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2 charged in cold case murder of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay

Written by on August 17, 2020

After 18 years, there has been an indictment in the unsolved murder case of hip hop legend Jam Master Jay of of Run-DMC, according to CNN.

Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington have been charged in the 2002 death of Jam Master Jay, who is revered as one of the most influential hip hop artists of all time. He was 37 years old.

According to the indictment, the suspects killed Jam Master Jay, born Jason Mizell, in retaliation for a drug dispute.

The US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York has unsealed a criminal indictment alleging that Jam Master Jay was involved in transporting kilogram-quantities of cocaine between 1996 and 2002 alongside his music career.

As noted on CNN, in July 2002, Jam Master Jay acquired about 10 kilograms of cocaine, which was intended to be distributed by Washington, Jordan and others, the indictment states. But a dispute between Washington and a co-conspirator led Jam Master Jay to tell Washington he would be cut out of the transaction, the indictment states.

Washington and Jordan then conspired to kill him, the indictment states. On October 30, they entered Jam Master Jay’s recording studio in the Queens neighborhood of Jamaica, and Jordan fatally shot him in the head and shot another man in the leg, according to the indictment.

Jordan, 36, was arrested Sunday and will be arraigned Monday afternoon via teleconference. Washington, 56, is in federal custody and will be arraigned at a later date, prosecutors said.

Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said law enforcement never gave up on solving the cold case.

“It was important to us then and remains extremely important to us now to bring justice for the victim, his family, friends and the community that cared so much about those events,” he said.


Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizell), Joe ‘Run’ Simmons and Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels at the Grammy Awards in the 1980s.

In the early 1980s, Jam Master Jay teamed up with Run (Joseph Simmons) and DMC (Darryl McDaniels) to form the hip hop trio Run-DMC. With Jam Master Jay at the turntables as DJ, they became the first hip hop group to reach mainstream popular music success, solidified by the rap-rock crossover “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith in 1986.

Run-DMC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 for their groundbreaking legacy.

“They broke down barriers for future rap acts, crossed boundaries between rap and rock and dispelled old notions of what rap could be,” the Hall of Fame said.

Jam Master Jay was killed shortly after the group released its 2001 album “Crown Royal,” and the group disbanded after his death.

In 2018, the Netflix documentary “ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay” reexamined the evidence from the killing.