My Response to Greg Kading's book, "Murder Rap"

I just finished Greg Kading's book, "Murder Rap" and I have to say it was an immense pleasure to read.  After the foundation for the story; the facts, and the cold state that each of the cases are in when the investigations are re opened are presented, I flew through it.. The reader is given a clear perspective of how Greg and his task force team approached the cases from the very beginning. 

I also would like to say to Greg, I am truly inspired by your story and your accounts of the events of the investigations and your efforts to maintain integrity as a Law Enforcement officer and as a human being.  Much respect for all your work and your decision to share all of the information with the public in an accessible form.  Although the work feels incomplete, and as you write in the book, this is no fault of your own.  It is in fact the investigations which are incomplete, which leaves the reader desiring the many resolutions not just concerning the cases of the officially "unsolved" murders of Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur, but also concerning the multiple plans and strategies your task force had devised but not been able to bring to completion due primarily to your removal and re assignment.  This leaves so many things up in the air and as you concluded, almost completely sabotaging a due resolution.

My first impression is somewhere in line with some of your concluding statements.  The IA report on your complaint was a bogus technicality but is that enough for the Torres Defense Team to make the case about you instead of Torres?  I mean is it even enough to curb perception that much that it would have a favorable outcome for Torres?  A reader of your book, such as myself, wonders about the timing of these events just as I am sure you have wondered about their timing.  You explained everything in the book, and I remember it, but at the same time, to get back to my first impression.  I wonder a lot like you wrote at the end, as if there were some design which rhymed with Russell Poole's theories about a police conspiracy in some bizarre way. 

To be perfectly honest, from an average citizen's point of view, and based on everything you have revealed in your book, the following facts stand as follows in a logical sequence as I see them:

  • The LAPD was facing a $500 million lawsuit filed by the Christopher Wallace's family, charging the Department with wrongful death and even being involved in the cover up.
  • The investigation is re opened, and you are assigned to it.  You assemble a task force and begin the long and hard process of solving the cases.  In the process, you learn many new things, including evidence and facts which make it clear there was no cover up and the department is not guilty of what it has been accused of.
  • Regardless of how much new information and how many leads you have developed and uncovered during the course of the investigation, and how much progress you have made in getting closer to solving the cases, once the LAPD sees they are off the hook in terms of the lawsuit, they take action to slow down the Investigations and ultimately those decisions directly have a negative effect on the strength of the integrity of the Investigations, ultimately leading the cases back into oblivion.

Is it logical based on these sequence of events to conclude that the primary intention of the LAPD to vigorously re open the Cases was not to solve them, but to be exonerate themselves from the accusations and the lawsuit they were charged with?   Based on reading your book, one gets this feeling.  In fact, it is more than just a feeling, it actually feels like the truth.

Which leads to the next question: Why? What are they afraid of? Who are they trying to protect?  What do they have to lose?

Just as your investigation took you down so many unlikely dark roads and untrodden paths, is it possible there are many more paths and possibilities that are not known, many of which could be just as unlikely and strange as the ones already discovered? Could there be more strange and mind blowing pieces of information and links which have yet to be uncovered?  I get the impression there are.

Are there specifics you can provide in following up to the Duane Keith and Zip Martin connection?  Did the task force pursue the connection with Martin as you had planned?  Also, what exactly happened to Keith in terms of his charges and the help he provided?  Is he in prison for life or did his cooperation help him in any way?  Also, were there any repercussions to Keith working with the LAPD and the Feds as an informant? On a street level?

If you ask me, his story still seems somewhat fictitious!  Although I do believe the part about Puffy and his admission that other Crip gang members would be able to verify Puffy saying he wanted both Suge and Tupac's heads, I hesitate to believe the shooting of Tupac by Orlando Anderson.  Why?  Because not only had Keefe D lied before, but it seems his relations with Puffy and the revelation of Puffy placing a contract on Tupac and Suge would be revelatory enough! And since his nephew had died, it seems logical to place the deed on Orlando, since this would round out his story and logically fit the conventionally accepted narrative of Orlando being beat down and getting revenge on Tupac.

As for the Biggie case, the Theresa Swann (Her real name is concealed correct?) strategy seemed it would have worked to get information from Suge, and it is unfortunate that it was not handled properly after you left the investigation.  I still feel that there is something or someone protecting Suge.  Maybe its the fear he has wielded and has so successfully integrated into his reputation, or maybe its something else! 

