Cornell Drug Bustee Was A Figure Skater with Olympic Ambitions

You may remember the story of Keri Blakinger, the Cornell student who was arrested in Ithaca this past December in possession of six uncut ounces of heroin. In a month littered with Ivy League drug scandals, Keri’s arrest was the most legitimately shocking of the bunch. Some reports at the time estimated that the Blakinger haul was worth $150,000 dollars. (That figure was later corrected; the stash would apparently fetch somewhere between 50- and 100k on the open market.)

Anyway, the bust caused a whole lot of hubbub way back when. But since the initial burst of information, basically no new particulars came to light, until now. Lancaster Online — a publication that covers Blakinger’s hometown in Pennsylvania — has released an interesting article that represents the first original journalism done on the case in nearly three months. So, what do we know?

Well, info on the actual bust is still foggy. For instance, there’s no word on where Keri got the smack. Nor, why she was carrying so much with her on the night of her arrest. Or, for that matter, why the hell she was carrying it around in a Tupperware container.

The most interesting bit of information actually concerns Blakinger’s life before Cornell. We’d heard rumblings back in December that Keri had been a competitive figure skater. As much was even reported off-hand by the Ithaca Journal (although the article in question seems to have been removed from the paper’s website). We weren’t able to trace back the source of the rumor or independently verify it on our own, so we never published the information. But now we know: Keri Blakinger was a burgeoning figure skater with Olympic ambitions.

According to the LO article:

[Blakinger] was named to the 2001 Chevrolet/United States Figure Skating Association Scholastic Honors Team. During a skating career that lasted several years, she placed first at the 2000 South Atlantic Regional Championships in the Novice Pairs division with partner Mark Ladwig. [Editor's note: The picture at the top of this article was taken of Keri in 200o.] In 1994, after winning the gold medal in beginner freestyle skating at the Keystone Winter Games, Blakinger — then only 9 years old — expressed a desire to compete in the Olympics.

The report goes on to list a whole spate of accomplishments like “Young Poets Award” and “Spanish National Honor Society.” She used to be a Girl Scout! All of this stands in startling juxtaposition to the facts now at hand.

(As an aside-slash-disclosure: Keri and I both worked at the Cornell Daily Sun from Fall 2008 until Spring 2010. While I never knew her well, I at least remembered her as an engaged and passionate member of the paper. You could see a glimmer of the gregarious girl described in the Lancaster article. And, even at Cornell, Keri was on the Dean’s List multiple times. While I did recall her as an odd character, it’s still mind-boggling to consider how events transpired last December.)

Anyway, back on track. To wrap it up, the article sheds some light on Blakinger’s fate. According to the report, Keri has been living in jail since her arrest. On February 24, she plead guilty to criminal possession of heroin with intent to sell in the third degree. This was a step down from the original charge, second-degree possession. The plea reduces the amount of time she’ll be required to spend in jail — probably 2 1/2 years of hard time, as opposed to at least 3 1/2 under the earlier charge. She’ll be officially sentenced on April 8th.

It doesn’t seem like there’s a whole lot left to say at this point. Just a very sad story on the books.

  • whocares…

    Stupid idiot…..

  • http://twitter.com/ConGrpThink Official Teabagger

    Hilarious!

  • Krackonis

    Prohibition destroys lives. She did nothing but got caught this a tupperware container full of something ‘some religious zealot’ doesn’t like.

    • Tom

      Heroin is harmful and highly addictive. You are crazy if you want to unleash drugs like this into every home.

      • Yossarian22

        It was never on a leash. Prohibition causes far more damage than the drugs themselves could ever do.

  • Bro

    so why is this “sad” while the Colombia frat bros are reviled as entitled douches?

    • 2011

      Because none of them could pull off a mean Salchow jump

    • 2011

      Because none of them could pull off a mean Salchow jump

    • 2011

      Because none of them could pull off a mean Salchow jump

  • toodamnbad

    I do not feel sorry for her. She made her bed and now she must lay in it. Nobody seems to feel sorry for people in inner cities that get arrested for carrying even less drugs than this imbecile.

    • penn’11

      hey! i like drugs!

    • bpwr

      right on

  • Ian

    As a friend of Keri myself, to hear of this when it first happened was both heartbreaking and soul-crushing. We had communicated by email and spoken on the phone several times, and I got the same impression of her that you did: someone who was very beautiful and smart and talented. I was very impressed both by her background as a skater and by how well-spoken she was and how well she could write. My fiancee and I were even willing to let her stay with us while she worked on her internship.

    We knew she didn’t have the easiest time growing up, and we think that was the reason for some of the things she did. But we knew she was still a good person. So as disappointed as we were to hear this news, we still love her and will continue to be her friend, because right now it sounds like she needs all the true friends she can get. I think she now knows all too well what the consequences of her actions are and that it is something she will have to live with. And when she does get out, we promised that we will be there waiting for her.

  • Anonymous

    She did nothing but got caught this a tupperware container filled with something ‘some religious zealot’ doesn’t like.

    Motorcycle Accessories

  • Anonymous

    I was very impressed both by her background as a skater and by how well-spoken they was and how well they could write. My fiancee and I were even willing to let her stay with us while they worked on her internship.

    Motorcycle Accessories

  • Anachronisty

    I cannot understand why they can’t just de-criminalize and regulate. The US has more people in prison for drug related crime than the whole of Western Europe has for ALL crimes….jail isn’t the answer. In places where it is regulated, the problems seem to change shape, or go away in some instances. The fact is, a lot of people are attracted to illegal drugs BECAUSE they are illegal. They try them because they think if it is taboo, or they are “not supposed to”, they must be great. I think the percentage of people addicted would decrease significantly, after the initial rush for the goods dies down. Anyway, I don’t care too much, I don’t live there any more! For reasons of this nature. It’s just a matter of time before they have everyone in jail. It seems like that’s the big agenda to me. After all, felons can’t vote or own guns, so the more felons you make out of “undesirables” the less rights they have in society. It’s just a process of making certain people irrelevant. Drug charges get you hard time, maximum time, and a ruined life afterwards, but judges let confessed child molesters back out into society, and statistics show, the next time a huge percentage of them offend, they offend AND murder. It’s happened time and time again in Florida, and elsewhere I’m sure. This girl is clearly only a danger to herself, I hope she is able to get her life under control and use this unfortunate situation to the best advantage she can create from it.

  • Pattys87

    I was on the Cornell Figure Skating Team and Keri came to skate with us a few times (this was a year or two before the incident).  She was really, really good!

  • Ellynlaurel

    i was in jail with Keri for 5 months and grew to love her she is beautiful and probably the most intelligent person i have ever met. She is doing well and is moving on with her life. She is a writing a book which i think will be great because she is a brilliant writer. i <3 my Ker Bear. to know her is to love her

    • Logansrun70

      she did porn kathy’s kage

  • fbdelta

    good skater in the day