Notorious B.I.G. Autopsy Release Triggers LAPD Apology & Family Furor

Biggie SmallsI didn't think the autopsy details for Notorious B.I.G.'s death were particularly horrific or surprising -- after all, we knew that Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. Biggie Smalls, died in a drive-by shooting, so it hardly seemed shocking to hear that he did in fact sustain many devastating bullet wounds on March 9, 1997.

The crappy thing about the autopsy report is that it was released more than 15 years after Biggie's murder, in an attempt to drum up leads in what's become a famously cold and ineptly-handled case. Oh, and the even crappier thing? The LAPD didn't even warn Biggie's family before making the autopsy report public.

The LAPD has apologized for what they describe as "an administrative error," but man, talk about not instilling any confidence they'll ever stop bungling this investigation.


After failing to inform Wallace's family about their intent to release the autopsy findings, the LAPD issued a public mea culpa:

Due to an administrative error, the autopsy report was released prematurely. Robbery-Homicide Division detectives had intended to notify Mr. Wallace's family prior to releasing the report.

The head of the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division also spoke out about the goof:

Our detectives personally spoke with the Wallace family [Friday] night, and apologized for not notifying them prior to the release. Obviously this has been a challenging case for us to solve. We hope that witnesses or other people with information will come forward and give us the clues we need to solve this case.

Sure, releasing a 23-page autopsy report 15 years after a guy was killed has a great chance of turning up some fresh leads. I think I saw that in Murder, She Wrote once. I'm sure they won't be at all inundated with phone calls from crazy celebrity-death-weirdos and conspiracy theorists.

You almost have to feel sorry for the LAPD for biffing the relatively simple act of communicating their intent with the autopsy report to Wallace's family. I mean, seriously, one phone call and your ass is covered, right? Instead, they just come off looking foolish, and re-igniting the fury of a family who filed a wrongful death claim against the city of LA in 2005 and 2007.

If you're wondering how Wallace's family feels about the autopsy release, well, they're not too happy about it. According to their attorney:

What legitimate lead could be stimulated by releasing an autopsy that says 'Mr. Wallace was shot,'  when everyone knows that? Why don't they release some of the clues they have? (...) The family has been advised by the ex lead detective that the case has been solved for several years. If that is true, the family wants to know why an arrest has not been made.

Yep. Sounds like the millions of unresolved questions and ongoing clusterfuckedness of Biggie's death aren't going away any time soon.

Do you think the LAPD has handled Biggie Smalls' murder case as best they can?

Image via MTV

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