A hat tip to another blog for posting last week in regards to Penn State convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky, and allegations of his innocence from investigative reporter John Zeigler. To get deep into it as I have, you will have to listen to a couple of two-and-one-half hour broadcast from Thaddeus Russell, starting here. Zeigler also runs a website called Framing Paterno. In addition are more interviews and a long series of blog posts, 2012-present by Zeigler. You are, like me, on your own. I spent a weekend, maybe ten or twelve hours of listening and reading and came out refreshed. Now is time to write, hopefully capturing the immensity of the injustice done to Jerry Sandusky.
I am a walking thinker, that is, I cannot just sit and listen to people talk. I have to move about. Maybe this is why schooling never did me much good, as I watched the mouths of teachers and saw the cascades of words coming out of them, but they did not cross the divide. John Cleese, quoting someone else I am not going to run down, told us that a teacher’s lecture is a series of notes on paper that become a series of notes on the student’s paper, without passing through the mind of either.
I must have walked several miles in our home as I listened to Zeigler. He is an effusive talker whose voice often reaches stressed levels, as with Jerry Seinfeld, and I first thought that off-putting. In fact, I had to put on a headset, as my wife was annoyed by his voice even as she was not listening. So I walked about the house, sat down and took notes, and walked some more. Eventually, he got through to me. I now view him as a man of exceptional integrity who was captured by the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State affair that saw Joe Paterno fired and then die in ignominy. He saw Penn State College officials Tim Curley and Jerry Schultz, and even now Graham Spanier, doing or facing prison time for … nothing. They are honorable men caught in a much larger scam, in essence, a shakedown.
It has, so far, cost Zeigler his career and ten years of his life. Such is the price of moral courage. He says now that he will hang it up this coming November, as he can do no more than he has done, and to no avail.
As it goes in life, so it goes with Penn State, the evil and greedy people winning and prospering, the good ones suffering. Zeigler is a very effective writer, and one line that grabbed my attention, back in one of his 2012 blog posts, that he is interested in “pursuit of truth.” We don’t hear that sentiment much, as there is not much of it going on, especially now in Covid times. There is no “news” of any use, and television is completely corrupted by people talking over one another, windbags, blowhards, fake “experts and self-important pundits.
Zeigler is an investigative journalist, and has taken it in the shorts due to his pursuit of this matter, eventually coming to believe that Jerry Sandusky is completely innocent of all charges. He did not think that in the beginning, and was far more interested in exoneration for the legendary coach, Joe Paterno.
First note that the whole of the US news media jumped to conclusions about Jerry Sandusky, and so did I. However, I did not presume guilt. I am the product of years of research and revelation into the nature of our justice system, and know that we often have staged, or show trials. I regard the recent trial of Derek Chauvin in the matter of George Floyd, for instance, to be for show, with Floyd alive somewhere and Chauvin merely growing a beard, maybe even moving to Santa Catarina. Note that Vernon Wayne Howell (aka “David Koresh” of Waco Massacre fame), now age 61, lives in Palestine, Texas, a mere 100 miles from Waco, where he died in back in 1993. So my first thoughts of the Penn State affair, which blew right by me at the time, was another show trial, with Jerry Sandusky the designated goat. Just as Martha Stewart, Bernie Madeoff, Rob Blagojevich, OJ Simpson, Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan have never spent a day in prison, so too did I assume that with Sandusky.
I was wrong. Sandusky is in prison, and will die there, innocent of any and all charges.
Zeigler is a neophyte, and if he were to read this would distance himself from Manson, Sirhan, Simpson, as those are seemingly far-fetched conclusions. So what. Zeigler, and I have now listened to him and read him in depth, is a man of honor, and is also as Thaddeus Russell described him at the end of four hours of non-stop talking by Ziegler, an excellent journalist. Despite the difficulty in listening to such an outpouring, the real man comes though.
