Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods


"You Are the Sickest Man I've Ever Known!"

Jamelske in chains
Jamelske in chains

On July 14, 2003, Jamelske appeared in Onondaga County Court to face sentencing. In a packed courtroom, filled to the rafters with the families of the victims, law enforcement officials and dozens of reporters from print media and television networks, Jamelske was brought in by county officers. He appeared to be the same frail-looking, harmless man to those that knew him, an unlikely "slavemaster" if there ever was one.

District Attorney William J. Fitzpatrick read the victims' statements into the court record. The first victim, whose real name remains confidential, said she still felt the pain of being held as a sex slave in Jamelske's medieval dungeons. "The threats and intimidation... left her with great fears and anxiety that have impacted and directed her life for the many years that followed," Fitzpatrick told the court (July 16, 2003, Post-Standard).

"I am haunted every moment, even in sleep, by the thought of my months with Mr. Jamelske," Kirsten wrote in a statement. "The cold, dampness, darkness and loneliness. I will never forget the constant hunger, thirst and fatigue. The thought of death... I cannot speak of the terrible things he did to my body and made me do to his... When I think of the things I have had to do just to stay alive, I cannot believe I am still here!" (Post-Standard).

Onondaga County Court
Onondaga County Court

Judge Anthony Aloi, like most of the public, was outraged at the defendant and struck by his apparent indifferent attitude. "You are a sick coward," the judge remarked. "You're an evil man. You're a kidnapper and a rapist...your reign of terror is over!" (Jacobs). The judge sentenced Jamelske to serve 18 years to life in a New York State prison. In all likelihood, he will probably die in jail. Throughout the proceeding, Jamelske stood by the defense table, emotionless and apparently unmoved by the sentence. When he was asked if he had anything to say, Jamelske addressed the court.

"I'm just truly sorry for what I did," he said. "I've had a lot of time to think about it and I'm just sorry for what I did and how it's affected everyone and God bless all of them!" (O'Hara). Jamelske was taken from the court and immediately transported to the Onondaga County jail across the street from the courthouse. Later, he was transferred to upstate Clinton Prison, better known as Dannemora, the end of the road for New York's worst criminals.

Jamelske's attorney
Jamelske's attorney

Part of the plea agreement was that Jamelske's assets would be sold off and the proceeds divided among the five victims. Though press accounts estimated his worth as one to two million dollars, the final amount could not be accurately obtained for this article. The victims have tried to return to a normal life but it has not been easy. Two, Jennifer and Kirsten appeared on the Larry King Live show (August 14, 2004) to discuss their captivity. Others have been interviewed by the media on several occasions. As for Jamelske, he remains an enigma.

"I've always said, you know, I'm unorthodox. And I've said to hundreds of people, I'm a little bit crazy," he told a reporter (July 16, 2003, O'Hara). But throughout all his later interviews with the press and law enforcement, Jamelske seemed truly clueless to the seriousness of his crimes. He insisted that he never meant to hurt any of the women who he held prisoner and even claimed they were better for the experience. He expressed concern about the way he was portrayed in the media. Jamelske said that his depiction as an evil man was not accurate and gave people a false impression of who he was. When he was a child he said, he was friendly towards the girls at school.

"I was the nicest little boy that you could ever think of," he said (July 17, 2003, O'Hara).

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