Police swarmed Lakewood High. Students were escorted to empty rooms in two's and three's. Teachers were questioned. Parents were invited inside. The police wanted information from everyone. They kept an eye on everything. They watched the administrators fidget. They wondered how long they'd known.
Buster and Fern met up in the cafeteria. They went to the detectives together. They were led inside an empty office. Fern showed them her notebook. Buster showed them his list. They told their stories. The detectives hung onto every word. They were grateful for them. Fern had more names than they thought. Some of the girls they'd questioned. They claimed they knew nothing. Fern confirmed they did.
Buster's information was more important. He gave them boys to talk to. His list was a suspect list. They used it to call boys to the office. The boys claimed to know nothing. The detectives watched their body language. They were nervous, too nervous to know nothing. The detectives would keep an eye on them. They started looking into them behind the scenes. They had to know more.
Lakewood High's students needed to know more too. Slowly they learned more. They heard about Molly. Everyone was shocked. They didn't think she'd kill herself. Just weeks ago, she was happy. Binky was happy. Everyone was happy. Now she was dead, Binky was absent due to grief, and the news said she was raped. No one could believe it. Why didn't she just fight back?
The talk didn't help the girls. Hearing that question pissed them off. Muffy had to stay strong. The others did too. Too much of a reaction meant guilt.
But the girls had to say something. Muffy's name wasn't released, but her visit to the station was publicized. A girl had come forward. She produced her clothes from that night. She didn't know her attackers. Forensic evidence would help them find out their names. Muffy would help them find out hers.
At lunch, Muffy stood on a table. No one stopped her. They just got quiet. They listened to her admit her fate. Her baby bump was obvious now. She'd shed her baggy jacket. She revealed her fate. She wanted other girls to do the same. They would stand together. They would stick up for each other. They wouldn't become the baby mamas the boys wanted. They would be strong.
No one came forward in that moment. Muffy didn't expect them to. But gradually, they did come forward. They stood together as one. They always would.
Once at Lakewood High, the investigation was quick. Too many of the boys talked. Witnesses came forward. They stood behind the girls, all fifty of them. Fifty girls pregnant against their will was too much to ignore. Elwood City made national news. The federal Board of Education cleansed the administration. Many wanted charges against them too. None would come.
The boys would face prosecution:
Alan Powers-he may not've raped anyone, but he controlled everything. He got chloroform for the early rapes. He helped them become more potent. He even helped track some of the girls' cycles. He was the mastermind. He'd be put away for life.
Alex Richmond-he'd fathered twenty children. He'd committed the most rapes. He went away for life ten times over for what he did.
Justice was done, many said. But Binky would never be the same. His soulmate was gone. She'd taken her own life. He couldn't handle it. He was never the same. He lived at home, worked odd jobs, and stayed quiet. He didn't talk to anyone. He didn't want to. Without Molly, life had no meaning. Her mother felt the same. She eventually recovered. She focused on her son. Without someone to focus on, Binky never changed. He'd forever be strange.
Fern would be seen in the same light. Knowing she'd seen a real case made her more suspicious of the world. She wrote down everything. She moved to the big city and watched her neighbors. She wrote strange mysteries about them. They never sold. Fern was never published. She would later be committed for paranoid schizophrenia and other mental problems.
Everyone else would be fine. Muffy gave up her baby for adoption. A lot of the girls did. They took a while to recover but society was helpful. Sue Ellen was allowed into the foreign exchange program anyway. She kept her kid. Her mother raised the baby while she was in China. Her life turned out fine despite the unwanted addition. No one lived happily ever after. But they kept living. That was all that mattered.