Details Unfold in Arrest of Arizona Shower Door Owner for Alleged Conspiracy to Kill Wife
April 3, 2012

by Penny Stacey, pstacey@glass.com

The Phoenix Police Department has released the report about the January 2012 arrest of Fred "Spike" Knadler, owner and former president of Arizona Shower Door in Phoenix for allegedly conspiring to kill his wife, Libby. The report reveals a number of details about the case, and lists Patrick King as the employee whom Fred Knadler allegedly tried to hire to help get rid of his wife's body and car.

According to the report, King has been with the company for approximately five years. "Over the course of his employment, King has become somewhat of [Fred] Knadler's right-hand man, doing many undesirable tasks at his job," write the police.

King alleges that on January 14 Fred Knadler called him and asked him to meet, and that he "had a strange feeling that Fred Knadler was going to ask him to kill Libby Knadler." He says that he decided to take a recorder with him to the meeting based on that feeling.

King told police that Fred Knadler met him with a "kidney-shaped red-hued river rock, approximately 8 inches in length," in hand, on Saturday, January 14, and they had a discussion in King's vehicle; Fred Knadler advised King, "It might just [be] what I need," according to the transcript of the conversation filed as part of the police report.

A discussion about some properties owned by Fred Knadler ensued, before he told King he had a "super-secret situation to discuss …"

According to the transcript, Fred Knadler then advised he needed King to do something and he would pay him $10,000 up front, and then an additional $10,000 a year for the rest of his time with the company.

"So what I need you to do is super-secre[t] … Go dig a hole in the desert somewhere," Fred Knadler told King, according to the report. "Deep enough that the shifting winds, rains or the storms are not ever gonna [sic] uncover [it]."

Then, he advised King he'd also need to get rid of Libby Knadler's car by destroying its tags and then driving it somewhere where it would be stolen and untraceable. Fred Knadler went on to explain that he'd be giving King "a bundle" to put in the hole he digs. "I'm not gonna tell you what's gonna be the bundle," said Fred Knadler, according to the report. "It will be wrapped in a blanket or sheet or something."

Fred Knadler then began to tell King that his wife recently had filed for divorce and was seeking a large settlement. "She wants $2.3 million dollars," said Fred Knadler, according to the transcript. "I don't have $2.3 million dollars. What I'm doing is growing the company, keeping the employees employed … and all that sort of thing. And she wants like $600,000 now … or $50,000 a month for the next 12 months plus $7,000 a month for the next 15 years."

As the conversation continued, King eventually agreed to the deal, according to police, and Fred Knadler advised, "I gotta be able to trust you, 'cause I don't want go to jail for the rest of my life either."

He also advised King he'd be helping the company by assisting him. "You're gonna save the company," said Fred Knadler. "That's all there is to it."

At the end of the conversation, the two agreed that King would start digging the hole that night, and they would be in contact the following day to finalize plans. Fred Knadler also allegedly gave King the initial $10,000 as part of the deal. However, according to police, King took the $10,000, along with the tape, to police that evening.

A search warrant was issued shortly after, and police went to the Knadlers' residence, where they told Libby Knadler that "there had been some threats against her and that Fred [Knadler] was involved."

Fred Knadler was arrested at the residence and taken to the police station for questioning.

In an interview that occurred later, Libby Knadler advised police that she was not aware of any actions or plan by Fred Knadler to kill her, "but that she has no idea what [he] is doing most of the time and he doesn't talk to her about things." She also told police they were in the midst of negotiating a final divorce settlement, and that he would have to pay her approximately $2 million, $25,000 of which would have been due on January 20—six days after the meeting with King is alleged to have occurred.

Fred Knadler denied the police's allegations regarding "the plan to kill his wife and have her car disappear," according to the report. "He basically said he had no idea what I was talking about," writes Brian Hansen, the reporting officer on the case, in the report. "He denied the allegations, even when given the specifics of the meeting and the conspiracy with her car and a hole in the desert."

Fred Knadler was charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and was arrested on January 14, the day of the alleged meeting with King.

He resigned from the company shortly after his arrest. His son, Paul Knadler, who took over as president upon Fred Knadler's resignation, spoke with USGNN.com™ shortly after the arrest about the distinction between his father, Fred, and the company he founded and how difficult the whole ordeal has been on the company and its employees.

"It's important for people to realize that the core management team has not changed," said Paul Knadler. "We have been in place for more than 20 years. Robert Goodsell has been here for 21 years. My brother, Peter, who is vice president, and I have been here for 25 years. We continue to run the company as we have during that time."

This story is an original story by USGlass magazine/USGNN™. Subscribe to USGlass magazine.
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