What turned me? What was the blinding light that made me fall from my horse? I’ll get to that later. First I want to recount the events of the Penn State affair, which is as Zeigler described it, a “perfect storm.” My biggest known unknown at this time is the matter of Aaron Fisher, aka “Victim #1.” He appeared seemingly from nowhere to accuse Sandusky of pedophilia not related in any way to Penn State, but rather to Central Valley High School in Mill Hall, Pennsylvania. He came forth with accusations of “inappropriate touching” by Sandusky, who was volunteering as an assistant football coach. The record will show that Wilson accused Sandusky of forcing fellatio on him perhaps 100 times. This is the first opening to the long scandal, and in retrospect, as the reader will later realize, can have no basis in fact. But the boy coming forward also cannot be without some merit, as prior to that time, in forty years of coaching (with the exception of 12/29/2000) there was never a sign of any misbehavior by Sandusky. What prompted the boy? That’s a matter for further research. What he says happened could not have happened, but what motivates a boy to tell such lies?
Zeigler is now releasing over seventeen hours of interviews and reports via either ITunes or Spotify detailing things I’ve not yet uncovered. The podcasts are called With the Benefit of Hindsight. That title is searchable at both sources. You’re on your own now. You know I will be listening.
- January 26, 1944: Sandusky’s birth date.
- 1966: Marries Dottie Gross, and devout Christian (as is Jerry).
- 1977: Sandusky founds Second Mile, a not-for-profit charity for underprivileged and at-risk kids in Pennsylvania, which will later become one of George H.W. Bush’s “Thousand Points of Light.” .
- 1999: Sandusky retires as assistant football coach at Penn State.
- 2009: A grand jury is convened to investigate Sandusky.
- 2011: Sandusky arrested and charged sexual abuse of young boys.
- November 7, 2011: George Spanier, Senior Athletic Director at Penn State, steps down along with Gary Schultz, interim president for finance and business, in the wake of accusations of a cover-up regarding accusations against Sandusky for behaviors ten years earlier.
- November 9, 2011: Joe Paterno fired by Penn State, along with Spanier. Both men are innocent of any wrongdoing.
- January 22, 2012: Joe Paterno dies at age 85. He was surely broken, his long and excellent career destroyed by the Sandusky matter. He did nothing wrong.
- June 12, 2012: Sandusky convicted of 45 of 48 charges.
- October 9, 2012: Sandusky sentenced to 30-60 years for his offenses, meaning he will die in prison.
- October 31, 2012: Sandusky’s lawyers appeal for new trial, claiming inadequate preparation time.
- October 31, 2012: Sandusky moved to SCI Greene “Supermax” facility, and put under protective custody. Later he was moved to Laurel Highlands, a minimum security facility.
- January 30, 2013: Appeal denied.
- July, 2017: Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Jerry Schultz turn themselves in jail for child endangerment. Both men are innocent of any wrongdoing.
- April 30, 2019: Graham Spanier exonerated of a conviction of child endangerment, as it was based on a statute that did not go into effect until six years after the alleged offense.
- December 1, 2020: Despite the statute not being in effect, charges against Spanier are reinstated. Makes no sense.
So it goes.
McQueary is a key player in the Sandusky matter, so it is important to examine his behaviors closely. He first claimed to have witnessed in 2002 an incident in the showers of the Penn State Lasch Football Building in which Sandusky was naked with a ten-year-old (actually 14) boy, Allan Myers. His account of what he saw will change over time, from anal intercourse (probably originating with prosecutors) to a mere reflection in a mirror and close proximity. The date will also change from 2002 to February 9, 2001. He visited Joe Paterno at his home on February 10, 2001. According to McQueary, he was advised by Paterno that “If this is about a job, don’t bother coming.” Zeigler was at a gathering at the Paterno home some time later, and Joe’s wife Sue Paterno heard Zeigler recount this remark, and turned to him and (using Zeigler’s word) “snapped” at him “THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN!”
