A major clue in the murder of Run-DMC turntabler Jam Master Jay has been revealed. According to Jay’s longtime partner Randy Allen, who was in Jay’s Queens recording studio at the time of the October 2002 killing there, one of the two gunmen had “a tattooed neck.” Allen was in the studio’s control room and didn’t witness the shooting, but his sister, Lydia High, did: She was ordered to the floor by the assailants, and told her brother she saw a tattooed-neck man shoot Jay. The second man has been named as convicted drug dealer Ronald (Tinard) Washington, however he has not yet been charged with any crime relating to the murder. According to the New York Daily News, High went into protective custody four years ago, although her attorney hasn’t heard from her in a year.
Allen revealed that Jay (full name: Jason Mizell) was taking a break and playing video games at the time of his murder, and that High indicated Jay recognized one of the two men when they entered the studio — he even slapped hands with him in greeting. Like the murder investigations of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., efforts to find the killers have been rebuffed by uncooperative, anti-snitchin’ witnesses, and while this clue is a solid break, neck tattoos are fairly popular. Even the guy who won Project Runway last year had one. Five years after the murder, though, it’s encouraging to hear of new clues, and Allen insists the case can be cracked: “It’s not like we’re talking about somebody who flew in from L.A. We’re talking about people right from the neighborhood.”