An Oklahoma man confessed to killing a fellow fisherman out of fear he’d be left alone in the wilderness to be eaten by Bigfoot, authorities said.
Larry Doil Sanders, 53, made the bizarre confession to two special agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation on Sunday as they probed the death of Jimmy Glenn Knighten, according to an arrest affidavit for suspicion of first-degree murder.
Sanders and Knighten had gone noodling in the South Canadian River the previous day, Sanders said, and the two men had gotten into a physical altercation, according to the affidavit.
“LARRY claimed that while at the river, he discovered JIMMY intended to feed him to sasquatch/bigfoot,” the affidavit said. “LARRY indicated JIMMY attempted to get away from him so that the sasquatch could eat LARRY. LARRY would not let JIMMY get away. LARRY punched JIMMY and struck JIMMY with a stick. LARRY and JIMMY fought for an extended amount of time on the ground. LARRY confirmed he killed JIMMY by choking him to death near the river.”
Sanders drew a map and shared details of where investigators could find Knighten’s body. A male’s body was found Sunday that is believed to be that of Knighten, the affidavit said.
It was unclear Wednesday whether Sanders had retained a lawyer. A representative of the Pontotoc County Jail said Sanders remained there on no bond on a charge of first-degree murder. His next court date is July 26, the jail representative said.
Relatives of Sanders and Knighten could not be reached for comment.
Representatives with the State Bureau of Investigation, the Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office, which initially launched the investigation, and the county district attorney’s office could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
The district attorney’s office provided NBC News with the arrest affidavit.
Noodling is using bare hands to catch catfish. Pontotoc County is about 85 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.
According to the affidavit, Pontotoc County deputies were alerted to Knighten’s death Saturday by the mother of Sanders’ daughter, who said her daughter claimed Sanders had killed Knighten. When a deputy began investigating at a home, Sanders was one of many people at the residence, and he seemed unable to remain still, the affidavit said.
Sanders’ daughter, the affidavit said, told the deputy her dad confessed to the slaying after the noodling trip with Knighten.
“She claimed LARRY later returned to the residence, frantic and talking about bigfoot. … LARRY claimed JIMMY was trying to feed LARRY to bigfoot so LARRY had to kill JIMMY. … LARRY mentioned something about strangling JIMMY, and possibly firing two shots from a pistol,” the affidavit said.
A sheriff’s deputy said Sanders appeared to be under the influence of illegal drugs Saturday. He was arrested at the scene on an unrelated warrant as investigators continued to probe Knighten’s death, the affidavit said.
Another witness told investigators that Sanders returned from the noodling trip driving Knighten’s Chevrolet Avalanche. A sheriff’s deputy saw “what appeared to be blood on the tailgate and bottom of the driver’s side door,” the affidavit said.
A machete was found near the vehicle, according to the affidavit, which said Sanders typically carried a machete.
NBC affiliate KFOR of Oklahoma City reported that Knighten's ex-wife, Stacey Kelley, described him as "just a good old country boy."
The men's children date each other, she said.
Kelley broke into tears talking to the station about Knighten's death.
"He's not just a news story. And he's not just a Facebook joke," she said. "He's not any of those things. He's so much deeper than that."