There are many other things I would like to discuss regarding your book and the investigations but for the moment I thought I would show my appreciation of your book by offering my thoughts and my questions.  All in all, I find the work to be a wise and redemptive move on your part, Greg and thank you for writing it.  Everything is there for us to get a glimmer of the truth and I hope before any witnesses or key players either disappear or die, that resolution is brought to the cases.

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Comment by Drake on June 29, 2012 at 8:01pm

I have not read Greg's book, but from your blog post the book does look like one of the best regarding Tupac and Biggie's case and the Amazon reports are all four to five stars! First, "Could there be more strange and mind blowing pieces of information and links which have yet to be uncovered?" I believe there is a lot of information that are still not yet known solely on those reasons, since Greg is writing a new book with new information in it and the fact that people are not telling the police what happened. Greg was not there in person, so he really does not know. Research can only get you so far! On your point where you question if Suge Knight is getting protected by someone, for some reason, I have a feeling that Puffy and Suge Knight are protecting each other; I believe they ironed out their bad blood over the years. On your probably boldest point of the whole piece you question if Orlando Anderson killed Tupac. I believe having a family memeber in the car like Keefe D was is very shady, so I would not be surprised if Orlando Anderson did not actually kill Tupac because Tupac had a lot of people who disagreed with him as he said. You know, with any murder or any crime in general have big leads like that one is and they end up being incorrect. If Orlando Anderson, did not kill Tupac then who would have had that mission to begin with I would like Greg to answer the last question with brute honestly.

Comment by Greg Kading on June 30, 2012 at 7:05am

Don, thanks for the props and your thorough assessment of the book. I do not have all the answers as to "why" the cases were shut down. As I described, based on what I know about the LAPD and the cases in general, I am convinced it is simply a matter of "not really giving a shit". The cases, especially Biggies, which was the LAPD's primary responsibility, had become a "thorn in the side" of the department. The investigation was cold and only re-invigorated because of the civil suit. Once that went away, the investigation went away. Period. I honestly believe it was/is that simple. The LAPD is not committed to solving the case the way you, me, or the fans expect them to be. In fact, many cops and departmental leaders would say, "those guys got what they had coming - fuck em". It is not a conspiracy or cover up, it's simply a matter of not really caring. Both the Las Vegas Police and the LAPD were very frustrated with these cases from the beginning. None of Tupac or Biggies people were really trying to help, so in a sense, they didn't give a shit either. There are a lot of people, not just the police, who bare responsibility for these cases not being solved. 

I know I will not convince you, and many others, that there is not some "deeper" conspiracy behind this situation, but I will always be guided by facts and evidence, not speculation, assumption, and rumor. It is what I am trained to do. Based on that, I re-assert, these murders are where they're at simply because the people who make the decisions don't care enough to press on. 

As far as your questions about Keffe D. Nothing happened with him. As I point out in the book, once I was taken off the case, the LAPD abandoned their interest in the Tupac case. It was technically not our case anyhow, it was Las Vegas' case. Vegas had no working relationship with Keffe D. The logistical circumstances of them being in a different state, and having no strategy to capitalize on Keffe D's confession and cooperation, the investigation just died in it's tracks.

As far as the "believability"  of Keffe D's confession, I would say this: "You should believe it simply because I do". I know that sounds incredibly arrogant and counter-intuitive, but here's my reasoning. I am, without argument, the most informed, researched, objective, and knowledgable person in the entire world regarding the investigations into the murders of Tupac and Biggie. No other law enforcement agent on earth has done the research, had access to the multitude of files, and spent the man-hours investigating these cases, than I have. No person outside of law enforcement has ever seen what I have seen in these cases. They simply cant. Journalists might get bits and pieces, witnesses might make statements, fans might add commentary, but none of them get to see it all. For instance, do you think Suge Knight has a clue how many people inside Death Row were snitching on him to the Feds. No way. He might assume, but he doesn't know. I do. Do you think Russ Poole, Randall Sullivan, Nick Broomfield, had access to everything? No way! If they had they would never have been able to publish what they published in good conscious. My point is, I am a really good investigator. I look at things from every possible angle. If I believe Keffe D is telling the truth, it's because I have very good reason to believe such. I have spent 25 years sifting through the lies of criminals. I am an expert in the field of interrogation and fact-finding. I have approached the matter "as if" Keffe D were lying in an effort to disprove him. When you consider all the factors involved, the probability of his story being true far outweighs the probability of his story being false. 

