John Paul Knowles: The Casanova Killer (1 Viewer)


Short Bussed
Paul John Knowles: The Casanova Killer

Background information
Birth name Paul John Knowles
Also known as The Casanova Killer
Lester Daryl Gates
Daryl Golden
Born April 17, 1946
Died December 18, 1974(aged 28)
Cause of death Gunshot wound
Number of victims 18-35+
Country United States
Dateapprehended November 21, 1974

Double Homicide

Carr residence, outside
Someone had called to report a woman in his neighborhood screaming hysterically, and by the time the police arrived that morning, several people had clustered on the lawn of the suburbanhome of Carswell Carr.� His wife had run from the house upon returning from her nightshift work as a nurse to find her husband and daughter murdered inside.� Assistant Police Chief Charles Osborne had gone to the scene with several deputies, and they were shocked by what they found.
The definitive book on the string of murders that included the Carr double homicide is Killing Time, by British journalist Sandy Fawkes.� There are newspaper accounts as well, from papers around the Milledgeville area, near Macon, Georgia, including the Atlanta Constitution, but most descriptions of the crimes and the offender in books on serial killers derive from Fawkes story, because she had a uniquely privileged viewpoint.� Some writers believe that Mrs. Carr was the victim in this crime, but it was, in fact, her husband, who was probably killed for his clothing.

Outside Carr residence, police

As the police went into the Carr home on November 7, 1974, the police saw that the place was in terrible disarray.� Furniture had been picked up and thrown about or overturned, books picked up and tossed, mirrors and picture glass broken, and some of the upholstered furniture had been slashed open with a sharp implement. � Yet this was nothing compared to what awaited them in the back rooms.
In the master bedroom, Carswell Carr lay dead on the bed, nude, with his hands bound behind his back.� There was blood all over his body and the bed, as if hed struggled valiantly until the end.� He had been stabbed superficially multiple times with what appeared to be a pair of scissors, but the medical examiner indicated that his death had been the result of a heart attack.� The intent of the attack appeared to be torture, and he had clearly suffered.� Twenty-seven stab wounds were evident, according to Frasier in Murder Cases of the Twentieth Century.
In another room down the hall, fifteen-year-old Mandy had also been bound and left face-down, but she had been strangled and a nylon stocking had been forced deep into her throat to asphyxiate her.� The pathologist spent fifteen minutes getting it out.� Another stocking was wrapped around her throat and tightly knotted, and there was the appearance of attempted but incomplete rape. � Both victims had died around the same time, but the time-of-death estimate was difficult to narrow down to less than some time during the night - the span of Mrs. Carrs work hours.


Mayhem, Carr home
While a pair of scissors was found in the home, it was wiped clean, and it seemed that the offender had been careful to remove evidence and to wipe the place free of fingerprints.� When officers fanned out to ask around so they could devise a timeline of how and when either of the victims had crossed paths with their killer, it turned out that Carswell had been seen in a local gay bar talking with a young man.� They had left the place together the evening before the murders.

Mayhem inside Carr home
When Mrs. Carr was able to pull herself together, she managed to help the police to identify things missing from the home: most of her husbands clothing, and his briefcase, shaving kit, credit cards, keys, and papers.�� Mandys Mickey Mouse watch was missing from her room, along with a digital clock, which had been yanked violently from the wall.� Fawkes indicates that, given the amount of damage to the home, the police believed they were looking for a team of offenders.� But then a store clerk reported that a young man had purchased a tape recorder and blank tapes with Carrs stolen credit card.� He had been tall, with reddish hair and a mustache.

Newspaper page on killings
No one realized then that this incident was one of many that would soon be linked to the same offender, and that he was now dressing and posing as Carswell Carr.

Encounter with Fate

Sandy Fawkes
Soon after the murder, the offender put on one of Carrs suits and wandered into a Holiday Inn bar in Atlanta, Georgia. � At the same time, British journalist Sandy Fawkes came into the bar looking for a drink.� She had just come in from a failed assignment in Washington,D.C., feeling tired and discouraged, and she noticed him.� Thinking he was handsome, she described him thus: His gaunt good looks made him stand out from the crowd.� She observed his nice suit and tie and thought he might be European.� However, when he came over to ask her to dance, she declined and said she had to work.� She then left to go to the local newspaper offices, but upon her return, the stranger was still there.� Decidedly, he really was very handsome, she wrote, tall, well over six foot, broad-shouldered, narrow-hipped and as slender as a wraith.� She noted his carved cheekbones, beaked nose, and well-formed mouth.� They struck up a conversation, went to dinner, and despite her resolve, they ended up in bed.

