Tuesday, August 6

McQueary With More Inconsistent Testimony at Preliminary Hearing

Mike McQueary's testimony has proven to be consistently inconsistent in the Sandusky case.

Ray Blehar

The two things in life that are certain are death and taxes.
-- Benjamin Franklin

And now we can add a third thing to that list -- Mike McQueary's testimony will be inconsistent.

Eileen Morgan has already covered McQueary's inconsistencies about what he saw and how he reacted to February 2001 the shower incident.  And the accounts between the November 4, 2011 grand jury presentment, the December 16, 2011 preliminary perjury hearing and at the June 2012 Sandusky trial all differ in varying degrees.

Now that the preliminary hearing has concluded and the transcripts made available for review, the list of inconsistent things have now expanded to who he talked to about the incident, his dissatisfaction with Sandusky's presence in the football building,  and never before mentioned discussions with Joe Paterno.  Note that the media only reported the latter because it contains the key word -- Paterno.

But, what I found even more remarkable is what Mike remembers and doesn't remember.

"Rocket Scientist"

At the first preliminary hearing in December 2011, Mike McQueary could not remember the exact words he used to describe the act with his father, but at the latest hearing he recalls saying "you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on."  This is quite a change from the "extremely sexual and over the lines" terminology he used at the 12/2011 hearing.   Where did these new words come from?

Answer:  John McQueary.

While John McQueary also used the terms "extremely sexual" in his 12/2011 preliminary hearing testimony, John introduced the "rocket scientist" term at the Sandusky trial on 6/12/2012 (page 10).  His exact words, in typical John McQueary, confusing fashion, were:

"He said it didn't take a rocket scientist or something like that.  He might not have said rocket scientist to figure out what was going on."

Remember, this is the same John McQueary who testified that he had never been to the Dauphin County courthouse -- where he testified at the 12/2011 preliminary hearing.

When pressed about what he said to Dr. Dranov, he could not remember the exact words.  So, apparently "rocket scientist" was a code word shared only by Mike and his father (unlike the term "horsing around" which John said was archaic and Mike wouldn't have known about and that it was never used in the McQueary home).

Interestingly enough,  the "rocket scientist" word was never used in Mike's discussions with Joe Paterno, Tim Curley, or Gary Schultz.

More interesting is the fact that McQueary could not remember much at all about what he said to his father and Dr. Dranov on Friday night, but is absolutely sure what he told Joe Paterno the next morning and he's absolutely sure what he told Curley and Schultz at least 10 days after he talked to Paterno.  Those certain words were:

To Curley and Schultz:
12/16/2011: "extremely sexual and over the lines" (p. 32)
7/29/2013:  "a sexual situation, molestation incident" (p. 18)

To Paterno:
12/16/2011: "extremely sexual in nature" (p. 24)
7/29/2013:   "very bad sexual act, molestation act with a minor" (p. 9)

As Jim Clemente postulated, it is impossible for anyone to remember the exact words they used in a discussion ten or twelve years ago.  And it's absolutely incredible that the state continues to pursue perjury charges on statements that cannot be corroborated by another witness.

Which brings up the next point - corroboration.

Where were the corroborating witnesses?

As one should have expected, the media declared the prosecution the round one winner for meeting the exceeding low burden of having enough evidence to go to trial.  However, no one in the media has given a  thought to the point that the Commonwealth brought forth no one to corroborate McQueary's story.


The only corroborating witness is John McQueary.  Not exactly the most reliable witness (he needed considerable help from Judge Cleland to struggle through testimony at the Sandusky trial).

We know from earlier court proceedings that Dr. Dranov does not corroborate Mike's testimony and he (Dranov) - at one time - would have been the only other witness that could have corroborated Mike's story.   Mike testified at the 12/2011 preliminary hearing that the ONLY persons he told about the incident were his father, Dranov, Paterno, Curley, and Schultz.

But now the list has expanded...

At the Sandusky trial, Mike testified that he told his family members and his girlfriend, who defense attorney Caroline Roberto named as Ms. Long.  Apparently, Mike believes he may have called her during his trip from the Lasch Building to his father's home.

Mike also admitted at the preliminary hearing that he told former equipment manager, and now football operations director, Kirk Diehl about the incident.

And there are at least three other people - outside those now named - who received a contemporaneous report of the 2001 incident and have yet to be called as witnesses in the case.

What are the chances that these people will come forward and testify that they were told (by McQueary) Sandusky was molesting children -- and that they too remained silent?

I'd say those chances are quite slim.

Other revelations

The media jumped all over McQueary's testimony about his discussions with Paterno as if it were manna from heaven.

I found it particularly interesting that a USAToday column cited Wes Oliver, a professor from Duquesne University who had been following the case, who stated he could not gauge the truthfulness of McQueary's testimony because the grand jury transcripts are not available.  Apparently, this "close follower" missed the December 2011 preliminary hearing.

Another "close follower" of the case, Christoper Mallios, a former prosecutor, said McQueary's testimony provided the burden of proof to take the case to trial.

The statements both men were referring to was McQueary's assertion that Paterno met with him over the years and said Old Main screwed up and that Paterno would say - through the years - that Sandusky was a sick guy.

Of course, McQueary's latest revelations are absolutely nothing but hearsay, but the media bought them because it fits the current false narrative about the scandal.  However, a check of the 12/2011 preliminary perjury hearings and Mike's lawsuit against PSU pretty much slams the door on the honesty (or dishonesty) of these claims.

