Fred Knadler, Valley Businessman, Arrested in Plot to Kill Estranged Wife
Things didn't quite work out as planned -- a man he enlisted to help carry out the alleged murderous plot told police what Knadler was up to.
Knadler, 74, now faces a conspiracy charge.
According to court records obtained by New Times, on Saturday, Knadler contacted one of his employees and told him he wanted to meet with him about an "issue" that could potentially make him some money.
The employee later told police he had "strange feeling" that Knadler was going to ask him to kill his wife, Libby Knadler, so he brought a tape recorder with him to the meeting.
The two men met at a bank near the intersection of 7th Street and Thunderbird Road. Knadler got into the employees truck and the two got down to business -- as the tape recorder rolled.
Knadler told the employee he needed him to help him get rid of his wife's 2006 Lexus -- he told the employee he needed to remove the GPS device in the car and to leave the vehicle somewhere where it would be stolen and never recovered.
Knadler also told the employee he needed him to dig a 12-14 foot hole in the desert, and that Knadler would give him something wrapped in a sheet, or in plastic, that he was to bury in the hole.
As for compensation, Knadler promised the employee $10,000 for his help, and $10,000 a year after that to keep his mouth shut.
Knadler stands to lose millions in his divorce, despite having a prenuptial agreement -- so $10,000 a year is a drop in the bucket for the multimillionaire owner of a successful, multi-state business.
The employee was to get started on the hole right away, Knadler told him, because he needed it taken care of before his wife had a chance to meet with her attorney again.
The employee agreed, and Knadler handed him $1,000 as a down payment.
However, rather than heading to the desert and digging a hole, the employee left the meeting and told police about what Knadler was up to.
Knadler was picked up by police at his home on Sunday night. During his interview with detectives, he denied plotting to kill his wife. He did, however, discuss how his wife was gonna take him to the cleaners in the divorce.
Knadler was booked into jail on a $2 million cash bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for January 23.