It’s been over 20 years, but the events around the lives and deaths of hip hop icons Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace still matter in 2018. And in USA Network’s limited series Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G., the intricate plot of two separate investigations gives us just a taste of the insurmountable work the befell 2006 task force leader Det. Greg Kading.
Kading, who wrote the book Murder Rap: The Untold Story of the Biggie Smalls & Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations, spoke with USA Network about what compelled him to tell his story.
“Back in 2009, when we'd basically gotten the resolution we were looking for,” Kading told USA, recalling the final days of the task force, “I knew what we knew, but the public didn't. So, I felt a responsibility to help educate the public as to what we discovered in the investigations.”
According to Kading, his career in law enforcement was coming to a close after being a cop for almost 25 years, so he saw an opportunity to step aside and tell his story. He wrote the book, which was then made into a documentary, which then became the source material for Kyle Long’s USA series.
In the game-changing seventh episode of the season, “Half the Job,” the character of Greg Kading (played by Josh Duhamel) makes major headway in the investigation. Meanwhile, the real-life Kading still gets a rise when he recalls those moments portrayed in the episode.
“There was a real sense of accomplishment, even to the point of victory,” Kading admitted. “For so long, we'd been trying and struggling to get these answers, and now, we had validated information. So, it was incredible.”
The pivotal interview with Keefe D portrayed in episode seven is based on actual conversations. Kading says the dynamics you see in the scene are spot-on. “The show portrays, as accurately as you can, what took place in real life.”
As for the case being “unsolved,” Kading does feel that the story, though dramatized, still presents new information that can lead to thoughtful discussions about these two cold cases.
“I think this series is going to help people to understand that there is enough information for them to find closure and to have resolution,” Kading said. “They're never going to get what they would expect, which is justice -- in the sense of judicial justice. But, what they will be able to say is, ‘Wow, okay, that makes perfect sense…’ That doesn't make it any less of a tragedy -- it actually makes it more of a tragedy -- but at least people can have the discussion confidently.”
All these years later, Kading still feels the loss of these two rap legends.
“These two kids -- these artists -- were so phenomenally gifted that they just had so much to offer,” explained the former detective, “and there's a sense that we've all kind of been victimized or robbed by not getting to see what their potential, ultimately, was. So, I think there's that sense of loss.”