The Definitive Case That Mike McQueary's Story Is Not to be Believed
Of the many absolutely incredible aspects of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, clearly the most underrated is that the direct connection to Penn State hangs on the remarkably tenuous story of one man (Mike McQueary) and about four words badgered out of an 84 year old coach in poor health who may have just been trying to make sure he didn’t harm the prosecution’s case.
To my knowledge, never has so much damage been created, and punishment been levied, with so little evidence or even due process (keep in mind, unbelievably, McQueary has never been vigorously cross examined or interviewed publicly about what he saw, and neither Sandusky nor the alleged victim has ever spoken on the record about the incident).
I have always been baffled as to why there has not been more scrutiny of Mike McQueary’s now infamous allegation that he saw Jerry Sandusky doing something sexual in a Penn State shower with a ten year old boy. If for no other reason than the fact that, if he isn’t telling the truth, then virtually the entire case against Penn State and Paterno instantly falls apart, I have never understood why, with so much at stake, more hasn’t been done to make sure a case of this importance isn’t built on a frighteningly fragile foundation (especially since McQueary had an incentive to give the prosecution what they wanted so that he wouldn't be charged with "not reporting," and because he now has an incentive to lie to maintain his "whistleblower" lawsuit against Penn State).
To this date, thanks to a press which is all too willing to blindly buy into McQueary’s story, a Sandusky defense team which was clearly overwhelmed, and a Paterno family which has tried hard to take the high road, Penn State’s former wide receiver’s coach has gotten largely a free pass.
It is my intention for that free pass to finally end now. Based on the facts as we currently know them, while Mike McQueary may now honestly think that he "witnessed" a sex act, I now strongly believe that he did not see anything more definitive than Jerry Sandusky in a shower with boy. Period. End of sentence. End of story.
Now, before I explain why I think this, I do wish to make it clear that I believe that Sandusky is indeed a child molester. I also agree that a man of Sanduky’s age showering with a young boy is clearly inappropriate and, even considering Sandusky’s widely-known normally “odd” behavior and closeness to children, should have set off alarm bells.
However, those would have been the smaller variety of chimes and not the type of a five-alarm fire sirens which the attorney general's office scandalously and inaccurately placed in the grand jury presentment with the words “anal intercourse.”
They also just happen to have been the type of bells perfectly consistent with how Joe Paterno and Penn State handled the matter.
In short, I believe the evidence is clear that Penn State didn’t act like it had a five-alarm fire on its hands because it wasn’t told it had a five-alarm fire on its hands. And the reason Penn State wasn’t told it had a five-alarm fire on its hands was that Mike McQueary simply didn’t see a five-alarm fire (though it is important to point out that it is possible that McQueary thought he saw such a "fire" but bizarrely never actually told anyone that he did. Based on his own trial testimony, incredibly, McQueary never states that he told any particular person that he thought he saw some sort of specific sex act.)
There are two aspects to why I think McQueary probably didn’t see a sex act of any kind. The first deals with McQueary, and the second with the actions of Sandusky and the alleged victim.
I will analyze McQueary first.
I have always found it extremely odd that everyone in the media and the justice system seems to presume that the almost ten-year old recollection of Mike McQueary is rock solid but that everyone else in higher positions and with better reputations at Penn State are nothing more than pedophile protecting pathological liars. Make no mistake, this is pretty much what you have to believe for the Freeh Report conclusions to have any chance of being an accurate representation of reality.
Under any circumstances this would be very strange, but when you consider that McQueary got both the month and the year of the episode dead wrong (as well as his incorrect insistence that the event happened on the Friday before Spring Break), this blind adherence to his obviously faulty memory becomes absolutely stupefying.
Making this phenomenon even more absurd is that, by his own admission, McQueary didn’t actually see much of anything and his public story (as well as the private version) has had many different incarnations. Most people are completely unaware that McQueary’s testimony is based almost entirely on "two or three" slapping sounds he heard while in the locker room.
He admitted under oath that he looked into the shower area (for one or two seconds) expecting to see sex between a man and a woman and was shocked to see Sandusky and a boy. He has always been very clear that, contrary to the grand jury presentment, he did not see an actual sex act (which, by the way, contrary to public perception, Sandusky was found not guilty of that charge).
