Witness in murder-for-hire plot tells storyPosted: Updated:
Patrick King's boss tried to pay him to help get rid of his wife.
A multimillionaire businessman facing divorce turns to murder to spare himself alimony payments.
King says he worked long six-day weeks, 70 to 80 hours a week without being paid any overtime.
He described the experience as living a nightmare for $40,000 a year.
King's boss, Fred Knadler, was someone whom you never told "no," King said.
"He's asked me to do a lot, and I've done everything he's ever asked," said King.
Six weeks after King saw a process server deliver divorce papers to Knadler here at the business, he was asked to do something he couldn't ever have imagined.
"Go dig a hole in the desert somewhere," said Fred Knadler in a secret recording taken by King.
Weeks earlier, King said Knadler started dropping hints about wanting to have a secret meeting with him.
"I got something that will mean a lot of money to you and your family. Whoa. That sent up a big red flag," said King.
On Jan. 14, 2012, Knadler allegedly asked King to meet him in a bank parking lot at Thunderbird and 7th Street.
"I think he's going to ask me to kill her," said King. "Last minute, something told me to get my recorder."
"Well, what I was trying to do is get this out of the way before she spends more time with her attorney," says Knadler in the recording. "Well, I gotta be able to trust you, cause I don't wanna go to jail for the rest of my life."
Knadler gave King $1,000 and promised to give him an additional $10,000 when the task was completed.
"As soon as he did that, then it all hit. I've just been paid to take part in this," said King.
That conversation in King's pickup happened about 3 p.m.
By 11 that night, Phoenix police had the recording, swooped in on Knadler's house and arrested him in the murder-for-hire conspiracy.
But while behind bars, Knadler tried to orchestrate another murder-for-hire plot, telling an undercover officer secretly taping the meeting that he wanted his wife and King both dead.
"What do you want me to do?" asks the undercover officer.
"Whack this guy," says Knadler.
King says he has lived in fear ever since making that secret recording. He is the key witness in the case against Knadler and now has brought civil cases against his former company.
He keeps his recorder in his truck as a symbol of what's happened to him over the past year and a half.
"It saved me and Libby (Knadler's wife) because one, it proved something was going to happen and it proved I wasn't lying," said King.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.