A man who murdered a couple so he could kidnap their 13-year-old daughter had an evil plan to capture more girls and torture them with "mind games".
Jake Patterson's ultimate fantasy was to keep a young girl prisoner, torture and control her.
On October 15 last year, he turned that into reality when he blasted into the family home of James and Denise Closs, murdered them, and abducted their 13-year-old daughter from Barron, Wisconsin in the US.
For the next three months, Patterson, 21, kept Jayme under his bed in a remote cabin, about 120kms away. After 88 days in captivity, Jayme escaped. Within minutes, Patterson was arrested, and soon became the prisoner.
It's a role he'll continue until he dies after he was today sentenced to life behind bars without parole for abducting Jayme and killing her parents.
Barron County Circuit Court Judge James Babler said Patterson's crimes were "the most heinous and dangerous" he had seen in his entire career and described the killer as the "embodiment of evil".
The judge told the court that Patterson had written "shocking" notes in his jail cell "about keeping a young girl, torturing her and controlling her".
He said Patterson's fantasies had morphed into an actual plot to kidnap a girl and that he remained a danger to society.
The judge summarised the writings shortly before he handed down Patterson's sentence.
"I started having bad thoughts all the time — fantasies of keeping a young girl prisoner, torturing her and totally controlling her," the judge said Patterson wrote.
"At first, I fought them. I had no reason to live and doing this was the only thing I wanted, but I was Christian."
Judge Babler said Patterson had written that his "fear of hell" prevented him from acting on his fantasies until he stopped believing in God.
"After a while … I stopped fighting my fantasies. I thought about it every day," the court heard Patterson wrote.
In the statement, Patterson went on to describe driving around, looking for a random girl to kidnap. He eventually concluded his best option was to carry out a home invasion at night. He grappled with whether he'd kill witnesses, but ultimately decided "it wasn't a moral problem".
"I knew if I killed them, it would bring a lot more attention," the judge quoted him as saying. "But if I let them live, there would be good witnesses. I finally decided it didn't matter how much attention it got if I left no evidence or witnesses. If they sent 1,000 FBI agents if they had nothing to go on."
Patterson reportedly said he "planned on taking multiple girls and killing multiple families." He said he wanted to "play mind games with them" by treating them differently and "also just wanted to scare people".
"I hated everyone but no one in particular," the court heard Patterson said.
"Everyone I know I actually liked but I hated society as a whole. I didn't care if I died if I could get away with having a girl for a week, it was worth dying for. When I saw Jayme, I instantly thought she would be a good target. Actually, mostly, it was she was the first girl I saw once I had those ideas in my head."
Mr Babler said Patterson was "one of the most dangerous men to walk on this planet" and that the community wouldn't be safe unless he died in jail.
Patterson pleaded guilty in March to kidnapping Jayme and killing her parents James.
In a brief statement to the court during his sentencing on Friday local time, Patterson said he "would do absolutely anything to take back what I did".
"I would die to bring them back, I don't care about me, I'm just so sorry," he said through tears. The judge responded by explaining to the killer that there was a difference between regret and remorse.
"Regret means you're sorry you got caught," he said.
"Remorse means you have empathy for the victims.
"I have no doubt you have regret but doubt you have remorse."
In his sentencing submissions, County District lawyer Brian Wright said Patterson was "thinking about kidnapping a girl for several months and just waiting for the right opportunity" before he set his sights on the Closs family.
He described Patterson as a "cold-blooded killer who traumatised a 13-year-old girl for 88 days". He also expressed concern that Patterson would never stop trying to find and possibly kill Jayme if he was released from prison.
"He brutally murdered James and Denise because they stood in the way of his getting away with kidnapping the girl he saw getting out of school bus — a girl whose name he didn't even know when he kidnapped her," Mr Wright said.
According to the District Attorney, Patterson's previous assertion that he was a "good person" makes him "extremely dangerous".
Public defender Charles Glynn told the court that Patterson had been interviewed by a psychologist, who found no diagnosable mental illness.
According to fellow defence lawyer Richard Jones, Patterson "severely overreacted to his loneliness and resulting disconnection from most people due to self-imposed isolating behaviours," that expert concluded. "His criminal actions were a desperate attempt to inject some meaning into his life and give him a reason to live, without regard to the harm it would cause others," Mr Jones said.
TEEN'S 'HORRIFYING MEMORY'
Lawyer Chris Gramstrup delivered a victim impact statement on behalf of Jayme at Patterson's sentencing hearing.
In her statement, the teen, who didn't appear in court, described the night her parents were killed as a "horrifying memory" that has left her too scared to go out in public and unable to return home.
"There are some things that Jake Patterson can never take from me," she said.
"He can't take my freedom. He thought he could own me and 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."
Jayme wrote that Patterson "tried to steal me" and that "he didn't care who he hurt or who he locked up to do that".
NIGHT OF TERROR
It couldn't have happened in a more unlikely setting.
A modest, two-storey house with a side deck, and a manicured lawn: the scene of bloodshed and sheer horror just a few months ago.
The Closs family's former home is nestled among leafy surrounds a few metres off the US 8 highway in the tiny town of Barron, in the midwest state of Wisconsin, US.
