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The Murder of Biggie Smalls Hardcover – October 11, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

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According to Scott and Biggie Smalls' mom, Voletta Wallace, Biggie and Tupac Shakur once were friends. After Shakur's bloody demise in a hail of bullets, however, Smalls and his associates were perceived as the killers, and speculation ran rampant that deadly retribution would be visited upon them, as part of the East Coast-West Coast gangsta-rap feud. Now, as Paul Harvey might say, Scott brings inquiring minds the rest of the story. Tupac blamed Biggie, in part, for the 1994 ambush that gave Shakur five bullets ("including [one to] the head") and cost him "$35,000 worth of jewelry." Shakur thought Smalls and Sean "Puffy" Combs had known the attack was in the offing. Later, of course, Shakur and then Smalls died in other ambushes. Coincidence? Hardly. Scott takes readers through the complex story of Smalls' murder, which perforce entails telling the stories of Shakur, Combs, Death Row label head and alleged mobster Suge Knight, and the whole East Coast-West Coast contretemps. Whereas others who have dealt with this stuff have often neglected to humanize the principals involved, Scott points up biographical details that bring them into focus as human beings. For setting the record straight as well as for limning a major pop music star, this is a valuable book. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Cathy Scott is a star writer in the crowded field of true crime." --Ann Rule

"Cathy Scott is an amazing talent for getting the story behind the headlines." --Gregg Olsen


"A thorough report on the investigation of the driveby shooting of one of rap music's top stars." -- Kirkus

"a thorough report...a compelling tale [that] reveals an exotic world based in greed, violence, and the need for self-expression." -- Kirkus

Most poignant are the conversations with Big's mom ... and the chilling account of how Biggie's best friend, Damien Butler, was so distraught over his passing. -- The Source magazine, October 2000

The picture painted of the investigation of Biggie's murder is more detailed than anything found in the music press. -- Nelson George, Africana Magazine

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 210 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (October 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312266200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312266202
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,436,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cathy Scott is a tour de force in true crime as a Los Angeles Times bestselling author and an award-winning investigative journalist. She attracted international acclaim for her classic true-crime biographies, THE KILLING OF TUPAC SHAKUR and THE MURDER OF BIGGIE SMALLS. Ann Rule has described Scott as "a star writer in the crowded field of true crime."

Cathy Scott's seventh book, THE MILLIONAIRE'S WIFE, was released March 27, 2012. by St. Martin's Press about the 1990 contract murder of George Kogan on an Upper East Side Manhattan street in broad daylight. Fast-forward nearly 20 years, and Barbara Kogan, George's estranged wife, admitted to hiring a hit man to have her husband gunned down.

Her eighth book - the re-release and update of MURDER OF A MAFIA DAUGHTER - was published in March 2014 about the unsolved murder of writer Susan Berman at the hands of accused killer Robert Durst. The book includes exclusive information from investigators and new information about the prime suspect. It was named Best True Crime Book (2nd place) by ForeWord Reviews.

A memoir of a former drug kingpin, FREEWAY RICK ROSS: THE UNTOLD AUTOBIOGRAPHY, which Cathy co-wrote with Ross, was released in June 2014 to a standing-room audience at its Los Angeles launch and was a finalist in ForeWord Reviews' Best True Crime Books of 2014.

Her latest book, UNCONDITIONAL HONOR: WOUNDED WARRIORS AND THEIR DOGS, released in March 2015, is about the amazing relationships between wounded veterans and their service dogs and the organizations the provide the dogs at no cost.

Her latest fact-based true crime proposed book is about two teenage girls murdered six years apart on Torrey Pines Beach State Beach in southern California, murdered under eerily similar circumstances. Fifteen-year-old Barbara Nantais was strangled and her body partially mutilated in 1978, and 14-year-old Claire Hough in 1984. Police and the FBI for two decades said the murders were most probably committed by the same killer. But after DNA turned up matching blood and semen samples for Claire Hough's murder, police in October 2014 announced they'd solved the Hough murder and pointed to two men as the assailants, former police employee Kevin Brown and a sometimes homeless Nebraska man named Ronald Tatro, both of whom had since died. But an initial suspect in the case who, because of personnel changes at the police department, was never pursued. Meanwhile, the Barbara Nantais case remains open. Scott pursues the evidence and interviews police, neighbors, friends and family and profiles all three suspects.

