|Intro||American person of interest in the investigation into the murder of American rapper Tupac Shakur|
|From||United States of America|
|Type||Crime Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth||13 August 1974, Compton|
|Death||29 May 1998, Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center (aged 23 years)|
Orlando Tive "Baby Lane" Anderson (August 13, 1974 – May 29, 1998) was an American gangster and the prime suspect in the murder of rap music artist Tupac Shakur. Anderson belonged to the California-based gang known as the Southside Compton Crips. Detective Tim Brennan from Compton filed an affidavit naming Anderson as a suspect, although fans and others have questioned Anderson's involvement in the killing. He denied having anything to do with Tupac’s murder and was never charged with the murder. On May 29, 1998, Anderson died following a gang-related shootout. At the time of his death, he was in the process of starting his own record label.
Murder of Tupac Shakur
On the night of September 7, 1996, Shakur, his entourage, and Anderson were involved in a fight inside the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas three hours before Shakur's shooting. In September, Las Vegas homicide Lt. Larry Spinosa told the media, "At this point, Orlando Anderson is not a suspect in the shooting of Tupac Shakur." Eventually in the investigation, Anderson was named a suspect. Stories circulated on the street that Anderson had bragged about shooting the rapper, a claim he denied in an interview for VIBE magazine later. Anderson was detained in Compton a month after the shooting with 21 other alleged gang members. Anderson was not charged. However, the raid was only tangentially connected to the Tupac shooting as Compton police said they were investigating local shootings and not the one in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas police discounted Anderson as a suspect, according to a Los Angeles Times article, because the fight, in which Shakur was involved in assaulting Orlando Anderson in the Las Vegas MGM lobby, had happened just hours before the shooting. They failed to follow up with a member of Shakur's entourage who witnessed the shooting and told Vegas police he could identify one or more of the assailants; the witness, rapper Yaki Kadafi, was killed two months later. The police also failed to follow up on a lead from a witness who had spotted a white Cadillac similar to the car from which the fatal shots were fired and in which the shooters escaped.
A year later, Afeni Shakur, Tupac's mother, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Anderson in response to a lawsuit Anderson filed against Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight, Death Row associates, and Tupac's estate. Anderson's lawsuit sought damages for injuries resulting from the scuffle the evening of Tupac's murder, for emotional and physical pain. Afeni Shakur's lawsuit was filed just four days after Anderson's. The Associated Press reported in 2000 that Shakur's estate and Anderson's estate settled the competing lawsuits just hours before Orlando Anderson's death. Anderson's lawyer claimed the settlement would have netted Anderson $78,000.
In 1997, Anderson told the Los Angeles Times he was a fan of Tupac Shakur and his music, and denied being the murderer.
In October 2011, former LAPD Detective Greg Kading, a former investigator in the murder of Christopher "Biggie Smalls" Wallace, released a book alleging that Sean "Diddy" Combs commissioned Duane “Keefe D” Davis to kill Tupac Shakur, as well as Suge Knight, for $1 million. Davis, who is Orlando Anderson's uncle, and Kading claimed that Anderson was present in the vehicle that pulled up next to the BMW in which Tupac was shot. In a recorded conversation with Kading, Davis claimed Anderson fired the shots that killed Tupac.
Kading's implication of Anderson was similar to allegations made in Philips' series and Scott's book. Each account said that four black men were in the white Cadillac that pulled up alongside the BMW that Knight and Tupac were riding in on the night of the shooting. The accounts independently reported that Anderson was in the back seat of the Cadillac and shot Tupac by leaning out of the back window. Kading and Philips claimed that the Crips were offered a $1 million dollar bounty to kill Knight and Tupac. However, the two accounts differ on whether the bounty was offered by Combs (as reported by Kading) or by Wallace (as reported by Phillips).
In 2002, The Los Angeles Times published a two-part series by reporter Chuck Philips titled "Who Killed Tupac Shakur?" based on a series that looked into the events leading to the crime. The series indicated that "the shooting was carried out by a Compton gang called the Southside Crips to avenge the beating of one of its members by Shakur a few hours earlier. Orlando Anderson, the Crip whom Shakur had attacked, fired the fatal shots. Las Vegas police interviewed Anderson only once as a possible suspect. He was later killed in an unrelated gang shooting." The Los Angeles Times articles included reference to the cooperation of East Coast rappers including the late rapper The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac's rival at the time, and New York criminals.
Before they died, rival rap music artist The Notorious B.I.G. (also known as Biggie Smalls, who was killed on March 9, 1997) and Anderson denied a role in the murder. In support of this, Biggie's family produced computerized invoices showing that he was working in a New York recording studio the night of the drive-by shooting. His manager Wayne Barrow and fellow rapper James "Lil' Cease" Lloyd made public announcements denying Biggie had a role in the crime and stating that they were both with him in the recording studio on the night of the shooting.
Assistant Managing Editor of the Los Angeles Times Mark Duvoisin defended Philips' articles, stating they were based on police affidavits and court documents as well as interviews with investigators, witnesses to the crime and members of the Southside Crips. Duvoisin stated: "Philips' story has withstood all challenges to its accuracy, ...[and] remains the definitive account of the Shakur slaying." The main thrust of Philips' articles, implicating Anderson and the Crips, was later corroborated by former LAPD Detective Greg Kading's 2011 book Murder Rap and discussed in author Cathy Scott's book The Killing of Tupac Shakur. She refuted the theory in a People magazine article, saying there was no evidence pointing to Biggie Smalls as a suspect. Also, The New York Times wrote, " The Los Angeles Times articles did not offer any documentation to show that Wallace was in Las Vegas that night."
In her 2002 book (with a new edition in 2014), The Killing of Tupac Shakur, Cathy Scott reviews various theories, including the Suge Knight/Death Row theory of Tupac's murder before stating, "Years after the primary investigations, it's still anyone's guess. No one was ever arrested but no one was ever ruled out as a suspect, either." She then wrote that one theory "transcends all the others, and implicates the white-record-company power brokers themselves," implicating the bosses of the Suge Knight label. In recent years, archived letters of her responses to readers show an evolution toward Anderson as a suspect and a dismissal of the Knight theory.