BARRON COUNTY, WI — According to media reports out of Minneapolis, Jake Patterson, the 21-year-old Wisconsin man accused of abducting missing endangered teen Jayme Closs and shooting her parents in October 2018, admitted to the crimes and indicated he would plead guilty in an upcoming court hearing.
In an article posted by KARE-TV late Thursday titled “‘I can’t believe I did this’ | Accused Jayme Closs kidnapper writes letter from jail,” KARE-TV reporter Lou Raguse says he received a letter from Jake Patterson from the Polk County Jail.
In the letter, Patterson reportedly wrote that he plans to plead guilty, which would stave off a potentially lengthy trial and put victims on the stand.
“[I plan to] 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,” he wrote in the letter according to the KARE-TV report.
The letter continues, as KARE-TV says Patterson told Raguse his motivations for committing the crimes.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
Attorneys Haven’t Said Yet
The attorneys for Patterson have not revealed how Patterson will plea when he is arraigned in court on March 27. Yet experts say Patterson’s crime is so unusual, and so disturbing that an insanity defense will be almost impossible to prove.
“This crime is so despicable (that) it’s almost impossible for an insanity defense to work here,” said Jack Levin, a longtime criminologist and a professor emeritus at Northeastern University in Boston in an Appleton Post-Crescent report.
Authorities Say How It Happened
Here are the details of the night of Oct. 15 in which Closs’ parents were shot and killed and Jayme was abducted, and also her dramatic escape from captivity in January.
According to the criminal complaint, during the early morning hours of Oct. 15, Jayme told investigators she was asleep in her bedroom when her dog began to bark. She went to investigate and noticed there was someone in her driveway. She went to her parent’s room and woke up her mother, Denise, and her father, James.
According to the complaint, James went to the door, only to find Patterson with a shotgun outside. As Jayme and Denise went to hide in the bathroom, Jayme told investigators she heard a gunshot. She knew her father had been killed, she told investigators.
Jayme told investigators that Patterson entered the house, broke down the bathroom door and told her mother to hang up a cellphone that she was trying to use to dial 911. Jayme told investigators that Patterson ordered Denise to put tape over Jayme’s mouth. After she did, Patterson shot and killed Denise, according to the criminal complaint.
According to the criminal complaint, Patterson taped Jayme’s hands and ankles together and dragged her out to his car and put her in the trunk, where she stayed for about two hours as Patterson drove to his house in the small town of Gordon.
Jayme told investigators that Patterson held her prisoner in her house, forcing her to stay under a bed in his bedroom. When Patterson left the house, or when company would come over, Jayme said Patterson forced her to hide under his bed “or something bad would happen.” According to the criminal complaint, Patterson would force Jayme to hide under the bed for stretches of 12 hours at a time without food, water or bathroom breaks.
According to the criminal complaint, there was one instance in which Patterson got upset with her and hit her “really hard” on her back with a rod.
Jayme told investigators about the day of her escape. According to the criminal complaint, on Jan. 10, Patterson left the house and told her he was going to be gone for between five and six hours. Jayme said she was forced to once again hide under the bed. Jayme was able to push some heavy bins and weights away from the bed frame so she could escape.
She put on a pair of Patterson’s shoes, walked out of the house and happened upon a dog walker whom she asked for help. She told the dog walker that Patterson kidnapped her. They went to the nearest house where the resident called 911.
When Patterson got home, he saw that Jayme was not under the bed. He looked briefly around the house and saw fresh footprints in the snow, according to the criminal complaint.
The complaint stated that Patterson got into his car, and began driving around in an attempt to look for her. After a few minutes, he returned to his house, and was met by the police. At that time, Patterson admitted, he knew that he had been caught.