Friday, July 06, 2007

Hip Hop Friday Interview with Cathy Scott on the Murder of Tupac Shakur

Las Vegas reporter Cathy Scott's investigation of the Tupac murder pretty much parallels my own - but I think her underlying assumptions, the influence of having worked in the establishment press for so long, limit her a little, but she's always been on the right (CHAOS) track - she just doesn't know it exists. - AC
by Robert

The name Cathy Scott is recognized by many in hip hop culture for her reporting and articles in the Las Vegas Sun during the time of the murder of hip hop icon Tupac Shakur (2Pac).

She not only has reported on and wrote the book ‘The Killing of Tupac Shakur’, she has also wrote the book ‘The Murder of Biggie Smalls’ about the murder of another hip hop and rap icon.

As a true crime author, award-winning journalist, public speaker, and presenter of writers' workshops, she has gained a respectable position as a writer.

Cathy Scott is in the new DVD titled 'Tupac Revelation', which is set to release in September 2007. One of the most famous body guards in hip hop history, Frank Alexander, and Richard Bond (of Bond Age Films), requested input from Cathy Scott for their project.

We asked Cathy Scott about her involvement in the project Tupac: Revelation and we also asked for her updated views and for any new information she may have about the murder of one of the most loved hip hop and rap artists ever to evolve out of the hip hop culture: Tupac Amaru Shakur (2Pac).

Robert – Thank you for taking time to update us on your participation in the Tupac Revelation project.

Cathy Scott – It’s my pleasure. Thanks for including me.

Robert – Most people in the hip hop culture know who you are and your connection to the murder of Tupac Shakur (2Pac) thru your books The Killing of Tupac Shakur and The Murder of Biggie Smalls and from your quotes in Tupac: A Thugs Life. How many copies has The Killing of Tupac Shakur sold to date?

Cathy Scott – My understanding is that it’s around 200,000 copies or so. It was a top seller for months on and it also made the Los Angeles Times’ bestseller list for several weeks. Also, The Murder of Biggie Smalls sold 10,000 copies the first week of its release. That shows that people are eager to learn details about the cases.

Robert – This recent project of Bond Films, Tupac Revelation, is a project that I feel will change the legacy of Tupac forever; if the information contained in it is acted on. Do you share that mindset about that project?

Cathy Scott – If nothing else, it’s going to open some eyes about the investigation and shed new light on it. And it might force police to act, as you said. But Vegas is a strange place and the powers that be –- the good ol’ boys – still have influence over a lot of what happens. So it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. The information in Tupac Revelation is so damning, however, that it may be impossible to ignore.

Robert – How did you first get involved in Tupac Revelation?

Cathy Scott – I’ve stayed in touch with Frank Alexander, off and on, ever since he and I were on a talk show together a few years ago. So when he was working on Tupac Revelation, his producer arranged for me to be interviewed for it. I’ve always had questions about the case, because there were holes in it and some of it didn’t make sense. But with the new evidence in the DVD, it now adds up. The thing is, the truth makes sense; lies do not. When there are holes in a case, you know that vital information is missing.

Robert – Were you surprised, as I was, at some of the information put forth in the DVD?

Cathy Scott – It was more of an “A ha,” for me. A “That’s why,” kind of thing. Rumors, of course, have always swirled around the case, but to have key witnesses come out and confirm vital information and evidence and throw light on the case was refreshing. They were the missing pieces to the puzzle.

Robert – How could so much information been keep out of the public eye for so long, it has been over 10 years since Pac died?

Cathy Scott – I don’t believe the Las Vegas police ever wanted this information to get out, because it has the potential to embarrass the department, and they haven’t been in a hurry to solve the case because of it.

Robert – I was offered an exclusive viewing of the DVD and I was amazed at some of the information put forth. Did you find some of the information new and amazing also?

Cathy Scott – It’s definitely an eye-opener. Like I said, the pieces all fit together now. If you step back and look at the case, from beginning to end, it now makes sense. There’s no arguing with it. It solves the case.

Robert – You know I have a lot of respect for you so hopefully I can ask, does this DVD change your opinion on what really happened to Tupac and why?

Cathy Scott – It doesn’t necessarily change my opinion. I try to deal in the facts and evidence of a homicide. What the information does is tie the loose ends together. It’s obvious now what went down that day. The DVD holds the key and substantiates new evidence. It’s almost like the anatomy of a murder, planned and carried out, is revealed. Before, without this new information, some of details didn’t add up.

Robert – Can you tell me your own scenario of what you believe happened and why?

