killed by Wardell ‘Poochie’ Fouse. Those are the facts within law enforcement. They’re considered solved internally, but the public’s definition of solved is different. They haven’t gone through the judicial process and nobody has been prosecuted.
“Both shooters are dead. Orlando Anderson was killed outside a Compton record shop in May 1998. Poochie died in July 2003 as a result of multiple gunshot wounds,” he continued. “That’s all the justice that these cases will see.”
While Kading’s is certainly not the first book about the Biggie and Tupac murders to be released, his does have a unique perspective considering that he was actually assigned to the Biggie case and has firsthand, self-gathered knowledge of both investigations. He says he’s releasing his book not in an attempt to profit from the continued interest in the cases, but out of a sense of responsibility and obligation.
“I hated the idea that the public had been so deceived, in regards to both of these murder investigations. I hated the idea that this information would always be suppressed because of law enforcement,” he says.
“I’ve got an obligation to educate the public as to what really happened. And to let the families know what the investigation entailed, so that they could at least have that peace of knowing everything that law enforcement knows about the cases.
“These were very solvable cases. … Everybody ultimately owes some sincere apologies, at least, to both Voletta Wallace and Afeni Shakur.”
Read the complete interview at Complex.com.