Just because she was arrested here, doesn't mean Kari Ferrell has any hard feelings toward Philadelphia.
Ferrell, dubbed the "Hipster Grifter" last spring by the New York Observer, was arrested here in May on a warrant from Salt Lake City where she was a fugitive wanted for check fraud.
The 22-year-old was released last month from jail in Salt Lake City where she had been incarcerated since May. In August, Ferrell pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony forgery, count, and several more misdemeanors for issueing bad checks, attemped forgery, attempted identity fraud.
"I still appreciate Philadelphia...You have very nice transients who serve as walking Planned Parenthoods," Ferrell told us by e-mail. "A homeless man once asked me if I'd like to buy the morning after pill or a box of Durex condoms--had they been Trojans, I probably would have taken him up on the offer. I don't think that other cities are so well prepared," Ferrell writes. She was pinched in Philadelphia after musician Sam Tremble of the local band Hermit Thrushes lured her to town offering her a spot on tour with a band and when she got off a bus in Chinatown, Tremble was there to meet her, as were Philadelphia Police who had been in touch with the Salt Lake City authorities.
Former Philadelphia Weekly staffer Doree Shafrir's Observer stories painted Ferrell, a former Vice magazine employee, scamming her way through Brooklyn, telling friends she was terminally ill, and preying on their good intentions and cash handouts. After that story appeared, the "Hipster Grifter" became an Internet sensation and garnered widespread news coverage, even inspiring an October episode of "Law & Order."
"I actually never saw it. I heard that the character that is based off of me is eventually convicted of murder, though, so--uh---that's great," Ferrell said sarcastically of the episode.
Ferrell told us earlier that she didn't steal nearly the $60,000 which the warrant for her arrest claimed she had. "If I had stolen that amount I would be in federal prison, having bi-racial gang bangs, and being jumped into the Korean Sisterhood," Ferrell writes. Now that she's a free woman, Ferrell is living in Salt Lake City and says her future plans include "Eating a lot of burritos... Besides that, I will be returning to New York, and moving on with my life." Ferrell says she's now writing for Animal New York. Asked how she's been treated since her release, Ferrell tells us that "As far as the people I have met, most come to the conclusion that I was treated unfairly, and the amount of attention that this story has garnered is sort of dumbfounding, and I have to agree on the latter."