What he actually did see is incredibly uncertain at best. At one point he claims that he saw Sandusky and the boy from his locker through the mirror outside the shower. But there is a video which shows that the geometry of this account is simply not plausible (it should also be pointed out that, based on his description of the boy, the sex act the prosecution implied would have been logistically/physically impossible for Sandusky and, based on the testimony of other victims, was simply not his MO). At different times he has also described what he saw in those couple of seconds in vastly dissimilar ways.
McQueary has always maintained (publicly) that he saw no sex, no erection on Sandusky, no distress on the face of the boy, no attempt by the boy to ask for help, and made no effort on his part to provide it. Perhaps most incredibly, he acknowledges leaving Sandusky alone with a boy with whom he claims he just saw him doing something sexual. In his trial testimony McQueary laughably explains, "I assumed that nothing else would go on."
He first spoke about what he saw to his father and his father’s boss Dr. Dranov. Eleven years later Dr. Dranov clearly testified at Sandusky’s trial, despite his close relationship with the McQueary family, that he asked Mike three times whether he saw anything sexual and three times he clearly said no. Even more compelling, had Mike McQueary told Dr. Dranov that he had seen anything in the sexual realm, the doctor, as a mandated reporter, would have been required to go to Child Welfare. He did not do that.
So we have Dr. Dranov, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz all saying under oath that McQueary told them that he saw nothing directly sexual in the shower that night. The only person who sort of backs up McQueary’s testimony is Joe Paterno, who says that he was told of “fondling” and something of a “sexual nature” (more on that later). It makes you wonder why those who wanted Sandusky convicted don’t consider Paterno a hero. Without him, McQueary’s testimony totally falls apart and, at that time, much of the case against Sandusky does as well.
Remarkably, there are many more persuasive reasons why Mike McQueary’s testimony (and even more importantly, the prosecution/media’s interpretation of it) should be severely questioned, if not disregarded in its entirety.
Mike McQueary not only changed his story publicly, he did so privately as well. In the aftermath of the grand jury indictments, apparently upset that he was being labeled a coward for not helping the boy and stopping the alleged assault, he wrote an email to friends (some of whom he had told back around the time of the incident that what he saw was no big deal) saying that he had indeed broken up the encounter. Unless he really thinks that simply slamming a locker door qualifies for such a description, this account contradicts his own testimony.
Later, McQueary goes even further and, according to an extremely reliable source, in a meeting of his wide receivers, tells them a wild tale that he not only broke up the assault but he also chased after the naked kid into the March 2002 (actually February 2001) night and never caught up with him!!
It is clear that Mike McQueary has changed his version of this story numerous times to suit his purposes at each particular moment. He even admits to doing this when he claims that he toned down his description while talking to Paterno out of respect for the old legend (which seems particularly odd given that Paterno, who supposedly got a watered down version of the story, was the only person who really backs up McQueary’s testimony at all).
McQueary also inadvertently provided a rather shocking tidbit while speaking to a former player after Paterno’s memorial. After telling this player (who has told me the story on camera) that he never saw any sex or an erection, McQueary stunned this player by indicating that he was surprised that Paterno decided to take what he told him to Curley and Schultz and used that fact as verification that he must have told him something serious (which, among other things, leaves Paterno in the bizarre situation of being widely criticized for not doing enough with the information he had, while simultaneously having the only witness seem to think he went further than expected).
McQueary’s general reputation is also not nearly as good as advertised. I have spoken to another former Penn State player, with a spotless academic and behavioral record, who has told me on camera that he was severely punished by Paterno because of a blatantly false allegation by Mike McQueary (it should also be pointed out that he "lied" under oath about Paterno's testimony regarding what McQueary told him, incorrectly claiming the coach called it "severely sexual"). I am also told by multiple sources that it will eventually become clear that Mike McQueary has had reasons to fear law enforcement (and perhaps be vulnerable to his testimony being molded) because of situations which have arisen with women who were not his wife.
