CBC uncovers Danton-Frost intrigue
David Frost continued to exert enormous influence over Mike Danton even after the NHL player was charged with conspiring to kill him.
Recordings of jailhouse phone conversations obtained by the fifth estate are among the many new disturbing details revealed in the saga of Danton and his longtime agent and former coach Frost.
Rogue Agent, which airs on CBC Television Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET, follows the intertwining story of Frost and Danton from when the latter was an aspiring 10-year-old player named Mike Jefferson, to the present.
Danton was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison Nov. 8, 2004, in connection with a murder-for-hire plot that targeted Frost.
The documentary includes recorded communication between Frost and Danton just one week after the St. Louis Blues' forward was indicted on federal charges of engaging in an interstate conspiracy to commit murder.
Despite being the alleged target at the time and telling the FBI just days earlier that Danton owed him money, Frost is heard in the phone conversations advising the imprisoned player to counter the suggestion of a motive by telling the authorities that all monies were paid up.
He also implores the 23-year-old to stress to psychiatrists the toll that was taken witnessing violence and alcohol abuse in his childhood home.
At the end of the conversation, Frost asks, "OK, you love me?" "Yeah," Danton says.
"Say it," Frost demands.
"I love you."
For their part, Steve and Sue Jefferson tell fifth estate host Bob McKeown that Frost cultivated and maintained a Svengali-like grasp on their son from a young age.
"I was suspicious from day one with the actions of Dave and how Michael was changing," Sue Jefferson says.
The Jeffersons reveal for the first time how their then-13-year-old son Tom was allegedly victimized while on a cottage trip with Frost, Danton and other teens.
On that trip, they say their son was photographed duct-taped to a bed naked.
They also allege during the same trip that members of the group forced Tom to eat pancakes that had been spit on and climb a tree while a pellet gun was pointed at him.
The Jeffersons became estranged from their older son Mike and he eventually changed his surname to Danton.
After a difficult tenure in New Jersey, Danton caught on as a role player with the St. Louis Blues. But while things appeared smooth on ice, the relationship between player and agent soured at some point during the 2003-04 season.
The documentary reveals Danton's unsuccessful first attempt at recruiting a hitman. In several recorded cellphone messages, he is heard imploring a St. Louis strip club bouncer named Ron Jones to help him out, detailing exactly when the intended target would be alone at his home.
While Jones didn't return Danton's calls, 19-year-old acquaintance Katie Wolfmeyer did. Prosecutors alleged that Wolfmeyer put Danton in touch with acquaintance Justin Levi Jones, who was offered the same $10,000 US amount as the bouncer to kill Frost.
Levi Jones, a police dispatcher from Columbia, Ill., pretended to accept Danton's offer, but had revealed the plot to his police chief, who in turn contacted the FBI.
Wolfmeyer was acquitted of two felony counts of conspiring and using a telephone across state lines to organize a murder in September 2004.
After Danton's arrest, Frost asks him in one of their conversations why he was targeted.
"I just wanted fucking to do things you know and things weren't fucking good between that person and it was like there was no other way," Danton says after several attempts at trying to explain, though it is not clear who "that person" is.
McKeown catches up with Frost at a minor hockey rink in Pembroke, Ont. Despite being confronted with the existence of the prison recordings, Frost scoffs at the notion that he was the target.
"You'll see, you'll see and it's a much bigger story than you think. It's because the FBI lied. They lied. And when we expose them for what they did," Frost says, adding that Danton cannot expose the U.S. government until he is back on Canadian soil.
Danton, now 25, is in a New Jersey federal prison, awaiting response to an application to be transferred.