State attorney releases Howell Donaldson interview tapes

Private conversations between the accused Seminole Heights serial killer and Tampa police detectives were released by the state attorney's office Friday.

Howell Donaldson is facing murder charges for allegedly killing four people between October 2017 and November 2017.

The audio recordings are part of a massive packet of files related to the investigation that was released by the office.

One note-worthy recording is Donaldson's first interrogation by police.

It took place November 28, 2017, the day Donaldson was detained after his boss at an Ybor City McDonald's alerted police of a suspicious handgun he had asked her to keep.

During the nearly four-hour interrogation, officers carefully weaved through a series of questions, asking Donaldson about his past, his interest in basketball, and his relationship with his parents, which he described as somewhat turbulent.

Detectives also posed tough questions, asking Donaldson to explain how he got the .40-caliber Glock handgun and why he gave it to his supervisor at McDonald's that day.

"It’s solid," said Donaldson, when describing the gun. "It fits my hand pretty good.”

Donaldson initially told officers he had not been to the Seminole Heights neighborhood during those weeks, but later during the interrogation, when police said they traced his iPhone's history, Donaldson said he may have gone to a friend's house.

Overall, the suspected serial killer remained calm throughout the interrogation, talkative when questions were superficial, and at times completely silent when detectives tried to pry out information about his knowledge of the killings that had been terrorizing the Seminole Heights community.

At some points during the questioning, Donaldson gave cryptic responses.

"It was just complicated, but everything is coming full circle for me now," he said.