March 21, 1997
Over 250 tips received aft er TV show's segment on Shakur
LAS VEGAS SUN
The television show "Unsolved Mysteries" received
more than 250 calls after airing a segment about the Las Vegas
murder of rap and film star Tupac Shakur.
"That's a good number for us," said Judy Storch, a
producer with the NBC program. "We aired a 'lost love' case
that was fairly solvable, but we got more calls on Tupac."
FBI agents standing by interviewed some of the callers after
the March 14 broadcast, she said.
The show has been forwarding tip sheets to Metro Police's
homicide unit since Monday, Storch said.
"We are reading every one of them," said homicide
Sgt. Kevin Manning.
Calls were still coming in Wednesday, Storch said. The show's
solve rate is 28 percent, according to program statistics.
One tip appeared to be a hot one, but the person did not leave
a telephone number out of fear of retaliation, so police can't
follow it up, Manning said.
Workers in a phone center take all the calls during and after
each show, Storch said.
"If there's a really good tip, a hot tip, the phone agent
holds up a red card and the FBI agents and local law enforcement
officers will listen in on the call to see if it's a good
case," she said.
The center received what they and FBI agents considered to be
a few "valid callers" after the Shakur story ran,
Homicide Lt. Wayne Petersen, who is overseeing the
investigation, said, "If we get one call out of a thousand,
it's worth it."
Metro was invited to go to the phone center when the program
aired, but didn't send anyone. Local law enforcement officers
often stand by in the phone center when their cases are aired in
case a good tip comes in, Storch said.
Shakur, 25, was shot Sept. 7 on Flamingo Road at Koval Lane
when a Cadillac drove up next to a BMW in which Shakur was riding
and opened fire. Shakur, who was shot three times, died six days
later at University Medical Center. The BMW driver, Marion
"Suge" Knight, 31, was grazed. The two had attended the
Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon heavyweight boxing match at the MGM Grand
about three hours earlier.
Killed in a similar shooting on March 10 was rapper The
Notorious B.I.G., also known as Biggie Smalls, outside a Los
Angeles party. Like Shakur, the 24-year-old Notorious B.I.G. was
sitting in the passenger seat of a car after a well-attended
event when a gunman in another car opened fire.
Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. were two top names in hip-hop rap,
and both were shot to death in what some have called gang-style
hits, possibly over an East Coast-West Coast rap rival or a Los
Angeles-based gang dispute.
Both performed for record labels that were targets of federal
investigations. The night they were killed, both were with their
record label producers -- Shakur was with Knight, owner of Death
Row Records on the West Coast, and Biggie was with Puffy Combs,
owner of Bad Boy Entertainment on the East Coast.
Las Vegas police have not officially identified a gunman in
the Shakur case. Los Angeles police are reportedly looking into
gang ties in Notorious B.I.G.'s death, while also looking for
possible connections to the Shakur case.
Metro detectives, however, have said the cases don't appear to