The retired detective who led the investigation into the murder of Notorious B.I.G., then quit the force over a dispute about it, died suddenly on Wednesday, Aug. 19.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Russell Poole was meeting with detectives Wednesday to talk about a cold case when he collapsed and was unresponsive. According to the coroner’s office, Poole was rushed to a local hospital, where he died from a suspected heart attack.
Christopher George Latore Wallace (aka Biggie Smalls, aka Notorious B.I.G., aka Big Poppa, aka The King of New York) was gunned down while sitting in a car mid-Wilshire in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. The rapper had just left an event at the Petersen Automotive Museum that also featured Sean Combs, Faith Evans and Aaliyah among the guests. The shooting has spawned countless conspiracy theories in the years since, many linking it to the Las Vegas death of Tupac Shakur six months earlier.
Poole, who worked on Wallace’s case for about a year, stood behind a theory that the murder could be tied to a corrupt LAPD detective and Marion “Suge” Knight. According to the Times, Poole believed that Wallace’s killing was retribution from Knight, who was in charge of Shakur’s record company when he was killed.
Although Suge Knight was never indicted in the killing of Wallace, he is currently awaiting a possible murder trial for an unrelated incident.
Poole quit the police force two years after the murder, following a series of disputes over multiple investigations, including the Wallace case that remains unsolved.