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Page 1

 The investigation gets bogged down as officers encounter little cooperation in Jay's 'hood ...

Page 2

 Was Jay involved in a coke deal gone bad? And just who, exactly, witnessed the shooting? ...

Page 3

 Investigators theorize that someone tipped off the killer about Jay's whereabouts ...

Page 4

 50 Cent speaks out, and Ed Lover accuses Murder Inc. of living up to its name ...

Streets Is Watching ...

 But nobody's talking. Why aren't the people in Jam Master Jay's 'hood cooperating with police?

Jam Master Jay Files

 Complete coverage of the investigation.

Photo Gallery

 Jam Master Jay: The Lost Photos

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Without more cooperation, the case may be impossible to prove. Investigators theorize that Scoon may have hired a hit man and lookout and would not have been at Jay's studio on the night of the crime. "People who know Scoon said they don't think he'd do it himself," Thigpen said.

Another name that has surfaced in police accounts is Ronald Washington, a.k.a. Tinard, a convicted drug dealer who, according to a New York Post story, is suspected of acting as a lookout during the shooting. Tinard, 35 and originally from Jay's old neighborhood of Hollis, Queens, was arrested in Long Island on December 16 after he and another man, Ernest Williams, allegedly robbed the Floral Park Motel of cash and jewelry. Police say Tinard and Williams fled in a Hyundai, leading them on a 20-minute chase before smashing into another car. Although sought for questioning by the detectives in the 103rd Precinct, Tinard has refused to cooperate in the Jam Master Jay investigation.

"It's real hard ... you can't wake up in the morning and call your homey." - Randy Allen [Rusty Waters' MDR]
While researching his biography, Thigpen says that he learned of a chilling episode that took place in December, only a short walk from where the homicide occurred — something that might explain the reticence of many to come forward, even with the lure of a $300,000 reward.

"I went into the barbershop that Jay used to go to regularly," Thigpen recalled. "It's just off Merrick Boulevard, right near Jay's studio. The guys in the barbershop told me that Ronald 'Tinard' Washington had come in there recently, too. They told me everyone in the shop froze when he came in. He's a feared guy on the streets. People are definitely afraid of him. Everyone says he's a 'bad actor' and they're very afraid of him."

Most people familiar with the investigation believe there had to be a tip-off from inside the studio; someone likely made a phone call to let the killer or killers know that Jay was in the middle of a recording session.

"Whoever did this obviously knew Jay's movements," said Thigpen, "knew that he was in the studio that night, and also knew that he could barge in, shoot Jay without resistance, get out and make a quick escape. And this is, of course, maybe 200 yards from the front door of the 103rd Precinct House.

"Randy Allen (who raps under the name MDR in Rusty Waters) has denied everything. But Jay's friends and Jay's wife no longer speak to Randy. They think that he knows more than he's saying. Because people are wondering: How did the killer know that Jay was there that night? This obviously was a planned hit."

In the wake of the shooting, several news accounts named Allen as a possible suspect in setting up Jam Master Jay, supposedly with the motive of collecting on an insurance policy. Allen sat down with MTV News on December 12 and vehemently denied the speculation of his involvement.

"You can't believe everything you read," Allen said. "That's a cruel thing to do to Jam Master Jay. That's the meanest thing you can do to somebody, to say that their best friend is involved with something like that. On the radio yesterday they said I was in jail. We make records, man. We're not into life insurance and sh-- like that. That's not a part of none of nobody in my clique. We don't go around worrying about things like that. It's all crazy. The part of it that hurts me the most is that's just some made up sh--. I don't know why somebody would do that.

"It's rough, man," Allen continued. "It's real hard, because you can't wake up in the morning and call your homey. You can't reach out for that advice. ... Losing Jay changed all our worlds."

One of the most contentious ideas in the community is that the murder falls under the category of "rap-related crime."

"I don't believe that Jam Master Jay's death has anything at all to do with rap," author Bill Adler said heatedly. "Certainly it has nothing to do with anything that Run-DMC ever said or did. And let's not forget, Jay wasn't a rapper, he was a DJ. It has nothing to do with rap, but I do believe it has to do with the American propensity for gun violence, which is an epidemic in the black community."

NEXT: The 50 Cent Connection, and Ed Lover accuses Murder Inc. of living up to its name ...
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Photo: © Glen E. Friedman (Burning Flags Press)

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