Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods


"Some Wrong Things"

"Bed" where victims slept

"I did some wrong things," he later said of his first victim. "But I think she would have wound up dead someplace if she didn't spend time with me" (July 16, 2003, Post-Standard). Kirsten's family reported the girl missing the day after her abduction. They told police she was last seen on Friday, September 16 at home. Though they admitted that Kirsten had left home in the past, "her friends always knew where she was" (O.C.S.D. Case # 88-091286). What concerned her family was that Kirsten's friends had called the house asking if she was home. Over the next few weeks, cops interviewed friends and family for additional information on Kirsten's whereabouts. But investigators made little progress.

In late September, her family received a letter from Kirsten in her own handwriting in which she said that she missed her family and would be coming home by bus in October. She told them to place an ad in the classified section of the New York Post newspaper if they were not mad at her. Her family placed the ad with a phone number for Kirsten to call (O.C.S.D. Case # 88-091286). Months passed without any contact. Then in December, Kirsten left a message on a friend's answering machine saying that she was all right and would be returning home soon. From time to time, Kirsten would write letters, make phone calls and even sent an audio tape to her family. But the investigative trail soon grew cold and productive leads were non-existent. All the police could say was that Kirsten was alive, but they had no idea where she was. On one audio tape, Kirsten stated, "I can't wait to see you. I miss you!" But as she spoke, her family could hear her crying (O.C.S.D. Case # 88-091286).

In late 1990, Jamelske, for whatever reason, decided to release Kirsten. He blindfolded the girl, who by then was 17, and placed her in his car. In a bizarre twist, he had his son, Brian, drive him and the girl to the Syracuse airport. He allegedly told his son that Kirsten had a weight problem and that her parents had asked Jamelske to keep her at his home until she lost weight. When they reached the airport, the girl's blindfold was removed and together, they boarded a plane and flew to Lake Tahoe, Nevada. For one week, they toured the town and even visited a casino. After he gave her a flight ticket back to Syracuse, Kirsten returned to New York alone. She did not report what happened to her during the years of her disappearance and pretended to her family that she had simply run away. Because of her very young age, the girl was left frightened and confused for years afterwards. In the meantime, Jamelske went back to picking up garbage and searching for empty bottles along the highways of Onondaga County. But he was not satisfied that he apparently had gotten away with his first kidnapping.

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