Although there’s still no word on the nature of that undisclosed “new information” that caused the LAPD to reopen its stone-cold investigation into the 1997 murder of The Notorious B.I.G., a just-released, 359-page file on the FBI’s investigation (thanks, Freedom Of Information Act!) suggests what many have been arguing for 14 years now: The evidence needed may have been there all along.
According to the FBI’s findings, Biggie Smalls, real name Christopher Wallace, was killed with “Gecko 9mm armor-piercing ammunition,” a type of bullet deemed in the report to be “very rare”—so rare it could only be found at two distributors in the U.S. And yet, that very same ammo was found at the home of former corrupt LAPD cop David Mack—long named as a “person of interest” in the case because of his off-duty job working as a bodyguard for Suge Knight—after Mack was arrested for robbing a bank that same year. In addition to the ammo, detectives also found what they described as a “shrine” to Tupac Shakur, as well as a black Chevy Impala SS, the very same car that’s named in the FBI report as being driven by Biggie’s assassin.
Of course, none of this is particularly revelatory: Although he continues to avow his innocence, Mack has long been the No. 1 suspect, even being named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the late rapper’s family in 2007—a suit that was eventually dismissed. Basically, the FBI files seem to confirm many years of conjecture: The LAPD most likely specifically ignored or covered up some incredibly strong evidence that would have convicted one of their own, and which may have even implicated other members of the department. So for those holding out hope that that recently formed LAPD task force will actually get around to closing the case, we wouldn’t count on it, unless that “new information” is David Mack’s personal scrapbook containing a notarized confession and photos of him actually pulling the trigger. (Still, there’s at least some new info, pointed out by Nah Right: At the time of his death, Biggie was carrying “a bag of weed, an asthma inhaler, and three Magnum condoms.”)