Following the New York Times report detailing Louis C.K.’s sexual misconduct, individuals have come forward to allege that Jerry Sandusky is kind of funny.
Jerry Sandusky is one of the most notorious sexual predators in recent memory. He was sentenced to prison in June 2012 on 45 counts of sexual crimes against children. The crimes for which Sandusky was imprisoned occurred throughout the mid-1990’s up until 2009. Since the verdict was reached, Sandusky has been quietly rotting in prison, which he will continue to do until at least October 9, 2042. This date marks Sandusky’s earliest possible opportunity for parole, though many believe and hope he will die in prison before that date as he would be 98-years-old by that time. For many, this journalist included, it appeared that the cement of Jerry Sandusky’s legacy had all but dried until today when those who had run-ins with Sandusky came forward to offer stories and accounts of him being a very different Jerry Sandusky. Not fully the sinister predator he is commonly thought to be, but rather a Jerry Sandusky who also knew how to have a good laugh.
“It’s shocking for a lot of people to hear considering he’s such a monster, but back in the 10th grade, this is under Eisenhower, mind you, I remember we had a substitute teacher for grammar class one day and Jerry had the idea for everyone in the class to say ‘present’ after the substitute read someone else’s name off the attendance sheet. That way we were all going by a different name for the whole class. And Jerry? Well, he said ‘present’ after the substitute read Taylor Grant’s name. Jerry didn’t break for a second and the substitute bought it. A boy named Taylor? Pretty whacky stuff. You’d never suspect a sexual criminal to be capable of a monkeyshine like that one.” said George Vernon, former classmate of Jerry Sandusky at Washington High School, who went on to state which grade each of his 13 grandchildren are currently in.
Accounts like Vernon’s are not just limited to Sandusky’s early days. Many others have come forward with similar stories from the much less-distant past. Matthew Tiller was one of the officers who escorted Jerry Sandusky into the courtroom on the morning of his sentencing.
“There was this unwavering feeling of disgust built up inside of me,” recounted Tiller. “I was familiar with Mr. Sandusky because of the media storm surrounding the trial from the moment the allegations were first brought into the public eye, but to be standing right next to a truly sick individual… it was unreal. [Sandusky] had not spoken a word since I came into his presence. Then right before we were called into the courtroom he leaned over to me and whispered ‘looks like I should have called Saul’. I couldn’t believe it.”
The “Saul” that Jerry Sandusky was referring to is none other than Saul Goodman, the slimy, criminal lawyer portrayed by Bob Odenkirk on the hit TV show Breaking Bad and its spinoff focusing on the origin story of Odenkirk’s character, Better Call Saul. In both shows, Saul Goodman repeatedly gets his very guilty clients off the hook through a combination of crafty legal tactics and, of course, foul play.
“I was beside myself. Obviously, that’s a pretty funny joke. I mean, the man knew he had no chance in court that day and implying that he should have hired a fictional, criminal lawyer certainly hints an admission of guilt, but for a sexual predator to tell such a gut-buster… Unbelievable. I didn’t know what to do. I went home and didn’t watch any TV or eat for several hours. I just felt helpless. I was too scared to tell anyone, but I couldn’t keep it from my wife. She knew right away that something was bothering me and, if there’s anyone that can pry information out of me, it’s my Karen.”
In speaking with Karen Tiller, it is clear that not everyone is as sensibly shocked and blindsided by the side of Jerry Sandusky that anyone in their right mind would not have seen coming.
“Yeah, it didn’t really surprise me. I mean, I guess it’s a little surprising that someone would make a joke about their own trial going in the opposition’s favor, but I didn’t think it was a big deal at the time. I thought the fact that he had committed all of those crimes was the big deal. I still think that.”
After hearing his wife’s comments, Matthew Tiller had this to say: “She said that, huh? Yeah, well… I know in her mind Jerry Sandusky is this big, hotshot criminal. Like some kind of pedophile Pablo Escobar-type, but what he said to me in the courtroom that day is a funny and that’s a fact. Come on, people. It’s time to wake up and realize that there isn’t just one side to any of us and right now is not the time to try to file Jerry Sandusky under ‘sexually violent predator’ just because that’s what all of us know him as. I am not coming forward with my story just so a bunch of people can continue to consider him as some kind of reprehensible sexual supervillain, I am coming forward because I could not hide it any longer. Jerry Sandusky has been funny to people throughout his adult life at different points in time behind closed doors and that can’t be erased just because he’s one of the most dangerous sexual predators on the planet.”
At this time, it is unclear exactly how many wisecracks and sly remarks he is guilty of, but what is clear is that Jerry Sandusky is not exclusively the monster we have all come to know over the years. Despite his status as one of the most notorious sexual predators of all time, Jerry Sandusky appears to also be kind of funny.