On the afternoon of Friday, March 14, the LA Times' Stephan Pechdimaldji, senior manager of media relations, tossed out an email to his media list announcing the impending publication of Chuck Philips' now-debunked Who Shot Tupac story. There were a couple of red flags right off the bat. First, I'd never before received a press release from the LA Times announcing the arrival of a story, so it kind of felt like they were rubbing my face in the fact that they'd snagged an epic scoop. My second thought, though, was the question of how big a scoop it was if the Times was unwilling to commit to the print version. It seemed like they were hedging their bets a little to me. (Hindsight's 20/20, of course.) Here's the email:

Hi. I thought you would appreciate a heads up about a special Los Angeles Times investigative report scheduled to appear online Monday morning. In a web-only presentation, Pulitzer Prize-winning staff writer Chuck Philips deconstructs the 1994 ambush of Tupac Shakur at the Quad Recording Studio in New York – the first shot of a lethal, bi-coastal feud that culminated in the killings of Shakur and rap’s other leading star, Christopher Wallace, better known as The Notorious B.I.G.

Until the night he was murdered in 1996, the rap star insisted that associates of Sean “Diddy” Combs were behind the brutal ambush at the Quad. New evidence – FBI records and exclusive interviews with individuals who were at the studio that night – support his suspicions. Accompanied by a vivid photo-gallery of the cast of characters, copies of confidential documents, an interactive timeline and audio of lyrics from Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., Philips pieces together a case that has left many in the music world as well as law enforcement officials baffled.

Be sure to check out the story first thing Monday morning by visiting www.latimes.com/tupac >. Philips is also scheduled to conduct a live chat with readers on Tuesday.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.


Stephan Pechdimaldji

Senior Manager, Media Relations

Los Angeles Times

I received a second little reminder email from Pechdimaldji on Monday morning reminding me that the story had gone live. I haven't heard from him since.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.