A fisherman admitted to killing his buddy because he planned to feed him to Bigfoot after summoning the mythical creature, according to Oklahoma prosecutors. 

Larry Sanders was fishing with his friend Jimmy Knighten in the South Canadian River in Ponotomac County, Oklahoma, when Sanders suddenly strangled Knighten after claiming to see Sasquatch-looking creatures down stream.

“So, his statement was that Mr. Knighten had summoned ‘Bigfoot’ to come and kill him, and that’s why he had to kill Mr. Knighten,” Sheriff John Christian told NBC affiliate KTEN after the July 2022 murder. 

Nearly two years later, a judge convicted Sanders of murder. “Yes, there was a monster in the woods that night, but it wasn’t Bigfoot, it was Larry Sanders, Pontotoc County District Attorney Erik Johnson said. 

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Larry Sanders mugshot after his arrest in July 2022

Larry Sanders was found guilty of killing his friend, who he believed was going to sacrifice him to Bigfoot. ( Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)

Back on July 9, 2022, Sanders and Knighten were “noodling,” a method of fishing where a person is submerged in water and uses their bare hands to snatch catfish by shoving their arms into the fish’s mouth. 

Catfish typically live in holes along riverbanks, and the controversial practice is popular in the south. 

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During their expedition, Sanders claimed he saw three Sasquatch-looking figures by the river, and believed Knighten was going to kill Sanders and send his body down the river as a snack for the Bigfoot creatures, The Oklahoman reported. 

Sanders waived a jury trial and claimed he acted in self-defense. His fate was determined by a judge during last week’s trial, where the judge listened to testimony from a forensic psychiatrist who said Sanders suffered from meth-induced psychosis. 

That’s when Sanders wrapped Knighten in a deadly chokehold. Law enforcement found Knighten’s body the next day. 

Jimmy Knighten was killed when his friend, in a meth-induced pyschosic, thought Knighten planned to feed him to Sasquatch

Jimmy Knighten was 52 when he was murdered in July 2022 by Larry Sanders.  (Phillips Funeral Service/Obituary)

Knighten’s son, Airyn, who was dating Sanders’ daughter at the time, said during the trial that Larry was talking fast and “frantic.”

“I asked him, ‘Where is my dad?’ and he (Larry Sanders) said, ‘He’s not coming back,’” Airyn Knighten testified, according to The Ada News

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Sanders’ daughter, who had a strained relationship with her father at the time, said he confessed to killing Knighten at least five times. 

Sanders was ultimately convicted and faces life in prison without parole. 

Alleged Photo of Bigfoot

Photo shows what former rodeo rider Roger Patterson said is the American version of the Abominable Snowman. He said pictures of the creature, estimated at 7 1/2 feet tall, were taken northeast of Eureka, California. (Getty Images/Bettmann / Contributor)

Photo of South Canadian River in Ponotomac County, Oklahoma

Photo of South Canadian River in Ponotomac County, Oklahoma where Larry Sanders killed his fishing buddy. (Google Street View)

Knighten, who was 52 when he died, was remembered as an avid outdoorsman who loved to fish, hunt game, ride four-wheelers and “most of all, drink his beer around a big bonfire,” his obituary says.

“Jimmy never met a stranger, and would give anyone the shirt off his back.”

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“In a first-degree murder case in Oklahoma, as in most other states, you have an element of malice aforethought, meaning that you have to have specific intent to cause the death of another,” District Attorney Johnson told local news outlet KXII. 

“We were able to prove that Larry Sanders caused that death, and the issue of malice aforethought was what this case truly hinged upon.”

He’s scheduled to be sentenced on June 18. 

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