- Mental Health
JERRY SANDUSKY, A Sad, Sick Story
Bellafonte, Pa. Late Night, Friday June 22nd. 2012
Somewhere near Penn State University campus, a.k.a. "Happy Valley," just prior to Midnight, on Friday June 22nd, the loud clang of a jail cell gate being slammed shut was heard across our nation.
A pale, visibly-shaken, 68 year old man, convicted on 45 of 48 counts of various sexually motivated crimes against young boys over a fifteen year span was the new inmate. As yet not officially sentenced by the Judge, he faces over 400 years in prison.
The inmate, retired defensive coach for the Penn State football team, Jerry Sandusky, was locked up to await his fate for the remainder of his life.
Sandusky, had been the one-time heir apparent of highly regarded, much-loved Hall of Fame Head Coach, Joe Paterno ("Joe Pa," as he was affectionately called by all).
This night there was no love nor respect in the air for Jerry Sandusky. This was loudly and clearly confirmed by the cheers of victory heard from the masses, waiting on the courthouse steps for the verdict's announcement.
Instead, the air was filled with a palpable sense of relief and gratitude that justice had been well-served.
As the nation listened intently to reports from the un-televised trial, Sandusky's guilt was demanded and expected, based on overwhelming evidence in terms of real and moving testimony by his victims, in their own emotional recounts.
Guilty as Sin
So strongly evident was the general consensus of Sandusky's guilt, his own lead defense attorney Joseph Amendola, publicly conceded to a question posed during jury deliberation. When asked by a member of the news media, what his reaction might be to a not guilty verdict........Amendola responded with, "I'd have a heart attack."
Sandusky's defense team did their job no doubt, to include a few wild tosses at the wall, in the hope something....anything might stick. These lawyers even went down the mental disorder route. Surely not in an attempt to explain the repeated sexual abuse for which there is no excuse nor explanation but to show possible cause for bizarre behavior by an adult male toward minor boys......behavior to include writing love letters to his victims.
Several of Sandusky's young victims, as part of their testimony, told of creepy love letters they had received from Jerry Sandusky, professing his love and devotion to the victim. To the discomfort and disgust of any mentally healthy individual, these letters were presented as evidence and read aloud in court.
Defense attorneys, in an effort to create filters over these letters, brought in a psychiatrist to interview, diagnose and testify per his expert opinion. This Dr. suggested in sworn testimony, he found a strong probability that Sandusky suffered from histrionic personality disorder. By most accounts referring to the symptomatic behaviors of this disorder, Jerry Sandusky simply does not match up.
Prosecution experts in the field of psychiatry disagreed and rebutted the statements of the defense expert, in terms of this disorder. The public most definitely did not buy this defense tactic but saw it for the desperate attempt it was.
Classic Pedophile "Speak"
How Does This Happen?
Is Jerry Sandusky merely your garden-variety sexual predator or could there be more complex issues intertwined within the twisted tale of this Penn State scandal?
From the stunning jolt of reported abuse that opened the floodgates of this case, to the numerous blasts of collateral damages, all the way to the announcement of the guilty verdict, this tale is one of unforgiveable tragedy.
Nothing of this magnitude and far-reaching destruction happens overnight. As has been well-reported there were whispers and suspicions over the years. More than this, there were eye-witnesses to clearly damning scenarios involving Sandusky and young boys on more than one occasion.
There were reports, statements made and discussions had by Penn State Authorities and Hierarchy that were shamefully covered up, stuffed away in files and basically swept under the carpet. The suspicions, rumor and innuendo were left to fester and simmer for reasons that will never be understood nor ever condoned.
As it has often happened in history, the cover-up became as horrific as the crimes. Voices were heard and heads rolled. The media swooped in and the ultimate explosion would be missed by no one.
A University, it's Athletic Department, entire student body and local community were rocked to their very foundation. Soon enough, the country was enmeshed in the worst University scandal of a decade.
Indictment, arrest, trial, conviction. Jerry Sandusky goes down, collateral damage in his wake
The charity organization, Second Mile, was founded by Jerry Sandusky in 1977, within the Penn State community. This charity was aimed at providing guidance, education, recreation and numerous other benefits for at-risk youths. Young boys in particular,who had less than adequate home-lives and/or came out of severe poverty and were often exposed to the threats of inner-city gangs with little hope to escape.
Sandusky was heavily involved with and very active in all aspects of his charity. He was especially involved in establishing close relationships with the young boys who were the focus of this charity.
A Sexual Predator's Perfect set-up.
What better and more convenient method to form close, personal relationships with dependent, vulnerable, and most grateful young men? How much easier could it have been for Sandusky to groom, manipulate and create attachments with these boys who had so little exposure to the good life prior to 2nd Mile Charity.
Not only had Sandusky set himself up with his own private selection of warm young bodies, he was being lauded as a wonderful, generous and compassionate man for his work in this organization.
If your skin is not yet crawling, consider that Jerry Sandusky and his wife Dottie legally adopted not one or two, but five boys to raise and educate....and in Jerry's case, certainly to love.
As of the week prior to the verdict, near the end of the trial, adopted son Matt came out to attorneys as yet another victim of Jerry Sandusky's evil deeds. Shocking as it may seem, Sandusky had molested his own son for years. Thus far, Matt is the only adopted son to divulge this fact.
The reality is, we may never know how many more victims remain silent to this day and who may in fact never speak up.
For Sandusky, it matters not. As for his numerous victims, they have had their day in court and can feel some relief and vindication. Hopefully, they are all able to begin to heal their souls and mend the damage done to their psyches at such a young and vulnerable age. The vast range of emotions felt by the victims of this kind of abuse is endless. The mixture of disgust, anger and sadness felt by their families, and in high-profile cases such as this one, the public in general, take a very long time to subside or bring peace of mind to these folks. We will not soon forget.
The entire country holds these young men in high regard for their bravery in coming forth and their courage shown by giving testimony in a court of law, of their individual horrific nightmares, starring Jerry Sandusky.
Friday night, June 22, 2012, was not quite the "Friday Night Lights" of Jerry Sandusky's former celebrity lifestyle.