Patterson admitted in the letter, sent to a KARE 11 reporter and published in full by the network, that he did confess to the crimes on Jan. 10, the day Jayme escaped from his home in Gordon and officers arrested him just hours later.
“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,” he wrote. “[I] (wasn’t completely honest) so they didn’t have to interview Jayme. They did anyways [sic] and hurt her more for no reason.”
Asked what his plan is now, Patterson said, “Plead guilty.”
“I want Jayme and her relatives to know that. Don’t want them to worry about a trial,” he said.
Patterson said he planned to enter the guilty plea in a previous court appearance but was advised it wasn’t allowed so he plans to enter the plea on March 27 when he appears again in court.
Patterson said he is remorseful. “Huge amounts,” he said. “I can’t believe I did this.”
He also insisted that the murders and kidnapping were done “mostly on impulse” and that “no one knew,” including none of his family members.
When Patterson would have family members and friends over, he forced Jayme to hide under his bed, according to police. He would shove crates to block her in and place weights on top of the crates. He’d also turn music on so no one could hear her if she made noise.
Patterson said his dad would come to the home every Saturday at the same time; previous reports indicated that other relatives and friends went to the house, including for a gathering on Christmas Day.
Patterson would also force Jayme under the bed when he went out; the day she escaped, he went out for hours.
Patterson concluded with an apology. “No one will believe or can even imagine how sorry I am for hurting Jayme this much. Can’t express it,” he said. “I’m Sorry Jayme! For everything. I know it doesn’t mean much.”
While the letter featured new information from the alleged kidnapper, Patterson stayed vague when asked about a motive. Dr. Michael Thompson, an expert with years of experience giving psychological evaluations for courts, told KARE 11 that wasn’t surprising.
“Offenders like this are usually quite secretive as to their reasons why,” Thompson said. “He’s afraid people won’t understand. And many people won’t.”
Thompson said it’s impossible that Patterson didn’t plan the murder and kidnapping.
The impact of the letter on sentencing wasn’t clear; recently, experts indicated that Patterson likely wouldn’t be able to use an insanity defense.
“This crime is so despicable it’s almost impossible for an insanity defense to work here,” Jack Levin, a longtime criminologist and a professor emeritus at Northeastern University in Boston and co-director of the university’s Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict, told the Appleton Post-Crescent.
The confession that police outlined in a report described Patterson spending time planning the abduction after spotting Jayme boarding a school bus. He attempted the kidnapping twice before finally going through with it.
Defendants who try for the insanity defense have to convince a jury that they were suffering from mental illness at the time of the crime and try to prove that the illness prevented them from obeying the law.
Greg O’Meara, a former Milwaukee County prosecutor who worked on the case against serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who tried and failed to use the insanity defense, said that Patterson didn’t appear to be insane.
“You don’t win these cases very often,” he said. “The degree of planning shows (Patterson) in control.”