Former Detective Involved in Biggie Smalls Case Dies | NBC Connecticut

Former Detective Involved in Biggie Smalls Case Dies

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    Russell Poole, former investigator in Biggie Small's murder case.

    Russell Poole, the former LAPD detective best known for his involvement in rapper Biggie Small's murder case, died suddenly Wednesday from a possible heart attack, sources told NBC News.

    Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Small performing in 1995 in Mountain View, California.
    Photo credit: Tim Mosenfelder/ImageDirect

    Poole was discussing a cold case murder investigation with Los Angeles County Sheriff's homicide investigators when he was stricken at their Monterey Park offices.

    Investigators performed CPR before Poole was rushed to a local hospital but a short time later, he was pronounced dead.

    The former detective was known as an aggressive and outspoken investigator. He first gained attention for his investigation into a March 1997 shooting that involved two LAPD officers on a Universal City street that left one of them dead.

    That incident took place shortly after Biggie Smalls, born Christopher Wallace, was ambushed and shot while he drove from an event at the Peterson Automotive Museum in the Mid-City Los Angeles.

    2015 Southern California Images in the News2015 Southern California Images in the News

    Poole joined the investigation of the murder into the rapper, but it became fraught with controversy and finger pointing. Poole alleged that police were involved in the killing, as part of a general theory that the killing sprang from an East Coast-West Coast rap feud. That later became the basis for a cottage industry of conspiracy theories and civil lawsuit by the rapper's family against the LAPD.

    The suit was later dropped.

    No arrests were made in the murder of Biggie Smalls. Poole eventually resigned from the department in 1999 but maintained police involvement in the killing by saying it had links to Ray Perez, the LAPD officer at the center of the Rampart Corruption Scandal.

    The scandal of the late 1990s when corruption within the LAPD's Rampart Division came to light. The police misconduct, such as unprovoked shootings, planting false evidence and narcotics dealing, involved officers with the division's anti-gang unit.

    He wrote a book, "LAbyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., the Implication of Death Row Records' Suge Knight, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Police Scandal."