With the steady stream of increasingly shocking new developments surrounding the still unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. over the last few months, one might mistakenly think their current calendar is emblazoned with the year 1997 instead of 2011.
After Dexter Isaac confessed to AllHipHop.com his involvement in the 1994 Quad Studios attack on Tupac, (which planted the seeds of the infamous East vs. West beef), and Clayton Hill confessed to HipHopDX.com his role in allegedly aiding Amir Muhammad after the murder of The Notorious B.I.G., it didn’t seem like this year could get any more retro regarding the ‘Pac and Biggie saga. But it was déjà vu all over again on Monday (October 3rd), when the LA Weekly published their piece on the revelations made to them by former Los Angeles Police Detective Greg Kading (and subsequently published in Kading’s just-released book, Murder Rap) that Marion “Suge” Knight gave one of his child’s mother’s $13,000 to contract a Wardell “Poochie” Fouse to murder Biggie Smalls, and that Sean “Diddy” Combs commissioned Duane Keith “Keffe D” Davis to take out Tupac Shakur, along with Suge Knight, for the much more impressive sum of one million dollars.
HipHopDX spoke with Mr. Kading the day after the LA Weekly’s explosive entry into this year’s media frenzy over the decade-and-a-half old investigations into the interwoven murders of two of Hip Hop’s most revered talents. In the first half of DX’s Q&A with Kading published on Wednesday (October 5th), one of the successors to Russell Poole in helming the Notorious B.I.G. murder investigation shared his reasoning for repudiating Poole’s long-respected theory that rogue cops affiliated with Marion “Suge” Knight colluded with Knight and an associate, Amir Muhammad, to murder Biggie Smalls. And now in the second half of his eye-popping conversation with DX, Kading discusses his investigation into Tupac’s murder, in which he netted a stunning (and yet still questionable) confession from the aforementioned Keffe D to that crime once Keffe was allegedly on the ropes for running a drug ring. The man who claims to have finally solved the murders of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac explained why he believes Keffe D, his nephew Orlando Anderson and two fellow Crips killed ‘Pac at the request of Diddy, and why he believes you should believe his book’s controversial claims.
Detective Greg Kading Names Whom He Believed Killed Tupac Shakur
HipHopDX: Can you clarify how you – as an L.A.P.D. detective – came to be investigating the Tupac murder case, which I understood to be the jurisdiction of Las Vegas Metro Police?
Greg Kading: What ended up happening during our investigation of [Notorious B.I.G’s] homicide – we were taking a very broad approach to it, we were gonna try to address all the different theories: whether it was Puffy Combs, whether it was the Southside Crips, whether it was the Nation Of Islam, whether it was the Bloods as retaliation [for Tupac’s murder]. We were looking at it from every different angle. … We’re thinking, Okay, maybe it was Puff behind Biggie’s murder, and if so it could’ve been the Southside Crips. There was this rumor going around that it was them because they never got paid for the [Tupac] murder. So there were all these theories going around.
Well, once we got Keffe D’s back up against the wall and he explained to us that him and his nephew, [Orlando Anderson], and the rest of that little Crip entourage committed the murder of Tupac out in Las Vegas, and then he explains that the conspiracy to commit the murder of Tupac had developed in Los Angeles during his conversations with Puffy Combs, we realized now that we had some legitimate ownership of [the Tupac case as well]. Even though the murder took place in Las Vegas, and technically it was their investigation, since the conspiracy to murder happened in our jurisdiction it gave us a legitimate cause to investigate it.
Since now we had the star witness, [Keffe D], and now we needed to protect him in order to further the investigation to take it up to where it’s tied to the other conspirators, we needed to really protect that aspect of the case. Because if it got out [that], “Hey, Keffe D’s cooperating,” or anything like that, well you can imagine that would’ve interfered with the ongoing investigation.
DX: Speaking of that, was Keffe D charged federally for running that nationwide PCP ring? ‘Cause I was just searching in the PACER case locator, and the last criminal case involving a Duane Keith Davis was closed back in 1998.