"Welcome to Barron, population 3423," a sign just a few metres up the road reads.
It's the type of place where American flags flutter in the wind outside homes next to barns on open fields.
It's also where Jayme lived a happy — albeit ordinary — life with her parents James and Denise until a man pulled up in their driveway armed with a shotgun and blasted his way into the home, just after midnight on October 15 last year.
Patterson didn't know the Closs family. But he was there to execute a carefully crafted plan to murder Jayme's parents so he could abduct the teen.
Unbeknown to the family at the time, he had visited their home twice after having watched Jayme board a school bus while he was on the way to work at a cheese factory weeks earlier. It was in that moment he decided "she was the girl I was going to take", according to a criminal complaint. On the first two occasions, he was scared off by lights and movement from within the house. But on his third visit in the early hours of a dark but clear Monday morning, he set his plans into motion.
He dressed himself in black clothing, took his father's shotgun, a knife, face mask and tape, and drove his car — which he had earlier fitted with stolen license plates — up the Closs' driveway. The Closs family dog, Molly, started barking and woke Jayme. She noticed the car outside and alerted her parents.
As her father approached the front door, Patterson opened fire on him through a glass panel, fatally shooting him in the neck and head, before charging into the home. Jayme and her mother sought refuge in the bathroom. They were huddled in the bath together with the shower curtain pulled shut when Patterson burst in.
Denise told him she had called 911 and that police were on the way. Patterson ordered her to tape her daughter's mouth shut then executed Denise at point blank range in front of her only child. He then bound and gagged Jayme, before dragging her through her father's blood and bundling her into the boot of his car. As they sped away, she could hear police sirens blaring while authorities raced towards her house.
When officers arrived at the property just four minutes later, they found the slain bodies of Denise and James at the front door and in the bathroom, respectively. But there was no sign of Jayme. At the time, authorities said it had happened so quickly it was as if the teen had vanished into thin air. Patterson later told police he shaved his head and face prior to the attack to avoid leaving forensic evidence.
'I'M JAYME CLOSS'
Patterson held Jayme captive for the next 88 days in a remote cabin, about 120kms away in his hometown of Gordon.
During Jayme's time in captivity, her abductor forced her to hide under a bed when he had friends over and barricaded her in with boxes, bins and weights, warning that if she moved, "bad things could happen to her". He sometimes left her there for as long as 12 hours without food, water or bathroom breaks. He also turned up the radio so visitors couldn't hear her, according to documents tendered to court. On one occasion, he hit the child with a window blind cleaner.
Meanwhile, hundreds of volunteers — a large proportion of Barron's 3400 residents among them — combed corn fields and woodland searching for Jayme as giant billboards on highways and trucks carried posters of her face.
But there were no clues to her whereabouts or who had taken her and killed her parents in cold blood.
That was until Patterson left the property for a few hours and Jayme saw an opportunity to escape. She crawled out from under the bed, put on a pair of her captor's trainers and made a run for it on January 10 this year. She then flagged down Jeanne Nutter, who was out walking a dog, and pleaded for help.
"I'm Jayme Closs," Ms Nutter, a child protection worker, recalled the girl saying.
"I don't know where I am," she continued. "Please help, I want to go home."
Ms Nutter took Jayme to a nearby house and called police. Patterson was arrested in his car minutes later. He told authorities he had been out searching for Jayme when he was pulled over. He then told police "I did it" and confessed to the murders of Jayme's parents and her abduction.
'I DON'T THINK LIKE A SERIAL KILLER'
As part of a plea deal, he didn't face additional charges from Douglas County where he held Jayme prisoner. As a result, most of the details surrounding what happened to her in that time, have not been heard in court. At the plea hearing, Patterson uttered "Bye Jayme" as he was led away by court officials even though she wasn't in attendance.
He later explained his decision to refuse his right to a trial by jury or judge in a bizarre letter sent to a Minneapolis TV station in which he stated he didn't want the Closs family "to worry about a trial".
"I can't believe I did this," he wrote.
"The cops say I planned this thoroughly, and that I said that … straight up lie. This was mostly on impulse.
"I don't think like a serial killer.
"At the time I was really pissed. I didn't 'want' to. The reason I did this is complicated."
Patterson grew up in the cabin where he held Jayme. He wrote in his high school yearbook of plans to join the Marines after graduation, but he was kicked out barely a month after joining up.
He struggled to hold down a job after that, working just a single day at a turkey plant in Barron in 2016 before quitting.
Jayme's parents worked at the same turkey plant, but there's nothing to indicate they knew Patterson.
The day Jayme escaped, Patterson had applied online for a job at a liquor store with a resume that misrepresented his experience.
In a rare public appearance last week, Jayme was honoured by state politicians as a "hometown hero". The teen appeared with family members and friends to accept the award in the Assembly chamber. Her aunt, Jen Smith, accepted the award on her niece's behalf. She said Jayme's bravery and spirit were inspiring. Jayme stood behind her aunt but didn't speak.
It was a sentiment Ms Smith echoed again today after Patterson was sentenced.
Outside the courtroom, she said Jayme had made a lot of "progress", and was incredibly grateful for the community's support.