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All the Biggie and Tupac Shakur murder theories as Nick Broomfield releases new documentary

Tupac and Biggie aka Notorious B.I.G. died within six months of each other (Picture: Film Four/Lafayette/Kobal/REX)

The Tupac and Biggie murders continue to be two of the most talked about events in hip hop culture, perhaps even more so now over two decades since they happened. 

Documentarian Nick Broomfield has returned to explore the unsolved deaths of two of rap’s most legendary stars in Last Man Standing, almost 20 years after his critically acclaimed film, Biggie & Tupac. 

Broomfield’s new release will look more widely at gang warfare, celebrity and corruption in Compton, Los Angeles, but it meant he had to once again revisit the infamous East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry that claimed the lives of two talented artists. 

Tupac was murdered first on September 13, 1996 after being killed in a drive-by shooting outside a Mike Tyson boxing match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He was 25. 

Six months later on March 9, 1997, Tupac’s friend-turned-rival Notorious B.I.G. was also shot and killed in Los Angeles. He was 24. 

Neither of their killers have been found but, of course, there are countless theories – albeit unproven – as to who was responsible. 

Metro.co.uk looks back at the most prominent theories as to who killed Biggie and Tupac… 

Who killed Biggie and Tupac? The most famous conspiracy theories

Suge Knight

Much of Broomfield’s 2002 documentary Biggie & Tupac centres on the theory that Death Row Records co-founder Suge Knight was behind Tupac and Biggie’s murders. 

Tupac was a close associate of Death Row Records but it’s believed he wanted to distance himself from the gangsta rap record label shortly before his death, hence the alleged reason he was murdered. 

The theory was mostly perpetuated by former detective Russell Poole, who believed that Knight was also involved with Biggie’s death months later in order to take the attention off himself and make it look like more of an East Coast vs. West Coast feud. 

According to Poole, Knight was actually working with corrupt LAPD officers – known as ‘gangsta cops – whose aim was to fuel the rivalry between the coasts. 

However, Knight was in prison at the time of the murders and this theory was soon disproven. 

Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, and his family believed Poole’s theory and even filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, but it was later dismissed. 

Suge Knight has long been accused of being involved in Tupac and Biggie’s murders (Picture: FilmMagic)

Orlando Anderson

Anderson was once named as a suspect by police investigating the murder of Tupac. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas police stated that they didn’t have any evidence directly linking Anderson to the murder but he was still considered the prime suspect. 

Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Anderson. It was claimed that the rapper was shot following a fight in a hotel lobby between Tupac’s entourage and Anderson.

CCTV footage showed Tupac running over to Anderson, who was alone, with his group and throwing a punch. Not long after, the rapper was shot outside the MGM Grand. 

Anderson was arrested a month later in connection with Tupac’s death but he was never charged. 

In 1998, Anderson died after being shot during a gang-related shootout. It was reported that Afeni’s lawsuit and his counter lawsuit were settled hours before his death. 

He always maintained his innocence and said in a 1998 interview: ‘I know I didn’t kill Tupac. I don’t know why they would even say something like that. I just want to tell everyone that I didn’t do it. I feel sorry for him, his fans, his family and friends.’


Hip hop mogul Diddy has long been accused of orchestrating Tupac’s murder during the height of the East Coast vs. West Coast beef, which he has vehemently denied. 

In 2008, the LA Times published information they claimed was based on FBI records, witness accounts and other inside sources connecting Diddy to the shooting. 

However, he denied the allegations in a statement, saying: ‘I am shocked that the Los Angeles Times would be so irresponsible as to publish such a baseless and completely untrue story.

Diddy has vehemently denied his involvement in Biggie’s death on several occasions (Picture: Getty Images)

‘It is beyond ridiculous and completely false. Neither BIG nor I had any knowledge of any attack before, during or after it happened.’ 

On another occasion in 2011, Diddy told LA Weekly that the claims were ‘pure fiction and completely ridiculous’. 

In 2017, he was asked about the theory linking him to Tupac’s murder during an interview with The Breakfast Club, to which he replied: ‘We don’t talk about things that are nonsense.

‘We don’t even entertain nonsense, my brother. So we’re not even going to go there, with all due respect. I appreciate you as a journalist asking. Thank you.’ 

Diddy was one of Biggie’s closest friends and the rapper was signed to his Bad Boy Records label, considered to be a rival of Death Row Records.

The Last Man Standing is released in cinemas on June 30 before a wider release on July 2.

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