Jayme's Closs' Accused Kidnapper Writes Apology Letter From Jail, Says His Motive 'Is Complicated'

Jake Patterson, 21, was arrested and is expected to be charged with the murders of James and Denise Closs, and the kidnapping of their daughter, Jayme Closs.
Barron County Sheriffs Department; Handout

The man accused of kidnapping Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs and murdering her parents as she watched wrote in a letter his motive was “complicated,” but that he plans to plead guilty.

Jake Patterson, 21, had long known he would go willingly when he was caught with Closs, according to a letter he wrote in response to a KARE-TV reporter who began the correspondence earlier this year.

“I knew when I was caught (which I thought would happen a lot sooner) I wouldn’t fight anything,” Patterson wrote, apparently taking issue with investigators’ need to speak with Closs after she escaped. “I tried to give them everything … so they didn’t have to interview Jayme. They did anyways and hurt her more for no reason.”

Patterson was charged in January with two counts of homicide and one count of kidnapping after authorities said Closs miraculously escaped his rural cabin in Gordon following 88 days in captivity. 

Before his arrest, Patterson was not on police’s radar, they said.

“It’s not black and white,” Patterson wrote of his motive in abducting Closs, but he declined to provide further details. “It was really stupid though looking back,” he wrote.

“This was mostly on impulse,” he said. “I don’t think like a serial killer … At the time I was really pissed. I didn’t ‘want’ to. [Pen scribble redaction] The reason I did this is complicated.”

Patterson said his family had no idea he had taken Closs, writing he made sure to hide her when he knew relatives were coming over. 

“No one knew,” he wrote. “My dad only came on Saturdays, the same time every day. So it was a routine. Jayme hides on Sat. … My family respects privacy so no one even went in my room.”

He said he had “huge amounts” of remorse for his actions, writing: “I can’t believe I did this.

“No one will believe or can even imagine how sorry I am for hurting Jayme this much. Can’t express it,” he continued. “I’m Sorry Jayme! For everything. I know it doesn’t mean much,”

Patterson said he plans to plead guilty to save Closs and her relatives from having “to worry about a trial.” He is being held on $5 million bail pending a March 27 arraignment, where he’s expected to enter his plea.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told KARE-TV letters addressed to inmates are first opened and read by jail staff before they reach the person for whom they are intended. Outgoing mail is also reviewed. Fitzgerald said he was aware Patterson sent a letter to the reporter. 

Closs’s family said they were notified by police about the letter, but they declined to comment. 

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