SI Vault
 
Anatomy Of a Plot
E.M. Swift
February 14, 1994
Even in their version of events—which differs from Tonya Harding's—the confessed conspirators in the Nancy Kerrigan assault were at once goons and buffoons
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
February 14, 1994

Anatomy Of A Plot

Even in their version of events—which differs from Tonya Harding's—the confessed conspirators in the Nancy Kerrigan assault were at once goons and buffoons

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

They walked to the arena. Stant told Smith that he would sit near the blue curtain where the skaters entered the ice and that Smith was to sit on the opposite side of the arena. Stant said that when he spotted Kerrigan and the assault was imminent, he would stand up and sit down. That would be the signal for Smith to go to the car.

Stant took a seat about seven rows up from the ice. Fifteen minutes later he watched as Kerrigan took the ice. He waited until her name was announced, then he stood up and sat down. Smith left the arena. Stant watched Kerrigan skate, watching for video recorders, so he wouldn't be photographed. After her session, at about 2:35 p.m., Kerrigan left the ice. Stant got up from his seat. Kerrigan was followed by a cameraman from ABC, and when the man laid down his camera and turned to his left, Stant darted around him to the right. Two men were standing at the blue curtain, but Stant walked past them. He saw no security people. Kerrigan stopped in the hall outside the dressing room and spoke to Dana Scarton of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Stant drew the baton out of his belt with his right hand and, according to his statement, clutched the "madman" note with his left. Swiftly he walked between Kerrigan and Scarton. He struck one quick, vicious blow to Kerrigan's right leg, just above the knee, then bolted. Kerrigan screamed. Again and again, she screamed. Stant says he dropped the note as he began to run. The Plexiglas doors he had seen the day before were chained together; without pausing he crashed through the lower part of one of the doors, using his head as a ram, and sprawled onto the sidewalk. Behind him a voice cried out, "Somebody stop him!"

Stant got to his feet and ran. A man got in his way, and Stant knocked him down. He ran toward the post office, flinging the baton in the snow under a parked car. He glanced over his shoulder. People were watching, but no one was giving chase.

As it turned out, he was running directly away from Smith, who had parked about 150 yards from the exit, near some tour buses. Smith watched as Stant bowled the man over and, in the car, caught up with Stant before the end of the block. Stant jumped into the car and tore off his jacket and gloves, then slipped on a brown coat. No one was following them.

Within an hour of the attack, Gillooly says, he was awakened by a telephone call from Harding, and this exchange ensued:

"It happened," Harding said.

"What happened?"

"Nancy. They did it."

"You're kidding," Gillooly said.

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10