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Paterno declined local police protection, according to the file, and, at one point, urged authorities to let him sit down with the person behind the letters if he was apprehended and help him. A recording device and trace were placed on Paterno’s home phone in 1977 and 1978.

An unsigned, detailed letter of apology eventually arrived from a man who blamed his wife’s death and son’s drug use and alcoholism on Paterno. That didn’t stop the threats.

In blue ink, an unsigned note to Paterno said the author would “never be satisfied until I do away with you or some member of your family” and the writer “can’t get him out of my mind, for 365 days a year for what he did to my son.” Paterno promptly turned over the letter, as with the others, to the FBI, taking care to insert it in a cellophane sleeve to preserve any fingerprints.

In November 1980, the late Penn State television play-by-play man Ray Scott received a letter asserting Paterno would be killed within three months.

The investigations were closed in 1981 without apprehending a suspect.

The file briefly details a series of bizarre phone calls Paterno received in 1994 and 1995 from a Portland, Ore., man that one FBI report described as “very delusional.” The man claimed he wanted to make Paterno “a billionaire,” hire him to coach one of his seven football franchises and educate Paterno on his “nutritional knowledge” to cure cancer and other diseases.

The calls spurred a detailed nationwide investigation by the FBI and Penn State’s Department of University Safety.

The reports concluded the caller posed no threat.