Many questions arose. McQueary, seen to the left with Paterno, is a big guy, a former athlete, yet he made no attempt to intervene to rescue the boy being raped. He did not call police. He was required to report sexual abuse to his immediate superior, which is why he claimed that he met with Paterno. It is this meeting that set in motion the chain of events that would end the careers of Paterno, Schultz, Curley, and put Sandusky in prison for the rest of his life. All unjustified. McQueary would go on to collect a multi-million dollar settlement from Penn State, part of a feeding frenzy wherein 35 or more line up to receive checks. All of that payout was loot, mere virtue-signalling by Penn State, afraid of losing its football program and reputation.
John Ziegler disputes much, if not all of McQueary’s testimony. He places the real meeting with Paterno as December 29, 2000, the date remembered by Sandusky as having been with the alleged victim, then 14-year old Allan Myers. They had traveled together that day from Eastern Pennsylvania on a book-signing tour for his book Touched, an odd title, I know. Also, he had learned that a coaching position he had done four interviews for, at the University of Virginia, went to Al Groh on that day. So Sandusky has a clear memory of December 29, 2001 and freely admits he was with Allan Myers, but claims nothing untoward happened. The two had used the Penn State facility to work out, and then showered. During the shower, there was horseplay, which will be explained later.
McQueary did in fact meet with Paterno on February 10, 2001, but not to discuss the Sandusky matter, which had happened six weeks earlier. On February 9, 2001, Penn State wide receiver coach Kenny Jackson had been hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and McQueary, at that time a graduate assistant coach, was job-interviewing. At this meeting, he indeed mentioned the six-week-prior event with Sandusky and Myers, but in order to give it urgency, he moved it up to the day before, February 9. At no time with Paterno did he claim to have seen a rape in progress. McQueary would change the story of what he saw, according to Zeigler, 17 times, and Sandusky would actually be exonerated of that particular charge, even as it is the one stuck in the public mind (the slapping sounds heard by McQueary indicating sexual intercourse). Myers wrote letters to editors and police defending Sandusky, and did not testify against him even as he was known to the prosecution. Myers was a sergeant in the U.S. Marines Corps at that time. After the conviction, after the sentencing, Myers changed his story, and ended up with a large cash payout from Penn State. Such is human nature.
It is important to understand that everything in the Jerry Sandusky matter hinges on Mike McQueary. If indeed McQueary witnessed something six weeks earlier, we now know that he said nothing to anyone, did not call the police, so that it could not have been a big deal in his mind. The entirety of everything that follows, careers destroyed, a media frenzy, victims coming forth, huge cash payouts, would not have happened without McQueary even as Zeigler gives McQueary the benefit of doubt as to motives. He never intended to harm anyone.
Ten years after these events, investigators were at a standstill on the Sandusky matter. There seemed no verifiable substance to the allegations of Victim #1, Aaron Fisher. Normal procedure in pedophilia cases is to seize the computer of the perpetrator, and see if it holds pornography, normally the case. Investigators indeed did so with Sandusky, and found nothing.
They had heard a rumor that McQueary had seen something odd back on March 2, 2002, the initial date given by McQueary (later changed to February 9, 2001, finally realized to be December 29, 2000). They approached him. McQueary might well have been in panic mode, as he had other problems. For one thing, he had not reported that crime to the police, itself a crime. He did not attempt to rescue the boy even has he had clear advantage in size and strength over Sandusky. There were allegations about that as a Penn State quarterback he was gambling on games, Zeigler mentioning a Rutgers game in particular. Finally, he was having an extramarital affair, and had sent pictures of his penis to his girlfriend using a Penn State phone.
Zeigler uses the analogy of the Loch Ness Monster, that people claim to have seen it when all they saw was a rippling in the water, possibly a head sticking up. When McQueary found out that investigators were not after him, but rather Sandusky, by Zeigler’s theory, he was relieved, so much so that the ripple in the water became a Loch Ness monster, and a man and a boy in the shower (yes, odd) became a rape. That is the origin of the event that sent lives tumbling and put innocent people in jail.
