These letters are among six written by Jerry Sandusky to a boy referred to in a grand jury report, and also at Sandusky’s trial on child molestation charges, as “Victim 4.” The text below was transcribed by a Washington Post reporter from images shown to the news media on a screen in court Friday afternoon during jury deliberations after the letters were admitted into evidence. Note: The Washington Post does not generally print the names of alleged sex abuse victims, so [Victim 4] or [----] has been substituted for the witness’s name.
The “(Victim 4)-J” Story
Very few people know about this story and probably less care. I guess that I’m writing it for me. I’m jer.
[Victim 4] is a young man that came into Jer’s life. It was a difficult time for Jer because he had lost his dad. Jer and his dad shared so much, did many things together. [Victim 4] comes along and he and Jer seem to enjoy the same experiences. Both seemed to be in need.
They loved playing games, competing, singing, laughing, sharing experiences, just being themselves. Jer remembers driving [--------] home. [--------] would say, “Tell me another story, Jer.” Jer, of course, being filled with them would come up with one. Jer remembers how he didn’t want those rides to end.
Jer became attached to [--------] and always will be. [--------] loved Justice and Staush, and they love him. He and Jer played Polish soccer, wrote papers together, rode [------]’s four wheeler even though Jer was scared to death, studied in the playground, roller skated, ice skated, jet-skied, went to a bowl game, spent days at football and soccer camp, canoed, traveled, and more. He met and did things with Penn State football players and spent many hours with them and Jer. It wasn’t [--------], Jer, La Var, Mac, Courtney, David, Anthony, Josh, etc., it was “we.”
Times were not always perfect. There were ups and downs. There were arguments, fights, they cared! No matter what, there was a connection that would help them last through these difficult times. There was always a sensitive, caring feeling deep inside. Jer had learned through many experiences that life isn’t perfect, even with someone he considered to be his “best friend.”
Life is far from perfect at this stage. Something or things have come into [--------]’s life that appear to have taken him over. It’s powerful, a cloud of smoke that has engulfed him, for Jer it has been a dark cloud. [--------] seemed to fight it, coming over trying to do hockey, but couldn’t pull it off. He seems to be losing these battles more and more. Inch by inch the cloud has choked him and taken over. It has smothered sensitivity and love, taken away his caring and enthusiasm. His enthusiasm has been replaced by sleep, his caring replaced by apathy (or concern). “Tell me another story, Jer,” has been replaced by “I don’t care!” This cloud has destroyed soccer and hockey, choked smiles and laughter. There is fear that it has reached his insides, killing his feelings.
Jer believes that there will always be something special inside [--------]. He hopes that it will last, return, if it has left. The players miss him. They say, “Come back, [--------]!” “Stay with us, [--------]!” Jer would love to have the good times back. The players shout, “Be with us to the end!” Jer would love to hear, “Tell me another story, Jer.” Jer may not be worthy, but he needs a “best friend.” It doesn’t look real good.
Jer understands life and its changes. He’s proud, too proud to beg for a friend, extended family member. The story will end the way that [--------] wants it. Jer wants to be there to the end, but that’s [--------]’s call. If [--------] ever needs him, he’ll come.
Regardless, they have had an experience that others won’t. Jer will not forget and always care!
[An Equal Opportunity University]
Once again, I have decided to write some of my thoughts. I write because you mean so much to me. I write because I am concerned about all of us. I write because I have seen the hurt on Tim’s face when you don’t show for him, even though you have given your word. I write because of the churning in my own stomach when you don’t care. I write because I still hope that there will be meaning to the time we have known each other.
Tim and I have seen this before, had similar experiences, and to be honest, not very happy conclusions. You like to express yourself in a straight-forward manner. This will be a direct message from us.
We seem to be a convenience. When it is inconvenient or a better deal comes along, you leave a trail of broken promises. Commitments seem to be meaningless.
You are able to bounce from person to person , object to object. You seek happiness through control, domination, and what satisfies the moment. You have to hit the home run, swing for the fences. You don’t understand or choose not to worry about loyalty, commitment, or caring. The motivation is to get what you want regardless of others.
On the surface this may appear to work for you. People enjoy your youthfulness. Different people show up to give you temporary fulfillment.
We could be wrong but don’t believe that this works. Our experience shows otherwise. You will get older. People will expect more. Your youthfulness will disappear. If you cannot care, you will not be able to live up to the expectations. Your so-called “best friends” will vanish. Happiness will escape your life.
You might want to stop and think about true happiness. It seems to come more often when you don’t try as hard, but to just get a single, reach out to others, lose yourself, become satisfied with plain, simple people who care.
It’s your life! You can continue as you have, keep looking for happiness, or you can find it. We’d love to be a part of your life, but that’s your choice.
We’ve been here, made it through some challenges. We want to always be there for you!
With some hope and a lot of caring we are:
Jer and Tim
I hope that writing some of my thoughts will not annoy you as much as I do personally.
We have known each other for almost two years; gone through many highs and lows. There was tremendous encouragement as we went through last summer and into the fall. You seemed like you had bought into everything and were doing well. Those who had poured out their guts for you, stood by you, were there when you needed them, swelled with pride in your accomplishments.
Somehow this all slipped away. Agreements with people who really care about you didn’t mean anything. You started missing school, your attitude, grades, and self-esteem dropped.
We tried many ways to get you to do your work but failed. You kept driving us away. It became clear that there were only two ways to make a difference in your life, and they weren’t working. Somebody had to care enough to take control and help you succeed. Tim and I cared enough but were not in that kind of position. The only other hope was that you would attach to us, care enough, and want to please yourself and others.
Inch by inch you continued to drive those that live and would die for you out. Instead , you bounce from one person to another, always measuring what others are willing to do for you.
Where are we? Discouraged, but we’re still here, hope to remain.
When it comes to school, I conclude that there is nothing that I can do or say that will make a difference. However, there is always hope. Maybe you won’t quit. Maybe you will decide down the road to make an effort. Maybe there will be some way that you will want help in the future. I will be there as long as you want me. I’ll stand by you as a person who has been a large part of my life. I’ll always care!
I see you getting better in soccer, playing hockey, etc. Hopefully, you will not throw these opportunities away. There is so much that I enjoy about you. You have special qualities. Hang on to the positive experiences whether you want us there or not. When it is all said and done remember us as very plain people who cared, tried, and always wanted to be a true friend (there in the clutch).
You will always be meaningful to us!
Keep Climbin’! Keep on Keepin On!