As I write this, Jerry Sandusky is heading into court, accompanied by his wife, Dottie, for sentencing.
I just read these headlines: Defiant Jerry Sandusky Heading Into Court for Sentencing, and “Sandusky Will Get To Have The Last Word At Hearing”. I didn’t even read the articles because as a mother, my blood boils. I get so angry thinking of what those children must have gone through (and are still going through as adults) that I want to punch things.
I can’t read the articles because I don’t want to give that pariah any more of my attention.
I can’t believe that he’s even allowed to “make a statement” and to “have the last word” at the hearing. Hasn’t he forfeited his right to free speech by now? He should be made to wear a muzzle in that courtroom. He should be forcibly medically castrated, and thrown into a dark prison where he can spend the rest of his life fearing the dark sexual predators who will prey on him like he preyed on those innocent children.
So instead of reading about him, I’ve been Googling his wife, Dottie Sandusky. I’m fascinated with her extreme state of denial and how she has been permitted to continue living in it. I want to find out more about her, because like me, she is a mom. I do not for one minute believe that she has been married to Sandusky since the 1960′s and “didn’t suspect a thing,” as she has said. At the trial, one of her friends said that long before the allegations came out in the 90′s, Dottie “had a talk with Jerry, because she was worried people might ‘take things the wrong way.’ She didn’t suspect anything specific but knew he had ‘boundary issues’” with young boys.
She had a talk with her husband because she thought that someone might come forward and accuse him of inappropriate contact with young boys, which she termed “boundary issues”? That is not knowing anything?
I understand that Jerry Sandusky is guilty, that he has a psychosexual disorder, is a sexual predator, unfixable, he lies. I get that. But what I don’t get, and what really frightens me about our society, is the fact that no one is looking very closely at the psychology of his wife and lifetime partner, a woman who lived in the same house as this monster, who slept in the same bed, and who heard about the first allegations along with the rest of us back in the 1990′s, yet apparently “knows nothing.”
I don’t buy it for one second. Not one.
Apparently, when the first allegations came out in the 1990′s, no one, not one person, not a single investigator or police officer, spoke to Dottie to find out what she knew or thought. If they had – maybe the ensuing years of abuse would not have happened. I don’t know. I’m bringing this up because it really disturbs me. Her smile disturbs me. The way she defiantly holds his hand while walking into the courtroom in her color-coordinated outfits disturbs me.
What enrages me is her defiance – how can she stand beside a man who has been convicted of so many counts of serious, abominable crimes against children? From what I’ve read about her infuriatingly head-in-the-sand response to her convicted husband’s documented pedophilia, she hasn’t once asked herself if maybe he is guilty. This is just plain wrong. It tells me she must have known something at some point (how could she not?) because it is evidence that she is in total denial. If this were to happen to my husband, a man I’ve known, and lived with for 18 years now – I would not stick my head in the sand. I would have to step far outside of my comfort zone and take a good, hard look at him, at myself. I’d have to ask myself whether it’s possible that these allegations were true. And if my grown child came to me – as hers did – and told me the allegations were true, I would have to take an even deeper look at the truth and why I wasn’t seeing it. She hasn’t done that – all she’s done is said they’re not true, period. Her own son is lying, according to her. Her husband is a saint. They’re being victimized.
What does she think of all of the creepy love letters he wrote to all the young boys over the years? I bet she didn’t even bother to read them.
Here was her response to the lead prosecutor Joe McGettigan when he asked her why she thought eight men would come forward separately and all lie about her husband:
“I don’t know what it would be for,” she said, with a slight shake of her head. (From Fox News.)
In “Does Dottie Sandusky Fit a Certain Profile?” HLN TV’s Dr. Drew was interviewing a psychiatrist who was trying to profile Dottie. The psychiatrist said that Dottie fits the typical picture of the spouse of a pedophile: deeply religious, submissive, in deep denial, and probably just doesn’t want to know. Well, as a mother, how dare she “not want to know.” How dare she!
Dottie Sandusky is a woman who could turn the tide in a powerful way and help the victims of her husband to heal, by daring to take a look at herself and her own part in enabling his crimes (one of the things she did was to call one of his victims after the allegations came out; she left an urgent message for him on his voicemail saying it was very important he get back to her – despite the fact that he had told her he wanted nothing to do with them ever again). And – I’ve said this before – there was a waterbed set up in their basement, okay? And as a wife and mother, I would find it very strange indeed if my husband was frequently inviting young boys of a certain age to spend the night in our home and was tiptoeing downstairs to “tuck them in.” She didn’t know? Really? In one of her rare interviews she said she “always went to bed after Jerry.” I’m thinking if she had six adopted children, she must have been a light sleeper – moms tend to wake at the slightest sound, in case they are needed. Didn’t she ever wake up, once, in those 40+ years and find her husband was downstairs with a young boy?
Is this why she is in such denial – because she did know what was going on in her own house, and was hiding it? This – to me – is a possibility too frightening to even ponder. But it is possible.
Also, all the trips he took – alone – with young boys – to games and events, all of them unchaperoned. These included many, many overnight stays in hotels. How did she wrap her head around those? Didn’t she ever look at the phone bill and see that he had called the home phone of a young boy 61 times? There were so many blatant opportunities for her to look the other way and stick her head in the sand, it just boggles my mind.
There are those who will read this and say I’m being too harsh on poor old religious Dottie. You’ll say loudly that maybe she didn’t have any idea whatsoever. To those readers I say it’s too late for that shit now. It’s time to air out the truth, and I’d put money on it: Dottie knew. On some level, at some point – she suspected something, had a hunch, heard or saw something. There was no way she could not have. So no, I’m not going to give this person a break until I see her come out of the closet and air out the truth to help those now-grown children, and one of her own sons, to heal. It’s the least she could do.
There are few things that make me angrier than stories of submissive, passive moms who stand by or look away while their children are abused – and then when their children finally muster the courage to come forward and tell the truth about what’s going on, these moms say they’re lying. In my opinion these moms are just as guilty as the abusers are.
So – yeah, I blame Dottie for her rigid denial in the face of his conviction and all of the evidence to the contrary. I blame her for her stubborn ignorance in the statement she’s making to the victims by standing beside him and holding his hand, by refusing to budge in her pigheaded support of a convicted child rapist. And although I can understand that Jerry Sandusky has something deeply psychologically wrong with him to make him the way he is – she has no excuse other than her own fragile self-preservation. In the long run, if she were to come to terms with what he did – and how she passively enabled, and is still passively condoning, what he did – she could genuinely help his victims to heal. She could become a role model for the hundreds of thousands of wives of predators out there, who might be – like her – hiding out in denial.
As I finish writing this, another, better headline has just appeared: Jerry Sandusky Receives 30 – 60 Years In Prison. The judge said, ”I’m not going to sentence you to centuries. It makes no sense for a 68-year-old man. This sentence will put you in prison for the rest of your life.”
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