Was Someone Murdered for the Rob Ford Crack Video?

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Over Memorial Day, Gawker reached (and even surpassed) its goal of raising $200,000 for the purchase of a cell-phone video showing Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. In an update yesterday, however, Gawker acknowledged that it had made "no further contact with the people we believe to have custody of this video" since Sunday the 19th, which seems like a bad sign for those of us (everyone in the world minus Rob Ford and his brother) who really would like to see this video. 

Meanwhile, in Toronto, shit is getting crazier by the day. According to the Star, "homicide detectives are now investigating whether" the cell phone containing the crack video "originally belonged to 21-year-old [Anthony] Smith," who was gunned down four days before the Star was contacted about the video. Smith (far left) is pictured with Ford in a now-infamous photo provided to Gawker and the Star by the video's peddlers. Muhammad Khattak (far right) was shot in the arm and back in the same incident but survived.

Curiously enough, the investigation seems to have been triggered by a member of Ford's own staff, the Star reports. In the days after the video's existence became public, Ford aide David Price told Ford's chief of staff Mark Towhey that a source had given him the floor and apartment number where the video was being held, and asked him how they should proceed with such information. The implication seemed to be that Price wanted to pursue the video, because Towhey reportedly screamed at one point, "We’re not getting the fucking thing!” Price also told Towhey "that the video may have been the reason that Anthony Smith, a person pictured in a photo with Ford, was killed." Following these conversations, an alarmed Towhey went to the police, without telling Ford. He was fired on Thursday.

On Friday, Ford said, "I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist." On Sunday, Ford said on a call-in radio show, "there's no video."