2006 was an interesting year for Greg Kading, a former narcotics detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. On his 43th birthday, he was informed that LAPD was reopening the cold case of Christopher Wallace’s murder, and that he was wanted in the task force.
Kading was reluctant at first, but then he decided to take the spot and a few days later he looked at the case files.
”I think the overriding factor was that this is a really big, important, historic case,” Kading said. “If we do solve it, that’s going to be worthwhile.”
In his words, the case files were so much that it would have taken months to catch up on the investigation and find out who killed Christopher Wallace.
“It was just daunting,” he said.
After Biggie was murdered, the police interviewed anyone who they thought could have had anything to do with the killing. Detectives spoke to the CEO of Biggie’s label Bad Boy Records, Sean “Puffy” Combs, to the clerks at the hotels where Biggie had stayed, and even to the bus driver whose bus was at the scene of the shooting. Surveillance tapes from the hospital where Biggie died were also reviewed. Still, they couldn’t find anything.
There were many rumors about what had happened. Some people believed that Biggie had killed Tupac, and that’s why Suge Knight, head of Death Row Records, had put a hit on Biggie- he wanted to revenge Tupac’s death. The possibility of Biggie’s death being just another drive-by in the war between Crips and Bloods is also big.
Another widespread theory was that crooked L.A. cops had been involved in Biggie’s murder and they were being protected by the LAPD. Biggie’s family also believed there was something true to that theory, and in 2002 Evans and Voletta Wallace, Christopher Wallace’s mother, filed a wrongful death suit against the LAPD.
“I don’t understand how could they not have any leads?” Wallace’s widow, Faith Evans, said “I’m sure they have a lot, but maybe they’re not following the right ones?”
Three years later, a judge found out that evidence had indeed been withheld by the department and forced the city to pay the rapper’s estate around $1 million in legal fees. The case started over, after a mistrial had been declared.
The pressure from the wrongful death suit was high, and in 2006 the LAPD, in an attempt to clear their name, reopened the investigation. The detectives claimed that the department had nothing to hide, and the one who had recruited Kading for the investigation told him that the LAPD was ready to implicate its officers if needed.
“He goes, ‘We’re going to go where the clues go. Whatever it is, it is. If there’s dirty cops, fuck it, so be it. Let’s get ‘em outta here,’ ” Kading recalled.
After months of sorting through the previous files, the LAPD finally began to focus on a Southside Crip, who was also a drug kingpin in Compton. His name was Duane Keith Davis and he went by the nickname Keefe D. He had been convicted on narcotics charges, and after having served his four-year sentence he had gone right back into the drug business.
Kading and his task force built a federal drug case and using a leverage of potential prison sentence of 25 years to life, on Dec. 18, 2008 they finally got Keefe D to talk. However, the confession received wasn’t what Kading had expected.
“Initially our interest was: All right, tell us what you know about Biggie’s murder,” Kading said. “He was like, ‘That one wasn’t us.’ Those were his words. ‘That one wasn’t us.’ ”
All this time Kading wanted to find out who had killed Biggie, but instead the killer of Tupac Shakur was about to be revealed. Kading’s Investigation is the last official inquiry into the killings of the two rap icons. So what happened? What did Kading find out?