Convicted child rapist Jerry Sandusky says he's having a "very challenging" time behind bars but insists he's "trying to get better" ... this according to prison letters obtained by TMZ.
Just like Aaron Hernandez, Sandusky has been communicating with multiple pen pals he's made from inside his Pennsylvania prison cell over the past 9 months ... and it's clear, the 69-year-old is struggling.
"I've been quite confined, always searching for purpose," Sandusky writes ... "It is very challenging."
In the letters, -- one sent in May, another in June -- Sandusky is still playing the victim ... calling his conviction a grave injustice. He vows to continue battling the case "until the last whistle."
Sandusky also touched on his "personal battles" -- and while there's no specific reference to pedophilia -- Jerry ensures his pen pal, "I'm trying to get better."
Sandusky is currently serving a 30-60 year prison sentence for raping between 10 to 15 young boys ... and will most likely die behind bars.
Sandusky Interviewer to Victim
Threatens Victim #2 --
Talk To Me, Or I'll Out You
3/26/2013 12:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ziegler tells TMZ, "Victim 2 already publicly inserted himself into this story by writing letters to the editor, in his own name, in support of Sandusky as a 24 year old married member of the Marine Corps. I was not 'threatening' him with an outing, and had the intention of getting him to speak to me for a documentary which will likely never be made."
He adds, "On the advice of sex abuse crimes expert Jim Clemente I was offering to speak to him off the record so that he could explain to me why he deserved special consideration in this matter. As it turns out, very much against my own interest, his name is not on our website and he can not be revealed in a Google search."
The man who interviewed Jerry Sandusky in prison has given Sandusky's victim #2 an ultimatum that arguably amounts to extortion ... give him an exclusive interview, or he'll go public with the victim's identity.
John Ziegler -- who interviewed Sandusky for a documentary he hopes will clear Joe Paterno's name -- announced yesterday he planned to reveal the identity of Sandusky's victim #2 because the man's biography is central to the Sandusky case.
Sandusky was convicted of raping the victim -- identified as "accuser #2" in court docs -- in a Penn State shower back in 2001 ... following testimony from former PSU assistant football coach Mike McQueary. Paterno was subsequently fired from PSU for not reporting the incident to his superiors.
But Ziegler came on TMZ Live yesterday, insisting Sandusky did NOT rape victim #2 ... and McQueary's testimony was bogus. Ziegler believes releasing victim #2's identity is crucial in order to clear Paterno's name.
Now Ziegler says he's reconsidering releasing the private information because victim #2 is "upset" about the prospect of going public. Ziegler has decided to threaten him instead.
Ziegler posted the ultimatum on his website earlier today ... demanding the victim call him personally to explain why he's so upset, or Ziegler will open the floodgates. Tick tock.
Interviewer Says ...
I'm OUTING Victim #2
3/25/2013 3:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The guy who interviewed Jerry Sandusky in prison actually believes the disgraced Penn State coach is not guilty of raping victim #2 in a locker room shower-- and he loudly and passionately stated his case on TMZ Live.
John Ziegler -- who is making a documentary he hopes will clear Joe Paterno's name -- claims the boy, known as "accuser #2" in court docs, told authorities on numerous occasions he was not molested by Sandusky ... and only changed his story years later.
Ziegler was talking about the incident when Mike McQueary says he witnessed Sandusky raping the boy in a Penn State locker room shower.
Most shocking was Ziegler's claim the victim was really 14, and not 10. You have to see him explain why that makes any difference.
Ziegler tells us he plans to reveal the identity of "accuser #2" ... because he feels the man basically exposed himself by writing an editorial about the case.
Thinks He Heard Rape
3/25/2013 5:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Jerry Sandusky is scoffing at Mike McQueary -- the man critical in bringing him down -- claiming it's absurd McQueary could have concluded he heard sounds of sex and rape in the locker room.
Sandusky, who was audiotaped for a documentary said, "I don’t understand how anybody would have walked into that locker room, from where he was, and heard sounds, and associated that was sex going on."
Portions of the prison interview were played this morning on "Today." Sandusky said, "I mean, that would been the last thing I would have thought about. I would have thought maybe fooling around or something like that (laughter)."
John Ziegler, the man who interviewed Sandusky, is making a documentary called "Framing Paterno" in an effort to clear the name of legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno.
New PRISON Mug Shot
10/24/2012 8:18 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Jerry Sandusky cracked a goofy half-smile for the camera when he was transferred to a new correctional facility in Pennsylvania yesterday ... and TMZ has obtained Jerry's brand new mug shot.
The 68-year-old former Penn State football coach was moved from Centre County Jail to the State Correctional Institute at Camp Hill where he'll remain for the next few weeks, until he's placed into a state prison to serve out his 30-60 year sentence for raping several young boys.
Sandusky says he's innocent and the victim of a massive conspiracy. Nobody believes him.
Feasting on Wieners
10/23/2012 10:47 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
It's Jerry Sandusky's lucky day -- because he just got transferred to a brand new jail ... and today's lunch is hot dogs ... and buns.
A rep for the State Corrections Department in PA tells TMZ, Sandusky was transferred to Camp Hill correctional facility in Lower Allen this morning from the Centre County Jail, where he had remained in custody since his trial.
According to the rep, today's lunch is hot dogs, sauerkraut, and of course ... baked beans.
Sandusky's expected to spend anywhere from 2-4 weeks at Camp Hill before he's transferred to his more permanent home ... state prison.
