Before Monday night, the public essentially knew two things about Jesse Ryan Loskarn: The former Republican aide had been arrested for possession of child pornography and had committed suicide last week. That night, however, a letter purporting to be his suicide note and claiming that he was sexually abused as a child was posted online, apparently by family members.
“I found myself drawn to videos that matched my own childhood abuse,” reads the note, which appears on the Web site JesseRyanLoskarnsLastMessage.com. “I pictured myself as a child in the image or video. The more an image mirrored some element of my memories and took me back, the more I felt a connection.”
Loskarn, 35, had been the chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) before federal agents arrested him Dec. 11. Alexander fired him that day.
“The news coverage of my spectacular fall makes it impossible for me to crawl in a hole and disappear,” the letter states. “I’ve hurt every single human being I’ve ever known and the details of my shame are preserved on the internet for all time.”
The letter asserts that Loskarn, at first, didn’t bother explaining his past even to a counselor at the D.C. jail, saying: “I didn’t think it mattered because I intended to kill myself as soon as possible.”
The letter continues: “I’m sharing this with you because it is the truth, not an excuse. And I believe it played a role in my story.”
Loskarn had been known as a rising figure on Capitol Hill and had a reputation among peers and journalists as being upbeat, funny and personable. An anonymous note, which Politico reports was written by Loskarn’s mother, accompanies and serves as a preface to the letter. It chides the “media frenzy” with the apparent “goal of destroying [Loskarn’s] reputation beyond repair.”
“Our society is quick to judge,” the note says, “especially when the topic surrounding his death is so difficult.”