Update: The NYPD plans to interview Isaac. Meanwhile, Rosemond's lawyer says the confession is a “flat out lie,” told in hopes that the prisoner might be able to “work off his sentence.”
Originally posted June 15 at 1 p.m.
A Brooklyn prisoner named Dexter Isaac, currently serving a life sentence for other crimes, has just confessed to AllHipHop.com that he is the one who shot West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur in 1994.
He claims James Rosemond — better known as Jimmy Henchman, another criminal and entertainment mogul who's been evading authorities — paid him $2,500 to murder Shakur.
Isaac's reasons for confessing: He wants to give Tupac and Biggie's mothers some closure, and wants to disprove Rosemond's accusations that Isaac is a government informant.
This could just be for attention, but the confession sounds pretty legit. Isaac even claims that Tupac and Biggie were his friends, and implies Sean “Puffy” Combs knew about Henchman's plan all along. Via AllHipHop:
A man has admitted to shooting rap star Tupac Shakur in 1994 after allegedly being paid $2,500 dollars by James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond inside Manhattan's Quad Studios in November of 1994.
Dexter Isaac, a former friend of Rosemond, is an inmate currently serving life in prison for murder, robbery and other offenses.
Here's Isaac's full statement. We've also transcribed it below, with emphasis added. [Updated after the jump with audio for “Against All Odds,” in which Tupac raps, “Promised a payback, Jimmy Henchman, in due time…”] And for more background: How the 1994 Tupac shooting sparked an East-West Coast hip-hop feud.
My name is Dexter Isaac. On Monday, May 23, 2011, James Rosemond released a statement in which he named myself and another individual, a Mr. Winston Harris (who I do not know), as government informants. I would like to clear the record on that statement: I have never been a rat for anybody and I do not have any deals nor was I made any promises by any government agency for information on Mr. Rosemond.
Mr. Rosemond has crucified good reporters like Chuck Philips, at the LA Times, and Alison Gendar, at the Daily News, for telling the truth about him and his activities. He claims they had no proof that he was a rat for the government, which is an outright lie, because Mr. Rosemond, you signed a proffer agreement with the U.S. Attorney's office in New York on 10-20-1998. Mr. Rosemond, I have copies of your presentence report from North Carolina dated 1-13-1997 and other documents about you working with the government sending people you befriended to prison so you can maintain your own freedom. I have met with individuals on whom Mr. Rosemond has told.
Jimmy, I say to you: I have kept your secrets for years. You have never been arrested because of me, or anyone of our friends because of me. How dare you call me an informant! I have stayed silent in prison for the past 13 years, doing a life sentence like a real soldier should, when you and everybody have turned your backs on me. I have never gotten any help nor asked for any help from you or anyone since being locked up.
As a matter of fact, when I was first notified a couple years ago that the feds and Chuck Philips were investigating you, I wrote you and sent you everything they sent me. I kept it real with you because that's what real G's do. Anyway, that was before I found out that you were, in fact, already a turncoat rat for the government. Mr. Rosemond, if I was an informant like you, I would've been home years ago with my family, not doing life in prison.
Now I would like to clear up a few things, because the statute of limitations is over, and no one can be charged, and I'm just plain tired of listening to your lies.
In 1994, James Rosemond hired me to rob 2Pac Shakur at the Quad Studio. He gave me $2,500, plus all the jewelry I took, except for one ring, which he wanted for himself. It was the biggest of the two diamond rings that we took. He said he wanted to put the stone in a new setting for his girlfriend at the time, Cynthia Ried. I still have as proof the chain that we took that night in the robbery.
Now I'm not going to talk about my friend Biggie's death or 2Pac's death, but I would like to give their mothers some closure. It's about time that some one did, and I will do so at a different time. Jimmy, you and Puffy like to come off all innocent-like, but as the saying goes: You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
Mr. Rosemond, I ask you: Are you going to flip on Puffy when the feds get you? To save yourself like you have done in the past? Because that's what a rat does. So in closing, we shall see who the rat is, in the near future.
If anyone has any questions regarding these statement or just want to be a friend to a real Soldier fighting for his freedom in prison feel free to write me at:
Dexter Isaac – #49733-053
PO Box 329002
Brooklyn, NY 11232
It's doubtful the scores of Tupac diehards will find it in their hearts to friend the guy who shot God, but if Isaac speaks the truth, this could at least give some closure for one of the biggest murder mysteries of our time. His “confession” might also be enough silence the choir of angry conspiracy theorists. (Though that's probably wishful thinking.)
Update: Isaac's proof may be in the music. A Digger has taken note that Tupac rapped about Henchman in “Against All Odds.”
“Promised a payback, Jimmy Henchman, in due time,” he says at 1:55:
And later in the track, “Probably be murdered for the shit that I said…”
Update: The Los Angeles Times story Isaac references, written by Chuck Philips in March 2008, was actually retracted one month later based on the Times' belief that “the FBI reports were fabricated and that some of the other sources relied on — including the person Philips previously believed to be the “confidential source” cited in the FBI reports — do not support major elements of the story.”
However, Isaac's story very much lines up with the “hoax.” From the Times' retraction letter:
The information, which came from the purported FBI reports and other sources, said that James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond, a talent manager; Jacques “Haitian Jack” Agnant, a figure on the New York hip-hop scene; and James Sabatino, purportedly one of Combs' associates, arranged the assault on Shakur because they were angry that he had rejected overtures to sign with Combs' Bad Boy Records.
The Times now believes that Sabatino fabricated the FBI reports and concocted his role in the assault as well as his supposed relationships with Combs, Rosemond and Agnant.
This could either mean that Isaac is playing off the same tall tale as before, or that someone was able to convince the Times (and, before that, TheSmokingGun.com) that Sabatino's story was fake, when really it was not.
The Times retraction paid special attention to correcting the “misimpression” that “Combs was involved in arranging the attack.”
To be clear: Tupac wasn't actually murdered until over a year after the Quad Studios robbery and attempted murder, but Isaac suggests the 1994 crime is what led to the 1996 followup, and implies he was involved via his reason for speaking up: “because the statute of limitations is over, and no one can be charged, and I'm just plain tired of listening to [Henchman's] lies.”
AllHipHop also mentions that Isaac “has long been suspected of being involved in the Quad shooting of Tupac Shakur, along with an associate name Spencer “Scooter” Bowens, who is also serving a life sentence and another man named George Roland Campbell.”