A baby-faced Joshua Frank, in a covert police video recording during an undercover RCMP sting July 19, 2014, agreed he was a “stone cold killer.”
Frank, as a favour for Jason Klaus, met with Mr. Big – and without emotion – detailed how he killed Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus on their farm east of Castor Dec. 8, 2013.
That same day Frank took undercover officers to the Battle River and showed them where he tossed the 9-mm handgun he used.
He also said the morning after the murders he went to a hill near the river and burned the clothes he wore during the crime and tossed them in the water.
Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank are charged with arson and three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus. They were both arrested Aug. 15, 2014.
Frank said he was paid $4,000 to commit the murders for Klaus and expected up to $50,000.
Jason Klaus is secretly video recorded by an undercover RCMP officer during the Mr. Big sting. In the back is Joshua Frank. RCMP photo
The RCMP’s Mr. Big sting – dubbed Project Kontingent – ran from April 1, 2014, to July 19, 2014. The target was Jason Klaus. Weeks into their investigation police suspected Klaus was involved in his family’s deaths but didn’t have enough evidence so they began the Mr. Big Sting.
Klaus was led to believe he was working for a criminal organization. Throughout the sting Klaus was paid $12,430 for everything from storing vehicles at the Klaus farm to helping collect bad debts. Klaus went with undercover officers to strip clubs, restaurants and on trips.
The undercover officers involved in the sting took the stand last week providing details of the operation. The officers said it was “smoke and mirrors” and aimed at finding out whether Klaus was involved in the deaths of his family or not.
Throughout the sting the officers stressed to Klaus the importance of honesty because they didn’t want him to give a false confession. The identities of the officers are protected by a court-ordered publication ban.
Undercover RCMP officers scripted 26 scenarios, which they described as acts or scenes in a play.
In one scenario Klaus and an undercover officer were on their way to Lethbridge when they received an urgent call to go to Calgary to deal with a situation.
A female undercover RCMP officer, who was made to look like she was badly beaten, was put into another undercover officer’s trunk.
Klaus was shown the woman and an undercover officer said that things got out of hand and he had accidentally beaten the woman to death.
The female undercover officer “came to” and got out of the trunk. Instead of killing her, the other undercover officers let her go after convincing her not to go to the police. To that Jason Klaus asked them why wouldn’t they “finish her off” and why would they “leave a loose end.”
That night Klaus confessed to an undercover officer that he was involved in the murders of his sister and parents and that he paid someone to do it.
The next day he sent a text message to the undercover officer recanting his confession.
An undercover officer testified that Jason Klaus was suspicious and suspected they were police so he turned it around on Klaus by saying to Klaus that he let it slip that he was once an auxiliary officer for the Stettler RCMP and therefore maybe he was the one who was a cop.
In another scenario an undercover officer and Klaus were driving on the highway and RCMP staged a fake traffic stop where another undercover officer, dressed as a uniformed officer driving a squad car, pulled the two over.
During this incident the uniformed officer let it “slip out” that the other undercover officer with Klaus was a suspect in the disappearance of his girlfriend. The goal was to convince Klaus they weren’t police.
Another scenario involved Klaus going to Lethbridge with undercover officers to do surveillance on a Canada-U.S. border worker and attempt to “corrupt” him, who was actually another undercover RCMP officer.
The undercover sting also revealed Klaus saying that Josh Frank needed to be “taken care of,” implying killed.
On Nov. 20 Justice Eric Macklin ruled the evidence collected in the Mr. Big Sting was admissible.
After his decision, Jason Klaus’s lawyer Allan Faye, asked the court for an adjournment for the rest of the afternoon to give him time to talk to his client.