At the hospital—and in Steubenville generally—she found the enthusiasm for Big Red football alarming.“When I saw how the nurses’ locker room was bedazzled like a cheerleader’s bedroom, I just remember standing there thinking, Oh, my God,” Goddard said.She was bewildered when she woke up the next morning on a couch in Mark Cole’s basement, naked and unable to find her cell phone.But when her friends came to pick her up, they said, she seemed fine with where she was: lying next to Trent Mays on the couch, where they’d slept under a Steelers blanket.There were posters all over the walls saying “Roll Red Roll,” the chant that echoes from Steubenville’s Harding Stadium during football games.Though there are fewer than eight hundred students in the high school, the stadium has ten thousand seats—half as many as Madison Square Garden.Since 1970, the population of Steubenville has declined forty per cent, to about eighteen thousand.
In 1997, the Department of Justice cited the police department for excessive use of force, false arrests, and tampering with evidence. Everybody knows you.” In a town cemetery, one woman’s headstone is engraved with “Roll Red Roll.” [cartoon id="a17654"]At night, Goddard tended bar at Enzo’s, a place off the main drag that is not marked by any sign. It was difficult with the cop I dated—they have their expectations of what a woman’s supposed to be.” Once, a guy in town tried to force himself on a friend of hers, so Goddard devised a retaliatory scheme.Goddard—a big woman with striking green eyes and long streaked blond hair, who wears a silver high-heeled-shoe pendant around her neck—was popular there. And when they came into Enzo’s after their shift “we had a blast.”But Goddard chafed at the gender dynamics in town. “It was snowing like hell, and he had to walk a very long way,” she said. After that, men were scared of us for a very long time.”Goddard moved away in 2006.At the bar and at the hospital, she befriended many of the town’s policemen. In her new home, in Columbus, she waitressed and worked in offices, but put much of her energy into a blog, where she aired her passionate opinions about criminal justice. In 2011, she was captivated by the Caylee Anthony trial, in which a Florida woman was accused of killing her two-year-old daughter; she told me that she was “heavily involved behind the scenes.” But before the Steubenville case her site rarely got more than a few hundred hits a day.Saturday last August, a sixteen year-old girl in West Virginia did something that teen-agers do: she told her parents that she was sleeping at another girl’s house, across the Ohio River, and then, after her mother dropped her off there, she and a few friends headed into the hot summer night to a party.She brought a bottle of vodka with her, and she used it to spike a slushy that she bought at a gas station on the way to their destination, in a town called Steubenville.