Crime

Jake Patterson writes letter to news station saying he plans to plead guilty to kidnapping, murders

Letter: 'I don't think like a serial killer'

BARRON, Wis. - The man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and murdering her parents says he plans to plead guilty in court later this month, according to a report from KARE II in Minneapolis. 

Details from the criminal complaint suggest Jake Patterson targeted Jayme and made "great efforts" to avoid leaving evidence for law enforcement agencies. Jayme was his captive for 87 days and was able to escape. Once Patterson was in custody, he confessed to law enforcement. 

Lou Raguse, a reporter at KARE 11, sent a letter to Patterson in jail seeking unanswered questions in the case. Patterson's response was postmarked Feb. 28.

In the letter, Patterson discloses his plan to plead guilty in court and explains why he confessed. 

"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," Patterson wrote about confessing to the kidnapping and murders in such detail. 

He said the reason why he won't take the case to trial is because he doesn't want Jayme or her relatives to worry about a trial. 

"[I plan to] plead guilty. I want Jayme and her relatives to know that," Patterson wrote. "Don’t want them to worry about a trial." 

He said he only followed the news coverage of the search for Jayme through news alerts on his phone, and would actively change the channel if it "popped up on TV." Patterson claimed he did not confide in anyone about the kidnapping or killings and avoided Barron during the communitywide search for Jayme. 

The reporter posed the question, "When in your life did you realize you were capable of doing something like this?" Patterson's answer was that, despite what court documents allege, his actions weren't planned. 

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

Court documents say Patterson planned the killing after he saw Closs get on a school bus. He changed his physical appearance before the attack, including shaving his head to avoid leaving any hair behind. 

In the letter Patterson did not mention the murders of Denise and James Closs. Investigators say Patterson broke into the family's home near Barron on Oct. 15 by blowing the front door open with a shotgun. Jayme's parents were shot to death and the teenager vanished the same day.

Patterson will be in court again on March 27 for his arraignment in Barron County. He is facing charges for two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, kidnapping without consent and burglary while armed with a dangerous weapon. All four charges are considered felonies. 

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