Updated: 11/13/2013 5:29 PM
Created: 02/14/2012 7:18 PM KSTP.com
By: Mark Albert & Erik Altmann
With college student Dru Sjodin missing and a search underway, state investigators on Nov. 26, 2003 eased into an interview with a convicted Level Three sex offender seen near the spot where she disappeared by talking about the weather.
"We finally got a decent day," Dan Ahlquist with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension remarks at the beginning of the first of three interviews with Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr.
Ahlquist and two other investigators calmly ask Rodriguez, who had recently been released from prison after serving a 23-year sentence for stabbing a woman and trying to kidnap her, what he had been doing on the day Sjodin vanished.
"It's kind of a routine matter," Ahlquist explains, "...we wanted to touch base with you and see - basically get a alibi (for) you for Saturday."
Rodriguez tells his inquisitors, "I went to the Mall and then I went to a movie."
As the minutes drag by, though, and one interview turns into a second and then a third, investigators pick apart Rodriguez's story piece by piece, until they confront him with their conclusion that he had been involved in Sjodin's disappearance.
The recorded audio interviews were released by a court order in the U.S. District Court of North Dakota in Fargo on Tuesday. Only the crime scene videos remain sealed, after prosecutors and defense attorneys objected to their release Monday afternoon.
The transcripts of the Rodriguez interviews had previously been made available and portions of the audio had been played during Rodriguez's death penalty trial in 2006. But this is the first time the actual recordings have been released publicly.
Rodriguez was arrested four days after these interviews.
Click here to listen to the first interview with Rodriguez, which took place on Nov. 26, 2003 at 1:30p: "Everybody's a suspect until we can rule them out..."
Click here to listen to the second interview with Rodriguez, which took place on Nov. 26, 2003 at 6:45p: "I wasn't at the mall when this girl was abducted... I haven't seen her before in my life."
Click here to listen to the third interview with Rodriguez, which took place on Nov. 26, 2003 at 7:49p: "You want me to admit to something I didn't do?"
Click here to read a previously sealed summary of a police interview with Rodriguez's mother from 1969, in which she describes an entry in her son's notebook which reads either, "Someone's going to kill me," or, "I'm going to kill someone."