True Crime

Jayme Closs Case – The MOST Terrifying Killer

Jayme Closs: Abduction to Escape and Survival

On October 15, 2018, 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson abducted 13-year-old Jayme Lynn Closs from her family’s home in Barron, Wisconsin

Even though it’s true, if you were to make a movie out of this case, the viewers wouldn’t really believe it because the perpetrator in this case has no motive and has no history of committing any crimes. I think he had a parking ticket, and he targets a child, which, I mean, putting that all together, you don’t see that. That is not a popular archetype for a movie. The idea that there are just these random perpetrators out there just targeting random children and harming them and their families. There has to be a motive, especially when it comes to children being involved, there has to be a motive, and in this case, there really wasn’t.

Even the perpetrator, when he was in prison, he wrote a letter to Jayme Closs and her surviving family members where he kind of tried to explain why he did it. But even he didn’t have strong enough language to communicate what it was. He made it seem like it was pretty complicated, and even he didn’t know. He just said, “Hey, look, I’m not a serial killer. I just had to do this, and I don’t really know why.” So it’s just one of the more disturbing cases when you go into it knowing that this whole thing was perpetrated by someone who had no criminal history. He had no connection to the victims, except that he randomly had a chance encounter with one of them, and it just kind of happened. It’s just one of those horrible things that even now, no one really understands, including the killer himself.

So let’s dive into it. In 2018, 21-year-old Jake Patterson is on his way to work at a cheese factory in Wisconsin. He’d only been working there for a couple of days. This is like his third day on the job. You know, he’s this kind of typical guy leading a typical life in Wisconsin.

Jake Patterson (right) with mother Deborah (center) in 2015 and sister Katie (left) - <yoastmark class=

And he’s driving his Ford Taurus. He comes to a stop behind a school bus where middle school kids are getting on the bus, and he’s sitting there, and he looks up and he sees for the first time in his life a blonde-haired green-eyed girl who ended up being 13-year-old Jayme Closs.

 - Jayme Closs Case
– Jayme Closs Case

And as he’s sitting there because this all came out in a very lengthy confession, so we have lots of details about this case, as he’s sitting there watching Jayme Closs, who again, he doesn’t know, get on the bus, he has this realization that she is going to be the girl that he takes. He actually says that sitting behind the wheel, he’s like, “I realize right then and there that she’s the one I’m gonna take.”

And so, a guy with no criminal history, he’s sitting there coming up with this plan of how he’s gonna abduct this girl. And it would come out later in his confession, which again was very lengthy, that he put a ton of effort into planning out this abduction. So let’s talk about Jake’s plan. He takes his father’s Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, which is a very commonly purchased weapon. He assumed that because it is so widely purchased, it would be hard to track. Okay, so he takes his gun, takes a couple of slugs, so he’s got his weapon. Then he goes and purchases a balaclava, so a mask, a whole head mask from Walmart.

He shaves his head, shaves his beard so that there wouldn’t be any hairs, you know, for forensic evidence at the crime scene. This is all so premeditated. He went out and purchased gloves and wiped his gloves so they wouldn’t have prints on them. He purchased steel-toed boots and dark jeans and a dark jacket. In the car, he was going to use because, again, he plans on abducting Jayme Closs, and he knew he was going to be keeping her in the trunk.

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He cut the cord inside of his vehicle. It was the when you press this button inside the car, it would open the trunk, basically. He didn’t want any access to the trunk unless he had the key, so he cuts that cord. He disconnected the dome light inside of his Taurus, his Ford Taurus, to try to better conceal him when he’s in the car.

I mean, this guy, he’s really thinking hard about how he’s going to do this. He knew he was going to go in that house, he’s going to take Jayme Closs, and he had his big plan, right? Two separate times, Jake tried unsuccessfully to abduct Jaime. He drove to their house the first time, and there were cars in the driveway, so he got spooked and he leaves. He comes back, and he’s about to drive up the driveway when lights come on, so he leaves again.

But on October 15, 2018, he was unfortunately, he was successful. It was around midnight when Jake Patterson rolls into the Close family’s driveway. The lights in his car are off, the headlights are off, and he rolls into the driveway. Inside of this very modest home, Jayme Closs was sleeping with her dog Molly, and Molly hears the car pull into the driveway and starts barking, wakes up Jamie. Jamie looks out; she sees a car she doesn’t recognize. It’s the middle of the night, and she runs to her parents’ room and alerts her parents.