When you brought up the fact that he lied before - you are right. But consider this. When he was interviewed about the murder back in 98, Orlando was still alive. Keffe D LOVED Orlando. Keffe D would rather go to prison than rat out his nephew. In 2009, Orlando had been dead for ten years. Even then, he did not want to give up his nephew, but he was faced with the difficult decision of going back to prison for life. It made sense at that point, and under those circumstances, to save himself. When Keffe D's sister (Orlando's mom) found out what Keffe D had done, she literally had a heart attack. Everyone in the family always knew what Orlando had done. Suge always knew it was Orlando and Keffe D. The whole Southside neighborhood knew. But now the world knows - or at least those who are willing to just look at the facts.

Which brings me to Drake's question. First of all, your statement, "you can't really know, because you were not there", is a ridiculous assertion. Think it through. Can you only "know" things that you have personally witnessed? I know the Great Wall of China exists, even though I have never seen it. I "know" my dog got hit by a car last year, even though I didn't witness it. Then you follow that up with, "I believe this" and "I believe that" based on nothing more than wild speculation. I am not trying to diss on you - you're probably a great kid, but you need to brush up on how to "reason" properly. Learn what empirical evidence is and how to effectively structure an argument. It will open up a whole new world of insight for you.

I have already stated who killed Tupac and why and how I came to that conclusion. So your question, "If not Orlando, than who", cannot be sensibly answered. Theoretically, it could be any of the 6 Billion people on earth. Practically, it could only have been Orlando. There is no information or evidence of any kind to suggest otherwise.  

Like I said- no disrespect intended. Consider it advice from an old man. 

Both Don and you can bet that more will be revealed in the future. Take every little bit of information and see where it fits into the whole equation. 

The "only" thing that's keeping the these cases alive is the people who are talking about them. Once we quit - its over. 

Comment by Don H on June 30, 2012 at 2:05pm

Drake, Greg, Thank you for responding to my post.

Greg, my perception of both the LAPD and LVMPD and their general attitude towards the cases they have a responsibility to the public to solve is this.  The department must be able to understand not just how popular these cases are, and that they hold meaning in the public domain, they are very much marked in the public's imagination.  Anytime an organization, a company, an individual or a group of any kind has the chance to improve it's reputation, public perception etc.. that would naturally seem to be a chance worth taking right?  The LAPD has had much damage done to its reputation over the years, and a lack of faith in the organization from the public's point of view must have an effect on how effective the Department is in doing their job now and in the future right?

If this is the case and I am sure you agree with me so far.  Then their lack of action and even actions which derail reaching any real resolutions, means all of their legitimate intentions, purposes and sentiments to improve the departments reputation and increase their effectiveness in the long run, is being eclipsed or hindered by something else. 

I am not talking about a lack of conscience as you imply in the end of your book.  Even without conscience any fool can see that to solve a long running unsolved case which is also popular is a smart and logical thing to do!  There are simply too many benefits that the department would receive from accomplishing what they are supposed to do. Their reputation would be restored greatly and gaining the public's trust is a priceless achievement!  It has infinite gains! This means the Cost or the negative effects, the Cons in moving forward with the case far OUTWEIGH the Benefits, the positive effects and the Pros in moving forward.   What can we say about this?  You said yourself in your book that you genuinely wondered what secrets Suge Knight still has locked away? You also wrote this on page 177 concerning Suge and his connection to Larry Longo, a Deputy DA of L.A. county: "Although Longo had been fired as a result of his cozy connection with Suge, the federal task force had good reason to wonder how much further Knight's influence might have extended into City Hall"

Greg, can you answer these following questions:  Do you agree with the analogy of imbalance I just illustrated above the quote? If not, why? Based on your knowledge, what are the possible risks, drawbacks and consequences in moving forward with the case now in the same way you did in 2006? Is it really Complacency and Carelessness and a "who gives a shit" attitude?  How can that kind of stupidity outweigh winning over the public, a priceless achievement?  I don't buy the complacency angle!  There is something that the LAPD genuinely Fears, which stands in the way of solving the case!  It's either their own fear or the fear of witnesses, but regardless, why would the LAPD put an end to the investigation?  Look how close you got!

What would it take for the LAPD to start the case up again?  Only you and your task force could know this correct??  Another major lawsuit with accusations against the LAPD?

Lastly, if the LAPD begged you to come back due to some unforeseen reason such as a major lawsuit.  Where and How would you begin your investigation again?  Is it too late?  Or Not?

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