Cathy Scott – What the case has always looked like is someone had a beef with Tupac, took advantage of the heavy traffic that night, and shot him. But what didn’t make sense was how did the shooter know where Tupac was going to be? It’s not like someone can easily be followed in gridlock traffic. The driver of the Cadillac, from where the shooter fired, would have had to be tipped off as to Tupac’s location. That has always been the hole in the case, at least for me.

Robert – Why do you think so much information was twisted and so many rumors became ‘hood facts’?

Cathy Scott – In a high-profile case, especially an unsolved one, rumors are going to fly. What the police told us didn’t make sense, that it was a random shooting. Tupac’s fans didn’t believe the police either. It seemed at the time, and it still does, that detectives were too quick to dismiss the case. They weren’t interested in solving it. And now, I believe, we know why.

Robert – Do you think police officials 'overlooked' certain things on purpose?

Cathy Scott – Absolutely. Think about it. Metro Police officers were moonlighting that night as Tupac and Suge’s (Death Row Records CEO Marion ‘Suge’ Knight) security. They were part of Tupac’s supposed protection. Which means, of course, that those officers knew what was going on. That, I believe, is the reason the case has never been solved.

Robert – This DVD also touches on not only the death of Pac but others as well. How many ‘unsolved’ crimes do you think can be solved with the help of the information contained in the DVD, do you think?

Cathy Scott – Orlando Anderson’s death is one. Even though the cops know who the shooter was, the reason for his death, I believe, was in retaliation for Tupac’s murder. But police at the time said Orlando simply was in the crossfire and was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I was told by a couple of Compton police a while ago that Orlando was shot because of Tupac’s death, but that has never come out publicly. I do believe that’s the case. Also, the days following Tupac getting shot – before his death – was a bloodbath. And we can’t forget Notorious B.I.G.’s murder, which is forever linked to Tupac’s death. The DVD sheds light on Biggie’s investigation as well.

Robert – Even though police officials have said that the murder of Kadafi, aka Yafeu Fula, was not related to the murder of Tupac; what is your take on the murder of Kadafi?

Cathy Scott – I’ve always believed that Kadafi’s death was related to Tupac’s. The cops told me the morning of Yafeu’s death that it had nothing to do with Tupac’s case. How could they possibly know at that point? Homicides need to be thoroughly investigated. They were awfully quick to say that. They also initially said that Kadafi was killed in his girlfriend’s apartment. But it later came out that he was killed in the hallway of the low-income housing project she lived in. There was never any motive given for his murder. He appeared to get wacked, execution-style. I believe the kids who killed him were paid to do it, then they, like patsies, were prosecuted.

Robert – I remember that the police arrested a 16 year old and a 17 year old for the shooting of Kadafi, but I have also heard that the murder of Kadafi is an ‘unsolved case’. Can you enlighten me on the status of that case?

Cathy Scott - . The teen-age boys charged and ultimately convicted of killing Kadafi never went to trial. They pleaded out to lesser charges. That tells me the cops and district attorney did not want the details of the case to be made public during a trial. Again, I’ve always believed Kadafi’s death was because he said he could identify the shooter. That statement, clearly, got Kadafi killed.

Robert – What is the most important or biggest thing you learned in your participation in the Tupac Revelation DVD?

Cathy Scott – The revelation of who was really behind Tupac’s death is the most important thing, along with the confirmation by several witnesses, who back it all up. If certain people had come forward earlier, their lives, back then, would have been in danger. The timing is right for this to come out.

Robert – Will those who are Pac's fans and those who have been watching this investigation be surprised by what is revealed?

Cathy Scott – Many will, but some won’t. Rumors have swirled for years about who was really behind the killing. It’s just never been substantiated -- until now.

Robert – Being a crime reporter and journalist, what do you think of the ‘homicide investigators’ who worked on this case from the beginning?

Cathy Scott – The case was botched from the beginning, from the bicycle cops who left the scene of the crime, to throwing members of Tupac’s entourage on the ground, then expecting them to talk. But what was most startling was the lack of enthusiasm by the lead investigators to solve the case. It was obvious from the start that they simply wanted the case to go away. They never wanted to solve it, and I’ve always known that. But now I understand why.

Robert – After ten years do you lend any creditability to the Las Vegas Police Dept. in solving the murder of Tupac Shakur.

Cathy Scott – This may force their hand. It’s tough to ignore evidence, but, again, it’s Las Vegas, and they may just say the statements have no merit. The case could, of course, be handed off to another jurisdiction for investigation if the police refuse to follow the latest leads. That would cause even more embarrassment to the department. Also, Tupac’s mother could push for the cold case to be reinvestigated.

