Tuesday, April 9

1998 Revisited and Other Ponderings

by Wendy Silverwood

A compilation of comments and questions from across the “boards”

The “PSU as villain” script had to be started for a specific reason. It was never supported by the facts, especially with respect to the 1998 incident, in which Centre County Children and Youth Services along with an investigator from PaDPW were involved. Curiously we find Nils Frederickson, PA OAG Acting Director of Communications, banging out the error filled script for the 1998 investigation in his Nov. 5, 2011 press release. Once the decision was made by the PA Office of Attorney General to turn this into PSU as the “bad guy”, everything else simply dropped off the radar.

It was no longer about Sandusky and his horrendous crimes, it was now about a grand PSU “conspiracy” that the Attorney General decided must have happened to “cover up” Sandusky’s activities. Let’s cut across the media roar, turn down the volume and really listen to what actually went on.  

Fundamentally this “cover up” didn’t exist 17 months ago and it still doesn’t exist today.

Perhaps someone wanted or needed or even insisted this come out of the gate as a giant Penn State “cover-up”. It could possibly be viewed as being devised by an individual or a group, e.g. the Surmas, with the goal of bringing PSU to its knees as an institution, settling old scores, wresting control and/or seeing petty vendettas through it.

Sandusky’s own loathsome conduct, especially given his status as an agent of the county and an executive director of a state licensed children’s charity became secondary. So instead of trying a case against a preferential child sexual offender to remedy criminal acts, it’s about bringing down PSU for possible political reasons.

We have $42 million and counting for “public relations” and crisis management, a $60 million hammering by the NCAA, an $8 million sham “investigation”, a banner-toting plane flying over campus for 3 days and enough high-priced consultants, PR hacks, compliance experts and second lawyers for the first lawyers that the issue is not Sandusky who culled his victims from a state licensed entity, but PSU and its “culture problems”. 

This all makes zero sense.  Problem is, nothing’s made sense.

The McQueary testimony makes no sense. The Freeh Report makes no sense. The NCAA sanctions make no sense. The “moral responsibility” statement by Noonan makes no sense. Freeh’s grandstanding press conference makes no sense. None of the facts line up for a “Conspiracy of Silence” to “protect the football program”.  

Looking at this more clearly and focusing on everything from the timeline of the investigation to Seasock’s bizarre conclusions argues that somebody was in a big hurry to get the 1998 investigation over with. 

That in and of itself should give us all cause for alarm.

The use of Counselor John Seasock in 1998 to contradict Dr. Chamber’s findings is puzzling. Seasock knows who involved him, and other than possibly of Sandusky, he is the only one who does. So when he doesn’t make an appearance for the Defense despite the Defense have a written, signed contemporaneous “report” known to have been provided to the Centre County DA, it raises a question. Is there a possibility that there is an individual or individuals in Centre County who has/have the most to lose if it would be publicly revealed who set up the Seasock evaluation and has/have managed somehow to keep it quiet?

Only someone at the county level of government would have had the familiarity with Seasock’s brand of “compliance”, familiarity with Ray Gricar, familiarity with Sandusky and familiarity with The Second Mile.

What is troubling is that whoever was responsible for recruiting and hiring John Seasock to evaluate the victim has received ZERO scrutiny. 

Another troubling aspect.

Why did the PA OAG direct Freeh to stay away from University Park Police Chief Tom Harmon? He was the person most directly at the center of the 1998 investigation. Freeh was tasked with looking into exactly what “went wrong” at PSU and he can’t speak to the one person at the center of everything?  A long-term former head of a large police department cannot be interviewed in an “independent” investigation? 

Does not make sense.

The person who put Freeh in place did so knowing that he would reach the “right”
result, and that
Freeh would abide by the Attorney General’s rules and not put anyone in an awkward position by attempting to talk to people with actual knowledge of what they were being asked. So why did Freeh operate in tandem with the AG’s office?

Even Sara Ganim’s headlines’ promoted the prevailing narrative yet demanded corrections when new information surfaced. Those corrections, however, never materialized. 

More questions.

Why is Investigator Jerry Lauro of PaDPW getting a free pass? Clearly CYS and PA DPW are at fault for the 1998 situation. Perhaps because they had such a cushy relationship with The Second Mile they cannot or will not ever admit to their responsibility. Why wasn’t The Second Mile immediately turned upside down by the State? The PA OAG has oversight of non-profits in the Commonwealth; visiting The Second Mile offices did not require a subpoena and could have swiftly been dealt with.  Why hasn’t CYS & DPW been a focal point for the indignation about Sandusky? 

Where is the outrage at these agencies and why are no officials taken to task?

Taking on a hugely popular and politically connected entity like The Second Mile or those politicos that create for-profit juvenile prisons and the ensuing “Kids For Cash” scandal has not particularly been PA DPW’s strong suit. 

What does this tell us about the very systems we have in place to protect our kids?


We can only hope that Kathleen Kane’s office goes back to 1998 – and interviews the CYS head; the CYS intermediary; the DPW “supervisor”, who supposedly issued the interview order; Jerry Lauro; Victim Number 6's mom; Victim Number 6, to the extent he has any independent memory of the “incident”; retired Detective Schreffler; Officer Ralston; retired PSU Chief Tom Harmon; John Seasock and Dr. Chambers. 

