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Crime

Police Claim New Leads in Biggie Smalls Murder Case

CNN is reporting that new information has come to light in connection with the murder of perhaps the greatest rapper of all time in Los Angeles in 1997, and that a special task force is investigating:

A task force made up of local and federal law enforcement agencies is actively pursuing leads into the 1997 slaying of hip hop artist Christopher Wallace, better known as Biggie Smalls or Notorious B.I.G., according to two sources familiar with the investigation.

According to one law enforcement source, the investigation into the 13-year-old unsolved case was "reinvigorated" months ago as a result of new information, but the source would not elaborate further because of the ongoing investigation that includes the Los Angeles Police Department, L.A. County District Attorney's Office and the FBI.On March 9, 1997, Wallace, 24, was shot and killed while riding in a Suburban that was driving away from a music industry party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

Of course, this isn't the first time that the case has been reopened, the investigation has long been plagued by allegations of corruption, evidence tampering, and an official coverup. In fact back in 2006 TACO reported that then LAPD police chief Bratton

has launched a task force of senior homicide detectives to hunt down the killer, a rare show of force for a cold-case murder with no new evidence. The beefed-up Los Angeles Police Department probe comes in the wake of a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles by the rapper’s mother, Voletta Wallace, and other relatives.

The result of that wrongful death case? The case was declared a mistrial. At the time, Rolling Stone reported that

The implications of the judge's decision extended far beyond the mystery of B.I.G.'s unsolved murder. For months, Los Angeles' most prominent political figures and police officials, along with the city's most influential media, had been insisting that this legal claim by B.I.G.'s family was nothing more than a nuisance suit, based on an outlandish conspiracy theory that attempted to tie a group of LAPD officers —affiliated with Suge Knight's Death Row Records and the Bloods gang — to not only the murders of B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, but also to the origins of the biggest police-corruption case in Los Angeles history, the so-called Rampart scandal.

Clearly this is a case that goes well beyond a muder-for-hire or a rap rivalry. Will anything come of the latest "new evidence" to come to light? History would say that the answer is no. Even if a new suspect is revealed, it will be difficult to separate fact from fiction, corruption from investigation, and the truth from the official story.

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