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OTRC: Notorious B.I.G. death investigation documents released, case still unsolved

Notorious B.I.G in an undated photo from Diddy's Twitter page. (Twitter.com/iamdiddy)

The 1997 deadly shooting of rapper the Notorious B.I.G. continues to remain unsolved, even following the FBI's recent release of hundreds of documents from its investigation of the case, which were produced over the past few years.

Wallace was shot dead at age 24 in a vehicle as it left a music industry party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The killer was never found.

In January, it was reported that an investigation into the slaying of the East Coast rapper, whose real name is Christopher Wallace and who is also known as Biggie Smalls, had been "reinvigorated" due to new information that had surfaced."

According to the documents recently posted on the FBI's website, informants told the FBI that corrupt police officers may have been involved in the killing of the rapper. During the investigation, agents also conducted surveillance on a San Diego man who they thought may have fired the fatal shots at Wallace.

Many conspiracy theories regarding the killing have surfaced over the years. Most of them involve members of the hip hop world and cite longtime rivalries between East and West Coast rappers.

Following the release of the FBI documents, Los Angeles police said they have no new leads in the case but that the department's investigation remains open, the Los Angeles Times said.

"We have followed up on all of the leads we have at this time to the best of our ability," the newspaper quoted LAPD Captain Kevin McClure, head of the department's Robbery Homicide Division, as saying. "If anything new comes along we will certainly look at it."

The FBI's probe was closed in 2005. That year, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the city of Los Angeles by his mother. She accused Los Angeles of suppressing evidence on the role two LAPD officers may have had in the shooting. She and her family dismissed the federal lawsuit in 2010, which the rapper's family's attorney said was done in order for authorities to investigate the case further.

A 2005 trial ended with a mistrial after the family's lawyer discovered the city had withheld a trove of LAPD documents, the Associated Press reported.

Wax figures of the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, a New York-born and California-based rapper who was killed in 1996 in Las Vegas during a drive-by shooting that is also still unsolved, were displayed together at Madame Tussauds' Washington, D.C. museum in the spring of 2010.

A 2002 documentary film called "Biggie and Tupac" addressed their similar deaths as well as the East Coast-West Coast rapper rivalries that were apparent during their final years.

Wallace was remembered by colleagues such as Diddy, who attended the same party the rapper did before he was killed, and Lil' Kim in March on March 9, the 14th anniversary of his death.

The Notorious B.I.G. was nominated for a Best Solo Rap Performance at the Grammys twice, once in 1996 for "Big Poppa" and again 1998 for "Hypnotize. His final solo album "Life After Death" was released shortly after his death on March 26 and went on to sell more than 10 million copies.

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