Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Slavemaster

Karaoke

In one way, Meikka was unlike the other previous victims, because she was an African-American. The other girls were, in order of their abductions: Native American, Latino, Vietnamese and Caucasian. The odds were high that he had deliberately chosen five different ethnic origins. It did not seem possible that Jamelske randomly selected his victims. It was much more likely that he chose the woman based on their ethnic appearance, though Jamelske never addressed that issue during later interviews.

Jamelske seemed to exhibit a special liking for Meikka. Within a few weeks, he allowed her out of the dungeon and upstairs into his home. Though she could walk around freely, Jamelske had placed iron gratings on most of his windows from the inside. These gratings were actually refrigerator shelves which he turned sideways and fastened to the window frames. Though he allowed Meikka to also use his bathroom, sheets of plywood were installed over the windows. Even if she was in the bathroom alone, Meikka could not remove the plywood to escape. "The only thing that got me through this horrendous nightmare was my strong faith in God, praying every day that he would help me go home!" (July 16, 2003, Post-Standard). But still, the sexual assaults continued, every day, according to Meikka's statements to the police. She was forced to participate in sex videos and satisfy Jamelske's every fantasy. He took his Viagra drug habitually and was never satiated.

By April 2003, Meikka had built up a relationship with her tormenter that included some level of trust between them. He had actually taken her out of the house and into nearby towns to shop and at least on one occasion, to go bowling. Each time, Jamelske stayed close to her though, still fearful of what she might do. But slowly, Jamelske began to feel more comfortable with his prisoner in public.

On April 3, Jamelske took Meikka to Freddy's Bar and Grill in the village of Mattydale. It was a well-known neighborhood tavern that often featured karaoke, a show in which anyone from the audience could come up on stage, grab a microphone and sing. "They really stuck out like a sore thumb," later said a bar manager to the press. "They clearly were not a couple" (Fish and McAndrew). But Meikka signed on for the karaoke and soon, she was up on the stage singing for the audience. During the performance, Jamelske stood along side her. According to people in the bar, she appeared normal and no one guessed that she was a prisoner. Why she did not simply scream out for help while on stage is a question many people asked later on.

On the morning of April 8, 2003, Jamelske, like he had done on many other occasions, visited F & M Returnables, the bottle redemption center in the nearby village of Manlius. While he tended to business, Meikka convinced Jamelske to let her use the phone. She told him that she wanted to call a local church to check on the times of services. Instead, she called her sister and told her that she was being raped by Jamelske and held prisoner in his cellar.

Within minutes, the police arrived and located the unlikely couple at a nearby car dealership. "We had a lot of fun together," he first told police at the scene. "We had a lot in common" (Hampson). Jamelske was arrested and taken into custody. The slavemaster was finally a prisoner himself.

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