The Hearst College Rapist Case involved a series of rapes on the Hearst College campus. In each case, a female student was surreptitiously given the drug GHB and later raped in her own dorm room, awakening the next day with no memory of the event to discover that all of her hair had been shaved off.
Veronica's first exposure to the case came while she was still a student at Neptune High. While attending a Hearst orientation weekend for prospective freshmen, her one-time boyfriend Troy Vandegraff (who is also attending the event) became a prime suspect. A student (Stacy) he met at a party awoke the next morning to to find she'd been raped and had her head shaved since leaving the party with Troy.
Troy did not have a solid alibi but persuaded Veronica to prove he's innocent. Despite still holding a significant grudge against him, Veronica agreed to look into it and eventually cleared him. She also discovered that the rapist had claimed at least one other victim (Dawn) prior to Stacy. ("The Rapes of Graff")
Several months later, Veronica arrived at Hearst as a freshman to discover that the rapist is still active upon attending a Lilith House "Take Back the Night" rally spearheaded by several of the rapist's apparent victims. Later, Mac and Veronica had to tiptoe around Mac's new boy-crazy roommate, Parker Lee, who was in their room with a guy. The next day, Parker woke up to find her head had been shaved--whoever the guy was, it was not consensual as Mac and Veronica had assumed. ("Welcome Wagon", "Wichita Linebacker")
A few days later, the campus lampoon paper was accused of instigating another rape when a girl named Claire, highlighted in a 'humor' piece they had recently published, alleged that she had been victimized. Veronica, feeling very guilty about not intervening when Parker was being raped, jumped into the case. She got a big lead when she found an ATM photo showing Claire with an Asian boy; Claire said she didn't recognize him when asked. After learning that the Asian boy was, in fact, Claire's boyfriend, Veronica realized that Claire was lying about her rape to further the Lilith House's agenda to get rid of the Greek system on campus. ("President Evil", "Hi, Infidelity", "Lord of The Pi's")
While investigating another matter, Veronica found out that her Criminology TA, Tim Foyle, was also investigating the rapes. He informed her that no hair or DNA from the rapist had been found at any of the crime scenes. Meanwhile, Parker encountered Mercer Hayes at the campus radio station and had a bad turn when Mercer's cologne sparked a memory of the otherwise fuzzy night of her rape. Veronica broke into his room and found a set of clippers. She took her findings to Sheriff Lamb, who added that the Sheriff's department had found two vials of GHB in Mercer's stolen cash box after it was recovered. Mercer was arrested but Logan insisted to Veronica that he can't be the rapist because the two of them had been in Mexico (doing what he refuses to say) at the time of one of the rapes. ("Hi, Infidelity")
While Mercer was locked up, Veronica had her own rape scare. Someone drugged her in the food court, then attacked her in a parking lot, shaving off a chunk of her hair. Logan intervened before anything worse could happen. Mercer's alibi solidified further when Veronica realized that at least two of the rapes occurred while he was on shift for his live call-in radio show. Logan eventually admitted that the Mexico incident involved an accidental fire at a motel. Apparently having been unable to commit three of the rapes or the attack on Veronica, Mercer was cleared as a suspect. ("Of Vice and Men")
After the Greeks avoided getting thrown off campus, Dick's fraternity threw a huge party to celebrate. Veronica, Mac, Piz, and Wallace attended to help ensure no more girls were given GHB at the event. After the band finished its set, Mercer's live call-in show was broadcast over the sound system and Veronica realized that it was a recording of the show that had also been playing the night Parker was raped. Certain someone was about to get raped, she rushed to the dorms. She was captured and attacked by Mercer, but managed to escape and find apparent sanctuary in her RA Moe Flater's room. Moe left to find help but Veronica soon discovered he'd drugged her. Moe returned with Mercer but Veronica fought them off. Parker chased off Mercer and found her. Keith captured Mercer and Moe in a motel room.
Moe, who volunteered for the Safe Ride Home program and had dorm room master keys, identified and dosed girls with GHB for Mercer, who then entered their rooms to rape them. Moe also attacked Veronica while Mercer was in jail. Mercer apparently felt entitled to sex with his victims, whom he felt would simply give it up to him anyway if he tried but at what he considered to be more of a cost in time and effort than he should be required to expend.
At least some of the rapes (including perhaps two that occurred during Mercer's radio show) appear to have Lilith House hoaxes. ("Spit & Eggs")
- Dawn (raped)
- Stacy (raped)
- Parker Lee (raped)
- Veronica (two attacks; not raped)
- Drugged and part of her hair shaved; saved by Logan before anything else happens
- Drugged and battered; saved by Parker
- Claire Nordhouse (faked rape)
- Possible unnamed Lilith House member (faked rape)
- Possible unnamed Lilith House member (faked rape)