According to FBI records released last year, members of the mega east coast rap group the Wu Tang Clan were investigated for ordering a pair of revenge killings in the summer of 1999 after relatives of two Wu Tang Clan members’ families were robbed in the weeks prior. The documents surfaced in court filings related to the trial and sentencing of notorious Staten Island drug kingpins Anthony (Nitty) Christian and his older brother Harvey (Big Black) Christian – both were convicted at a 2014 trial in a wide reaching narcotics and racketeering case. “Nitty” Christian, 43, was also convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison back in the summer.

The Christian brothers and their Bloods-affiliated drug gang ruled the rugged Park Hill projects in Clifton, New York for two decades, taking over the territory in the early 1990s around the same time Staten Island-based Wu Tang Clan was taking off in the music industry. The iconic super group consisted of 10 MCs (RZA, GZA, Method Man, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Raekwon the Chef, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah, U-God, Masta Killa and Cappadonna). Their 1992 debut album, Enter The Wu (36 Chambers) is considered an all-time classic in the hip-hop genre and their influence in the rap industry has been vast.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard (Russell Jones aka “ODB”), the group’s most controversial figure during its heyday, died of a drug overdose in 2004. It was inside Jones’ FBI file that the allegations of Wu Tang Clan’s links to the two 1999 hits were first publically unearthed. The file on ODB became public in 2012.

The FBI had informants tell them that Robert “RZA” Diggs and Corey “Raekwon the Chef” Woods issued murder contracts on the Christian brothers’ Park Hill gangland rivals, Jerome (Boo Boo) Estella and Corey (Shank Bank) Brooker after Estella allegedly robbed Diggs’ younger brother of a diamond-studded chain at Brooker’s behest and Brooker himself reportedly robbed Woods’ cousin of cash and jewelry. The 17-year old Estella, who had recently returned to the neighborhood following a stint in a juvenile detention center and was part of Brooker’s separate Bloods faction on the street, was gunned down in the Park Hill projects on July 19, 1999. Brooker, 26, was slain three days later on June 22 in nearby Stapleton getting out of his car.

One federal snitch told of RZA placing a $30,000 bounty on Brooker’s head. The Christian brothers’ top hit man Brian (Trigger Trev) Humphreys admitted to killing Estella and Nitty Christian was found guilty of a being the head of the homicide conspiracy and providing Humphreys the murder weapon. “Trigger Trev” Humphreys, arrested the night Estella was killed, and Paul (Unc) Ford, the Christian brothers’ second-in-command and primary supplier, were the star witnesses at the Christians’ trial two years ago. Humphreys copped to five additional murders as part of his plea deal.

The Christian brothers in handcuffs in the late 1990s

The Christian brothers in handcuffs in the late 1990s – Anthony “Nitty” Christian (left) & Harvey “Big Black” Christian (right).

Humphreys and Ford each fingered Diggs in seeking out Nitty Christian’s help in tracking down and murdering Estella and Brooker, already on bad terms with Nitty and his big bro from a turf dispute. Ford heard that RZA had another hit man bump off Brooker and paid the murderer the 30k as offered. Per his own debriefing, Ford discussed the situation with RZA personally on more than one occasion, Nitty sanctioned the contracts on Estella and Brooker and Humphreys lived up to his nickname, eagerly volunteering to handle the wet work – because of his arrest so shortly after the Estella job, he never got the opportunity to go after Brooker resulting in RZA giving the contract to a man identified simply as “Phife.”

Rumors began floating around last year that the FBI was thinking about re-opening homicide probes into Diggs and Woods and re-investigating their possible involvement in the Estella and Brooker rub outs back in the 1990s. More rumors emerged this past summer that the feds had closed any inquiry they had going.

Harvey Christian, 44, is scheduled to be sentenced in the drug and racketeering case next month. He and his little brother beat murder charges in 1997. Attorneys for Nitty Christian tried using the “Wu Tang angle” as grounds for appealing his first-degree homicide conviction.

Several members of the Wu Tang Clan have gone on to achieve solo-career success and mainstream pop-culture fame. “ODB,” Method Man, GZA, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon the Chef all released acclaimed solo projects and RZA and Method Man have crafted acting portfolios in Hollywood. RZA has appeared in such popular films as American Gangster, Funny People, Ghost Dog and Due Date and wrote and directed the 2012 Russell Crowe-starring vehicle The Man With The Iron Fists. Method Man has had roles in Belly, How High, Garden State, The Wackness and critically-acclaimed HBO television series, Oz and The Wire.

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