Officials at the Second Mile, the charity for at-risk children that Sandusky founded and that prosecutors say he used to target victims, reported that several years of the organization’s records were missing and had perhaps been stolen. The missing files, investigators worry, may limit their ability to determine if Sandusky used charity resources — expense accounts, travel, gifts — to recruit new victims, or even buy their silence, according to two people with knowledge of the case.

And in 2002, after McQueary had reported what he had seen to the university’s senior officials, those officials not only never told the police, but they also never even informed the university’s top lawyer. That lawyer, Wendell Courtney, said in an interview this week that he would have been duty bound to report to law enforcement officials any allegations of inappropriate conduct toward children by Sandusky.

Most disturbingly, investigators continued to identify possible victims — young men who had been boys when Sandusky befriended them through his foundation for troubled youngsters.