September 09, 1997
Book publisher defends Shakur photo
By Ed Koch
LAS VEGAS SUN
The Las Vegas publisher of a book about the slaying of Tupac
Shakur today defended the inclusion of a coroner's autopsy photo
of the dead rap star.
Anthony Curtis, owner of Huntington Press, which recently
released the book "The Killing of Tupac Shakur" by SUN
reporter Cathy Scott, made his comments a day after the Clark
County coroner's office called for an investigation into who
leaked the photo to Scott.
"This (the threat of an investigation) does not really
scare me -- we considered this before publication," Curtis
Coroner Ron Flud could not be reached for comment this
The book was released a year after Shakur was shot several
times while riding in a car after attending a boxing match in Las
Vegas. He died several days later at a local hospital.
Curtis said the decision to run the gruesome photo, which
shows deep surgical cuts in Shakur's chest and skull, was
intended to disspell speculation that Shakur faked his death and
is still alive.
"There is an enormous rumor that Tupac is alive,"
Curtis said. "This photo answers that question. The news
value is there. It is a part of the entire puzzle that the author
is trying to piece together to reveal what happened.
"We assumed there would be anger on the part of the
coroner's office. But what I am surprised about is the
accusations that the photo was improperly obtained. No one's
rights were violated."
Curtis said his company did not pay for the photograph.
Shortly after the killing, as much as $100,000 was offered for
the photo by tabloids, Scott reported in the book.
Curtis said Scott is the owner of the photo and, though she
told him it was legally obtained, she declined to reveal her
Scott declined to comment on the photo other than to say she
obtained it legally and that she did not pay for it.
The book presold 2,000 to 3,000 copies. Initially, 25,000
copies were printed.