|Courtesy of TruthAboutTupac.com|
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
by Cathy Scott
Frank Alexander, a bodyguard for the late rapper Tupac Shakur, has passed away.
Alexander was in a car directly behind Tupac and his record producer, Suge Knight, in September 1996 near the Las Vegas Strip when Tupac was shot. A passenger in a white Cadillac pulled next to Suge and Tupac’s BMW, opened fire, hitting Tupac and grazing Knight.
Six days later, Tupac died from a chest wound. Suge, who was admitted to the hospital for treatment, was released the morning after the shooting. Frank two years later co-wrote the book Got Your Back, about his time on tour with Pac.
I got to know Frank over the years and spent time with him during the taping of the documentary Before I Wake and Tupac: Assassination, which Frank executive produced.
One of the coolest gigs Frank and I had together was on August 18, 2002, when we both appeared on comedian Kevin Nealon’s show “The Conspiracy Zone,” where Nealon, according to the show’s site, hosted “expert panelists discussing popular conspiracy theories.” The topic in this case was Tupac’s murder. On the show with us were comedians Kathy Griffin and Christopher Reid.
The oddest thing that evening was during the taping, which was in Burbank with a studio audience, when another guest, who'd also written a book about the Tupac case, publicly called me “a hack.” In writing vernacular, it was meant as an insult. It came out of nowhere, and I’d never met this guy before, so everybody but the name-caller cracked up laughing, including Frank.
On camera, Kevin Nealon turned to me and said, “I couldn’t tell, Cathy. Was he kidding?”
“I don’t think so,” I answered, and Kevin laughed along with us.
Kathy Griffin cracked a joke about it as well, and then the show continued. It was a lively discussion, and the episode was well received.
Afterward, we all went into the Green Room to eat the spread that Kraft Services had set up for us. Frank, with a group of friends, stayed, as did I. Christopher Reid (formerly known as Kid) was fun to talk with; he had mad respect for Tupac.
The irritated author, in the meantime, practically ran out the studio and through the Green Room, stopping only to ask where his driver was, before heading through a back door to the parking lot. We all laughed again, because it seemed so odd.
Frank was in a good mood that night, as were the rest of us – except for the out-of-sorts author (who will remain unnamed). I thought of Frank at the time as on top of his game. His book, co-written with author and journalist Heidi Coder, had been released in June 1998. And it was re-released in paperback a couple years later. In recent years, he’d worked on indie documentaries while working as a security guard.
I interviewed Frank in 1997 for the first edition of my book, The Killing of Tupac Shakur, and again for the second edition in 2002. About Tupac's murder, Frank told me, "I want to see the shooter brought to justice.” That never happened, despite the wide belief and law enforcement intelligence that points to Southside Crips as responsible for the rapper's death.
Frank Alexander passed away the afternoon of April 28 in his Southern California home. According to the Murrieta Police Department, investigators determined that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. The police investigation determined, per incident report No. 1304M-6390 and interviews and evidence at the scene, it was death by suicide. A formal autopsy was scheduled. But a police source close to the investigation told me, “The autopsy is just a formality in our determination. It was a suicide.”
An administrator with TruthAboutTupac.com site, says the loss is a personal one: “Big Frank was my friend and brother. We ate together, prayed together, told jokes and kicked it. He used to say, ‘It’s not how long you know a person that counts but how well you connect during the experiences you share that really matters.’
"The last conversation we had was very deep, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around our loss. I never in a million years thought I wouldn’t see him again.”
TruthAboutTupac.com summed up the loss for all of us: “Rest in Paradise, Big Frank. ONE LOVE.”Tweet