Police released sketches of two suspects based on witnesses' descriptions. No one has been arrested.
William Walker and Wardell Fouse a year before that," said Sheriff's homicide detective Beth Smith. "There are very unique identifiers that link these three cases together."
On Oct. 16, Henry "Hen Dog" Smith, another close friend of Knight's, was shot to death in the middle of the afternoon. Investigators say the connection to the earlier slayings is unclear.
Smith, 33, had been a fixture at Death Row for years and had designed the label's logo. He was sitting in a burgundy Jeep near a fried-chicken stand in South-Central L.A. while his girlfriend used a pay phone. A Death Row medallion hung from his neck. His girlfriend's baby was resting in the back seat when a young man leaned into the truck and fired six shots at Smith.
The attacker, fleeing on a bicycle, dropped his pistol. Witnesses said he stopped, bent over to pick up the gun and calmly resumed pedaling.
On July 24, unknown assailants again tried to kill Fouse, who had been wounded in a shooting three years earlier. This time, they succeeded.
Fouse was riding a motorcycle on Central Avenue in the early evening when a car rushed up behind him. Fouse was riddled with gunfire at Central and Stockwell Street.
The Next Chapter
At 2:30 a.m. May 27, armed assailants staged a drive-by attack on Death Row's headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard, tearing holes in the stucco and shattering windows.
Knight professes not to be concerned.
"Listen, if somebody's planning to hunt me down, they are going to have to be more serious about their business," said Knight, chuckling. "How scary are these guys? They drive by my building at 2:30 in the morning and shoot the front windows out. Look out! They killed my windows. Who do they think they're kidding? You can't stop cowards from doing cowardly things."
Still, the bullet-ridden facade is a reminder of how far Knight has fallen. The lobby at Death Row's offices is barren these days, the hallways empty. Music executives duck Knight's calls.
Under his parole restrictions, Knight could not leave California without permission. That's why he had stopped attending prizefights in Las Vegas, music showcases in Atlanta and industry events in New York.
He also has been barred from associating with gang members. That ruled out social contact with almost everyone he grew up with in Compton.
To hear Knight tell it, he is ready to close the door on that chapter of his life anyway.
He is writing an autobiography and hopes to produce a film about the "true story" of Death Row. He talks about volunteering as a football coach at his alma mater, El Camino Community College.
But his biggest aspiration these days, he says, is to live long enough to become a grandfather.
"The thing I most look forward to is seeing my kids have their own kids. Man, that would make everything worthwhile," Knight said. "You know, in the generation before mine, most guys died from cancer, heartattacks and old age. But mygeneration, we die from bullets. Murders. It's not just my friends getting killed. Black men get murdered every day in the ghetto. I'm not nervous. I gotno reason to be scared."