A new television documentary about Jayme Closs’ abduction and escape promises to reveal “new details” and include “exclusive interviews” with key players.
The Lifetime network recently announced plans to air the 90-minute documentary about the ordeal involving the 13-year-old girl from rural Barron later this month.
“Smart Justice: The Jayme Closs Case” is scheduled to premiere at 7 p.m. April 27 on Lifetime, which is promoting the show as part of its commitment to share important women’s stories.
“This is the incredible survival story that riveted the nation,” Lifetime said in a news release. “13-year-old Jayme Closs, kidnapped from her home in Wisconsin, after watching her mother and father murdered before her eyes.”
The network indicated that the documentary will feature missing-persons advocate Elizabeth Smart’s interviews with people involved with Jayme’s case. The show also will include Smart holding a roundtable discussion with six other well-known abduction victims — Gina DeJesus, Katie Beers, Kara Robinson Chamberlin, Alicia Kozakiewicz, Denise Huskins and Sarah Maynard — to attempt to provide insight into Jayme’s story.
Smart, who was abducted at age 14 from her Salt Lake City bedroom in 2002 and held captive for nine months before being rescued by authorities in a case that attracted worldwide attention, spoke March 15 to more than 1,000 people in the Barron High School gym. In her speech, Smart shared details of her story, explained how she struggled with all of the publicity given to her case and advised community members to give Jayme space as she adjusts to being home again.
During her speech, Smart acknowledged she had been in town for a few days, but didn’t elaborate on why she had arrived early or who she met with during her stay.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald wouldn’t comment on who Smart met with during her visit, and declined to say if Smart met with Jayme.
Jayme is now living with her aunt and guardian, Jennifer Smith, who told the Star Tribune in Minneapolis that the teenager did not participate in the Lifetime documentary.
Jayme was kidnapped Oct. 15 from her parents’ house just outside Barron and held for 88 days in a cabin in the Douglas County town of Gordon before escaping Jan. 10 while her abductor was away.
Jake T. Patterson, 21, of Gordon pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the shooting deaths of Jayme’s parents, James and Denise Closs, and one count of kidnapping the teen.
Patterson faces up to life in prison for each of the homicides and up to 40 years in prison for the kidnapping when he is sentenced May 24.
Patterson told authorities that he was driving on Highway 8 when he saw Jayme for the first time as she was getting on a school bus. The criminal complaint indicated he instantly decided he wanted to kidnap her, although he had no ties to the Closs family.