Cathy Scott is an American true crime writer and investigative journalist, born and raised in San Diego, United States growing up in nearby La Mesa, California. She later moved to Mission Beach, California, where she was a single parent to a son, Raymond Somers Jr.
Scott, a graduate of the University of Redlands, is a Las Vegas-based journalist and author best known for penning the biographies and true crime books The Killing of Tupac Shakur (Huntington Press, ISBN 0-929-71220-X) and The Murder of Biggie Smalls (St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0-312-26620-0), both bestsellers in the United States and United Kingdom.
Her first two books are based on the drive-by shootings that killed the rappers six months apart in the midst of what has been called a West Coast-East Coast rap war (see East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry). Scott's hip hop books are each dedicated to the rappers' mothers. In 2005, an article first published in George, was released in the 2005 book ''Tupac: A Thug's Life'', a compilation of national magazine writers. She regularly coaches writers, including at the Flathead River Writers Conference in Montana and San Diego State University's Writers' Conference. In January 2011, Anderson Cooper 360 's blog included Scott in an update on the Tupac and Smalls cases, quoting her as saying "the failure to secure the actual scene of the shooting and interview witnesses immediately doomed the investigation."
Scott, who wrote poetry as a teenager, worked on the Helix High School yearbook her senior year. But her first full-time newspaper position wouldn't happen for 22 years, when she took a position as a reporter at the Beach & Bay Press in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. She then became business editor of the La Jolla Light weekly newspaper, after winning a Best of Show journalism award out of 1,200 entries from the San Diego Press Club, then moved to a daily paper, the Vista Press, in North San Diego County. She left the paper to string as a correspondent for the Associated Press and The San Diego Union-Tribune. While reporting in San Diego, she was a member of the San Diego Press Club. She moved to the Mojave Desert as a crime beat reporter for the Las Vegas Sun, where she worked until 1998, and then went onto freelancing for the New York Times, Reuters news service and writing true crime books and biographies. While still at the Sun in 1997, her first book, The Killing of Tupac Shakur, was released.
From 2005 through 2007, Scott wrote a column titled "Crime & Punishment" for the alternative weekly Las Vegas CityLife.
Her sixth book, Pawprints of Katrina: Pets Saved and Lessons Learned, with photos by Clay Myers and a foreword by actress Ali MacGraw was a result of Scott's nearly four months on the Gulf Coast writing about the largest rescue of animals in U.S. history. Her seventh book, The Rough Guide to True Crime, a title in Rough Guides' series of books, was released in August 2009.
She was a participant in the 2008 National Book Festival, sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by First Lady Laura Bush, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Scott taught journalism and advanced magazine writing for five years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas's School of Journalism until September 2005 when she traveled to New Orleans as an embedded reporter for Best Friends Animal Society to cover animal rescues in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for its magazine and Web site. When she returned, she hired on with Best Friends as a staff writer. She sat as the Nevada State Sunshine Chair for 10 years until 2007 and on the Society of Professional Journalists' Sunshine Committee.
Her work has appeared in The New York Times, New York Post, George magazine, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, San Diego Union-Tribune and Las Vegas Sun. She has appeared on three Oxygen network "Snapped" segments about murder cases involving women and on Unsolved Mysteries about the Tupac Shakur case. In 2010, she appeared in the Discovery Channel's documentary, "On the Case with Paula Zahn: Death in the Desert" about the Ted Binion trial.
She also appeared twice on the public access TV show Connie Martinson Talks Books, including in January 2003 to talk about the unsolved killing of Susan Berman and Scott's book Murder of a Mafia Daughter. With the 2003 release of Murder of a Mafia Daughter, Las Vegas CityLife newspaper named it "Pick of the Week" in February of that year.
Her eighth book, The Millionaire's Wife, about the 1990 contract murder of George Kogan, is scheduled for release by St. Martin's Press in March 2012.
Scott is founder of the ForbesWoman blog "Crime, She Writes." Previously, she was a contributor to Women in Crime Ink, described by the Wall Street Journal as "a blog worth reading."
Scott is the daughter of the late Eileen Rose Busby, an author, and the late James (Jim) Scott, a Senior Olympics winner who helped pioneer and develop the game of racquetball. She is the granddaughter of California artist Esther Rose and Frank Rose (a sports writer at the Two Harbors, Minnesota, newspaper in the 1920s), the niece of the late Russian Orthodox Hieromonk Father Seraphim Rose, sister of scientist and author Dr. J. Michael Scott, and twin sister of antiques expert Cordelia Mendoza.
- Cathy Scott Official Site
- Cathy Scott Official Blog
- St. Martin's Press author bio
- Amazon author's blog
- Member, Authors Guild
- Writer's Digest, Oct. 2002
- Book publisher defends Shakur photo, ''Las Vegas Sun'', Sept. 1997
- Vegas Valley Book Festival
- IMDb listing of TV appearances
- IMDb listing of documentaries
- "More On Old-School Journalism," Charlie Fern's Ink blog
- Women in Crime Ink columnist
- truTV Crime Library citation, "Life After Death," by Anthony Bruno for Hip Hop Homicide section
- ''View News'', "True-Crime Journalist to Speak to Writers Group," October 19, 2010