It should also be pointed out that if McQueary really saw something that horrific, why did he himself do nothing more than go to Paterno? Why have at least two highly credible people with intimate knowledge of the events told me they are almost certain that McQueary participated in two different Sandusky sponsored public outings AFTER the shower episode? This behavior only makes sense in a massive cover up, but if there was a cover up, McQueary would have never testified like he did, and neither would have Paterno.
But my belief that McQueary didn’t really see anything horrendous in the shower that night is not just based on his incredibly shaky credibility (and to be very clear, there are scenarios where McQueary is not actually "lying" about what he saw, but rather has simply exaggerated his interpretation of what he witnessed over time). It also has to do with the remarkable actions of the other two people in the shower that night.
In short, the evidence is overwhelming that Jerry Sandusky has never feared the McQueary story and that the account of “Victim 2” does not match with what McQueary claims he witnessed.
I spoke to a Penn State employee, on camera, who closely advised Jerry Sandusky during the entire grand jury process. At the time, this person (like almost everyone who knew him) thought that Sandusky was innocent. He says that Sandusky was very straight forward with the evidence that he feared would come up. He was very concerned about three separate episodes, none of which was the McQueary allegation (despite the fact that he was well aware that Penn State and the Second Mile had full knowledge of it).
Then, in September of 2011, during the time when the grand jury was still empanelled, Sandusky left a voicemail message on the phone of the person now known as “Victim 2.” In my view this is easily the most underrated piece of evidence in the entire case and yet another outrageous example of how the media has done a horrible job reporting on this whole story.
In the message it is very clear that Sandusky is returning Victim 2’s call (as other parts of the message indicate, I have also learned that it is highly likely that Sandusky still had a very “good” relationship with Victim 2 at this point). It is also very obvious that Victim 2, in the initial call, has told him that someone has asked him to “come forward.” Sandusky tells him to “go forward” and that “there is nothing really to hide.” Despite this bombshell evidence, the media only focused on the fact that Sandusky ends the call by saying, “luv ya.”
The reason this voicemail is potentially so incredibly important is not only that it shows Sandusky with no fear of the shower story coming out (more on that later), but also because it virtually proves that the prosecution, contrary to public perception, knew who Victim 2 was all along and simply chose not to call him to testify. After all, in September 2011, no one else knew there even was a Victim 2 and no one other than the prosecution would have been asking him to “come forward.”
If this highly reasonable assumption is correct, it raises the obvious question of why the prosecution didn’t call Victim 2 to testify at the grand jury or the criminal trial. Given that Victim 2 has now “come forward” with the aid of civil attorneys looking for a pay day from Penn State, there is seemingly only one plausible answer to that question: Victim 2’s story of what happened in the shower does not (or at least did not) match up with their star witness Mike McQueary’s testimony or the prosecution’s incendiary interpretation of it.
This is backed up by three remarkable things which happened after the indictments and which the media almost completely ignored.
First, Sandusky’s attorney went on national television and said that he has spoken to Victim 2 and that he tells a very different story of what happened in the shower. A close look at the linked to transcript of that interview also makes it clear that his attorney came to the same conclusion I have about why Victim 2 didn't testify to the grand jury.
Second, Governor Corbett says at his press conference after the indictments that he told the Penn State BOT to “remember the ten-year-old boy” before voting to fire Joe Paterno. Then, mysteriously, a couple of months later Corbett inexplicably (perhaps because he got new information about the boy’s story) denies he ever specifically referenced the boy in the shower, even though it was obviously on tape, and Paterno’s firing could not be rationally connected to any other “children” at the time.
Third, the prosecution changes the date of the episode from March 2002 (from McQueary’s mistaken testimony) to February 2001. It turns out that the date change came from a rather unusual source considering the circumstances. The first person to alert the authorities to the real date of the shower incident was none other than Jerry Sandusky. Once again, it is clear that Sandusky has no fear of the shower story.
Of course, the story of Victim 2 then gets dropped, never to be heard from again until after the criminal trial is over and the Freeh Report/ NCAA sanctions make it obvious that Penn State is not going to fight any of this and will instead just open up its checkbook. At the time I was one of those observers who just presumed it was because we weren’t sure who Victim 2 really was, but it is now apparent that the real reason we never heard from Victim 2 is that no one had an incentive for him to come forward (other than, ironically, Jerry Sandusky).
