Fans of The Notorious B.I.G. should be familiar with the name Russell Poole, the lead investigator in the case surrounding the famed rapper's 1997 murder. Sadly, the former Los Angeles Police Department detective reportedly passed away this week.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Poole died on Wednesday (August 19) from a possible heart attack while meeting with Los Angeles County Sheriff homicide investigators about a cold case. The detective collapsed during the meet and was unresponsive, as per a sheriff's department official. Poole was rushed to a local hospital, where he died.
Poole, a decorated LAPD detective who helped unravel the late '90s Rampart Scandal, led the investigation on the shooting death of Notorious B.I.G., born Christopher Wallace, in 1997. The "Hypnotize" rapper died after a drive-by attack that occured moments after he left the Soul Train Music Awards after-party at the Petersen Automative Museum in Los Angeles.
Originally, the investigation was headed by the Wilshire Division, before Poole got involved. He worked on B.I.G.'s case for about a year, according to reports. The case spawned several conspiracy theories, including links to the 1996 high-profile murder of Tupac Shakur, which took place six months earlier in Las Vegas.
After months of investigation, Poole claimed Biggie's murder was a conspiracy that involved corrupt LAPD officers and Suge Knight. He believed Wallace's passing was a retaliation for Shakur's death. Knight’s former head of security for Death Row, Reggie Wright, was also one of the names implemented by Poole in the death of Shakur. In an interview with Bomb1st recently, Wright addressed Poole's passing, which he called an act of "karma."
"It's a good day for me, because I believe in karma," he said. "First Michael Moore (former Tupac bodyguard) then Frank Alexander (former Tupac bodyguard) and now Russell Poole, all these people are dropping dead. I keep telling people God don't like ugly. I hope people learn a lesson from this."
During the interview, Wright also suggested that Richard J. Bond, author of "Tupac 187: The Red Knight," could suffer the same fate. "The next person is probably going to be R.J. Bond. I ain’t predicting no death on anybody, but they better get their selves right,” he said. “They better stop with all this bullcrap they’ve been promoting, because they’re all dying like flies around here.” The murders of both Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. remain unsolved.
In 1999, Poole resigned from the force, citing disappointment in the force due to the direction of his investigation in the case. "I think I was getting too close to the truth," he told CNN in 2011. "I think they feared the truth would be a scandal."
This past June, in an extensive piece published by VICE on the conspiracy theories surrounding Pac's death, Poole spoke on Wright the several dead ends in the case. "Wright jr. has gotten away with it this whole time," he said. "They floated a whole lot of propaganda to former LA Times reporter Chuck Phillips—calling in hundreds if not thousands of fake clues."
In the months before his death, Poole also launched a campaign to get the LAPD to re-open the case on Shakur.
"If this was Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra who got murdered, there would've been arrests a long time ago," Poole said. "This case can be solved, but needs police follow-up. There are clues sitting right in front of the police. It's a travesty of justice."