'He can never take away my spirit' read the heartbreaking and courageous letter Jayme Closs wrote to the judge about Jake Patterson

The judge called Patterson "The embodiment of evil"

WCCO Radio Newsroom
May 24, 2019 - 3:36 pm
Jayme Closs is back home

Healing for Jayme Closs


A judge sentenced Jake Patterson, the Wisconsin man who kidnapped Jayme Closs and murdered her parents, to life without the possibility of parole on Friday. 

Patterson held Closs captive in his Gordon, Wisconsin home for 88 days before she was able to escape and find help. 

Closs was not in the court, but she did write a letter that a family attorney read for the judge. That letter continues in full below: 

"Last October,  Jake Patterson took a lot of things that I love away from me. It makes me the most sad that he took away my mom and my dad. I loved my mom and dad very much and they loved me very much. They did all they could to make me happy and protect me. He took them away from me forever. 

I felt safe in my home and I love my room and all of my belongings. He took all of that too. I don't want to even see my home or my stuff because of the memory of that night. My parents and my home were the most important things in my life. He took them away from me in a way that will always leave me with a horrifying memory. I have to have an alarm in the house now just so I can sleep. 

I used to love to go out with my friends. I love to go to school. I love to do dance. He took all of those things away from me too. It's too hard for me to go out in public. I get scared and I get anxious. These are just ordinary things that anyone like me should be able to do, but I can't because he took them away from me. But there are some things that Jake Patterson can never take from me. He can't take my freedom. He thought that he could own me, but he was wrong. I was smarter. I watched his routine and I took back my freedom. I will always have my freedom and he will not. 

Jake Patterson can never take away my courage. He thought he could control me, but he couldn't. I feel like what he did is what a coward would do. I was brave and he was not. He can never take away my spirit. He thought that he could make me like him, but he was wrong. He can't ever change me or take away who I am. He can't stop me from being happy and moving forward with my life. I will go on to do great things in my life and he will not. 

Jake Patterson will never have any power over me. I feel like I have some power over him because I get to tell the judge what I think should happen to him. He stole my parents from me. He stole almost everything I loved from me. For 88 days, he tried to steal me and he didn't care who he hurt or who he killed to do that. He should stay locked up forever."

Prosecutors also played the 911 call Jayme's mother made just before Patterson shot and killed her.  In the tape, you can hear Jayme screaming in the background.   

Patterson also addressed the court, saying he "would do absolutely anything," to undo what he did. 

In explaining his reasoning for the sentence, Barron County Wisconsin Judge James Babler did not mince words. 

"You are the embodiment of evil, and the public can only be safe if you are incarcerated until you die," he said. 

Closs's aunt, Jennifer Smith, told the media that the family agreed with the sentence. 

"Today was a very important step in the process of helping Jayme to move forward. We are satisfied with the outcome and believe that it will give Jayme some much needed peace of mind," she said. 

WCCO Radio's Sloane Martin


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