MINNEAPOLIS – The man police say confessed to abducting 13-year-old Jayme Closs wrote in a letter to a TV reporter that he took her on impulse and plans to plead guilty.
Jake Patterson, 21, mailed a handwritten letter to reporter Lou Raguse of KARE-TV, an NBC affiliate in Minneapolis, after Raguse wrote him in the Polk County Jail with a list of questions. Patterson is charged with killing Jayme’s parents and abducting from her Wisconsin home just before 1 a.m. Oct. 15.
Among the answers to 11 questions Raguse asked, Patterson said the Barron County Sheriff’s Office exaggerated reports that he carefully planned the killings and abduction. He distanced his motives from serial killers like Ted Bundy or Dennis Rader, the infamous “BTK” killer.
“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,” Patterson 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.”
Raguse asked what led Patterson “to want to kidnap a girl in the first place.” He kept it brief: “It’s not black and white,” he wrote. At another point he wrote, “At the time I was really pissed. I didn’t ‘want’ to. … The reason I did this is complicated.”
The answer is interrupted with a black pen scribble. In many of Patterson’s answers he scribbled out a portion of the text. At the bottom of the letter he wrote the scribbles denoted a “self-redaction lol.”
Patterson was arrested Jan. 10 near the home in Douglas County, Wisconsin where prosecutors say he kept Jayme for 88 days in captivity, at times forcing her to hide under his bed when family visited. Jayme, whose parents James and Denise were shot to death the night she disappeared, escaped Patterson’s home shortly before police found him driving around apparently looking for her, according to a criminal complaint.
In his jailhouse letter, he wrote that he’d answer some of Raguse’s questions, but some topics he cannot discuss. “I won’t put a lot of details anyways,” Patterson wrote.
In response to a question on whether Jayme saw news coverage of her disappearance, Patterson wrote he would change the channel if it came up on TV, but he followed the case on his phone.
Patterson wrote he is contrite. He plans to plead guilty on March 27 instead of taking the case to trial, and he has “huge amounts” of regret, writing, “I can’t believe I did this” and “it was really stupid though looking back.”
He finished the letter, “No one will believe or can even imagine how sorry I am for hurting Jayme this much. Can’t express it.”
On the reverse side of the paper is bubble lettering that reads, “I’m Sorry Jayme! For everything. I know it doesn’t mean much.”
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald declined to comment because Patterson’s case is open. He confirmed to KARE-TV that Patterson sent the letter, the station reported.
Follow Sophie Carson on Twitter: @SCarson_News
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