It always amazes me when I see a rumor picked up by a media outlet, regardless of how small that outlet is. So I was once again surprised a couple weeks ago when I got an e-mail from a TV producer asking about an arrest in the 13-year-old murder case of platinum-selling rapper Tupac Shakur.
I put on my sleuth cap and started digging. This is what was first reported, from Backseat Cuddler, a gossip site that got Tupac fans and the hip hop world hyped up:
BREAKING NEWS - Tupac Shakur Killer Has Been Arrested In Las Vegas
I just received a message from my source in Las Vegas that Tupac Shakur’s killer has been arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada.That prompted “Gossip Headlines” to print this reaction, which, in turn, prompted three pages of comments from readers:
Tupac died on September 13, 1996. On the night of September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. He died six days later of respiratory failure and cardiac arrest at the University Medical Center. Tupac Shakur was a rapper, actor, and social activist. Story developing…..
OMG, OMG, O-M-G, if this is true, hip-hop is about to go into a tailspin!!! According to BackSeatCuddler, Tupac Shakur’s killer has been arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada!!! It was there in Sin City 13 years ago (September 13 marked the 13th anniversary) where the legendary rapper was shot 4 times while sitting in the passenger seat of Suge Knight’s BMW after leaving a Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand Hotel. Tupac died six days later from respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest caused by multiple gunshot wounds. See Original Story For More.
“No,” said a source in the Los Angeles area, “there haven't been any arrests in the Tupac and Biggie cases here.”
Then I called the homicide unit of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and talked with a spokesperson. “There haven’t been any arrests in that case,” she said.
I put out a few more feelers. I came up empty. The only news involving Tupac, who, besides being a rapper, was an actor and poet, is that the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, which Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, runs, is partnering with Woodruff Library to prepare Tupac’s writings and papers for scholarly research. The Tupac Shakur Collection is currently housed within the Woodruff Library's Archives and Special Collections Department. It features Tupac’s handwritten lyrics, personal notes and fan correspondence, among other items.
Meanwhile, the rumor about an arrest in Tupac's case coincided with the 13th anniversary of his murder. As a result of the anniversary and the rumor, record sales for Tupac’s music went through the roof. And sales for books about Tupac took off too. The warehouse manager at Huntington Press, my publisher for The Killing of Tupac Shakur, said sales had jumped and orders from Amazon.com were especially high.
Other than that, it's been fairly quiet on the Tupac front. So much for a “developing story.”