Notorious B.I.G and the unsolved murder cases

Estimated read time 6 min read

Several murders have occurred in times past involving top names with many celebrities losing their lives in the process. Though some of the deaths have found closure such as the case of the Reggae legend, Lucky Dube, American singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez and American actress cum model Sharon Tate, others have not. Others such as the Notorious B.I.G are still unsolved.

One of those high-profile murders that remained unsolved for years was the murder of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Tupac Shakur in 1996. But following the arrest of Duane “Keffe D” Davis on September 29, that murder is heading towards a closure. Though it is the court that has the final say in whether the now 60-year-old Davis would be punished or not based on the available evidence, likely, the case that travelled 27 years would finally be concluded after the trial and justice served.

In this article, we look at some of the high-profile murders that have remained unsolved after so many years.

Biggie Smalls, known as Notorious B.I.G

Christopher George Latore Wallace known as Biggie Smalls, Notorious B.I.G or simply Biggie, was a celebrated American rapper signed onto Sean “Puffy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records when it was launched in 1993. The Notorious B.I.G was a popular figure in the West Coast-East Coast hip-hop rivalry which had Tupac Shakur on the other side with the Death Row Records headed by Marion “Suge” Knight.

Wallace was killed by an assailant who opened fire at the car he was travelling in when they stopped at a red light shortly after leaving a Soul Train Awards after-party at the Petersen Automotive Museum hosted by Vibes and Qwest Records. The Notorious B.I.G was in the front seat and was in the truck with his associates Damion “D-Roc” Butler, Lil’ Cease, and driver Gregory “G-Money” Young. An autopsy report was released 15 years after his death. The report said of the four bullets that Wallace took, only the final shot was fatal and it entered through his right hip and struck his colon, liver, heart, and left lung before stopping in his left shoulder.

JonBenét Ramsey, the child beauty queen

This name may sound unfamiliar to the ordinary and that is right because the owner of this name was plucked right before her life even blossomed. She is found among our list of high-profile unsolved murders because of her status before her tragic demise.

JonBenét was an American child beauty queen who shot to fame after winning several beauty contests while still just six years old. She was born to Patricia Ann Ramsey, an American beauty queen and the winner of Miss West Virginia 1977 and John Bennett Ramsey, an American businessman and author.

The child beauty queen was reported missing in her family home in Boulder, Colorado and her body was found later after a search behind the house. Her murder case has remained unsolved and has transitioned between the Boulder police and the District Attorney many times as the search for answers continues. She was reported missing on December 25, 1996, and her body was found a day later. A report on the case indicated that she had sustained a broken skull and strangled. The official autopsy report said her official cause of death was “asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma”.

Investigators considered it a kidnap case due to a note that was left on the kitchen staircase in their Boulder family home. The note demanded a $118,000 ransom and warned that any involvement of the authorities would result in the killing of the little girl. Several people were considered suspects including her parents but they were later exonerated as the DA office said it had no evidence tying JonBenét’s death to any of her family members.

Police initially focused on the family but by October 1997, at least 1,600 persons of interest were now involved in the case as the investigators widened their nets following the emergence of new evidence. However, several theories such as the family theory, intruder theory and false confessions have not led to a closure for the case. And it is now 26 years and the six-year-old’s death remains unsolved.

Fennec Okyere, Kwaw Kese manager

Yes, Fennec Okyere, the CEO of Madtime Entertainment and the manager of rapper Kwaw Kese is one victim of murder and sadly,it is almost 10 years and his killers have not been found. It was on March 13, 2014, when the Madtime boss was killed in cold blood at his Manet residence in Accra. The only person who was seriously suspected to be the killer Lawrence Nana Asiamah Hanson known as Bullgod and formerly called Bulldog was released after the Attorney General advised so.

Following Fennec’s murder in 2014, Bullgod, the CEO of Bullhaus Entertainment was arrested in May after an investigation by the homicide unit of the Ghana Police fingered him as a serious suspect. However, the Attorney General advised in 2018 that the artiste manager be released to enable the police to conduct further investigation.

Fennec Okyere (left) with Kwaw Kese
Fennec Okyere (left) with Kwaw Kese

Bullgod denied having a hand in the murder of the late manager of Kwaw Kese. He told Andy Dosty during an interview on Hitz FM that he openly argued with Fennec on the radio but never threatened him as is speculated. “There’s a perception out there that I threatened Fennec. I did not. There’s no record anywhere. Nothing! The only argument I had with Fennec was a public one on the radio. And I never used those words,” Bullgod explained.

And the list goes on…

Thus, the Notorious B.I.G, Fennec Okyere and JonBenét Ramsey are among some famous people who lost their lives tragically and have not yet found justice. They are not the only ones as their company is joined by names such as American actor, disc jockey and drummer Bob Edward Kane who was killed in 1978. Also, aspiring American actress Elizabeth Short met her untimely death in 1947 and her body was even mutilated when her naked body was discovered later. Over 750 investigators worked on the case and about 160 people including the biggest suspect among them, Mark Hansen but each of them was cleared and the murder remains officially unsolved.

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