Exclusive Clip: Tupac’s Murder Re-Examined in Vanity Fair Confidential’s ‘Death of a Warrior Poet’

Beyond the pages of the magazine it calls to mind, Vanity Fair has covered some of the most compelling true-crime stories of our time, shining a light on the powerful and privileged in its ongoing series Vanity Fair Confidential. The latest episode, “Death of a Warrior Poet” by Robert Sam Anson, examines the swarm of controversy around the death of one of hip hop’s most beloved, iconic figures: Tupac Shakur. Before its airing, Crave has an exclusive teaser clip looking into a deeper connection that may exist between rivaling gang factions and the events that took place the night of Tupac’s murder in Los Angeles in 1996.

“Death of a Warrior Poet” explores why the 2006 murder of the legendary rapper in Las Vegas has remained a mystery, with a series of theories and dead-end accusations offering little hope for two full decades – until investigators found a disturbing new lead.

“What stood out to us about Robert Sam Anson’s 1997 article and why we chose to adapt it for ‘Vanity Fair Confidential’ is that, while it’s been 20 years since Tupac’s murder, interest in the investigation is actually growing, with new theories and allegations continuing to emerge,” Steven Weinstock, executive producer and co-president and CEO of True Entertainment, explained to Crave. “In this episode, we peel back each complex layer of the crime, and incorporate added perspective from officers assigned to the case, witnesses and others from Tupac’s world to examine what really happened that night in Las Vegas. I think viewers will be surprised by the volume of evidence uncovered by law enforcement and how close they’ve come to closing the case.”

Cruising down the Las Vegas strip, 25 year-old Tupac Shakur is riding in the passenger seat of a BMW 750 sedan. The driver is Marion “Suge” Knight, head of Death Row Records, the leading purveyor of West Coast gangsta rap. As the BMW idles at a stoplight, a white Cadillac pulls up to the passenger side of the car and a pistol barrel eases from a window. Tupac frantically starts retreating into the back seat. There is a fusillade of 13 shots. One hits Tupac in the hand, another in the pelvis, two more penetrate his chest. Six days later, Tupac Shakur is pronounced dead. Las Vegas police have no idea who killed one of rap’s biggest stars… or why.

“Death of a Warrior Poet” airs Monday, Feb. 29 at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.