Jamie’s Father, James, he goes to the front door with a flashlight. Meanwhile, Denise, that’s Jamie’s mother, and Jamie retreat into the bathroom where they shut the door. They sensed that this was potentially going to be a home invasion, and certainly, they were right. So they actually barricade the door with a dresser that was in there, and they get in the tub and they shut the curtains. James is at the front door, and he watches Jake Patterson get out of his car, calmly walk up the steps to the front door.

James, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, (above) were found shot dead inside
James, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, (above) were found shot dead inside

And at this time, James is thinking that perhaps this is the police. And so when Jake arrives at the door and starts banging on the door, James shines his light out through the window, kind of gets a peek at him, then moves over to the door itself where there’s this little tiny window on the door. He looks through, shining the light, and he says, “Show me your badge.” And unfortunately, it was at the same time that Jake raises his shotgun and pulls the trigger, shoots right through the glass, hits James, and James dies immediately.

Back in the bathroom, Jayme Closs would later say that when she heard that shotgun blast, that she knew that her father was dead. And I think Denise, her mother, knew that as well because immediately Denise picks up her phone and calls 9-1-1. As she’s talking to the dispatcher, who said that there were no police in the area, so further confirming that this was definitely not the police because they didn’t see that interaction at the door; they just heard it.

Jake at the front door is trying to bust in the door; he can’t do it. So he takes a shotgun, ejects a spent round, and then puts a slug through the doorknob, making it come wide open. He pushes it open, steps over the body of James, and begins to search the house. The house is empty; every door is open except one, and it’s the bathroom door where Denise and Jayme Closs are hiding in the bathroom.

Jake begins to try to push the door open; he can’t do it. And finally, he just starts trying to smash the door in, and after 10, 15 blows, he actually managed to split the top half of the door open because the dresser was blocking the lower half. He goes into the bathroom, and he rips down the shower curtain, and there is Denise bear-hugging and protecting her daughter Jamie in the tub.

Jake hands duct tape to the mother Denise and tells her to put duct tape over the mouth and the hands of her daughter. She refuses; she’s protecting her daughter. Jake sets his shotgun down, pushes Denise aside, and does it himself. And then after getting Jamie out of the tub, he picks up his shotgun again, aims it at the mother, turns his head, and he pulls the trigger, and he kills the mother.

Picks up Jamie; she’s only about, you know, five feet, a hundred pounds, and he drags her out to his car, opens up the trunk of his Taurus, puts her in, shuts it, and he’s on his way. He was in the house for a total of four minutes. He would say in his confession, Jake, that as he’s driving away, about 20 seconds after departing the house, he saw all the cop cars coming down the road. And actually, police officers would say they remembered a Taurus yielding to the police cruisers as they came.

Men, he makes his way around them, and off he goes. And Jamie would say she remembers hearing the sirens and then they fade as they disappear. Jake would drive 70 miles to his house where he would keep Jamie prisoner for the next three months. Investigators, the local population, everybody is looking for Jamie, and at the same time, I mean, people didn’t have high hopes for her safe return.

I mean, in the vast majority of cases like these where a child’s been abducted, unfortunately, they usually don’t get home safe, and so the whole community is just devastated. This is gaining national attention; everybody’s looking for Jamie, and they can’t find her. The whole time she was being held 70 miles away in Jake Patterson’s cluttered kind of crummy house that was out in the middle of the woods.

When they got to his house, he burned her clothes and his gloves and the duct tape. He gave her his sister’s pajamas, and then he had her go under the bed, this bed he had in the house, and he barricaded her underneath the bed. And so she had a pillow and a blanket, and she was just underneath this bed, and that was it. She basically was ignored.

I mean, her captor, Jake Patterson, he puts her under the bed, and he warns her, you know, if you leave or try to escape, you know, bad things are going to happen to you. And because she did witness him kill her parents, she knows he’s capable of that, and he knows that she knows that he’s capable of that, so he had this stranglehold on her where he basically just said, “You’re staying under the bed, and don’t you dare leave,” and she listened. And frankly, you can’t blame her, right?