Greg Kading: Yep. And the answer’s no.
DX: Okay, he was never charged federally?
Greg Kading: Nope.
DX: Was he charged by the state?
Greg Kading: Nope.
DX: Okay … so what happened to Keffe D?
Greg Kading: Well, you might have to ask the U.S. Attorney’s Office why they never charged him. I can’t answer that.
DX: Do you know if his snitching on Puff influenced that decision?
Greg Kading: It shouldn’t have.
DX: Did you make any promises to him of a reduced sentence in exchange for those statements regarding Puff?
Greg Kading: No. The only arrangement we had is what’s known as a proffer agreement, where he sits down and agrees to cooperate with us. We can’t use his own statements against him. That’s the arrangement. So, it doesn’t mean that he’s not gonna get charged in any cases that he talks about, all it means is that we won’t use his personal incriminating statements against himself. So that’s what he’s kind of guaranteed. But that comes with a caveat of its own: we will only not use his own words against him as long as anything else he tells us regarding that case or any other case is never proven to be untrue. In other words, if he lies, and we can prove he’s lied about anything, we then can use his confessions against himself. That’s the strongest motivation right there for him to be completely honest, regarding everything.
DX: I’m just a little mystified that … no one ever charged him with anything. They just let him walk.
Greg Kading: Well … yep. I don’t wanna speculate too much on that. But yeah, I would agree with you, I don’t understand it myself.
I think things would of changed and worked out drastically different had the L.A.P.D. not taken its lead investigator off the case, who had accomplished all of this. I’m not trying to pat myself on the back; I’m just being very practical about this. I was assigned to the case, and I got something accomplished that nobody had ever gotten accomplished and that was to get the people that participated in these murders to confess. And then right when you’re positioned to take those confessions and exploit them to get the other conspirators, you’re taken off the task force and then both of the cases just die in their tracks and nothing else is done.
Detective Kading’s Theory On Why Tupac Shakur’s Murder Was Never Solved
DX: What supporting evidence did you gather to confirm that Keffe D’s statements regarding Tupac’s murder were in fact truthful?
Greg Kading: Well, we read a couple other reports, both F.B.I. and – Well, first of all, I mean, obviously, you’ve got this extremely strong circumstantial case, just based on the fact that his nephew had gotten his ass kicked in the lobby [of the MGM Grand], and these are some legitimate gangsters. And so, it’s a pretty reasonable conclusion to draw that Orlando Anderson – Keffe D’s nephew – would’ve had the motivation to shoot Tupac.
So, that’s one thing that kind of supports Keffe D’s confession. The other thing is he mentions getting the guns from this guy named Zip. And we have other statements of individuals in Las Vegas that say that they were with Zip, and corroborate the fact that these guys had a very excited reaction to the Orlando Anderson beat-down. And one of ‘em mentions like, “Oh, man, we got artillery out here!,” in response to the fact that now they have to go retaliate. One of the guys in that group with Zip says, “Man, they don’t know who they’re fuckin’ with. We got artillery out here!”
DX: And just to clarify once and forever, this group of Crips doesn’t go and meet with Biggie Smalls in a hotel room like Chuck Philips claimed and are handed a gun directly by Biggie?
Greg Kading: Absolutely not. There’s no evidence whatsoever that Biggie was there. There’s no evidence whatsoever in our entire investigation that Biggie knew anything about the conspiracy to murder Tupac. I think Biggie was really misaligned by that information, which was baseless.
DX: And, will you release to the public the recordings you have of your interview with Keffe D?
Greg Kading: No, that has to be done through the proper channels. That has to go through the L.A.P.D.
DX: That segues into my next question: Can’t you be prosecuted for stealing those interview tapes?
