Body Language expert Patti Wood's insights of Jerry Sandusky's New York Times videotaped interview.What does Jerry Sandusky's body language indicate?

Coach Sandusky’s interview with the New York Times Journalist

Check Patti's link below to her YouTube Channel to watch Patti as she reads the body language of Jerry Sandusky on HLN Special Report with Vinnie Politan. Below are Patti's notes on the 9 minute interview by the New York Times Journalist.

How would an innocent person respond if he had been accused of and arrested for sexually abusing young boys? Do you think he would be upset?

Sandusky certainly isn’t. He starts the interview with oddly detached emotions. He doesn’t face the interviewer. He often looks out with a blank expression. He is relaxed sitting back on the couch. He oddly opens with a response to the allegations “I kid you.” Then says in a rather soft neutral voice “These allegations are false” – Then he immediately turns his head away and gazes off in the distance. I believe an innocent person would look at the interviewer and make sure that they heard and understood your statement.

Throughout the interview he says, “I didn’t know or I don’t know” which seems odd as a fully innocent person wouldn’t be confused or feel the need to find the words or hesitate to say, “I didn’t do these terrible things.”

As he denies the allegation He struggles to find the “right” thing to say. There is a long silent pause. His eyes close in a window shade. He is saying “I didn’t” but his hands go up and his palms open, instead of the gesture that would normally go with a denial or no response, downward and or closed.

He struggles for what to say always reframing the question or accusation. “It is my feeling that I didn’t do anything wrong.” It reminds me of Clinton reframing the statement. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman Monica Lewinsky.”

Again Sandusky gestures should sweep down in dismissal rather than up.

He laughs as he answers some of the questions. If you have been in my Deception Detection program you know that anger and laughter are “cover emotions.” In interrogation videos I have analyzed the accused laugh as a cover to make their allegation seem “lighter” not serious not as bad. At one point Sandusky actually has what I call --- soft eyes and a charming smile as he is asked about sexually abusing young boys.

He often gives a partial shrug “I don’t know” like a child helpless. A shrug as if a physical threat is present then he smiles so inappropriately yet again!
He is asked about the feelings. He says there were so many “mutual feelings” extended family. Then he misspeaks calling himself an “extended father.” He subconsciously makes up a name for the typical relationship he had with the boys.

He uses a soft voice, looks for affirmation and approval from the journalist for having these mutual feelings even saying “Yeah” at the end of his response, as if he is saying, hey it was mutual. The boys agreed with me. This is so disturbing.

At time marker 210 concerning the Coach Joe Paterno

He says, “I don’t know that he didn’t know – I know that he didn’t, never said anything to me.” and then at time marker 2:56 he gives a smirk, his face asymmetrical, he seems gleeful that he was able to pull one over on the interviewer and in essence throws the coach under the bus.

When asked about Curley talking to him about “horsing around in the showers” listen to the paralanguage, the vocal stress cues Sandusky says, “Yeah you know, he was concerned ( he has a sound of pain “uggugg“ he was concerned about it yeah.” Sandusky’s voice is soft almost no emotion in an effort I believe to deemphasize the seriousness of the “concern.” Then we hear Sandusky give a deep inhalation and exhalation of breath. He is realizing that conversation where he was confronted.

When asked “How did he couch it when he spoke about it to you?” Sandusky completely turned away frowns. This is the closest that he gets to showing he is angry. At time marker 347-Sandusky gulps down his bad feelings then presses his lips tight down to close off his feeling, see him tear up. Then he gives a tongue thrust as the reporter goes on about the Curley conversation.

At time marker 424-426 we see him freeze (that deer in headlights stress response). He should be remembering an event and be able to face the interview and recall instead he freezes and struggles to think of what to say and shakes his head no.

As Sandusky says, “I told him yeah,” bends down to get out of confrontation, protects the whole front of his body.

Then Sandusky says, “In my mind it was not inappropriate behavior. “ He again doesn’t face the interviewer and say “I didn’t do it.” Glazed view off in the distance.

446 “He could speak with the young person (not child) that was involved” shrugs off his guilt and his eyes get teary.

He told me I couldn’t work with them anymore. He actually shows his disappointment his head going down and a look of disappointment on his face.

As he asked about the kids he suddenly comes alive. His head and body language go up as he says, with passion …”I grew up in a recreation center, there was constant activity. I worked on a playground I LOVVVEEE active kids.

Truth teller takes ownership uses the word I, states relationship and gives names and speaks in specifics. He doesn’t say the “Second chance kids. He calls them “They throughout the interview.” Liars distance themselves from the people and the events.

He says, “In the interactions that you had with them.” Instead of in the interaction I had with them. “Then he says all those times were precious.”

Again he doesn’t say the kids or children he says they he goes back between

He hops from past tense and future tense a sign of someone who is making up a story rather than recalling actual events.

He continues to use generalities. He also doesn’t complete his sentences and often he just plain does not make sense.

For example
“I guess IT just happened that way,” “I don’t know”
“They weren’t going to have you and you weren’t going to have them.”
“So it was significant times it was significant times it was important times.”

In the previous phone interview Bob Costas, asked “Are you
sexually attracted to young boys?” a simple question that would be easy to answer if you’re totally innocent with “No.” We listened for Sandusky to be adamant and certain and deny. Instead, repeats the questions in a softer voice vocally emphasizing the word SEXUALLY attracted. “You know not

“I am attracted to young people, boys, girls” and he gets more excited and smiles and gets visibly and auditorily excited. His lawyer jumps in and Sandusky smiles inappropriately as he says, “yeah that’s what I meant.” As he speaks his gestures are off. He speaks first and then he gestures.

Again look at his visible excitement and joy. “I enjoy the young” then he freezes, pulls his head back withholding his real feeling, “Because they...” (He pauses) “… they don’t worry about what they say.” “Both groups” (He does a seat re-adjustment - what he said didn’t sit right with him. “

“That’s why I love those groups.”

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at