In Washington especially, secrets can be deep, dark and kept under wraps for decades if not lifetimes. As a flack on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill for many years culminating in a Chief of Staff position for Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Ryan Loskarn knew this better than most. Most political aides keep secrets — big, small and everything in between — for their bosses. Loskarn would not fully comprehend the weight of the media until his own secrets came to light.
In his final note before committing suicide, Loskarn, who was arrested in December on charges of child pornography possession and distribution, expressed the incomprehensible “terrifying” weight of his own memories and effects that the media’s disclosure of his secrets had on him. He wrote, ”The news coverage of my spectacular fall makes it impossible for me to crawl in a hole and disappear. 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. There is no escape.”
He discussed something few in Washington would brave: Telling what he refers to as his “deepest, darkest secret.” He wrote, “I found myself drawn to videos that matched my own childhood abuse. It’s painful and humiliating to admit to myself, let alone the whole world, but 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. This is my deepest, darkest secret.”
In a poignant letter he comes clean about sexual abuse he endured as a 5-year-old. He told three friends, clergy, psychiatrists — psychiatrists he encountered on suicide watch at the D.C. jail just weeks before he ended his own life. Nothing was enough to save him from the path that ultimately led to his death.
Read the full, heartbreaking letter here.