Monday, July 15, 2019

Book Review | Dead Wrong: The Continuing Story of City of Lies, Corruption and Cover-Up in the Notorious B.I.G. Murder Investigation


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ignore for a moment the ridiculously long subtitle, because the book was really good.

I've not read Sullivan's previous book LAbrynth about Biggie's murder but I will be when I can find it (my library doesn't have it). There Sullivan focused on the investigation by Detective Russell Poole, who sought to do everything he could to bring Biggie's killers to justice. The higher-ups in the LAPD did everything they could to stop that investigation cold, and that is exactly what happened. Greed and corruption run rampant as we see in this book as well, which details the wrongful death suit brought by the Wallace Estate against the LAPD, and what has all happened in the years since the first book was released. It was Poole who discovered a group of LAPD officers who were working for Suge and Death Row Records. (Despite the fact that when he gets out of jail he will be in his 80s, Suge Knight remains someone I would never want to meet in a dark alley. Or a well-lit alley. Or at all.)

I was amazed by all the information here, so much of it not released to the public before - or at least as far as I can remember. It's been very obvious for quite a long time who the perpetrator of Biggie's murder is, but so much of the rest of the info was new to me. The author cares deeply about this case and his research into it is exhausting.

Despite the fact that there is more than enough evidence to prosecute this case, I fear it never will be. Given that the bullet casings recovered are extremely rare, only manufactured at a couple places here, and the same bullets were found in the home of the man who everyone believes was involved, that should be enough, no? Well, no. Because literally everyone who had or has the power to do something won't. The corruption runs deep, far deeper than I even knew, and this is not a story I am unfamiliar with.

More than anything, Voletta Wallace (Biggie's mother), Faith Evans (Biggie's widow) and Biggie's children deserve to know the truth. They deserve for that truth to come out, no matter who it brings down in the process. This cover-up has gone on for years and I really hope that the publication of this book will remind people that no one was ever punished for either of the murders, despite as I said, everyone knowing just exactly who is responsible. I know that fear is a huge part of this, because no one else wants to end up dead, but enough is enough. The wrongful death suit filed by Ms Wallace was dismissed in 2010, but it sounds like she is ready to move forward with the suit once again, as so much more evidence has come to light. It will be hard on the family no doubt, but everyone deserves justice, and Christopher Wallace, Notorious B.I.G., is no different.

The fact that two of the greatest rappers in the history of music can be murdered in front of dozens of people, and no arrests ever made despite everyone knowing who pulled the trigger in each case is thoroughly depressing but not at all surprising.

Highly recommended.


  1. I too have been interested in this case. Although police department corruption seems to be rampant around the world, I still like to read about it going on in my own city. Thanks for the review.

    1. Agreed that it is a world-wide problem and not just an LAPD-thing. I still can not fathom how a police force though, with no ties to government/dictator can be so corrupt. Like, in some countries we see the police basically acting as enforcers and body guards for these despots, and it makes sense how the corruption came about. But that's not the case for the LAPD, it is not as though they are any president's enforcers or anything. Even so, it is country-wide as well here, and an interesting and troubling phenomenon.


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