The convicted child rapist was also issued his jail "blues" today -- the jail outfit consisting of blue pants, a blue shirt, a white undershirt, socks, and tighty-whiteys. It's unclear if he's in the general population or if he's being kept in solitary for his own safety.
But he's not doing too bad -- we're told prisoners at Camp Hill stay in 8'x10' cells ... which is the same size as Conrad Murray's cell in L.A. County ... AFTER Murray got his upgrade.
Jerry Sandusky Victim #1
10/20/2012 6:33 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Aaron Fisher, the first person to come forward and accuse Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse, says when no one believe his claims in the early going ... it lead him to attempt suicide "multiple times."
Speaking out for the first time last night on "20/20," Fisher said that he was bullied and picked on at school when people learned he had made the sexual abuse allegation against Sandusky.
Fisher described himself as "extremely suicidal" and said, "I thought maybe it'd be easier to take myself out of the equation."
Sandusky was sentenced earlier this month to 30-60 years years in prison following his conviction on 45 counts of abuse against Fisher and nine other boys.
10/19/2012 6:39 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Aaron Fisher -- the young man who first blew the whistle on Jerry Sandusky -- has done an interview with ABC News and says he's not looking for sympathy.
Fisher, now 18, met the convicted child molester when he was 11 at Sandusky's summer camp, Second Mile. A year later, the boy was being sexually assaulted in Sandusky's basement.
Fisher says he kept the secret for 3 years out of embarrassment and fear he wouldn't be believed. When Fisher finally told his school principal about the molestation, she told the boy and his mom to "go home and think about it."
Fisher, who's written a book, will be featured on 20/20 tonight.
Jerry Sandusky Sentenced
30 to 60 Years
for Raping Children
10/9/2012 7:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Convicted child rapist Jerry Sandusky has just been sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison ... which means he'll most likely die behind bars.
The 68-year-old former Penn State assistant football coach was facing up to 400 years behind bars ... after he was convicted on 45 counts of sexual assault involving 10 to 15 boys.
Sandusky will serve NO LESS than 30 years, because under Pennsylvania law, he can't be released on parole before the minimum term is up. He will get credit for 112 days served.
Sporting a fresh pair of shackles, Sandusky wore a red prison jumpsuit to court and appeared thinner than usual. He was also wearing a bulletproof vest.
Jerry's wife Dottie was in attendance when the judge issued the sentence. Six of Sandusky's victims were also present.
Jerry also addressed the court -- and once again proclaimed his innocence during what is being described as a rambling, babbling batsh*t crazy statement.
The mother of one of the victims read a statement in court ... and said her son contemplated suicide after Sandusky's attack.
Sandusky smiled on his way into court.
Sandusky swears he's innocent -- the REAL victim in a vast conspiracy -- and vows to appeal the sentence.
I'm the VICTIM
of Child Sex Conspiracy
10/8/2012 4:43 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Jerry Sandusky recorded a dramatic statement from his jail cell -- on the eve of his sentencing for the Penn State child sex abuse scandal -- and accused everyone from his victims to the media ... to the university for orchestrating his conviction.
In his statement, the disgraced ex football coach says, "A young man who was dramatic, a veteran accuser, and always sought attention, started everything."
Sandusky goes on to say the initial accuser "was joined by a well-orchestrated effort of the media, investigators, the system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers. They won. I've wondered what they really won: Attention, financial gain, prestige… will all be temporary."
Sandusky also rambles about his attorneys not having enough time to prepare for the trial -- in which the jury found him guilty of 45 counts of child sex deviance -- and insinuates all his accusers came forward purely for financial gain.
And there's this odd claim -- on the recording, for PSU's ComRadio, Sandusky says his wife "has been his only sex partner that was after marriage. Our love continues."
Sandusky is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow morning ... and faces up to 400 years in prison.
Brown Univ. Will NOT Boot
JoePa from Hall of Fame
9/14/2012 2:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Brown University will NOT REMOVE alumnus Joe Paterno from its Athletic Hall of Fame ... despite the fact he kinda did some horrible stuff.
For the record, Paterno played quarterback at Brown from 1946 to 1949 ... and is not believed to have covered up any child rape scandals during his playing days.
Mr. Paterno was enshrined to the Brown H.O.F. in 1978 ... roughly 25 years before he helped cover up a child rape scandal at Penn State University.
Paterno had no comment on the decision ... because he's dead.
I Wanna Be Joe Paterno
9/8/2012 6:23 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Disgraced Penn State football coach Joe Paterno will forever be immortalized in a new movie ... and by a really good actor ... because the man who will bring his story to life, is reportedly Al Pacino.
The Academy-Award-winning actor attached himself to the new film -- based on the New York Times Bestselling book "Paterno," according to reports.
The film is still in the early stages of development ... but according to the report the film will be shopped around town early next week.
'Sweet Caroline' BANNED
from Football Sing-a-longs
8/27/2012 10:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
So we gotta ask -- if the song's inappropriate at PSU's Beaver Stadium, is it inappropriate for all sporting events?
Neil Diamond's classic "Sweet Caroline" will no longer be played at Penn State football games because the lyrics have been deemed inappropriate ... in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
The song ...with the lyrics, "touching me, touching you" ... has been a traditional fan sing-a-long at Penn State football home games, but school officials have decided to cut it from the playlist -- for obvious reasons.
But here's the thing, tons of pro and college teams -- most famously the Boston Red Sox -- use the song ... which Diamond has said was inspired by a photo of a then 11-year old Caroline Kennedy with her pony.