This timeline was put together using timelines and articles first published by the Chicago Tribune (CT), the South Bend Tribune (SBT), Politics Daily (PD), and Weather South Bend Tribune (WSBT).
Mon., Aug. 30th: Lizzy meets the football player accused of the assault (PD).
Tues., Aug. 31st: Lizzy texts her mother to say she is going over to Notre Dame with a friend from SMC to visit her friend’s boyfriend and the player. Between 10 and 11 PM, Lizzy, her friend, the friend’s boyfriend, and the player go to the player’s room for a “dance party” (PD). Lizzy is eventually left alone with the player, during which time she is reportedly assaulted. She leaves the room as soon as possible and returns to SMC, where she immediately seeks out the help of a friend. The friend advises her to report the assault (PD).
Wed., Sept. 1st: Lizzy goes to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and reports that she was assaulted at about 11:30 PM the previous evening, Aug. 31st. She speaks to an NDSP officer and gives him a handwritten account, which is co-signed by the friend she sought out for help the night before. The officer tells her she can press charges by sending the statement to the prosecutor’s office and/or to the university’s disciplinary hearing process (WSBT). Lizzy receives several texts from the girlfriend of the player’s friend, first asking “dude are you ok,” then later, “get in my room asap,” and when Lizzy asked why, “because you need to tell [the player’s friend] what’s going on” (PD).
Thurs., Sept. 2nd: Lizzy receives a text from the player’s friend that says, “Don’t do anything you would regret. Messing with Notre Dame football is a bad idea.” His girlfriend also sends Lizzy another text from the girlfriend that says, “I’m freaking out idk what to do.” Lizzy sends a screen shot of the the player’s friend’s text to the NDSP officer, who does two things: 1) calls the player’s friend and tells him to “knock it off and not have any more contact,” and 2) proceeds to interview the player’s friend during their conversation, recording the interview as part of his investigation (PD). Lizzy asks for her statement to be returned to her so she can make it more comprehensive (WSBT). The officer complies and keeps a copy of the original statement (SBT). Lizzy emails the investigator a web link to the player’s Notre Dame football profile (CT).
Fri., Sept. 3rd: NDSP interviews the girlfriend (SBT).
Sun., Sept. 5th: Lizzy emails the NDSP officer a longer typed statement with more details (SBT). In the statement she writes that the player and his friend appeared to be texting each other while she and the friend’s girlfriend were in the room.
Tues., Sept. 7th: NDSP officer compares Lizzy’s more comprehensive statement with both her original statement and his interviews of the player’s friend and his girlfriend (SBT).
Thurs., Sept. 9th: NDSP officer visits the player’s dorm room but receives no answer. He leaves the player a voicemail asking him to call. The player does not return the call (SBT).
Fri., Sept. 10th: Lizzy misses a counseling session and is found unconscious in her room. She is taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, where she dies from an earlier overdose of Effexor, an antidepressant drug (CT).
Mon., Sept. 13th:
1.) NDSP officer repeats attempt to visit player’s dorm room and leaves another voicemail. The player does not return the call (WSBT).
2.) St. Mary’s holds a Memorial Mass for Lizzy. Fr. Thomas Doyle, vice president for student affairs, meets Tom Seeberg, Lizzy’s father, at the Mass. He speaks to Seeberg over the phone 12-15 times after their introduction (SBT).
Wed., Sept. 15th: NDSP officer interviews the player in person. The player states the interaction between him and Lizzy was consensual (WSBT).
Fri., Sept. 17th: Lizzy is buried (CT).
Mon., Sept. 20th: Tom Seeberg calls the university to ask about the status of the case (CT).
Wed. Sept. 22nd: Police interview Lizzy’s friend who co-signed her first statement (PD).
Thurs., Sept. 23rd: Lizzy’s parents visit Notre Dame to meet with the NDSP investigator and an NDSP assistant chief (SBT). The investigator tells Lizzy’s mother, Mary Seeberg, that since football season is a busy time frequented by a lot of underage drinking, he does not know how long it will take NDSP to finish the investigation (PD). He adds that it is unlikely that the player will be criminally prosecuted (CT). The investigator also tells the Seebergs there is no material difference between Lizzy’s first and second statements (PD).
