Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's Crack Video Wasn't Enough, So Let's Throw In A Murder

It kind of sucks when a fun caper story takes a murdery turn, which is whyThe Italian Job -- the 1969 original, thank you -- was about stealing an armored truck full of gold, not about infiltrating a murderous heroin ring, which gives you a much darker movie. Which is our way of saying that, for all the larffs we've been having over Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and the cell-phone video that may show him smoking crack and being stoopid, it also turns out that one of the people connected with the video, Anthony Smith (the non-pixelled and non-Mayoral guy in the above photo -- which is not, apparently, a screenshot from the video) turned up dead back on March 28. Smith may be the person who originally shot the video. One person has been arrested and charged in the murder, and a second suspect was arrested Wednesday. Oh, and TalkingPointsMemo editor Josh Marshall has been quietly losing his shit over the possibility that Ford's office may be involved somehow. See? If the caper involves crack dealers, the fun times are hard to maintain -- Just Say No, kids! The 1972 style movie of this story will need one doozy of a car chase to balance things out.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Ford told a caller to his radio show that no way was there even a video for him to even be in, nuh-uh:

“Number one: There’s no video, so that’s all I can say. You can’t comment on something that doesn’t exist.”

(Also, for the sake of being "colorful," he called the Toronto media "a bunch of maggots," so maybe he can get a job on Fox News someday.) The weekend's denial was WAY more absolute than his earlier statement, shortly after the story broke, where he artfully covered all the bases, saying "As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist." It doesn't exist OR he hasn't seen it. Hell, we could say the same of the DVD boxed set of Breaking Bad.

But wait! What if the new, more absolute denial means that...the video no longer exists because Someone Got To It? This is where we start getting into Big Speculation, but there seems to maybe be something to it. Maybe probably!

At the very least, there are suggestions Ford and his people knew more about the existence of the cellphone video than they originally let on. The Toronto Star reports today that Ford told senior aides that they needn't worry their pretty little heads about the video because he knew exactly where it was. And then he gave an actual freaking street address and said "our contacts" were the source of that tidbit. One of the guys at that May 17 meeting was Ford's press secretary, George Christopoulos, who resigned Tuesday "on principle."

Now, nobody is actually saying that anyone in the Fordosphere was involved in the murder of Anthony Smith. On the other hand, TPM's Josh Marshall is calling attention to a tete-a-tete on May 17 -- the same day as Ford's "no worries, mang" meeting -- between Ford's chief of staff, Mark Towhey, and Ford's "director of logistics" Dave Price (who, like so many around Ford, is quite the piece of work himself). According to a story in the Globe and Mail,

Police detectives have been asking what Mr. Price knows about the alleged video of Rob Ford. On May 17, according to sources, Mr. Price had a conversation with the mayor’s chief of staff, Mark Towhey, about it.

According to one source, Mr. Price told Mr. Towhey of a theory that the video may have been related to a homicide and he mentioned an address in connection with the video’s whereabouts.

“Is that a theory or do you know that,” Mr. Towhey said, according to the source.

Mr. Price, according to the source, told Mr. Towhey the theory was credible.

Towhey, as you may recall, got fired last week, though nobody has yet said why. Says Marshall,

If that’s how the conversation went down, it’s really not to [sic] surprising that Towhey decided to go to the police since it sounds like Price was not speculating but had some real reason to believe that this was true.

Shadowy! It all gets pretty complimacated, so thank goodness there's a scorecard. We honestly have no idea whether this is going to turn out to be a thing, or if it's all just speculation on a par with the idea that Mad Men is going to get all Manson-y on Megan Draper. (Life is all just TV to us, is what we're saying). STAY TUNED!

[TPM (and TPM) / Globe&Mail (and Globe&Mail) / Toronto Star / CBC]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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