Notorious B.I.G. autopsy: Unsolved case angers family, lawyer says [UPDATED]
An attorney for the family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. said his relatives were shocked that the autopsy was released after 15 years without notifying them first and remain outraged that no arrests have been made.
Los Angeles County coroner's officials released the 23-page autopsy for the rapper, whose real name is Christopher Wallace, on Friday after Los Angeles police lifted a security hold in the case, according to coroner's chief Craig Harvey. The LAPD provided no explanation why the report was unsealed after so many years.
[Updated 4:49 p.m. Friday: LAPD Lt. Andrew Neiman said "investigators decided to release the autopsy report to stimulate interest in the case and hopefully produce new leads." Neiman said the rapper's relatives have met with detectives in the past, but the department does not notify relatives of every move on the case.]
Perry Sanders Jr., a civil rights attorney who represents Wallace's mother and other relatives, said the family was given no notice that the autopsy was going to be released.
"They had no idea this happened," Sanders said. "It contains personal details."
Sanders said the release of the autopsy also serves as a reminder that no one has been held accountable for the rapper's death.
"This is one of the highest profile murders in the world," Sanders said. "This is about criminal justice."
Notorious B.I.G died in March 1997 when an unknown assailant shot him four times in a drive-by attack on Wilshire Boulevard as the music star sat in the front passenger seat of a Chevrolet Suburban.
According to the autopsy, only one of the gunshots was fatal.
That 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.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.
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-- Richard Winton
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Photo: Notorious B.I.G. in a Los Angeles hotel room in 1997, where he was promoting his double album "Life After Death." Credit: Los Angeles Times