Greg Kading: Well, no. And that’s kind of loaded language right there, because I didn’t steal anything. As an investigator, I’m privy to keep material of everything I do in my own investigation. I can’t keep any evidence, which is the big difference. Everything that I have copies of, the originals are on file in the L.A.P.D.’s case file. I simply have copies of my own investigative work.
There’s nothing illegal about that. They may claim that that’s inappropriate, but there’s no precedent to say it’s inappropriate. Think about any true-crime novel that’s ever been written is based on copies of police documents. So, please, that word steal is a very loaded word.
DX: Well, I appreciate you clarifying that, I wasn’t sure of the circumstances, so … Going back to the actual shooting of Tupac, can you list for me everybody you believe was in that white Cadillac?
Greg Kading: Yeah, there’s a guy named Terrence Brown. He went by the Crip gang moniker of “Bubble Up.” There was a guy named Deandre Smith. He just went by the name of “Dre.” There was Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson. And of course, Duane “Keffe D” Davis.
DX: So how were you able to confirm that those were the people in that Cadillac? Just based off of Keffe D’s testimony?
Greg Kading: Based off of Keffe D’s testimony, as far as the number. Keffe says, “There’s four of us.” And the witnesses in Tupac’s entourage – I think it was Frank Alexander, I’m not sure, mentions the carload with two front seat and two backseat occupants.
DX: And, did your research confirm the previously reported overview of that shooting: that Orlando Anderson fired a .40 caliber Glock thirteen times at Suge’s BMW, striking Tupac three times and grazing Suge once?
Greg Kading: That’s correct.
DX: Can you clarify – there have been conflicting reports about whether Suge actually was struck, or he was grazed, were you able to [clarify that]?
Greg Kading: No, I was never able to verify that. Of course, Suge likes to claim that he still has a bullet in his head. But I think that’s just bravado, gangster-boasting. We believe that it was a superficial wound caused either by like a graze or by some lead or glass fragments. When bullets hit things you never know what’s gonna start flying. And it could’ve been just the jacketing of the bullet, it could’ve been a piece of metal from the door, it could’ve been some glass. So, don’t know what hit him, all I know is that it was superficial.
DX: So the obvious follow-up then is that Suge was a large man … he was twice the size of Tupac, did you have any sort of eyewitnesses or anybody that claimed Suge basically used Tupac as a human shield?
Greg Kading: Um … I know that’s out there. There’s that speculation. I truly don’t. I think that Tupac in the heat of that moment – when some guys are pulling up next to you [and] all of the sudden you see a gun come out the window, you are gonna instinctively begin to flex away from that. You’re gonna instinctively turn away from that and begin to try to move and protect yourself away from that. And I think that’s what the people were seeing, was him trying to get out of the immediate, point-blank range line of fire. And so I really think that’s what happened. And, more likely than not – and this is speculation – is that Tupac’s movements, and the way he reacted, did create a human shield and very likely protected Suge, although it was all unintentional.
Detective Kading Ties Orlando Anderson To Tupac Shakur’s Murder
DX: Now the reason I had you clarify the number of shots, and just how all that went down, is because if this was indeed a hired hit they did it awful sloppily. I’m sure there were much cleaner ways to do this. Did Keffe explain why they did it this way?
Greg Kading: Yeah, it was in the heat of [the aftermath of] the beating. There was no intention whatsoever to go out to Las Vegas to carry out the murder plot. They went out there strictly to party and to watch the [Mike Tyson] fight. The beat-down of Orlando in the MGM, all that did was kick into gear something that had already been planned [but] that wasn’t supposed to take place then. Keffe D says they wanted to do it back in L.A.
DX: Did he explain what his ideal scenario was, if they had an actual plan?
Greg Kading: No, he didn’t. I doubt that he even had one. I mean, these are just gangsters, man. These aren’t professional hit-men. They’re not guys that put a lot of thought into this stuff. I mean, Orlando Anderson was known for shooting all over his neighborhood. It’s pretty random during these gang shootings and gang drive-bys. It’s definitely not The Bourne Ultimatum-type of stuff.
