Man behind secret recording in Phoenix murder plot tells ABC15 how he became hired to be a hitman

PHOENIX - After months of maintaining his silence, the man behind a secret recording that led to the arrest of a Phoenix businessman , describes what it was like to be hired as a hitman.

"I can't ever explain how you feel when you're asked that, it felt like I was in a dream, the reality just didn't strike me," said Patrick King.

King worked for Fred Knadler, who at the time of the incident owned Arizona Shower Door.

"I worked there for about six and a half years and I really did everything for him (Knadler), but this is something that I certainly wanted no part of," said King during his first interview since his boss's arrest.

King said Knadler called him demanding they meet in secret at a bank parking lot to discuss a plan.

"I knew this was going to happen. I had a feeling; I saw it coming, so I taped him. [I] couldn't believe it. I was shaking," said King.

The two men were sitting in King's pickup truck in the parking lot in north Phoenix when King said Knadler showed him a large rock, a gun and cash.

"As soon as he gets in the car, I hit record, 31 minutes of tape and my mouth hit the floor," said King.

"I've got a super secret situation I want to discuss with you. What I need is someone I can trust," Knadler reportedly said in the recording, obtained by ABC15 in March. 

The recording continues, "I've got $10,000 I was [going to] give you just right up front [and] give you $10,000 a year the rest of the time you're at Arizona Shower Doors... I will give you a bundle to put in a hole.. I'm not telling you what's going to be in the bundle. It will be wrapped in a blanket or sheet or something," Knadler reportedly said in the recording.

King said Knadler wanted to kill his wife, Libby, because she wanted a divorce and millions of dollars.

"He was served three months before and he kept making hints for three months," said King. "That's not somebody that snaps; that's somebody who premeditates and thinks it through and plans it."

Knadler, who recently turned 75, remains in jail on a $2 million cash bond.

"He wanted me to do it that night. I was supposed to got get a shovel, drive out to the desert, dig a big hole and he was going to call me," said King. "He had this rock with him and said he was going to use it, I didn't know what you know, I guess smash her (Libby) in the head it was going to be messy then he says I've got plastic, I'm going to wrap her in a rug, you're going to take it, you're going to bury it."

King also said he was instructed to drive Libby's Lexus to Mexico and make it appear as though the car was stolen.

Shortly after recording the conversation, King said he called his wife and Phoenix police.

"I met them and they heard the first couple minutes of the tape and their jaw was on the ground and had me and my wife go with them to Phoenix police headquarters to be interviewed," said King.

That night, Knadler was arrested.

King said his employer then called him with new job instructions at Arizona Shower Doors.

"They told me and gave me a letter telling me you can't go to the media or we'll stop paying you," said King.  "You do the right thing, you get criticized, but if I did the wrong thing and did it, I would be in jail. I've got three kids."

King said he is no longer working at the company and has a new job along with a new best friend.

"I love my new job. I am so happy and grateful. This has just been absolutely nuts and I talk to Libby probably about once a week," he said. "She is amazing and I wish she would get some peace."

King said he was offered more than $50,000 to carry out the plan.

"I still have safety concerns, I really do, for me and my family," said King.

Knadler is awaiting trial.

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