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Crime News

Oklahoma Man Allegedly Killed Fishing Partner Over ‘Bigfoot’ Fears

Larry Sanders, 53, allegedly told investigators he murdered his friend Jimmy Knighten because his fishing partner “summoned 'Bigfoot' to come and kill him.”

By Dorian Geiger
A police handout of Larry Sanders

An Oklahoma man accused of killing his fishing partner over the weekend allegedly told police he carried out the murder after the victim “summoned ‘Bigfoot.'"

Larry Sanders, 53, is charged with the murder of Jimmy Knighten while the two were noodling near Ada, Oklahoma on Saturday, officials announced in a press release. Knighten was allegedly strangled and beaten to death by Sanders, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said.

The bizarre incident unfolded on July 9, after Sanders and Knighten got into a physical dispute while the pair were fishing the South Canadian River.

"Sanders and Knighten had been noodling in the river on Saturday when a confrontation ensued," according to a statement issued by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. "Sanders reported striking and strangling Knighten."  

Noodling, or the practice of hand-fishing, traditionally refers to luring and capturing catfish.

Officials said Sanders confessed to a relative to carrying out Knighten’s slaying, Ada television station KTEN reported. The two men were friends, according to the outlet. 

Sanders ultimately turned himself in to county authorities. Knighten’s body was recovered by investigators the following day. The cause and manner of Knighten’s death hasn’t yet been released. An autopsy is pending, according to officials.

Sanders was since charged with first-degree murder in Knighten's death.

Authorities, who suspect Sanders was intoxicated at the time of the alleged killing, haven't released a specific motive. Under questioning, however, Sanders allegedly rambled about "Bigfoot."

"He appeared to be under the influence of something," Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian said, KTEN reported. "His statement was that Mr. Knighten had summoned 'Bigfoot' to come and kill him; that's why he had to kill Mr. Knighten."

Despite Sanders’ alleged confession, county authorities vowed a full investigation into Knighten’s suspected murder.

"It always makes it easier," Christian added. "You still have to prove all the elements of the crime, and that what the suspect is telling you is actually what happened."

Sanders is being held at the Pontotoc County detention facility. Court date information wasn’t immediately available for him. It’s unclear if he’s retained an attorney to comment on his behalf.