Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bodyguard for Murdered Rap Artist Tupac Shakur Has Died

Courtesy of

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 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.” summed up the loss for all of us: “Rest in Paradise, Big Frank. ONE LOVE.”


Shrek said...

Suicide? i thought it was a accidental discharge

17 said...

Not like it matters, but I thought Tupacs death was a matter of them having to remove his lung and him being on life support and them pulling the plug because 'Pac wouldn't have wanted to be a vegetable so to speak.

Also you should check out my blog. Its very informative. Peace

Cathy Scott said...

It was a suicide. Sad, but true.

Cathy Scott said...

With Tupac's death, he went into cardiac arrest while on life support and doctors brought him back twice. When his heart stopped again. Tupac's mother made the decision to not to try and revive him. They let him go.

Anonymous said...

It was technically a suicide. Those who were not there and did not speak to the eyewitness directly about the matter do not have the entire story. The coroner had to rule it that way.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been able to find any mainstream news outlets that are reporting this story. Not even TMZ. They all wanted to talk to him after Tupac was killed and now Frank is not even being mentioned. Sad!

Anonymous said...

Ms. Scott,

What's your response to RJ Bond saying this was not a suicide but an accident?

Cathy Scott said...

Hi, Anonymous--

I got the manner of death as suicide straight from the Murrieta Police Department, from the police incident report. I can't speak for others. I do know that I'm not in favor of putting a spin on the truth -- like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole; it never fits. Frank went out his own way. He didn't ask anyone to call it something it wasn't.

As for TMZ or anyone else not covering his death, rather than post on forums, to get word out there before it became old news, the best thing would have been to notify a news outlet or two so it could have been written about. It doesn't appear that was done. Instead, a release was placed on a forum, removed, and then a new one posted the next day.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Anonymous said...

Any information on a funeral?

Anonymous said...

Man everyone that had something to do with pacs murder is now dead a spade a spade u no but all the senseless killing have to stop

whiteout said...

I know this is off-topic, but, I noticed a comment about how many times Tupac was resuscitated in the hospital. According to Afeni (via XXL Magazine interview), they actually revived him 7 (yes, that number) times before letting him go. That's as "straight from horse's mouth" as we're going to get. In the same interview she talks about how they were prepared to have him (secretively) brought to an undisclosed location for six months or so for him to heal, because he was getting death threats at the hospital. I'm not going to get into the whole alive thing, but, if that statement (which you can look up - it was either in the 10th or 15th anniversary of his death issue of XXL) isn't reasonable doubt, I don't know what is. They were prepared to do what people have been theorizing (one way or another) for the past decade and half. Anyway, my heart goes out to Big Frank's family and the entire Tupac community. Thanks for everything, Cathy. Peace, whiteout.

Cathy Scott said...

Hi, whitehout--
According to the doctors at the time, he was revised upon arrival at the hospital and then placed on life support. He was on the critical list the entire time. He was revived during the week as well. It was the last day I was referring to where he was revived two or three times and the decision made to let him go instead of continuing to revive him. He very well may have been revived seven times throughout the total days in the hospital until his death.

Yes, very sad about Frank. My understanding is his services is in Temecula. It's on the Web, but I don't have it in front of me.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. --Cathy

whiteout said...

Thanks for elaborating on that for me. Makes perfect sense, especially considering (at least from what I can remember about the interview off the top of my head) Afeni's statement (and the way XXL's editor presented it) was pretty vague. She absolutely could have been referring to the total amount of times this procedure was done throughout his time at the hospital that week. The way they the final edit was printed just made it seem like in the end there were seven attempts made to revive him before Afeni told the doctors to let him go. Thanks for the insight, as always. You are appreciated. Peace, whiteout.

R.I.Paradise, Big Frank

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a clue about why he chose to end his life?

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Anonymous said...


I have just heard that Michael Moore (the other bodyguard with Frank the night of Tupac's murder) is also dead. Can you confirm? I heard he died of a drug overdose.

Anonymous said...

Tupac must have been "murdered" in the hospital! I was a registered nurse who worked in Intensive Care and THERE IS NO REASON FOR HIM TO GO INTO CARDIAC ARREST! He was taken to Emergency immediately- the first 24 hours after would determine his prognosis.They have everything needed to correct problems immediately and start treatment. I'd LOVE TO SEE HIS AUTOPSY REPORT...but "they" even GOT HIM IN I.C.U-somebody ABLE TO GET CLOSE TO HIM!FRANK ALEXANDER said,in "Biggie and Tupac" that "Suge" Knight did him + Biggie. Pac cause he was leaving Death Row Records and going to take millions owed to him and his music...and Biggie cause they were AT WAR AND IT WOULD MAKE SENSE!

Anonymous said...

Yes Cathy, You are correct My fiancé Michael Moore passed on July 31, 2013, of a ACCIDENTAL DRUG OVERDOSE of prescribed Mixture of prescribed medicationS