‘No guilt, no remorse, no empathy.’ Criminal profilers say Jake Patterson case stands out

BARRON, Wis. – A Wisconsin is man accused of a combination of violent outbursts and predatory behavior that even some of the nation’s seasoned criminal profilers have never seen before.

Jake Patterson, who will be arraigned next month on charges of  killing James and Denise Closs with shotgun blasts and kidnapping Jayme, their 13-year-old daughter, is narcissistic but also a loner with a spotty work record, criminologists and violent crime experts say.

Investigators, profilers and researchers who have interviewed or studied killers with multiple victims believe Patterson’s case is unusual in several other respects: 

  • Patterson told detectives that he carefully plotted the crimes, yet he was impulsive in some of his actions and decisions.
  • While it was regarded as a crime against a stranger because Patterson, according to the complaint, had no relationship with the Closs family, it wasn’t completely random because he targeted Jayme after he saw her getting on a school bus near her Barron home weeks before attacking her family. 
  • Patterson unmercifully killed Jayme’s parents, prosecutors say, but he spared Jayme,  drove her away from the murder scene and held her captive for three months before she escaped.

“This is outside the norm,” said Gregg McCrary, a former FBI special agent who had a long association with the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime and was among the early criminal profilers.

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