The real Jerry Sandusky
There is so much more that follows, but I reached a point this weekend, after hours of listening and reading, where I had grabbed the substance of this matter, and felt relieved of the burden of further inquiry. I will do the further inquiry, the hours upon hours of podcasts now or soon available on the With Benefit of Hindsight podcasts. Right now I am satisfied that I arrived at the nut of the matter (so to speak), probably not emphasized enough by Zeigler, though he needs no advice from me on how to do his job.
In one of his interviews with Thaddeus Russell, Zeigler mentions that Jerry Sandisky has no testicles. In a second interview with Russell, he mentions that he had gotten hold of medical records for Sandusky that stated that he had “no testicular matter.” I did some quick research, wanting to know if it was possible for a man with no balls to get an erection and engage in sexual activity. Yes indeed it is possible. It is just not likely. The testicles are the source of testosterone, and without them, there is no desire for sex. Jerry Sandusky is probably asexual.
Here is a snippet from an interview of Sandusky by Bob Costas, said to have done a “magnificent” job in the interview, even as the whole meaning of the matter blew right by him. Said Sandusky in answer to the matter of showering naked with Allen Myers,
I could say that, you know, I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids, I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their leg without intent of sexual contact, but, um, so if you look at it that way, there are things that would be accurate. … We were showering and horsing around, and he actually turned all the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor and, as I recall, possibly snapping a towel and horseplay.
I know, those are boundary issues. I read the Wikipedia article on the Sandusky matter, and came across the following, which jumped out at me:
They adopted six boys? One of the adopted boys alleged inappropriate behavior against Sandusky in the trial, but it must be kept in mind that with each allegation against the man came a check from Penn State, not a direct payoff, but rather a massive institutional exoneration affair. No one vetted Sandusky’s accusers. In the end, the only testimony of seeing actual misbehavior came from Mike McQueary, contained in one of his seventeen versions of what he witnessed on December 29, 2000.
Jerry Sandusky has no testicles. Why? Born that way? I don’t know, but assume so, as all other explanations are unavailable to me at this time. He married Dorothy “Dottie” Gross in 1966. In his 1964 book Games People Play, author Eric Berne lays out the complex psychological motives in the mate selection process, for instance, a gay man (remember, written in 1964) hiding this fact but hooking up with a frigid woman. I am speculating here, and want to make it clear that I regard both Jerry and Dottie Sandusky as fine human beings, but suggest that both are asexual but had love in their hearts and wanted to be parents. So they adopted, Jerry’s preference, boys.
It’s a little more complex than that. In his interview with Bob Costas, Sandusky did not even understand the gist of the questions posed. Costas asked him if he was attracted to boys, Sandusky did not grasp that he was speaking of sexual attraction. He said he liked boys. And he does. He is one, still.
Sandusky suffers from arrested development as I see it, still a young teenager at heart. It seems a natural byproduct of asexuality. Most of us progress from our teenage years into adulthood, our sexual drives taking over, and entering into sexual relations with others as we mature, our attitudes changing as well. We put away our childish impulses to play, engage in horseplay, and to slap each other around as part of that play. Jerry Sandusky never made that leap, and stayed a budding teenager throughout his adult life. Because he had no sex drive, he never sexually abused anyone. He just preferred the company of boys, and naturally, had boundary issues, unknown to him but highly inappropriate to observers like Mike McQueary.
The whole of the Sandusky affair, the Penn State scandal, was centered around one misinterpreted event. Joe Paterno was unjustly fired, his sterling career, even his statue, destroyed. Jerry Schultz, Tim Curley, and possibly Graham Spanier, men of honor and integrity, were or will be jailed. More than thirty “victims” received multi-million dollar settlements, including over $14 million to Mike McQueary, who unintentionally set the house afire.
And, of course, the justice system failed everyone, as it usually does. Prosecutors had a field day, defense attorneys were inept.
And Jerry Sandusky, an innocent man, will die in prison.