As 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?
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside