Carhartt Brawl Turns Deadly
SEYMOUR BUTTS ESQUIRE // APRIL 12, 2019
A fight broke out last Sunday evening over an item in the South Free Box. Third-year friends Mimi Berkowitz and Jackie Callahan got into an argument over a discarded pair of men’s paint-splattered Carhartt jeans, which escalated into a physical altercation and ultimately Jackie’s death. Leah Stevenson, OC ‘20, was with the girls at the time and witnessed the brawl. “It was crazy,” recalled Leah. “They were both rummaging through the box and grabbed the jeans at the exact same time. Then they got this look like they were possessed and refused to let go.” This apparently led to a screaming match between Mimi and Jackie, with Mimi claiming that Jackie “wasn’t Obie enough to pull off the Carhartt aesthetic,” and Jackie calling Mimi a “normie skank.” The fight eventually turned physical, and it was at this point that Leah tried to separate the two girls. “I pointed out that the pants were at least three sizes too big for either of them and there was literally a rip across the ass, but they wouldn’t listen. That’s when Mimi attacked me.” Leah brushed aside her bangs to reveal an ugly gash where Mimi hit her with her Dansko clog. “That’s when I fled to get help.”
By the time S&S arrived on the scene, Jackie was dead and Mimi, and the Carhartts, were nowhere to be found. While Jackie’s exact cause of death is unknown, one witness, speaking on the condition of anonymity, claims that she saw Mimi strangle Jackie. “I stepped out of the South Lobby bathroom—it’s the only place I feel comfortable pooping—and saw the fight myself. One girl was pinned down and refused to let go of the pants, even as the other was wailing on her with her Danskos. Finally, the girl with the clogs grabbed a pair of high-waisted corduroys from the Free Box and wrapped them around the other’s neck.” When asked why the witness chose to remain anonymous, she admitted that it was because she actually took the corduroys from the box later that night and didn’t want them to be taken as evidence.
While Leah is mourning the death of her friend, she is not entirely surprised by what happened. “This isn’t the first time my friends have attacked each other for Free Box clothes. This guy Sam bit me last year when I found an oversized sweater that he wanted.” Leah is not alone; a survey taken last month found that one in five students had either witnessed or been involved in a physical altercation over a Free Box item. Nonetheless, she still believes that what happened was a senseless tragedy, especially because Mimi already owned two pairs of Carhartt pants and Jackie was getting a clothing allowance from her parents every month. “Also,” she reminded us, “the pants literally had a gaping rip across the ass.”
In the meantime, Mimi’s whereabouts are still unknown, and S&S believes that she is still hiding out in South. They have tried to lure her out by planting her favorite types of clothing in the Free Box, but as of yet, the ironic “Oberlin Dad” t-shirt, flannel button-down, and canvas overalls have not been able to draw her out. S&S is urging students to contact them if they see a girl in South with blood-stained Carhartt jeans and exposed buttocks.