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"I Can't Believe I Did This": Jayme Closs's Alleged Abductor Wrote A Letter From Jail Apologizing To The 13-Year-Old Girl

Jake Patterson wrote a letter to a Minnesota reporter saying that he killed Jayme's parents and kidnapped her "mostly on impulse" and that his reason was "complicated."

Posted on March 8, 2019, at 1:50 p.m. ET

Richard Tsong-taatarii / AP

The man who allegedly confessed to kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs after killing her parents wrote a letter from jail saying he did it "mostly on impulse" and because he was "really pissed" at the time.

Jake Patterson, 21, was charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of kidnapping, and one count of armed burglary in January, three months after he fatally shot James and Denise Closs in their home and abducted their daughter, keeping her in his cabin located in a remote area outside Gordon, Wisconsin.

Patterson allegedly confessed his crimes to authorities after his arrest and provided chilling details of the Oct. 15 murders and the teen's abduction. He told them that he forced Jayme to hide under his bed for up to 12 hours at a time without food, water, or bathroom breaks.

Jayme was able to escape after 88 days when Patterson left his cabin for a few hours on Jan. 10. She approached a woman walking her dog, who immediately recognized Jayme, rushed her to a neighbor's house, and called 911.

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Jayme Closs

In the Feb. 28 letter Patterson wrote to Minnesota KARE 11 reporter Lou Raguse, he said that he planned to plead guilty during his arraignment hearing on March 27. He said he didn't want Jayme and her relatives to "worry about a trial."

Patterson wrote that he had "huge amounts" of remorse and regret for the things he did, adding, "I can't believe I did this."

He said the reason for doing it was "complicated."

"At the time I was really pissed," he wrote. "I didn’t 'want' to. [PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION] The reason I did this is complicated."

He apologized to Jayme, writing, "No one will believe or can even imagine how sorry I am for hurting Jayme this much. Can’t express it."

Patterson also dismissed investigators' allegations that he had "thoroughly" planned the murders and abduction.

"This was mostly on impulse. I don’t think like a serial killer," he wrote.

Patterson wrote the letter in response to a letter Raguse sent to him on Feb. 17 in which the reporter asked several questions "that have not yet been answered through the court filings."

In his letter, postmarked Feb. 28, Patterson replied to each of Raguse's questions, often scribbling out several words in his answers.

KARE-11 / Via youtube.com

When asked what made him kidnap Jayme, Patterson wrote, "It’s not black and white."

Authorities said that Patterson was driving to work at a cheese factory when he stopped behind a school bus on a highway and watched Jayme get on the bus.

Patterson later told authorities that he had no idea who she was, but that when he saw Jayme, he “knew that was the girl he was going to take."

In response to what his "long-term plan" would have been, had Jayme not escaped, Patterson wrote in the letter, "Won't say. It was [PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION] It was really stupid though looking back."

On the back, he wrote in big letters, "I'm Sorry Jayme! For everything. I know it doesn’t mean much."

Patterson's lawyer, Charles Glynn, refused to confirm or deny whether his client wrote the letter, KARE 11 reported. He told the news station that he had heard about the letter but had not spoken to Patterson directly. Glynn did not respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.

Jayme's aunt and guardian, Jennifer Smith, told KARE11 that police had informed her about the letter.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, whose office investigated the case, told BuzzFeed News that he was "told a letter had been sent to a media outlet."

Fitzgerald told KARE11 that both incoming and outgoing letters are reviewed by jail staff.

Patterson is being held in the Polk County jail. The Polk County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

KARE 11 refused to provide a copy of the letter to BuzzFeed News.

Here is KARE 11's transcript of Patterson's letter with Raguse's questions added to the transcript for clarity:

Lou,

Hi, IDK if I’ll actually send this. I’ll answer some of your questions, some I can’t(?) [PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION] I won’t put a lot of details anyways.

Question 1: Why did you confess when you were caught, and why did you confess in such detail?

1. I knew when I was caught (which I thought would happen a lot sooner) I wouldn’t fight anything. I tried to give them everything, [PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION] (wasn’t completely honest) so they didn’t have to interview Jayme. They did anyways and hurt her more for no reason.

Question 2: What is your plan now? Plead guilty or take the case all the way to trial?

2. Plead guilty. I want Jayme and her relatives to know that. Don’t want them to worry about a trial. Was actually going to on the 6th, but in a case like this it’s not really allowed? So the judge moved it to the 27th of March.

Question 3: What led you to want to kidnap a girl in the first place?

3. It’s not black and white. [PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION]

Question 4: Do you have any remorse or regrets for the things that you did?

4. Huge amounts. [PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION] I can’t believe I did this.

Question 5: What was your long-term plan if Jayme had not escaped that day?

5. Won’t say. [PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION] It was really stupid though looking back.

Question 6: Did you confide in anyone or leave any hints that people failed to pick up on?

6. No. [PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION]

Question 7: Did your family really have no clue? How often were family members in your cabin, and how close did they come to discovering Jayme under the bed?

7. No one knew. My dad only came on Saturdays, the same time every day. So it was a routine. Jayme hides on Sat. [PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION] My family respects privacy so no one even went in my room.

Question 8: Did you ever return to Barron after the crime or insert yourself in any of the vigils or anything being held in Jayme’s honor? Did you ever get close to her family following the shootings/kidnapping?

8. I stayed away from Barron.

Question 9: How closely did you follow the news coverage, and was Jayme aware of the news coverage and the extent to which people were searching for her?

9. I followed it [PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION] through my phone. If something popped up on TV about it, I would change the channel. [PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION] Would tell Jayme “I’m sorry, I can’t watch this.” IDK what she knew.

Question 10: When in your life did you realize you were capable of doing something like this? I just watched a 20/20 Special on BTK killer, and he told a reporter he knew as a teen that he wanted to do something like this one day, and he was jealous over attention other killers like Ted Bundy were receiving. Did you feel any of those same thoughts?

10. The cops say I planned this thoroughly, and that I said that. They’re really good at twisting your words around, put them in different spots, straight up lie. Little mad about that. Trying to cover up their mistakes I guess. This was mostly on impulse. I don’t think like a serial killer.

Question 11: What goes through the mind of someone who wants to carry out something like this?

11. At the time I was really pissed. I didn’t “want” to. [PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION] The reason I did this is complicated.

[PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION] = self redaction lol

No one will believe or can even imagine how sorry I am for hurting Jayme this much. Can’t express it.

[on the back:]

I’m Sorry Jayme! For everything. I know it doesn’t mean much.


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