Almost six years after the murder of Jam Master Jay, MTV has come in contact with a man who claims to have the Run-DMC DJ’s two-way pager, which allegedly was left at a club in Milwaukee days before his shooting. Despite a headline claiming that the pager is “possibly a crucial piece of evidence in his murder,” it’s not until we’ve reached the end of the piece–after we get to read personal messages sent to the pager the night of Jay’s death–that we’re told why this wasn’t given to the police during President Bush’s first term. Turns out the police never “reached out” to Eric “Shake” James, and I guess this is the kind of “possibly crucial piece of evidence” one needs to be asked to hand over. MTV’s got the NYPD’s private line, though, so once they’ve published some of the heartbreaking contents of the pager, they’ll try to hook-up a meet-and-greet.
Time-stamped 9:03 p.m. ET, approximately 90 minutes after Jay was reportedly killed, the first alarming message reads: “Jay? People saying you shot?”
At 9:41 p.m., another: “Please let me know about Jay.”
Shake — who saw some of the notes on the pager — recalls that the initial messages were filled with shock and disbelief.
“People were asking if it was real,” explains Shake. ” ‘Is it really true?’ and stuff like that.”
As time passes, the messages on the pager grow more urgent. “Heard disturbing news,” reads a message received at 10:03 p.m. “Say it’s not true!”
A matter of minutes later, rumors appear to be confirmed as various hip-hop Web sites begin sending out “Breaking News” blasts: “Jam Master Jay was shot in the head and, according to sources, killed,” reads an alert from allhiphop.com at 10:15 p.m. “Authorities had no motive at press time. Please send your prayers to his family and friends.”
The sad irony is that Jay’s pager received these very messages.
…According to Shake, the police have never reached out to him in the course of their investigation. But MTV News has been in contact with those authorities and they say they want to talk to Shake about the last days of Jam Master Jay.
Shake says he would meet with them “in a heartbeat.”
“And if they think that there’s something on that pager that could help solve the case,” says Shake, “then I’m happy to give it to them.”