Um, you know, and so she would go stretches of 8, 10, 12 hours of laying under the bed with no food, no water, no bathroom breaks. But ultimately, she was just kind of ignored; there wasn’t really a plan for, you know, what was going to happen when she got to the house; he just kind of neglected her.

After two weeks where he was really on guard, and he told her that he was keeping a shotgun right outside her door in case anything went down with the police, when no one came looking for them or when no one arrived at the place, he felt very confidently that he had gotten away with his crimes to the point where he actually, Jamie would say, he started having guests over, you know, he had friends over, and he just told her, “Stay in the room, don’t come out.”

And so for 87 days, that’s how it was. She just was neglected; this poor girl was underneath this bed, you know, just wondering what the heck’s gonna happen with obviously no time to grieve over the loss of her parents.

Mr. Patterson, he really didn’t leave the house, and when he did, I think he left one time to visit a grandparent, and he was very aggressive in warning her that he would hurt her if she tried to leave. But for the most part, you know, he didn’t leave the house.

But you could tell in looking at this case that he became fairly confident that he was just going to get away with this. And so he actually applied for a job, and he left one morning to go to the interview. And it’s kind of funny, in a dark way, he wrote on his, uh, what did he write on his, uh, on his application that he’s an honest, hard-working guy, and under skills, he said he doesn’t have much work experience, but he shows up to work and is a quick learner.

And so here he goes, he goes out to just get a job and go back to normal. And when he left that morning, Jayme Closs, who’s under the bed, is just, she’s done; she’s not going to be a captive anymore. And as soon as he leaves, she pushes aside the barricade of, you know, there’s some weights that were there and a dresser. She pushes it all aside; she runs out; she puts on his shoes, which are too big for her, she puts them on the wrong feet and she runs out the door.

She doesn’t know where she is; she doesn’t know anything, but she’s gone. A woman was walking her dog around 4 P.M.; her name was Jeanne Nutter, and she sees this girl, this teenager who doesn’t have a coat on, she doesn’t have gloves on. It’s bitterly cold; they’re in the middle of Wisconsin in the wintertime, and she sees her coming towards her.

Jeanne Nutter, pictured Friday, was walking her dog near the cabin she owns with her husband Forrest when she found <yoastmark class=

She can tell kind of instinctively that something’s wrong. Okay, this is not just some nice kid coming down the road; there’s an issue here. And as she got closer, and the girl said, “I’m lost; I need help. My name is Jamie,” the woman Jeannie said that she immediately knew who it was. She lived in the area, and she had seen the posters up for Jamie; she knew exactly who she was. She gave her a big hug and held her and said, “You know, I’ve got you; I’m going to take care of you.”

So holding her closely, she brings her to a nearby neighbor’s house. She said, “This is Jayme Closs; we have to call the police.” They go in there, and the homeowners got their weapons out, and they guarded the door, and they huddled around Jamie while Jeannie called the police.

The police just didn’t even know what to do; they were so shocked that they had found Jayme that it actually took a minute for them to recognize what they were saying and how urgent it was that you come here right now because at some point, her captor who can’t be that far away is going to recognize that she’s not there anymore. And so they send the police, and, you know, luckily Jamie’s brought in and is saved, um, you know, certainly not from the emotional toll, but she’s physically safe.

Jake comes home from his big job interview, and, um, he sees that Jamie’s gone, and he sees footsteps leaving his property in the snow. And he goes out looking for her, and, you know, just because this is the way things go sometimes, he was immediately rounded up by the police; they found his car, they found him.

And as soon as he was pulled over, he didn’t resist; in fact, he immediately identified himself and said that he did it. Jake Patterson was given a life sentence without the opportunity for parole, so he will die in prison. But to this day, no one really understands how this could have happened.

And going back to what I said at the beginning, cases like this don’t happen. There’s always some reason for a crime such as this; we can’t, as human beings, accept that some stranger has the ability to randomly target a child and go as far as to kill their parents in front of them and hold them hostage when they have no criminal history, there’s no red flags, it just—he happened to see her getting on a bus, and that was all he needed. I mean, how could that possibly be the case? But in this unfortunate case, it just is.

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