And then begin to carefully and clearly connect the dots…


  1. Boy, there's something rotten in Denmark. Thanks for all your efforts.

  2. And, Louis Freeh has his hit squad out there planting articles that boost the credibility of his Report:


    The writer, of University of Virginia School of Law Class of 2013, is either on Freeh's payroll, or is too inept to have done any research before penning her "analysis". Had she just read one or more of the critical pieces on notpsu.blogspot, and had been an impartial analyist, she could not have written her article the way she did.

    1. I emailed her anecdotal imformation with regards to Freeh, the PSUBOT, the Engagement of FSS, etc. along with links to information on Freeh's connections to PSU & the State Of Pennsylvania.

      In essence, Ms. Young had a "word limit" and could not really address all the facts.

    2. Thanks for the link Col G. My take is that this was a class paper. The author is a new graduate and for whatever reason was allowed to publish this critique of two "independent investigations".

      I emailed the site publisher pointing out how the author had not questioned the strength of the arguments presented (or rather NOT) in Freeh's report. I suggested they do a followup article that analyzes the arguments against the conclusions in both "investigations". No response yet!

  3. PSU has deep pockets for the fancy-pants lawyers and self proclaimed experts in this case. Greed explains events. Sandusky's innocence is proved by the too many and too few problems.

    Too many: 57 people claimed to Mr. Feinberg. They didn't tell on Jerry while they were in Second Mile or, more importantly, after they aged out. Aaron Fisher told Mike Gillum that he wanted to prevent harm to more children. If you assume 10% of boys would agree with Fisher, then the probability that all 57 would keep the secret is a merely .002.

    Too few: Sandusky worked with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of boys over the decades. Only 57 claims other than Fisher?

    What really sickens me is that the power of the anger for Joe Paterno came from the assertion that he covered up a rape. It was only towel snapping play. The fancy-pants Plaintiff's lawyers have no shame.

  4. Also need questioning anew: former PA AG Mike Fisher*; former Centre County Asst DA Karen Arnold*; former assistant to PA AG Nils Frederickson; and former PSU grad assistant Mike McQueary. The first two have first-hand knowledge of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky; the last two have first-hand knowledge of the translation of the 2001 Sandusky event into the 2011 Penn State Child Sex Abuse Scandal. These four should be required to testify under oath of their first-hand experiences of all this. That may be too hot, though, for Kane's state office. So what happened to the fed investigation of JS's crimes across state lines? Perhaps it will take a fed GJ to get to the truth of all this. Or perhaps legal action from the Paternos, or from a class action of PSU alumni??


    1. All good questions. Too many folks seem to be riding off into the sunset on this, why? The very system we had in place to serve & protect our kids in our state failed...and we can't be bothered to find out why, who, when? Why the silence? I don't get it.

    2. Ziegler may be on to something. He says that it's the complexity of the Sandusky case. In general, the public and the media prefer things simple and brief. It may be due to short attention spans, busy lives, disinterest in critical thinking... other things. What I don't get, though, is the hostility that these folks throw at those of us who do see that the simple version of this story makes no sense. I can understand disinterest but not hostility towards solving the mysteries in all this. PARTICULARLY since, as you often say Wendy, the state of PA has ineffective systems in place TODAY to protect kids from sexual victimization!

      You guys are making real progress though. Please keep hacking!

  5. There are plenty of passionate, intelligent people out there discussing this scandal on other forums, and their thoughts and comments are very insightful, logical and noteworthy, hence the complilation here. I have to agree with them all that NOTHING has made sense to-date, in the the narrative we've been given.

    I'm nobody..just an alum, a parent and a PA resident but I am absolutely apoplectic on the way our Trustees have handled this situation. I sit at their meetings and observe. I've spoken with many reporters on this issue, they agree yet don't write about it. I shouted at Judge Freeh in his presser last July about Ms. Abraham and the silence coming from The Second Mile..he agreed it's a good question and quickly ends the presser.

    Jim Clemente has provided an excellent analysis which everyone needs to read. Mr. Clemente agrees with me that CYS & DPW & 1998 needs to be examined more fully...will that happen? I don't know.

    I can shout and question and rant along with thousands of others....I can only hope that Mrs. Kane truly gets to the bottom of this. It's been 17 months and we are not much closer to understanding how and why things went down like they did.

    We just want the Truth.

  6. Good piece Wendy.

    Your right, WHY.

    What we have discovered to date the media has turned their backs on.
    The media no longer seeks the truth, they prefer to expand their biases.

    PennState has the reputation of doing it the right way.

    Rather than follow their lead there are those who resent the PennState success and prefer to see them taken down.

    The Sandusky scandal, regardless of the truth, gave them just what they needed to further their anti-PennState, anti-Joe Paterno bias.

    To make matters worst those entrusted with the fiduciary responsibility to protect the institution and seek the truth were part of the problem. Shame on them.

    The responsibility to protect the children of the state now became the problem of PSU rather then the state agencies entrusted with this important task.

    With the wonderful people contributing to this site and others like it and the help of God, the truth will surface and justice will be served.

  7. So is there some sort of independent observation or verification in place for the BoT elections?