How Could Jerry Sandusky's Wife Not Have Known?


Jerry Sandusky grand jury reportAs we try to process all the sordid and unbelievable details of the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal, it's hard not to wonder what his wife must be going through right now. I can only imagine she is as horrified and shocked as the rest of the world, as most any wife would be. But I also wonder if she is now looking back on the past 15 years and questioning how she couldn't have seen the clues more clearly. We know very little about Dottie Sandusky or the couple's relationship. Yet if you read the grand jury's indictment (not recommended for those with weak stomachs), it's hard to believe that she or one of their six adopted kids or anyone else close to the family didn't suspect something was off with this guy if everything they say about him is true.

Much of Sandusky's grooming (and some of the assaults) of his victims ages 8 to 15 occurred in Sandusky's own home, at family events, or at times and in ways that you'd think any observant family member -- or even anyone associated with him -- would have surely stopped herself to think, "Hmm, isn't that behavior a little strange?"

This is not a judgement of Dottie Sandusky or her family. Who knows what their relationship is like, what was going on in that house, or the depth of Sandusky's attempts to conceal his true intentions with those boys. But hearing the details of this story, I can't help but consider how I myself would have acted if Sandusky had been my husband. I'd like to think I would have seen the writing on the wall somewhere along the line.

More on Penn State Scandal: Jerry Sandusky Abuse Case Makes Us Wonder About His Own Kids

Clue 1: Several of Sandusky's eight alleged victims had stayed overnight in Sandusky's family's "basement room" on numerous occasions. "Victim 1 (11 or 12 at the time) testified that Sandusky had a practice of coming into the basement after he had told Victim 1 it was time to go to bed." Sandusky would then help the boy crack his back by crawling into bed with him and rolling under the boy so they were face to face and then running his hands up and down the child's back ...

I don't know about other wives, but I always have general sense of where my husband is and what he is doing close to bedtime. Either because he tells me, or I just know. If he'd been consistently visiting the boys in the basement at night after lights out, I'd know, and I'd start to get a little concerned, no matter what story I was given as to the reason.

Clue 2: "Victim 4 (12 or 13) often accompanied Sandusky to various charity golf outings and would frequently share accommodations with him on these outings."

Whenever my husband goes away on a trip, I ask for all the details. Not because I think something sordid is going on, just because I relish all the details of his experience -- how he slept, what he ate, what he did. No guarantees it would come up, but I would think I would have surely asked about my husband's young guest and what the sleeping arrangements were.

Clue 3: All those cell phone calls. "... attorney general ... testified concerning phone records that established 61 phone calls from Sandusky's home phone to Victim 1's home phone ... and 57 calls from Sandusky's cell phone to Victim 1's home phone."

Um, that's a lot of calls. Even to a troubled kid, as many of Sandusky's supposed victims were. Not sure how it works in other people's homes, but it's kind hard to miss that many calls to the same phone number on the phone bill. It's entirely possible that Sandusky's phone bill was handled through his business or organization, but someone -- if not his wife -- had to notice that.

More on Penn State Scandal: Only a Coward Sees a Child Being Raped and Does Nothing

Clue 4: Just hanging around young boys so much in general.

Some people in this world are truly altruistic people who love children and want to devote every waking second helping to make their lives better. Not every coach, or teacher, or pastor, or anyone who has a love and interest in a child is a child molester, of course not! But Sandusky has six children of his own -- if he was spending so much time with these at-risk children, taking them to games, coaching them at their schools, spending time with them in his home, when did he find the time for his own kids? Did his own kids feel slighted in any way?

I know hindsight is 20-20 but there were just SO many things that seemed very out of place here, over such a long period of time, and as a person with strong intuition, it's just hard to believe that no one in the family or close to it didn't notice anything wrong with this very sick picture and say something.

If all these allegations are true, do you think it's really possible that Sandusky's family was totally in the dark about his activities with young boys spanning 15 years? Do you think you would have seen the signs?

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prplecat prplecat

Maybe someone should have a pointed conversation with those six adopted kids.  Just sayin'.

Melis... Melissa042807

Hindsight is always 20/20. They're probably all looking back and kicking themselves right now for not seeing the signs. 

The thing is, when you have no reason to not trust a person, it's hard to see abnormal behavior. 

ReiRe... ReiReally

Maybe they didn't want upset their bread winner ya know. Its a shitty excuse but, it's used all too often. As long as they're living comfy what excuse do they have to upset him?

nonmember avatar Janet

If these allegations are true, so many questions arise regarding the treatment of their 6 adopted children and the many foster kids they cared for over the years. Also, Jerry's own upbringing, given his childhood was he perhaps abused? Did this abuse occur through the youth center over which he lived for a time? Sadly, those who are abused often grow up to abuse others.

Alunah Alunah

Being a child abuse survivor myself I have a "special place in my heart" for child sex offenders. I have NO sympathy for them,no understanding for them and feel those who enable them to continue this evil behavior nearly a culpable as the pedophile themselves. I feel when caught and found guilty they should be executed. I know,I know,very contravercial. But,a pedophile CAN NOT be rehabilitated. I have watched interviews with convicted child sex offenders who say they can not snuff out thier desire for children,and if they were released from confinement they would reoffend!! They crave sexual acts with children and always will. It drives them to pursue the most defenseless members of our community,children. Why do they deserve to exist? They are like a rabid animal,dangerous. They should be treated like a rabid animal,put them down.

Stephanie Woods

I agree with Alunah !  And it's true they cannot be rehabilitated.  What scares me with this story is the fact that everyone seems to believe this abuse by Sandusky only started 15 years ago... really.... somehow I am not comfortable with that.  He started the Second Mile in 1977 !!   God Bless these victims those who have come forward and those who have not.

nonmember avatar Alisa

If the mafia uncovered such a thing about a fellow goodfellow you know what the would have done. You know what the inmates in prison will do. His fellow coaches chose to turn heads because of what it might due to the school. What indeed? The school got rid of a f-icking pervert. Woo hoo. Instead THIS is happening to the school. Yeah much better. Karma will get this bastard. I hope it comes with a hard wooden bat.

nonmember avatar EarthAngel

These pedophiles begin this behavior at puberty themselves. They continue to act as they were treated. They are very slick! Children are so innocent, yet so smart! When something is happening to a child that they know is not right, or when something does not feel right, yet they are so vulnerable to expressing themselves righteously. Children need to be told and taught by their by their parents, and learn in school, of the tactics of this behavior by pedophiles and abusers so that they can clearly identify it if it happens to them, and what actions steps to take to address it to their parents and authorities. Every child needs a protector, whether a parent, sibling, neighbor. How do they know who they can trust! It's difficult these days with so many unethical and ill-intentional people.

nonmember avatar Woody

You don't have to be Freud to assume this woman would have her own very, very significant emotional issues and wouldn't know the difference between a loving relationship and pretending.

nonmember avatar Blue sun

She did know. A few years ago she and her husband were confronted by one of the victims in their own home. Denial, and thought she had too much to lose. I also wonder about what may have happened with those adopted kids.

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