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An Internet phenomenon: the “Hipster Grifter”

Kari Ferrell, age 22, was somewhat of an Internet phenomenon over the past few months, even before a New York Observer profile dubbed her the “Hipster Grifter.”

I don’t even know what word twenty-somethings use for “cool” these days, but Kari Ferrell certainly looks the part. She’s a petite woman of Korean heritage, with short, jet black hair and a big, elaborate tattoo of a phoenix on her chest. Recently arrived in New York City, she got a job at Vice Magazine—a very famous publication I never heard of that covers contemporary youth culture.

Apparently, Ferrell made friends easily and then convinced them that her ATM card didn’t work, she was pregnant, she was dying of lung cancer, etc. She also had a habit of being sexually aggressive. Within a half-hour of meeting one of her new, male co-workers at Vice, she was asking about his sexual history.

This guy Googled Kari Ferrell, and discovered she was on the Most Wanted List in Salt Lake City, Utah. There were five warrants for her arrest, for passing $60,000 in bad checks, forgery and retail theft.

In fact, the Salt Lake City police put a Most Wanted video about Kari Ferrell on YouTube.

Gawker.com, a blog based in New York City that claims to be “the source for daily Manhattan media news and gossip,” offered blow-by-blow coverage of the Keri Farrell saga.

ANIMALNewYork, another trendy blog, spent the night with Kari Ferrell and posted a video of Farrell speaking to her, uh, marks.

Ferrell was arrested last week in Philadelphia. How? One of the people she sponged off of, Sam Tremble, conducted a sting operation. Apparently Ferrell approached the guy’s band, wanting to go on tour with them, and promising to get them into some industry parties. Which was bs. So Tremble lured Ferrell back to Philadelphia from New York, with cops to meet her at the bus.

Tremble wrote about the sting in the City Paper, an alternative weekly in Philly, which also caters to the urban youth culture.

If you read the coverage, you’ll probably come to the conclusion, as I did, that Kari Ferrell is a sociopath.

So what’s the latest? According to the Philadelphia Daily News, she’s sitting in jail waiting for an extradition hearing. According Gawker, Dateline NBC is doing a story about her.

As for Sam Tremble, the guy who turned her in—some comments on his City Paper article congratulated him. And some called him a snitch.



7 Comments on "An Internet phenomenon: the “Hipster Grifter”"

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  1. shabbychic2 says:

    Dateline is doing a story about her? They are probably trying to reach a younger demographic. I hope they mention the word sociopath… but we all know they won’t… they just did an hour long story about Drew Peterson and the word never came up! I coultn’t believe it. So Kari will become more of a celebrity (of sorts) and Sam, who should be congratulated, will just disappear into obscurity. Thanks for the article, I’m going to follow the links and read more about this story!



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  2. OxDrover says:

    Chic, you are probably right on. Her 15 minutes of fame and she will get a slap on the wrist legally, or a small amount of time, change her name and go out and right back to her old patterns, which apparently are already well established.

    Of course, she may get worse and do something that will get her put in prison for a long time, but whatever it is, she will never “reform.”

    Yep, socio/psycho-pathic 110%

    Just like the anthony woman who killed her little girl, and just like the Octo-mom! 15 minutes of fame.



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  3. James says:

    Very interesting news. Interesting how patterns and red flags are so constance with those that suffer from a personality disorder. This was very interesting for me because it show how those people who suffer from this emotional/moral disorder are true chameleons and can mend into any environment they may find themselves involve with as well as the patterns for which they are well know for. I believe we all can learn much from Ms. Ferrell.

    Thanks

    The following are “red flags” concerning the behavior of Ms. Ferrell.

    Bobby:

    The pity play: RED FLAG

    When Bobby had been seeing Ms. Ferrell for about six weeks, one of her friends told him that Ms. Ferrell was dying of cancer. When he confronted her, Bobby said she told him “the sob story—‘I’m estranged from my parents, I don’t know who my birth parents are, my adoptive parents are abusive.’ It never occurred to me that it would be odd that someone who’s dying of cancer, who has three months to live, would just move from Salt Lake City to Brooklyn.”

    Gaslighting: RED FLAG

    The doctors were treating but good news was: ‘There’s something wrong with your appendix, it’s a little inflamed. But, good news, we couldn’t find any cancer in your lungs!”

    According to Bobby, Ms. Ferrell dismissed this diagnosis, saying that her cancer was the kind of thing that could show up on a scan one day and disappear the next.

    Joe:

    Lack of personal/sexual boundary markers: RED FLAG

    “She has this thing with guys where she talks about sex really upfront and kind of puts people off balance,” said Joe. (It was also around November that a guy named Troy was at Union Pool, the Williamsburg bar, when the bartender passed him a note from another customer. It read, “I want to give you a hand job with my mouth,” and was signed “Korean Abdul-Jabbar.” It was, according to Troy, from Ms. Ferrell.

    librarian:

    No Contact: NC

    “A few days later, the librarian recalled, Ms. Ferrell said she was tired and might want to go to the emergency room. “She had claimed she needed to go to Sloan-Kettering—she said that’s why she came to New York, to go to that hospital. But she said she couldn’t go to Sloan-Kettering when she had complications. At the emergency room, the doctors couldn’t find her information…She gave them her Social Security number and they couldn’t find any records at Sloan-Kettering. I figured this was one of these administrative things where they couldn’t find her information.”

    Soon the librarian realized that something wasn’t right, and Googled her. “Finally I just sent her an email saying that I knew, and I wasn’t going to hang out with her anymore, and then I told all the friends I had met through her the same story. They basically cut off contact with her.”
    “A couple months later, meanwhile, the librarian got a call from Mount Sinai hospital; Ms. Ferrell had listed him as an emergency contact. “They said, ‘Do you have any information about her? Can you tell her she owes us money?”

