The family of slain DJ Jam Master Jay have hired a private detective to investigate the unsolved murder, one year on from his death.

Relatives of the RUN-DMC star - real name JASON MIZELL - are offering a reward of $500,000 (GBP312,500) to anyone who can provide information leading to the killer's arrest.

Jay's brother, MARVIN THOMPSON, says, "Well, the police department is doing the best they can do. I figure a little bit more help won't hurt. I want to be able to close this case this year (03) hopefully.

"We're still in communication with the police department, they're still following different leads, but sometimes they feel like a cat chasing their own tail, running around in circles."

Thompson says his family are frustrated by the conspiracy theories surrounding the murder in Queens, New York on 2 October last year (02).

He says, "I feel it's a big waste of energy and time. I feel like if somebody really has something to say, they need to just come forward and say what they have to say instead of the media throwing false hope to the family.

"The community wants this thing to be closed, we want this to be closed. All this false hope is just throwing a smoke screen."

24/10/2003 17:27