Bad batch? Mary ‘Shelley’ Goldsmith has become the next victim in a string of East Coast deaths linked to the club drug molly
Another promising young student’s death has now been linked to the club drug called molly, this time in Washington, DC.
University of Virginia sophomore Mary ‘Shelley’ Goldsmith, 19, died August 31 at one of the largest dance clubs in the nation’s capital and her family has now come forward to announce she likely overdosed.
Her death is among four that have been blamed on the drug in East Coast cities in the last several weeks and authorities are investigating whether a single bad batch is to blame for the tragic string of deaths.
Toxicology results have yet to come back for Goldsmith, or any of the victims, but an anonymous DC police source told the Washington Post that ‘Goldsmith’s friends told detectives that she had taken Molly at the club early Saturday.’
As authorities wait to determine if a single batch is to blame for the deaths that now stretch from Boston to Washington, Goldsmith’s father chose to come forward in hopes of preventing more deaths.
Robert G. Goldsmith told the Washington Post that he and his family briefly weighed whether or not to come forward about their daughter’s death after her friends admitted she’d used molly at Echo Stage in Northeast Washington.
Tragic: Goldsmith was a sophomore at prestigious University of Virginia, where she was awarded the highest merit scholarship. Her father has now come forward to say her August 31 death was caused by molly
‘If her death can open someone’s eyes, then we need to talk about it,’ Goldsmith said.
‘Shelley deserves a legacy of being someone who cared for people, someone who achieved, someone who contributed, and not a druggie who died,’ he said. ‘That’s not who she was.’
Goldsmith hailed from Abingdon, Virginia and was admitted to her prestigious university with the highest possible merit scholarship. She hoped to one day have a career in politics and had the resume full distinctions to help her on her way.
Goldsmith was rushed to Providence Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 3am Sunday.
Her father told the AP she had some sort of ‘heart and pulmonary’ attack.
Linked? Authorities are now awaiting toxicology results to determine if Goldsmith’s death is linked to similar overdoses in New York and Boston
‘Her love of life was contagious,’ reads Goldsmith’s obituary. ‘She volunteered at the food bank, worked for Democratic candidates, decorated cupcakes with her friends’
Managers of the 30,000 square foot Echo Stage said in a statement that they are saddened to hear about her death and that they will cooperate in the ongoing investigation.
The same Saturday as Goldsmith, at the Electric Zoo music festival in New York City, two young people died after taking molly and four other party-goers were sickened.
The deaths of Olivia Rotondo, 20, and Jeffrey Russ, 23, have both been linked to the pure form of ecstasy.
Rotondo reportedly suffered a seizure as she collapsed in front of paramedics before telling them, ‘I just took six hits of molly.’
The festival was scheduled to last through Sunday, but its third day of trance music and dancing was cancelled in light of the tragedies.
Rotondo, a Providence, Rhode Island native, died at the hospital Saturday night.
Police believe all six Electric Zoo attendees either overdosed or took tainted doses of the party drug Molly – a potent powder form of MDMA, aka Ecstasy.
‘I just took six hits of Molly’: 20-year-old Olivia Rotondo (right) died Saturday after suffering a seizure in front of paramedics at the Electric Zoo music festival in New York City
Tragic: Rotondo was one of two attendees of New York City’s Electric Zoo music festival who died Saturday from overdoses of Molly
Another victim: 23-year-old Jeffrey Russ of Rochester, New York also died Saturday due to an apparent Molly overdose
Tragedy at dance festival: Olivia Rotondo, 20, from Providence, Rhode Island passed away after attending Electric Zoo shortly after Jeffrey Russ from Rochester, NY
‘Just get me to the damn zoo,’ Rotondo tweeted hours before her death
In the aftermath of two deaths at New York City’s Electric Zoo and and at least three overdoses in Massachusetts, DEA officials say the drug known as Molly, MDMA, or Ecstacy is a top priority.
‘There’s no ‘good batch’ of molly,’ Anthony Pettigrew, a spokesman for the DEA New England division, told the Boston Herald.
‘This is stuff that’s made in somebody’s bathtub in either Asia, the Netherlands, Canada, you have no idea what is in this stuff. Dealers want to make more money, so they’ll mix and adulterate the stuff with meth and any number of other drugs to addict people to it.’
An official with the New York arm of the Drug Enforcement Agency concurred.
