The Los Angeles police detective who handled the murder case of the late, great Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace died at the city’s County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau on Wednesday (Aug. 19).
Russell Poole, 58, was among many who suspected foul play in the rapper’s death and handled an investigation in the matter for approximately a year after the March 9, 1997 shooting. Poole’s theory was that the murder was a joint plot by LAPD officials and Suge Knight. He quit the force in 1999 after disputes about several cases, including the death of Biggie, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Poole collapsed suddenly at the homicide office while meeting with detectives regarding an undisclosed cold case. He was rendered unresponsive and taken to nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. At the time of Wallace’s death, Poole proposed that former head of security for Knight’s Death Row Records, Reggie Wright Jr., gave the LAPD officer David Mack information on Wallace’s whereabouts on the night he was fatally shot. Poole also believed that Knight was behind the killing of Tupac Shakur.
In a 2002 documentary titled Biggie & Tupac, Poole called Knight “one of the most powerful gangsters in the world” at the time, Rolling Stone points out.
“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. “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.”
Though Poole’s death is reportedly not seen as suspicious, one person in particular suspects his death was not random: Busta Rhymes. The rapper took to Instagram following the news with a photo of B.I.G and Poole, and his own question about the detective’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 s**t?” he wrote.
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.