Frank Knight interview
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 11:00 a.m.
Edward Hagen claims Frank Knight loaned him $10,000 in 2008. Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed Mr. Knight at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff''s Department to find out more about the loan. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Frank Knight
Detective: Mr. Knight, thank you for coming in today. We want to ask you some questions about a transfer of money that Congressman Hagen says he borrowed from you.
Frank Knight: OK.
Detective Murphy: When did the congressman approach you about borrowing the money?
Frank Knight: In the late summer of 2008, I think it was August sometime. That was the year he was elected, and he said his daughter Audrey was starting school at Ole Miss that fall, like in three weeks, and he needed some money to cover her expenses. He said he was going through a rough spot, so I wanted to help him out.
Detective Parker: Did he say why he wasn't using his own money?
Frank Knight: He said he and his wife had already placed all of their money into a blind trust, and he couldn't touch it. I thought it was strange because he wasn't even elected then, but he did win by a landslide.
Detective Parker: A blind trust?
Frank Knight: That's what he said. He said they had no dealings with their own money anymore, so he needed this $10,000 for his daughter, just a short-term, no-interest loan until he could talk to his accountant and lawyer to set up the payback. He said it wouldn't take any time at all for it to get back to me.
Detective Parker: Did he pay you back?
Frank Knight: Yes, he did. About three months later, which was fine with me. I had the money, you know, so I loaned it to him, and in November of that year I got a certified check in the mail for $10,000 and a note. All the note said was thanks, and he had signed it.
Detective Murphy: Did you keep that note?
Frank Knight: I doubt it. I probably tossed it when I deposited the check.
Detective Murphy: Did ever get the sense that he actually might've needed the money for something else?
Frank Knight: I didn't really give it much thought. I knew he was good for it, so I loaned it to him.
Detective Murphy: You said yourself the circumstances were a little strange. Do you think he might've needed it because someone was blackmailing him and he just didn't want to say so?
Frank Knight: Blackmail? He never said a word to me about that, never said that was the reason he needed the money.
Detective Murphy: Would you have given it to him if that had been the reason?
Frank Knight: A loan among friends is still a private matter in this country, but I don't know. I can't say. I might've thought a lot longer about it, but he said it was for the college costs, so I just turned it over.
Detective Parker: How did you give him the money?
Frank Knight: I wrote him out a personal check, which I guess he deposited.
Detective Murphy: Do you still have the canceled check?
Frank Knight: I doubt it.
Detective Parker: Mr. Knight, were you involved in any way in Monica Drum's murder?
Frank Knight: Absolutely not. I was at home that whole night with my wife and children.
Detective Parker: You didn't have to be physically present to be involved. You're absolutely sure that you had nothing to do with it? You didn't help plan it? Or help cover it up?
Frank Knight: No, of course not. I read about it in the paper just like everyone else.
Detective Parker: Do you think the congressman could've been involved?
Frank Knight: Are you crazy? He's a congressman.
Detective Parker: So?
Frank Knight: So, no, I don't think he was involved in any murder.
Detective Murphy: Do you know anything about the poker games Mr. Hagen participates in?
Frank Knight: Why do you ask?
Detective Murphy: You seem like the kind of man who enjoys a good card game from time to time.
Frank Knight: What if I am?
Detective Murphy: You ever play poker with Mr. Hagen?
Frank Knight: Yeah, sure.
Detective Murphy: Where do you play?
Frank Knight: Why do you care?
Detective Parker: The congressman already told us about those high-stakes games at The Rebel Yell. Did you get in on those too?
Frank Knight: Who the hell do you think took Hagen there in the first place? I did. Rich people do stupid things, you know, things that'll send them straight to hell.
Detective Parker: Things like murder?
Frank Knight: No, things like going places you probably shouldn't and getting involved in card games you shouldn't with people you shouldn't.
Detective Murphy: You said Mr. Hagen never told you he was being blackmailed.
Frank Knight: That's right.
Detective Murphy: Did you ever hear that anyone else from those card games was being blackmailed?
Frank Knight: No.
Detective Murphy: Were you being blackmailed?
Frank Knight: What's that supposed to mean?
Detective Parker: Was Monica Drum blackmailing you over those card games?
Frank Knight: Hell, no. I don't care if people find out about that.
Detective Parker: You might care if you end up getting arrested for it.
Frank Knight: Are you going to arrest me?
Detective Murphy: Not right now.
Frank Knight: That's what I thought. I'm not worried about that. So I have to pay a fine. So what? Now, Ed, he'd have to worry about that kind of thing. People want to believe their politicians are all choirboys, even though we all know they're not.
Detective Parker: Maybe people just don't want their elected representatives to break the law.
Frank Knight: Well, there's breaking the law, and then there's breaking the law. This was just a card game.
Detective Murphy: All right, Mr. Knight, that's enough for now. We'll be in touch.
Frank Knight: I can't wait.
Interview ends - 11:23 a.m.