Notorious B.I.G. autopsy: No drugs, alcohol in rapper's system
The night rapper Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down in one of L.A.'s most famous unsolved homicides he had no drugs or alcohol in his system, according to a Los Angeles County coroner's report unsealed Friday.
A coroner's medical examiner ran toxicology screens for alcohol, cocaine, codeine, morphine and methamphetamine with negative results for all.
The autopsy report has been on a security hold and sealed for more than 15 years, ever since the rapper was killed in a drive-by shooting in March 1997.
The report shows that although he was shot four times, it was a single bullet that ended his life. One of the bullets entered the rapper's right hip, and fatally pierced several organs.
Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher George Latore Wallace, was killed by an unknown assailant on Wilshire Boulevard as the music star sat in the front passenger seat of a Chevrolet Suburban. The killing of the rapper, also known as Biggie Smalls, remains unsolved despite an LAPD task force that examined the death.
According to the autopsy, one bullet struck Wallace's left forearm and traveled down to his wrist while a another bullet hit him in the back and exited his body through his left shoulder. Another shot hit his left thigh and traveled through to his inner thigh before glancing off his scrotum. None of those rounds were fatal.
The fatal shot, according to Dr. Lisa Scheinin, entered his right hip before slicing through his colon, liver, heart and part of his lung before wedging in his left shoulder area.
Two medium-caliber bullets were recovered from the hospital gurney, according to the report.At the time of his death, Wallace was one of the biggest stars in rap music. His slaying shocked the hip-hop community, coming just months after the Las Vegas slaying of another marquee rapper, Los Angeles-based Tupac Shakur.
Once friends, the rappers became rivals whose respective camps regularly traded violent barbs in song lyrics and in interviews. Shakur's slaying also remains unsolved.
Various theories have linked the two homicides. Some believe the two men were killed as part of a rivalry between East Coast and West Coast rappers, or between their two music labels at the time, Los Angeles-based Death Row and New York-based Bad Boy Entertainment.
Amid questions about the killing, the FBI investigated various theories, including one from a former LAPD detective, who later publicly suggested that Wallace may have been killed by a hit man hired by a corrupt ex-LAPD officer on behalf of Marion "Suge" Knight, the founder of Death Row Records.
The FBI opened its probe after Wallace's family accused the city of covering up LAPD involvement in the rapper's slaying. Los Angeles police officials last year said they exhaustively searched for answers in the case without an arrest.
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-- Richard Winton
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Photo: Notorious B.I.G. accepts his award for rap artist and rap single of the year at the 1995 Billboard Music Awards in New York. Credit: Mark Lennihan / Associated Press