It seems that we’re another step closer to never knowing who was responsible for Biggie Smalls’ 1997 murder.
Apparently, retired LAPD detective Russell Poole, who served as the lead investigator in the rapper’s shooting death back in the ’90s, was in the process of writing a book about the murder. Unfortunately, it seems that said project may never see the light of day.
According to TMZ, Poole dropped dead in the midst of an interview with the captain of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau. Sources say that while discussing the case, 58-year-old Poole clutched his chest and said, “I think I’m having a heart attack,” before keeling over.
Ironically, Poole was the first to accuse LAPD cops of working off duty for Suge Knight, and playing a role in Biggie’s shooting. Sources also claim that Poole was almost sure that members of the LAPD wanted him dead.
“Had we’d been able to aggressively investigate [the B.I.G. shooting] and had the heart to connect the two and do a thorough investigation, I think we probably would have found out more information,” Poole said in Nick Broomfield’s 2002 documentary Biggie & Tupac, according to Rolling Stone. “I think the fact that law enforcement officers were working for Death Row, that was a scandal in itself… Suge Knight, to me, was one of the most powerful gangsters around. He was well-organized, he had a lot of power, and what gave him the power, he had dozens and dozens of police officers working in his organization.”
Rapper Busta Rhymes dubbed the investigator’s death as “strange” in a reflective Instagram post shared on Thursday.
“RIP Detective Russell Poole!! Thank u 4 dedicating your life to trying to solve B.I.G.’s death. Coincidentally he dies after meeting with the police about the cold case of Biggie’s death and strangely collapse’s shortly after and was unresponsive and was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital.
Ain’t this some shit? RIP B.I.G.”
While we love a good conspiracy theory just as much as the next person, we should note that up until this point, there has been no evidence of foul play in Poole’s sudden death, and according to TMZ, the former detective suffered from chronic high blood pressure. An autopsy has been conducted by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner. Poole’s exact cause of death has yet to be determined, but we’ll keep you posted as new details emerge.