A second project is the Dawn Viens case. Dawn, 37, disappeared on Oct. 18, 2010, after leaving Thyme Contemporary Cafe, in Lomita, California, that she and her husband ran. David Viens told police that he and his wife had argued. She didn't take her cell phone or stash of cash, and her car was later towed as evidence when she did not return. The husband, after throwing himself off a cliff -- and surviving -- admitted to killing his wife but has not told police where Dawn's body is.

You can find out more about this author by visiting her Web site at cathyscott dot com and her "Crime She Writes" blog for PsychologyToday dot com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
After reading this book, I have a much better understanding of what went on behind the scenes after the murder and also gave me insight into the rap music world. I doubt if there will ever be a better biography of his life.
This book was easy to follow - I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matt on November 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fans of the late, great Notorious B.I.G. will not be disappointed in Cathy Scott's compendium of research and notes about the mystery surrounding Big's murder.
The book was a bit redundant throughout, repeating information sometimes numerous times. Although is was strictly about the murder case, it would have been much better if Scott changed the theme into the life and times of Christopher Wallace leading up to his death. A Biography would have simply been more suiting.
The Murder of Biggie Smalls is a griping story, but much of the story was focused on other subjects. A whole chapter was dedicatd to the murder of Tupac Shakur. A whole chapter dedicated to Puff Daddy. There was a bit of speculation on the murder but there was a lot of redundant, boring information about police structures and such that aren't interesting.
Good or not, this is the only book touching on the subject of Christopher Wallace. Fans won't want to miss this one but casuals may want to skip out on it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"The Murder of Biggie Smalls" doesn't have enough about the murder of Biggie Smalls. There are next to no new revelations about the case. Instead, the author rehashes Tupac Shakur's murder and then goes into completely unrelated information about Biggie's producer Puffy Combs to fill up the last chapters. Some of the interviews with Biggie's mother, Voletta Wallace, are interesting but that's the only positive thing about the book which is repetitive and extremely poorly written. As far as writing style, it may be the poorest writing I've ever read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Henry Cooper on February 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The one and only Cathy Scott done a terrific job detailing everything that had happend on that cold and shocking night that took Biggie's life to a deep fasting fall and prior to that. I couldn't even put it down nor let it loose, After years of research and studying the forms on Biggie and Tupac, I finally get the message. Who and why did have to happen and what could've been pervented? I've been a big Biggie and Tupac fan too even though the thoughts and stories they laid out on their music and why their music is still being remembered in today's world. If BIG and Pac were here today, they would be at the top by then. Overall great read and plus LAbyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., the Implication of Death Row Records' Suge Knight, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Police Scandal, Holler If You Hear Me (2006), etc. are great reads to check out too.

There been many stories and talk on why their was a real corruptions with the cops or local gangs, a lot of conspiracy theories circulating, who was involved, why their was a visual attack on the east coast/west coast rap war, why the shooting of Quad Studios were Tupac was shot and immediately accuse Biggie and so forth...you get the key.

References and Sources I got from reading it and through research can help:

Movies like Notorious (2009), Malcolm X (1992), RFK (2002), New Jack City (1991 or 1992), Play'd: A Hip Hop Story (2002), etc.

Documentaries like Behind the Music on Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Vanilla Ice, Notorious B.I.G., P.
Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lora Shaner on October 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book, on the heels of Scott's THE KILLING OF TUPAC SHAKUR, is an exquisitely-drawn account of the life and death of another enormously popular rap artist who, like Tupac, died much too young. THE MURDER OF BIGGIE SMALLS reveals a life style that Mr. and Ms. Average Citizen find jaw-droppingly different from anything they've experienced. This book is a stream of light that penetrates all the dark corners and leads the uninitiated to an "Oh, yeah! I get it!" Those who "got it" twenty years ago when rap was born, will learn the answers to questions that have plagued rap afficionados since the lives (and potential) of their heroes began to be violently and senslessly cut short.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
AFter the murders of two rap singers I was interested in learning more about the murders. I was not very informed on the Biggie Smalls murder until I read this book. It was written very well and allowed me into this world of rap music and allowed me to see different sides to Biggie Smalls. The author did a very good job of covering some history and also the course of events leading up to the murder and afterwards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "anteekers" on October 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Reading this book gave me insight into the rap world. It also answered a lot of questions for me.
The author did a great job "reporting" this rap star's murder!
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