On page 104 of the 12/2011 preliminary hearing, McQueary is asked, "The questions you say you raised with people about why Jerry was still around there, did you raise that question before or after you were contacted by agents of the Attorney General's Office?

McQueary's answer: "Almost certainly after."

The Whistleblower lawsuit filed by McQueary against PSU makes no mention of the alleged conversation between McQueary and Paterno on November 9, 2011, in which McQueary alleged that Paterno stated the "Old Main screwed up" and he'd be scapegoated.  One would think that information would have been mentioned in the lawsuit.  Pages 6 through 8 recount the events from the release of the grand jury presentment to McQueary's dismissal from his coaching duties.  The discussion with Paterno was not mentioned.

What Did Joe Paterno Say?

Those who follow this close closely know that Joe Paterno stated in his final interview that he told Tim Curley about the incident and left if for Curley to resolve.  Paterno never mentioned following up with Mike McQueary or checking back with him.

Moreover, in his interview with Agents Sassano and Feathers in October of 2010, just a month before the grand jury presentment, Paterno never mentions any follow-up discussions with Curley or McQueary.  Partial transcript follows (my emphasis added):

SASSANO: And do you know what happened after that with regards to Mr. McQueary and/or Mr. Curley?
SASSANO: Did Mr. Curley get back to you at some point in time after that to advise you what actions were taken…
J. PATERNO: No, no, I didn’t, I had other things to do, we had… As I said, Jerry was not working for me.

Conclusion:  The existing documentary evidence in this case demonstrates that McQueary's latest revelations are unsupported and, are likely, unsupportable.  No witnesses, save his father, will back his stories.


  1. McQueary's claim that he told Joe that he used the phrase "molestation act with a minor" is beyond the pale.

    Only attorneys and people in law enforcement use that phrase. Those aren't the words of a twentysomething grad assistant.

    And why did this never come out before from either McQueary or Joe? It sure smells like he was coached to use that phrase. (Convenient that McQueary waited until after Joe died before making his claims.)

    McQueary's memory is like fine wine: it gets better and more complex with age!

    1. Let my try that first sentence again...

      McQueary's claim that he used the phrase "molestation act with a minor" when talking to Joe is beyond the pale.

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  3. Ray,

    With MM having this many inconsistencies in his story, isn't he taking a big chance that his $4 million dollar whistleblower suit will be thrown out of court?...

    1. Vickie,
      Thanks for reminding me. None of this stuff was stated in his lawsuit either. You'd think that if Paterno said "Old Main screwed up" that would have gotten in there.


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    3. Trader Kevin, this line MUST go into the screenplay: "McQueary's memory is like fine wine: it gets better and more complex with age!"

      Ray, THANK YOU for this compilation and synthesis.

      Vickie, MM may be trying to slip under the payoff radar as yet another Sandusky victim. PSU is throwing out millions of dollars to "move on".

    4. rdk...God knows WHAT MM is thinking...It still kills me that he "witnessed" something in the shower yet he runs out of the shower WITHOUT doing anything to save this kid???...

  4. Ray,

    I would imagine that the prosecution doesn't have to call MM's dad, but might.... I'd love to cross examine him and ask about his mental capacity to testify given he was adamant he never testified at the prelim for Jerry! Also, I believe his strategy at this point is to solely help his case against Penn State. Someone must have advised him to mention the alleged comments by Joe to him the day of his firing. NO ONE, including PSU has tried to make him the scape-goat....for anything. As far as his testimony goes, I believe what he said he told Joe that morning (according to round 4) seems to differ again and appears to be more detailed and "more graphic" than any of his previous testimonies. Or maybe the mentioning of these comments by Joe calling Jerry a sick guy is his futile attempt to restore something to the good name of Joe knowing that he's single-handedly destroyed him and Penn State by his false and inaccurate testimonies!! Someone needs to ask him under oath if Joe reached out to him prior to him (Joe) going to testify before the grand jury and if he embellished his refresher conversation to Joe about what he told him 10 years prior. If John Z knows that this did happen, then John needs to put it out there who's made that claim. I believe it was Scott Paterno who told John (or possibly Jay)that and that was before Scott went crazy and decided to act the way he has.

    1. "I'd love to cross examine [John McQueary] and ask about his mental capacity to testify given he was adamant he never testified at the prelim for Jerry!"

      Doesn't seem likely they'd call him. He'll be even less competent to testify a couple of years after the Sandusky trial fiasco.

      "Someone must have advised him to mention the alleged comments by Joe to him the day of his firing."

      The best part of his testimony was him saying there's a photo of him talking to Joe at the last practice. No shit! I'll bet you could take a photo of every head coach talking to every assistant coach during every practice.

  5. Mark H, John Z, please restate and clarify. Lots of ambiguous pronouns here! I believe you're onto the big thing. Namely, McQueary's role as a facilitator/ enabler for the takedown of Spanier, Paterno, and PSU football.

  6. Just more and more proof this case will absolutely be dismissed on a technicality where the prosecutors and investigators don't lose face and the media won't have to refute or ignore evidence that goes against the narrative the sold a long time ago.

    And while it would be best from a public relations view for Curley, Schultz, and Spanier to go to trial and let all the real evidence come out, they will go right along with the dismissal because why even risk the minimal possibility a jury would convict them anyway.