Fri., Sept. 24th: After Tom Seeberg reads Lizzy’s statement he contacts NDSP to determine whether they investigated any phone record information. When NDSP indicates it has not, Seeberg insists that the records be requested (CT).
Tues., Sept. 28th: Police ask the cell phone carriers of player’s phone and his friend’s phone to preserve both students’ phone records (WSBT).
Wed., Oct. 20th: Police receive phone records from phone carriers. Records show that the player and his friend used data on their phones, but did not send text messages to each other, during the time that Lizzy believed they were texting each other (WSBT).
Fri. Nov. 5th: In a letter to Marianne Corr, Zachary Fardon, a former federal prosecutor hired by the Seebergs, requests three things from the university: 1) a thorough investigation, 2) transparency in the investigation, and 3) an “appropriate disciplinary response from the university” (CT).
Wed., Nov. 17th: ND General Counsel Marianne Corr and NDSP assistant director meet with two attorneys for the Seebergs. Corr orders that the investigative report be delivered to the prosecutor’s office (SBT).
Fri., Nov. 19th: Fardon writes a letter on behalf of Tom Seeberg to Father John Jenkins, Father Thomas Doyle, Marianne Corr. Corr sends the letter to NDSP (SBT).
Sun., Nov. 21st: CT breaks the story publicly for first time, highlighting Notre Dame’s silence on Lizzy’s death. The story claims St. Joseph County police had not been notified of Lizzy’s death (WSBT). Fr. Doyle responds to Fardon’s letter via email, saying that he did not read it because it contained facts about the case. Fr. Doyle also says he will not forward the letter to Fr. Jenkins (CT).
Mon., Nov. 22nd: CT prints a story reporting St. Joseph County prosecutor Michael Dvorak’s claim that he received Corr’s file earlier in the week, but that Dvorak was not aware it had been sent until the previous day, Sun., Nov. 21st.
Tues., Nov. 23rd:
1.) SBT publishes a story correcting CT’s story. St. Joseph County police claim they had been notified of Lizzy’s death.
2.) CT prints a story correcting its earlier story about St. Joseph County police.
3.) Vice President for Public affairs and Communications Janet M. Botz sends an email to the Notre Dame listserv. She states that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) “prohibits universities from publicly discussing specific disciplinary cases.”
Wed., Dec. 1st: Dvorak meets with the Seebergs. He tells them charges are unlikely but he promises a thorough review (WSBT).
Tues., Dec. 14th: Dvorak issues a press release stating that he met with the Seebergs on Dec. 1st and that he is still working on the case.
Thurs., Dec. 16th:
1.) Shortly after midnight, CT breaks another story on the case, emphasizing that the Seebergs feel betrayed by Notre Dame.
2.) Later that day, Dvorak issues a second press release stating that no charges will be prosecuted against the player.
3.) Botz sends a second email to the Notre Dame listserv; she again points to FERPA and states that all suspected student violations of the law are investigated “professionally, carefully and thoroughly.”
Fri., Dec. 17th: Melinda Henneberger, Notre Dame class of 1980 and editor-in-chief of the online blog Politics Daily, runs her first piece on Lizzy’s case after extensively interviewing the Seeberg family.
Thurs., Dec. 23rd: Attorney Joseph Power Jr., representing the accused player, states he is working to stop claims that the player raped Lizzy. Power states the player did nothing that violated duLac’s code of conduct (SBT).
Sun., Dec. 26th: SBT publishes an interview with Fr. Jenkins, where he defends the university’s integrity throughout the investigation.
Mon., Dec. 27th: Henneberger runs a second piece, criticizing Fr. Jenkins for attributing investigative delays to “discrepancies” between Lizzy’s two statements. Henneberger highlights NDSP investigator’s initial comment that there was no material difference between Lizzy’s statements.
Fri., Jan. 21st: The Observer runs a story that highlights the SBT interview.