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Forced to think about families of Holmes, Paterno, and Sandusky

An Internet avalanche of wrath uncovers a sexual predator and enlightens a blogger about remembering the "other" victims – the families of Holmes, Paterno, and Sandusky.

By Lisa SuhayCorrespondent / July 25, 2012

Dorothy Sandusky, wife of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, arrives at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., on June 19, 2012. Jerry Sandusky was charged with 51 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 boys over a period of 15 years.

Gene J. Puskar/AP

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After the news of both the NCAA decision on the Penn State pedophile and Colorado massacre hit in the same week, we were so upset that most folks didn't really waste time wondering what the families of the bad guys must be feeling. Because so much compassion is expended for the dead and wounded, there isn’t much feeling left for the families of those who committed the evil act itself.

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My July 23 Modern Parenthood blog on the NCAA ruling prompted a left-field response that blew my mind and prompts me to think more about the families of criminals.

In the blog, I lashed out at those at Penn State who knew about former coach Jerry Sandusky's acts as a pedophile and sex offender. And instantly, I was targeted by members of a Missouri community who linked a sex offender there with a donor to my children's chess charity. Suddenly my chess blog and YouTube videos – part of the nonprofit organization Norfolk Initiative for Chess Excellence (NICE) – were slammed with outraged comments revealing that a donor to the nonprofit is a sex offender.

It was all news to me.

My best guess on how this connection was made is that people who were aware of the man’s convictions tended to look for stories slamming pedophiles and sex offenders, and it wasn’t a big leap from my Monitor blog to my chess blog and videos, which are prominently featured in the donor’s home state of Missouri where he sold brightly colored and patterned chess boards for children.

While most people might not think of chess as a child's playground, more than half of the 45 million Americans who play chess are children playing in schools and community centers. The Glos company, which donated the chessboards to my organization, was trying to strike deals with major school systems as well as the Boy Scouts which created a chess merit badge last August. So this is a very big deal to this little company.

I have never met James C. Walker in person, nor his wife Laura. It is she who owns and operates Glos Games, while he designed boards and did marketing and sales. I am told he no longer has any contact with the company.

After a series of phone calls a year ago, Laura and I became friends. Jimmy and his larger-than-life persona over the phone irritated me so badly that I just stopped dealing with him, except on rare occasions when Laura wasn't available.

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