Robert – Do you in a sense feel that you may have been mislead by investigators when you worked for the Las Vegas Sun?

Cathy Scott – I’ve always felt that, from the start, some of the investigators were trying to lead me down the wrong path. I was very much aware of that at the time. I just tried to work around them. I’ve covered a lot of homicide cases. In Tupac’s case, the police obviously were not interested in solving it, from the start. Why they weren’t now makes more sense. I was told by a top person in the department in the first weeks following Tupac’s death that a trial would bring negative attention to Las Vegas, so they didn’t want to solve it. I now know why that was the case too. It wasn’t only because it was a rap murder near the Las Vegas Strip, but it’s the players who were behind it that would have been an embarrassment. So they tried to sweep it under the carpet. And it worked for 10 years. But with the new evidence in the upcoming release of the DVD, I don’t think they’ll be able to continue to ignore key evidence.

Robert – With the recent re-filing of the Biggie lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles for wrongful dead in Biggie's case, and the recent reports of a suspect in the murder of JMJ and of Tupac's friend Randy "Stretch" Walker, are we to think that maybe we will see justice in the future for Tupac and the Shakur family?

Cathy Scott – Possibly. It just depends on what Las Vegas police do. The lead investigator, Sgt. Kevin Manning, has retired, but he’s back as a part-time contract employee working on, coincidentally, cold cases. So it looks like it might be his case again, which could be awkward. If I were Tupac’s mother, I’d insist on a new lead investigator. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes down.

Robert – Does the information that is contained in the Tupac Revelation call for an update reprint to The Killing of Tupac Shakur or another book from you on the subject of Tupac’s murder?

Cathy Scott – I’ve thought about that. I’ll have to talk to my publisher, but, yes, it might be time for a 3rd edition of The Killing of Tupac Shakur, with revised and updated details.

Robert – I have heard that there may be a book coming also called ‘The Big Lie’ that you will be writing. Can you comment on that?

Cathy Scott – We’ve talked about writing a book about the day of the shooting, from beginning to end, and how it all came down.

Robert – What is next for Cathy Scott?

Cathy Scott – Well, I was in New Orleans for nearly four months following Hurricane Katrina. I’m a big animal lover and went down there as an embedded reporter with an animal welfare group that rescued 7,000 pets from the flood water and debris. I’ve just gotten a book contract for Pawprints of Katrina, following the pets from their rescues to going home again. It’s a departure for me, but a nice change from homicides. Pawprints, published by Wiley, will be released in July 2008. It covers the plight of the people of New Orleans who lost everything. In many cases, all the residents wanted back were their pets (many were reunited with them). The lack of government intervention in New Orleans was unbelievable. I have another book coming out too, a true-crime book (Rough Guide to True Crime, released by Penguin), which covers about 150 crime stories. That’s due out in the fall of 2008.

Robert – I know you are very busy and there has been some things that we could not disclose or talk about right now (because of confidentiality agreements), but when the DVD drops I hope we can sit down again and go deeper into this. I have always respected the work you have put in on the Tupac murder and I would love a chance to go into this a little deeper with you.

Cathy Scott – Thanks so much. You’re a great supporter, and I appreciate that. I’d love to sit down and talk in detail once the DVD drops. It’s going to be interesting to see what’s done with the new evidence the DVD brings out.

Robert – I want to thank you for your time and let you know that your time and input on projects like Tupac Revelation is much respected and appreciated. Hopefully 2Pac’s immediate and extended family will see justice for Tupac thru all the efforts put forth by everyone. Thanks again and talk soon

Cathy Scott – I’d like nothing else than to see justice done in this case. If this doesn’t make that happen, I don’t know what will.

Robert – Peace and thanks again.

© Copyright All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without written prior consent.

* Cathy Scott is a true crime author, award-winning journalist, public speaker, and presenter of writers' workshops. Her books have been reprinted in the U.K. and in Poland. Cathy Scott's work has taken her to Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Panama, as well as all over the U.S. Her last major assignment was to the Gulf region to cover Hurricane Katrina and the largest animal rescue in history for Best Friends Animal Society's magazine and Web site. She currently is writing a book about the rescue effort, titled PAWPRINTS OF KATRINA: Pets Saved and Lessons Learned. Her web site can be found at

More on Tupac: Revelation can be found at: ‘s interview with Frank Alexander and RJ Bond of Tupac: Revelation can be found at -


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