Who Killed Tupac Shakur? 4 Theories Including the Latest and Most Unexpected Claim
Tupac Shakur's 1996 death continues to spur several theories as to who killed the legendary East Harlem rapper. The latest unexpected accusation, from Los Angeles Police Department investigator Greg Kading in a forthcoming Netflix documentary Murder Rap on Shakur's and Biggie Smalls' murders, claims rapper Puff Daddy ordered the hit.
Kading, who led special task force investigations of Shakur's and Smalls' deaths, claims in the film that the two notorious murders were connected — that Diddy ordered the hit with a Crips gang member on Shakur and that Shakur's manager Suge Knight responded by ordering a hit with a Bloods gang member on Notorious B.I.G. six months later, according to BET.
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BET reported that Kading claimed Crips member Duane "Keffe D" Keith Davis confessed he accepted a hit order on Shakur from Diddy for $1 million back in '96, but decided to pass the job to his nephew Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson. A half-year later, Knight allegedly paid Bloods member Wardell "Poochie" Fouse $13,000 to kill Smalls.
Other LAPD investigators on the case, however, have made conflicting claims, including that Knight ordered the hit on Shakur. Here are three other theories about who killed Shakur:
1. Knight tried to frame the Crips for Shakur's murder.
Late LAPD investigator Russell Poole, who was assigned to investigate Smalls' murder, pushed a theory in the 2002 documentary Biggie and Tupac that Knight framed Shakur's murder on the Crips by making it look like the Crips had a reason to kill Shakur after he brawled with Anderson at a casino the day of his murder — but really, Knight had been planning to kill Shakur for a while.
2. Smalls ordered the hit on Shakur.
A game-changing report by the Los Angeles Times in 2002 claimed Smalls paid the Crips $1 million and supplied the semiautomatic pistol Anderson used to kill Shakur. The Times said it came to this conclusion after a yearlong investigation. Smalls and Shakur had been feuding for more than a year leading up to the murder, according to the Times.
3. Anderson killed Shakur because Shakur beat him up earlier.
Shakur's late former bodyguard Frank Alexander told Sabotage Times years ago that Shakur got into a brawl with Anderson at the Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon fight hours before a white Cadillac rolled up beside Shakur's car and an unidentified hand reached out with a gun and shot him to death. "On the night of the Tyson-Seldon fight, a friend of Suge Knight's came up to Tupac and whispered that he had spotted Orlando Anderson in the arena," Alexander told the Times. "Tupac ran over and that's when they got into it. I ran over and saw Tupac throw a couple of blows. Anderson tried to throw one back, but ended up going down, and that's when a ton of Death Row [Records] guys jumped on him."
He said the fight is good reason to assume it was Anderson who shot Shakur. "If you get into a scuffle and you get you butt whupped, whatcha gonna do? You're going to tell your friends, 'Hey I just got into a fight and guess who it was with? Tupac!' And someone's going to say, 'You know what, let's go get some payback,'" he added. "I can see that happen."
Here's the Murder Rap trailer:
Feb. 8, 2016, 3:23 p.m. Eastern: This story has been updated.
Correction: Feb. 8, 2016
A previous teaser for this story stated Tupac Shakur had "allegedly" died. The rapper was killed in 1996.