The former Penn State assistant football coach accused by a grand jury last week of sexually assaulting eight boys, wrote an autobiography titled Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story.
It was published in 2001 as an inspirational tale of a man devoted to helping, not hurting, disadvantaged children through Second Mile, a charity he founded in 1977.
According to a grand jury, Sandusky, 67, was a serial predator who used Second Mile to find and coerce boys, including one 8 years old, into various sex acts. Sandusky, arrested Saturday, faces 40 counts of sexually abusing minors.
Joe Paterno, Penn State head coach for 46 years, has expressed shock and sadness about the allegations. "If this is true, we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things."
If true, the book, full of good wishes for kids, now seems like a travesty.
A blurb from ex-Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil says of Sandusky: "He could very well be the Will Rogers of the coaching profession."
"The greatest man we have ever known: our father, Jerry Sandusky," writes daughter Kara Sandusky Werner, after mentioning her five adopted brothers at the end of pages sharing positive memories.
Sportswriter Stan Hochman of the Philadelphia Daily News was moved to start off his article on the book this way: "Jerry Sandusky has a heart bigger than Texas. Gives whole chunks of it to kids at risk. Finds foster homes for them; recruits mentors for them; arranges healthy, constructive things for them to do."
Touched keeps to the positive, avoiding the sensational, Hochman wrote: "No grenades in the book, no poking under some rug for long-buried dirt."
Innocent-seeming words now have other echoes - especially the one used in the title.
In a late chapter called "Touched," Sandusky writes, "When we reach out and touch someone's hand, trying to make the world a better place, we get so much more than we can give. To see the gleam in a child's eye when he or she succeeds. To see happiness come across the face of a lonely person sets off a very warm feeling."
At the end of his review, Hochman writes: "It's all there in the book, Sandusky's humble roots, his staunch loyalty, his large heart. The kids he has reached out to have been touched, indeed."
The charges have prompted more than a dozen comments at Amazon.com's page for the book.
"Seriously? What a slap in the face to all of his victims! A book titled 'Touched' written by a pedophile. Mr. Sandusky is both a genius and a narcissist, which makes him the perfect predator," writes M. Munson.
"It appears that this book is in fact, a carefully crafted lie designed to present Coach Sandusky in a positive light. It should be sold as fiction," writes 79 Kaboom.
"Amazon, Its time to remove this Pedophiles book for now or at lest until his trial is over, and if he is found Not Guilty I will be the first one to buy a copy, but I don't think that day will ever come," writes another.
Sandusky, through his attorney, has denied the charges.
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha or email@example.com.