Russell Poole, the former Los Angeles Police Department detective who alleged The Notorious B.I.G. was killed through a conspiracy, has suddenly died.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies at the Homicide Bureau reported that Russell Poole collapsed Wednesday morning, according to a sheriff’s department official. He was meeting with detectives about a cold case when he collapsed and was unresponsive. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he died, the coroner’s office said.
Poole worked on Smalls’ murder case for about a year, according to Times archives.
The 24-year-old rapper, born Christopher Wallace and known also as Notorious B.I.G., was shot to death while sitting in a car at a red light in Mid-Wilshire on March 9, 1997.
Interested in the stories shaping California? Sign up for the free Essential California newsletter >>
The New York rapper’s death spawned countless conspiracy theories, among them that it was somehow connected to the Las Vegas slaying of rapper Tupac Shakur six months earlier because they and their respective record companies were seen as rivals.
Poole advanced the theory that Wallace’s death came from a plot involving a corrupt LAPD detective and Marion “Suge” Knight, who headed Shakur’s company when Shakur was killed. Wallace’s killing was retaliation, Poole suggested.
Knight is now in jail awaiting a possible murder trial in a separate incident and was never implicated in Wallace’s killing.
Poole was heavily featured in the 2003 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, written by Randall Sullivan.