Since his death from four gunshot wounds in September of 1996, Tupac Shakur has been immortalized not only for his talent and influence, but also through conspiracy theories that claim he is actually still alive.
Pac was shot in Las Vegas, Nevada and died after six days in the hospital in a case that has never been officially solved. In 2002, Chuck Philips published a two[part story in the La Times documenting a year-long investigation into the rap legend’s death. Philips believed that “the shooting was carried out by a Compton gang called the Southside Crips to avenge the beating of one of its members by Shakur a few hours earlier.” In 2011 a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that the FBI had investigated “the Jewish Defense League for making death threats against Shakur and other rappers.”
Nothing definitive has ever been agreed upo, with Seareant Kevin Manning of the Las Vegas Metro Police saying a year after the shooting took place that he believed the case “may never be solved.” Perhaps it is this uncertainty and mystery which encourages the conperpetuation of conspiracy theories that Pac lives on, in addition to the love and adoration that makes it difficult for many of us to let go of iconic figures when they pass, with similar theories existing about Elvis and others to this day.
The most recent and prominent conspiracy bandwagon joiner is Suge Knight, apparently.
Speaking from prison to Ice-T and Soledad O’Brien over the phone, Knight stated that “something about Pac’s hospital stay after the 1996 shooting just doesn’t add up for him.”
The interview was part of an investigation O’Brien and T are a part of, a special set to air on Fox on September 24 called “Who Shot Biggie & Tupac?”
It turns out Knight has long been a member of the “Pac is still alive” club and he merely goes into allegedly more detail about his theory. “During the brief exchange, Knight questions how Tupac’s health deteriorated so quickly in hospital, claiming to have been ‘laughing and jokin’ with him after the infamous shootout .”
In the interview, O’Brien and T press him on his theory when he says “If he really [died].” He responds: “I don’t see how somebody can turn from doing well, to doing bad.”
Many believed that The Notorious B.I.G. had something to do with Pac’s death, because of their infamous feud; but, B.I.G. went to his grave denying having anything to do with Pac’s death; he was murdered himself six months after Pac and his family maintains that he was nowhere in the vicinity of Vegas when Pac was shot.
In 2012, Suge Knight “claimed that no one saw Tupac dead,” claiming “Maybe the question is that Pac really not dead. Pac’s somewhere else,” he said in a radio interview. Part of his belief seems to stem from the claim that Pac owed Knight $3 million at the time of his death. “So this guy got about $3 million personally from me, cash. And next thing I know, I never heard from the guy or seen him again. He retired and left,” he said in 2012.
In 2014, he also questioned why there have been no arrests in connection with Pac’s murder, despite several apparent confessions. “Why you think nobody been arrested if they said they the one killed Tupac? Because Tupac not dead” he said at the time.
Tune into Fox Sunday to find out if Knight has more to back up his claims or if it’s all more of the same.
Knight is currently in the Los Angeles County Jail, where he’s been held since January of 2015 on a murder charge; he is scheduled to stand trial January 8, 2018.