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Master of the sex slave dungeon; PERVERT CHAINED UP FIVE WOMEN.

Byline: LEE BROWN in NEW YORK

A PENSIONER yesterday admitted keeping five women chained to walls as sex slaves in an underground dungeon.

Over 15 years retired handyman John Jamelske, 68, cruelly abused a string of captives aged 13 to 53, photographing them manacled and forcing them to detail their suffering in diaries.

Each came from a different ethnic background. All were imprisoned in a stinking bunker made up of two 12ft square rooms with eight foot ceilings, a small tub, a bucket for a toilet and a mattress on the floor.

One child victim was held for two years. A mother of two claimed she was raped every day.

Fears that Jamelske kidnapped other unknown women were fuelled by photos, writings, and the discovery in his garden of suspected burial plots.

There was also a 10ft crucifix, draped in chains and topped by the replica of a human skull, that resembled a torture device.

No bodies were found. Police said: "We don't know how many women were taken. Some may have died there. Some may have killed themselves."

District Attorney William Fitzpatrick added: "Jamelske so devalued human life, the women weren't people to him. They were objects."

Warped Jamelske - who dressed like a teenager in hooded sweatshirt, ripped jeans and trainers - faces life jail. He is said to be "full of remorse".

He was arrested after his last victim, a girl of 16, sneaked a phone call to her sister while out with her captor on an errand. The call led police to Jamelske's ranch-style house behind 20ft evergreens in the small town of De Witt, outside New York.

There detectives uncovered his gruesome, combination-locked chamber decked with photos of numerous women chained to the walls.

Calling it an "extremely frightening place", prosecutors said it reeked of urine and was so dark with the lights off victims could not see their hands in front of their face.

Splashed in red and black spray paint across the walls were the words "HATE", "Wall of Thugs", "Ready to Rucuss, so bring on the pain" and "Francheska waz here". Assistant prosecutor Rick Trunfio said: "The women thought they'd die."

Jamelske's victims were black, white, Asian, Hispanic and American-Indian, leading investigators to believe that the pensioner was ticking off a twisted "collection".

Mr Fitzpatrick said: "The odds of randomly selecting five women over 15 years who all have different ethnic backgrounds are astronomical. These were specific women that he stalked and targeted."

Jamelske is also believed to have chosen victims who, for various reasons, would not be believed when they reported their abduction. Two had histories of running away. A third was a drug user.

The pensioner abducted a girl of 14 in 1988, a girl of 13 in 1995, a woman of 53 held for nine months in 1997, a woman of 26 held for two months in 2001 and a girl of 16 held for six months in 2002.

The 26-year-old said: "I had to have sex with him every day. He said that was part of the ritual. The only reason I didn't kill him was because I knew I wouldn't be able to get out."

She claimed she yelled and pounded on the walls "until my hands were raw". During her captivity she heard screams from a basement leading to fears other victims were locked away.

Eerily, as the women's screams could have been heard in Jamelske's main house, police believe his wife Dorothy would have been aware of what was going on. She died of cancer in 1999.

Yesterday Jamelske stared ahead at Onondaga County Court giving only one-word answers as he admitted five counts of first degree kidnapping.

Under a plea bargaining deal he was not accused of rape. But he could still be jailed for 18 years to life when he is sentenced next month.

Defence lawyer Michael Forsyth, asked if Jamelske knew what he had done was wrong, said: "It took a while for him to realise that. Over the past few weeks he's been stricken with remorse."

Wealthy Jamelske, who made his money shipping bottles and cans, is a mystery. Sheriff Kevin Walsh said: "He looks like a 68-year-old man who wants to be a teenager. He even struts like a teenager."

CAPTION(S):

PROBE: Police tape marks off Jamelske's garden; HELLISH; A filthy mattress, chair, crate and bucket in one of the two graffiti-daubed rooms forming the sinister underground cell; STINKING; A stained tub, box and crude portable toilet in the second room where kidnapped victims were held for up to two years; ACCUSED: Kidnapper Jamelske in court
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 12, 2003
Words:765
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