A journalist's recent murder has led to questions of whether his shooting was connected to one of the biggest rap-related stories of 2008.
Following Sam Ferguson's car crash last week on the Florida Turnpike, it has been ruled that he died as a result of gunfire before the wreck. The apparent hit remains under investigation, but Miami-area media and various Web sites have mentioned Ferguson's link to a major piece published in both Don Diva and Hip Hop Weekly magazines: Ferguson, 47, who exposed Miami rapper Rick Ross for his past as a correctional officer.
Ferguson was struck in a hail of gunfire by a vehicle that pulled alongside his as he drove northbound near Miami, according to reports. Ross has not been named a suspect in the murder, but his earlier words in response to Ferguson's exposé have raised eyebrows.
“Ferguson is a liar, he’s an informant, he’s a rat, he’s a b--ch,” Ross reportedly told one interviewer. “I hope he’s offended. Get at me in the streets, n--ga. You know how we play. This sh-- is about to get deeper than rap.”
Ross’ response was to Ferguson’s story titled, “Will the Real Rick Ross Please Stand Up.” The story pointed out contradictions in the rapper’s crime-centered lyrics and his law-and-order past. Ironically, Ross later acknowledged to Ferguson that it was, indeed, he who was pictured in photos posted by The Smoking Gun Web site, wearing full correctional officer gear.
But the eventual admission to Ferguson, which suggests that Ross made peace, has been virtually forgotten in the wake of the murder. Florida Highway Patrol investigators are searching for a vehicle that they believe was used in the attack. A spokesman did not return calls from BET.com. Ferguson, Miami’s head of New York-based Don Diva, had spent just nine months with the magazine.
“He was involved in all aspects of our operation,” Editor in Chief Tiffany Chiles told the Miami Herald. “He was helping us gather relevant stories. He was doing interviews, distribution. He was really trying to market our magazine in Southern and Central Florida.”