DX: And per your investigation, Puff refused to pay Keffe for the hit because Suge lived?
Greg Kading: No, we don’t have that information, at all. I don’t know that. That’s speculation. There’s a rumor out there like that, but we don’t know that. All we know is that Keffe D claims he never received any of the money. And, he asked Zip to go get the money, and then Keffe D was shortly [thereafter] arrested on that federal case that you mentioned earlier, which took him out of the picture for a minute. And so, once he was taken out of the picture, the debt, so to speak, just kind of got shelved. However, as you’ll read in the book, Keffe D heard from another source that he felt was reliable that half the money had been paid from Puffy to Zip, but Zip never delivered. The courier took off with the pizza.
DX: And this may just be speculation on your part, but why didn’t Keffe kill Puff for not paying him the million dollars he agreed to?
Greg Kading: Well, he went to prison, so it’s kinda hard to pull that off from – well, I shouldn’t say that, because obviously [Suge] Knight did that. Um … I don’t know. I asked Keffe after he got out of prison if he had any contact [with Puff]. “No, I haven’t.” Keffe D just jumped right back up into his big drug distribution ring and was making money.
DX: Now, before Keffe went to prison for those ’98 charges, it’s been previously reported that both Keffe and Orlando Anderson were present at the Petersen Automotive Museum the night Biggie was murdered. Did you investigate the possibility that Keffe killed Biggie that night as retribution for being stiffed on payment for Tupac’s murder?
Greg Kading: Yeah, we did. We looked into that, and we didn’t find that to be a plausible theory. Not only after talking to Keffe D and having him deny it – It didn’t really pan out.
When you think of it in a plausible or common sense [way] – knowing that they had just killed Tupac, to come there and publicly go up and make a contact with Puffy and Biggie in front of all those people and then go outside and lay in wait in your own black [Chevrolet] Impala, that is just really not plausible.
DX: But you said these guys do non-plausible things all the time?
Greg Kading: Yeah, well, I mean as far as like when they do their heat-of-the-moment type stuff, or their drive-bys, they’re not coordinated and planned. And they don’t have this orchestrated thing.
[So] to think that Keffe D is gonna walk into the Petersen Automotive Museum, go up – and he actually walks up and asks … first he encounters Lil’ Cease, and then Puffy kinda waves him through, and Puffy and Biggie are sitting there together and [Keffe is] like, “Yo, man, y’all need some security here? There’s some Blood muthafuckas here.” And they’re like, “Nah, we’re cool, we’re good.” So then, Keffe D just kinda leaves it alone. And in  he tells us though, he’s like, “Man, I knew something was wrong when I got there. I saw them Death Row [Records] people there.” And of course, it’s no stretch of the imagination that they’re gonna wanna retaliate for what happened to Tupac. And so he says he was on alert, thinking something was gonna go down.
But I just, I really – Because he came clean in the one [murder], it gives him a little bit of credibility in his denial of the other. And then when you compound it out with the fact that now we have [“Theresa Swann”] confessing to that one, and telling us what actually happened, all those collective considerations allow us to kind of draw the conclusions we have.
DX: I just wanna wrap up this interview by giving you an opportunity to tell what I’m sure will be at least a partially skeptical audience here at HipHopDX why they should feel confident enough in the claims you make in your book to purchase Murder Rap to read the full details for themselves?
Greg Kading: I’m telling this story because I believe it to be the truth. I believe it to be the best evidence out there right now. And, you know, I walked away from over a million dollars of earning potential with my career at the L.A.P.D. I left short. And I sacrificed a lot because I knew the story wasn’t gonna get told. This is not about capitalizing for me. This is a self-published book. I dumped [$30,000] into this project just to get here myself, and gave up on a large earning potential with the police department. This was an ethical conviction I had to do this, I believe it was the right thing, and if people can see that I’m coming at this from a very honest approach, it’ll give the book the credibility for people to believe it.