The defense dropped his story because it seems clear that, as Victim 2’s lawyers have stated, that he was abused by Sandusky “both before and after the shower incident” (but not during?) and therefore was of no value to the defense. The prosecution didn’t call him because, as evidenced by what Sandusky’s attorney said, his version of the shower scene doesn’t match McQueary’s. His civil attorneys didn’t want him to come forward until he was free of ever having to testify under oath about what happened and they were confident that Penn State would never require anything as messy as an actual trial or even a deposition.
So, at this point, what we have here is a mountain of circumstantial evidence (the only type you are ever likely to get in a case where you are trying to show something didn’t happen) which indicates that that nothing sexual happened in the Penn State shower that fateful night. Here is a quick review:
Dr. Dranov, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz all say that McQueary didn’t tell them about seeing anything sexual.
Mike McQueary’s public and private version of the story has changed dramatically.
Mike McQueary is not a credible person/witness.
Jerry Sandusky continually has no fear of the shower story coming out.
Sandusky’s attorney said that Victim 2 told a very different story and has never retracted that.
The Governor of Pennsylvania blatantly changed his story about citing the shower scene to the BOT, curiously cutting any direct ties to that specific allegation.
The prosecution knew of Victim 2’s existence all along and never called him as a witness.
It is hard to understand how Sandusky got away with being a pedophile as long as he did if he was so incredibly reckless as to have “sex” with a boy in a shower where dozens of other people had access (and no, contrary to what the prosecution claimed to the grand jury, the McQueary episode did NOT occur on the Friday night before Spring Break).
All of this really only leaves two open questions. Why did Mike McQueary get caught in this web of lies, and why did Joe Paterno seemingly back up his testimony? Both questions have very plausible (and possibly non sinister) explanations, however they are rather complex and require a full analysis which I would like to save for another day. For now, I will just provide the bottom line.
When all the facts finally come out, I now believe that it will be clear that Mike McQueary had different incentives at different stages of this story and at every single one of them his story evolved to match his self interest. I also believe that it is quite possible that two of his more famous statements regarding Joe Paterno (Paterno telling him not to come over if he was looking for a job, which seems like an odd thing to remember ten years later when you can't even recall the year or the month in which it happened, and the notion that he toned his story down for Paterno out of respect) may have not only not been true, but may have been blatant lies. These stories may have been designed to protect himself from people figuring out what really happened here once he got caught in a situation far different from what he ever expected..
While I can’t get into the details at this time, I do not come to this theory idly or without actual evidence.
As for Paterno, it seems rather obvious that the media has completely forgotten a narrative that they themselves created in 2010 leading to his grand jury testimony in January of 2011. He was clearly not well, even for an 84 year-old man. How any four words he uttered while being badgered by a prosecutor desperate for some back up for a star witness who is contradicted by every other piece of evidence could possibly create as much damage to the exemplary life/career he led (as “fondling” and “a sexual nature” have here) is frankly, beyond astounding.
With that said, there is a rather logical explanation for these words which does not involve proof that Paterno “knew” Sandusky did something “sexual” with a boy in a shower and did “nothing” back in 2001. I believe that the evidence (including an interview I did with a Penn State professor who spoke with Paterno about this subject just before he died) will eventually suggest that those words were not Paterno’s recollections of a short ten-year old conversation with McQueary, but rather words which McQueary fed to him just prior to his testimony.
The most rational explanation here is really rather simple; almost tragically so. Joe Paterno just could not remember exactly what McQueary told him ten years before, so to help “prep” himself for his testimony (the Freeh Report shows Paterno did not go to the Penn State attorney Cynthia Baldwin to do so) he went to his then trusted wide receivers coach to refresh his recollection. McQueary then, worried only about not being hung out to dry and probably not even thinking about the implications and potential blowback on Penn State, tells Paterno words in late 2010 that he didn’t use in early 2001. Paterno, not knowing any better, not worried about protecting himself because he knew he hadn’t done anything wrong, and not wanting to screw up the prosecution’s case, gives them essentially what they want/need to finally get Sandusky.
What comes after that is simply some of the most unbelievable and unjust history that we have ever witnessed.