    Supply:

    In January at an HBO party, Ms. Ferrell met a 24-year-old writer who lives in Williamsburg. By this point, she had moved to Throop Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant because, she told him, the building she’d been living in previously got condemned. The writer felt immediately drawn into Ms. Ferrell’s orbit; they ended up hanging out about four times a week. “She acts very warm and super-interested in what people have to say,” he recalled. “And she has lots of offers for things. She’s really into music and knows a lot about music. She’ll say, ‘I work at GoldenVoice, I can get you into that show. Anything you want to go to, I can get you on the list.’ We’d go and would end up not being on the list, but somehow we’d end up getting in—she’d just wink at the door guy and we’d get inside. Almost everyone who’s a dude, she’s really super sexually aggressive with—I’ve seen her send text messages to these guys that are really, really explicit, just to lure these dudes in. I guess these guys see that and say, ‘She’s attractive, she’s really aggressive, I’m into that.’ Even with girls, she would meet my friends and be really nice and warm and say she could get them into places—we would go out dancing and have a great time. She always got everyone’s phone number and email and followed up with them.”

    In March, Ms. Ferrell got offered the job at Vice. “We had these long conversations about whether she should leave GoldenVoice and go to Vice or not,” said the writer. “This is one of the things that disturbs me more than anything else—we talked for 30 minutes about whether she should change jobs or not. We had an engaging conversation about something that was completely a fantasy.”

    Casey Hansen:

    History of pathology anti-social behavior:

    “That was where she met Casey Hansen, now 24. “She just kind of messaged me out of nowhere, commenting on my profile picture,” Mr. Hansen said. “It was of Santa Claus holding a sign that said, ‘I don’t exist.’” The two started dating.”

    “She told Mr. Hansen she was 18 and had graduated from high school that year. Her driver’s license said she was 17, though, and Ms. Ferrell’s parents even told him how old she was. “She just said there was something weird with her birth certificate, since she’d been adopted from South Korea,” Mr. Hansen said. He believed her. “She held on to this thing about her age, for no real valid reason, for like two years. I feel like that was a harbinger of things to come.”
    “Around New Year’s 2005, she moved to Arizona to live with her mom, but moved back to Salt Lake City three months later. That April she moved in with some straight-edge kids in Salt Lake City. Within a week, Mr. Hansen said, she told him she was getting text messages from phone numbers she didn’t recognize. She told him they said things like, “I’m going to rape you to death.” She told her roommates she thought she knew who it was, a local kid. She told Mr. Hansen that she and her roommates went to the kid’s family’s house and slashed tires and broke windows.”

    Mr. Hansen: This is the person who told police about her visit to Philly.

    Mr. Hansen:Victim/Survivor:

    One night after they’d had sex, she accused Mr. Hansen of cheating on her. “I came downstairs and she was sitting over her phone, crying,” he said. “She said someone had pictures of me with my ex-girlfriend. I never had had a girlfriend before, let alone, how did someone have pictures of me?” A couple weeks later, Mr. Hansen went to Los Angeles with his band; Ms. Ferrell and some of her friends tagged along. She accused a guy of hitting on her and Mr. Hansen said, he “almost knocked his teeth out.”*

    “In the fall, she told Mr. Hansen that she was finally able to access the money that she hadn’t been able to get to because of the previous fraud on her checking account. “She started depositing all these checks into my account, literally depositing $300, $500, $1,100 at a time,” he said “They keep giving me money whenever I wanted to withdraw. She kept saying she couldn’t use her ATM card, telling me, ‘You cash these checks and give me the money.’ One day I hand them a check for $1,200 and I asked the teller, ‘Are these good? I assume they are, because you guys just keep giving me money and you’re a bank, but can you just check on this?’ And he tells me they’re good.” This went on for about a week and a half, for a total of $10,600, before the bank belatedly realized the checks were written from an account that wasn’t even open.”

    “I was in denial,” said Mr. Hansen. “She’d always make up something to prolong it.” Mr. Hansen tried to break up with her. She told him she had cancer.”

    “She told him she was being stalked again.”

    “In October she got a new roommate, a friend she’d known for several years, and, according to Mr. Hansen, scammed him out of $3,000.”

    “Later, Mr. Hansen somehow thought it would be a good idea for him to buy a used car, a Volkswagen Jetta, for Ms. Ferrell to make the payments on. It was a five-year loan at 20 percent interest. She made two payments on the car. Mr. Hansen ended up filing for bankruptcy.”

    Thanks again and something like this for me can be very therapeutically.



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  4. S O S says:

    I checked out the City Paper article. I found the negative comments against Tremble very interesting. They reek of a classic sociopathic tactic which I call: “flooding the rumor mill”, and only a few other commentors figured it out. I’ve personally witnessed sociopaths saying things like: “everybody says X about Y” or: “I worked with Y before. Nobody liked her” in an effort to create FUD against an innocent person. This situation looks no different. Nobodies behavior is one thing to everybody, and most people don’t support a$$holes who prey on their friends and peers.



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  5. Glinda says:

    Oxy,
    you were right with the first prediction…slap on da wrists. At least she is having to do a little time…
    http://gawker.com/5379880/hipster-grifter-sentenced-to-jail?skyline=true&s=x



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  6. OxDrover says:

    Dear Glinda,

    I’m not a sociiopath–but I’m “always right!” LOL ROTFLMAO! At least I am right out our OXYMORONIC CRIMINAL-JUSTICE SYSTEM! They just don’t get it!



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  7. geminigirl says:

    Oxy, How far pregnant are you with the Oxymoron twins?
    Im on a roll, dont stop me now, LOL!!Gem.XX



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