‘We are seeing (molly) goes hand-in-hand with a lot of nightclub activity, concert venues, areas where there’s a lot of teens listening to music,’ said Erin Mulvey. ‘With these overdose deaths and the focus now with trying to get the awareness out, we’re trying to get in front of the problem.’
More dangerous? Molly has been known for years as MDMA or Ecstasy, but some say its powder form is more dangerous because it is easily adulterated when put inside capsules
Last Tuesday, 19-year-old Brittany Flannigan died in Boston after taking the drug Molly.
OLD DRUG, NEW TRICKS?
Molly is a crystalline or powder form of the well-known club drug Ecstasy.
However, some believe Molly–which can be snorted or swallowed in a capsule–is more likely than the drug in tablet form to be laced with anything from caffeine to methamphetamine.
The moniker ‘Molly’ could also refer to the chemical MDMA (ecstasy) or to a variety of similar and related chemicals.
The drug is popular at music and dance venues because of its ability to energize its user.
Users also report a sense of heightened empathy and of a heightened ability to ‘feel’ the music.
It is nearly impossible for a user to judge exactly how much Molly they can safely take because there is no set measure of potency and it is often impossible to tell if a dose has been adulterated.
Friends and family of the two festival-goers who died have now endured callous attacks by ravers who are furious the organizers canceled the final day of the music festival over the deaths.
Music fans have called the deceased ‘irresponsible idiots’ and said that concert promoters should not have ‘punished’ surviving fans because of the ‘irresponsibility’ of the two victims.
City officials urged organizer Made Event to cancel the final day of Electric Zoo to prevent any additional overdoses. On Sunday morning, they complied and told fans that they would receive a full refund for the last day of the festival.
That didn’t satisfy some, who took their anger out of Russ and Rotondo – blaming them for the cancellation.
Facebook use Ben Spanbock posted an angry rant on Electric Zoo’s Facebook page: ‘I really don’t understand how two people could be so stupid,’ he wrote.
‘Yes it’s sad that they died, but you literally couldn’t turn around in that place without seeing a help station or a water refill. And because two yokels couldn’t control themselves, the other tens of thousands pay the price. Ridiculous.’
Jeffrey Glowka fumed: ‘I’m not worried about two idiots who did this to themselves.’
Fury: Many Electric Zoo fans had little or no sympathy for the two festival-goers who died
Shutdown: Electric Zoo Electronic Music festival on Randall’s Island, NYC was shut down today after suspected drug deaths
Many people say they shouldn’t be ‘punished’ for the deaths of the two fans
Name-calling: One Facebook user said the overdose victims were ‘stupid’
‘If you cared about your patrons then you wouldn’t disappoint the tens of thousand RESPONSIBLE concert goers who LIVE for the music at these festivals. While my deepest condolences go out to the families of the lives that were lost yesterday, it does not mean that everyone else needs to suffer,’ an angry David Eli wrote.
Dozens of people wrote comments blasting Russ and Rotondo – and hundreds of people ‘liked’ them.
Despite the callous words from some attendees, most people who wrote on the Electric Zoo Facebook page praised organizers for canceled the final day of the event and expressed sympathy for the families of Russ and Rotondo.
This marks the second time in a week that Molly has made headlines and led to canceled shows. Brittany Flannigan, a 19-year-old New Hampshire college student, died after taking the party drug at a show for DJ Zedd in Boston and two others were hospitalized.
The last day of a New York City dance music festival featured high-profile acts including Avicii, David Guetta and Diplo.
The New York Daily News reported that she tweeted in the hours before her death: ‘The amount of traveling I’ve done today is unreal. Just get me to the damn zoo.’
Four more people are being treated in intensive care units in New York hospitals, authorities said.
The city says the deaths appear to have been linked to illegal drugs, specifically MDMA, or ecstasy, also known as Molly. Definitive causes of death have not yet been determined.
The festival took place on Randall’s Island in the East River, New York City. Event organizers were turning people away on Sunday.
Questions: The cause of death for the 20-year-old University of New Hampshire student has not been confirmed
Condolences: Festival organizers complied with the city’s recommendation and closed the festival
The event’s founders expressed condolences on its website to the families of those who died.
The message read: ‘The founders of Electric Zoo send our deepest condolences to the families of the two people who passed away this weekend.
‘Because there is nothing more important to us than our patrons, we have decided in consultation with the New York City Parks Department that there will be no show today.’
The festival has been held since 2009.
Closed down: Events organizers were turning people away on Sunday after the deaths