A former U.S. Senate aide who killed himself last week after he was arrested on child pornography charges left a detailed suicide note explaining how he became compelled to view those repulsive scenes.
Ryan Loskarn's mother posted it online Tuesday, hoping it will restore her son's humanity in the midst of what she called a media frenzy. Loskarn, Sen. Lamar Alexander chief of staff until his arrest at his D.C. home, knows he has already been judged. The note is his attempt to be understood.
In the lengthy message to his friends, family and the public, Loskarn wrote of his spectacular fall and the inescapable shame, but he attempted to answer why he viewed those scenes.
“The first time I saw child pornography was during a search for music on a peer-to-peer network,” he wrote. “I wasn’t seeking it but I didn’t turn away when I saw it. Until that moment, the only place I’d seen these sorts of images was in my mind.
“This is my deepest, darkest secret.”
Loskarn said he was abused as a child and the images matched his abuse.
“The more an image mirrored some element of my memories and took me back, the more I felt a connection,” he wrote.
Loskarn said he was abused at age 5, but he did not give details. He said he thought he would get in trouble if he told.
“Discussing what had happened would have meant shame and blame,” he wrote.
As an adult, Loskarn learned to control the memories of his abuse, but his arrest and public shame unleashed them, he wrote.
“They’re the first thing I see when I wake and the last thing I think about before falling asleep,” he wrote.
The first time Loskarn spoke to a mental health professional and shared his secret was at the D.C. Jail after his arrest.
Loskarn said he intended to kill himself as soon as possible and fixated on carrying out his death for much of the past month.
He acknowledged that some will say his abuse story was contrived – “designed to find some defense for defenseless behavior.”
“I am sharing this with you because it is the truth, not an excuse, and I believe it played a role in my story,” he wrote.
He also apologized to the children in the images.
“I should have known better,” Loskarn wrote. “I perpetuated your abuse and that will be a burden on my soul for the rest of my life.”
Loskarn ended his life Thursday, when he hanged himself in his parents’ basement in Sykesville, Md.