Dedicated cops never want to let go of an unsolved murder case. And though it took 18 years to make an arrest, those who investigated the killing of Jason Mizell, the pioneering hip-hop DJ known as Jam Master Jay, never did.
The slaying of Mizell, one-third of Hollis’ own RUN-DMC rap group, in his Jamaica studio in October 2002 has haunted Southeast Queens ever since. It was a horrible end to a group that performed clean, fun music in a genre known for glorifying violence, misogyny, drug dealing and just about every other societal ill.
And it remained unsolved, though an awful lot of people were pretty sure they knew who did it. Former District Attorney Richard Brown didn’t think the case, hinging on one witness, was strong enough, according to the Daily News. So the cops went to the feds. They took charge and were able to build what they believe is a prosecutable case against two men who are now behind bars.
There are other cold cases in Queens that cry out for closure, and District Attorney Melinda Katz recently created a unit dedicated to solving them. Perhaps the worst is the murder of Christine Diefenbach, slain in Richmond Hill in 1988 when she was 14. Her case is a much tougher one than JMJ’s to solve. But this week’s events remind us all to never give up in the pursuit of justice.