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May 23, 2019

Accused Jayme Closs kidnapper ‘can’t express’ how sorry he is, plans to plead guilty

March 12, 2019
Jake Patterson appears for a brief hearing in Barron County Circuit Court on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, in Barron, Wis. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP, Pool) (Richard Tsong-Taatarii / AP)

The man accused of keeping a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl in captivity for nearly three months after murdering her parents says he has “huge amounts” of remorse and that he acted “mostly on impulse.”

The suspect begged Jayme Closs for her forgiveness and revealed his intentions to plead guilty in a letter penned from behind bars and addressed to a local TV reporter.


“No one will believe or can even imagine how sorry I am for hurting Jayme this much,” Jake Patterson wrote. “Can’t express it.”

Patterson sent the jailhouse note, postmarked Feb. 28, to KARE-TV journalist Lou Raguse nearly two months after his arrest, the station revealed late Thursday night.

Patterson is accused of gunning down James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 40, on Oct. 15 and kidnapping their daughter. He kept the student in his Douglas County cabin, where she was often forced to hide under a bed when he had visitors. The teen escaped from Patterson’s home on Jan. 10, after almost three months in captivity.

The letter is a torn portion of a sheet of paper and begins with “Hi, IDK if I’ll actually send this,” the station reported. Answering when he realized he was capable of kidnap and murder, Patterson said he never planned the crime.

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

Jayme Closs went missing Oct. 15, 2018, after her parents were found fatally shot at their home in Barron, Wis. Closs has now been located and Patterson was taken into custody.
Jayme Closs went missing Oct. 15, 2018, after her parents were found fatally shot at their home in Barron, Wis. Closs has now been located and Patterson was taken into custody. (AP / AP)

Patterson’s attorney told the station he could not confirm or deny the letter. A Wisconsin Department of Justice spokeswoman told KARE-TV inmates have a right to send mail and she would have no reason to assume it was inauthentic.

The reporter had sent two letters to Patterson requesting a reply.

Patterson’s “impulse” claim contradicts what police said he told them when he was arrested in January. Police said he targeted the girl after seeing her get on a school bus one morning.

“The defendant stated he had no idea who she was nor did he know who lived at the house or how many people lived at the house,” police wrote in their criminal complaint. “The defendant stated, when he saw (Jayme Closs), he knew that was the girl he was going to take.”

Patterson then bought a mask at Walmart as part of his plan and drove to the victims’ house twice before Oct. 15, but there were too many cars in their driveway, the complaint states. He also told police he replaced his license plates with stolen ones and made other modifications to his car, authorities said.

In his letter, Patterson explains why he confessed to the murders and kidnapping.

“I tried to give (authorities) everything… so they didn’t have to interview Jayme. They did anyways and hurt her more for no reason,” he wrote.

Patterson plans to plead guilty so she and her family doesn’t have to worry about a trial.

He is being held on $5 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned March 27. He’s been charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count each of armed burglary and kidnapping.


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