Monday, January 25, 2010

Kerrigan, Again

A little over 16 years after being attacked in Detroit, Nancy Kerrigan just got clubbed again.

This time it's fatal; Kerrigan, the figure skater who was whacked on the leg at Cobo Arena in January 1994 in a bizarre plot cooked up by her rival's camp, has now lost her father.

Daniel Kerrigan, 70, was found dead in his Massachusetts home early Sunday morning, and his son and Nancy's brother, Mark, is under arrest.

From thebostonchannel.com:

Mark Kerrigan, 45, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in Woburn District Court Monday where he was charged with assault and battery on a person over 60.

Police reports said officers received a 911 call to the Kerrigan home at 7 Cedar Avenue about 1:30 a.m. Sunday and found Kerrigan's father, Daniel, unconscious and not breathing on the kitchen floor.

Mark Kerrigan, an unemployed plumber and Army veteran, was found in the basement, where he had been living in his parents home since being released from a Billerica jail where he served time on 2007 assault and battery charges.

"He was clearly intoxicated, he was also extremely combative with the police, very violent. He refused to comply with their orders and they had to subdue him with the use of pepper spray. He had to be forcibly removed from the home," state prosecutor Elizabeth Healy said during the arraignment in court.

Nancy Kerrigan is 40 now. She was 24 when a goon hired at the behest of the ex-husband of Kerrigan's chief rival for the U.S. Skating Championships, Tony Harding, clubbed her just above the knee. The attack happened right outside the dressing room at Cobo Arena in Detroit.

You've seen the video, shot moments after the clubbing. It shows Kerrigan, wailing and clutching her wounded leg.

"WHY? WHYYY?" She cried.


Nancy Kerrigan, moments after being attacked at Cobo Arena in 1994


In the Department of Poetic Justice, Kerrigan overcame the injury and captured a silver medal in the Olympic Games in Lillehammer about a month after being set upon in Detroit.

Now she has to deal with a much worse blow.

Mark Kerrigan, according to state prosecutor Healy, suffers from post-traumatic stress illness from his military service and takes medication and receives therapy for it.

Kerrigan's mother Brenda, who is legally blind, was at home at the time of her husband's death and said she heard the fight but was unclear as to exactly what happened. Nancy Kerrigan, a two-time Olympic medalist, arrived at her parents' Stoneham home late Sunday morning, making no comment.

The Kerrigan attack didn't do any favors for Detroit, a city that never seems able to outpace its bad press. It didn't matter that it could have happened anywhere---or certainly whichever town was hosting the skating championships that year. It only mattered that it happened in Detroit. The press made it seem like it was fait accompli that a violent act such as the Kerrigan incident should occur in Detroit.

Thankfully, I would bet you that if you polled 100 people who would confirm recollection of the attack, less than half of them could tell you which city it occurred in. Time heals, and makes people forget.

But I know where it happened---specifically. I've stood in the very spot where Kerrigan got her leg whacked, because I've been in Cobo many times, mainly for TV productions. I could point it out to you today.

As for the death of Kerrigan's father, prosecutor Healy says the accused son/brother is "very distraught and in grief. He denies the allegations of the commonwealth," she said.

Mark Kerrigan has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

So did Harding's people to the allegations of attacking Nancy Kerrigan, at first. And look what happened there.

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