Fawkes is both amusing and unkind in her description of their sexual experiences, indicating that Knowles could not perform, at least not without self-stimulation, although he seemed to be able to laugh about it.� Fawkes sensed that he wanted to be liked, and while she thought him strange (attributing this to her ignorance about Americans), he seemed to be good company, so she stayed with him and allowed him to drive her to several places where she needed to go.� He even persuaded her to allow him to drive her all the way to Miami, Florida, where he said he had an appointment.� She noticed that he was sensitive, considerate, protective, and able to insert himself into her life almost unobtrusively.� Despite her better instincts, she found herself going along with it.� In fact, this strange young man proved to be a spectacular dancer, so they had a good time.� And she was impressed with both his expensive wardrobe and his new white Chevrolet Impala.� She believed he was rich.� Oddly, though, while he paid with credit cards, he seemed to have no money for small things like newspapers.
Despite a slight uneasiness, during their time together, she joked about what kind of killer he must be.� She was aware of such people as Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler; Charles Manson, who had inspired a gang of disciples to kill only five years earlier; Dean Corll, who had more recently been murdered by one of his accomplices after the deaths of more than twenty-seven men; and Juan Corona, who had been convicted of killing twenty-five men in 1971 and burying them on two ranches near Yuba City, California. These had been chilling, headline-grabbing crimes, occurring often enough for people to be concerned.� While Fawkes teased her young escort, who called himself Lester Daryl Golden, she also observed odd things about him.
For example, on two occasions when she arose while he still slept, she saw his lips curled back in the expression of an animal at bay.� �That scared her.� In St. Augustine, he was intent on finding the torture chamber of an old fort.� He also seemed secretive and preoccupied, but his discussions about such things as his business and his belief in God were passionate.� He told her that he wanted to leave a mark on be remembered for something.� She would have good reason to recall that remark.�
At one point he asked her if she had ever written a book and asked if she might write one about him.� The idea seemed absurd to her, but at times she humored him to try to learn why he thought he was a worthy subject.� He told her that he did not have long to live, because he would soon be killed for something he had done.� Within a year, he said, I will be dead.� She had no idea whether to believe him, but he told her that he had given some tapes to his attorney in Miami for safekeeping, and after his death, the content of those tapes could be revealed.� It would give her all the material she needed.� It will make world headlines, he assured her.� It was enough of a hook to keep her interested.
Golden also told Fawkes that he believed firmly in fate and that there were marks on his body that affirmed that he would die young.� He apparently believed astrology and tarot cards.� Fawkes tried repeatedly to get him to say what hed done, but he refused.� At one point, she caught him tearing a story from the local newspaper about the Carr double homicide and its possible connection with three other area murders.� He dismissed her questions by saying he had friends who lived where the incidents happened.� It did not stop her from making jokes about him bumping her off - jokes she would later regret.

The Seagull

Golden told Fawkes that he had read one book that had inspired him: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.� According to her, it was the biggest influence of his life, in part because it was about a creature of high intelligence who was not appreciated by his flock - a gifted outsider.� A sensation when it was published four years earlier in 1970, it features a seagull who breaks away from the flock and learns on his own to become an individual.� He experiments with flying techniques in ways that seagulls would never do and, in that experience, finds freedom to fly in his own pattern.� He risks disgrace, failure, and ostracism to go his own way, and in the process discovers experiences that the others could never know or enjoy. � Jonathan is no ordinary bird; he wants more than the other birds do.� Theyre content to just do what they need to do to survive, but Jonathan puts his efforts into the glory of flying.� He feels pressured by others - even shamed -- to conform to a more mundane way of existence, but he refuses.� Hes utterly alone in his ambitions and experiences, especially when he learns to fly in the dark.� Seagulls supposedly never do that, but he explores it and finds that he enjoys it.� He brings his fear under control and sets out to break through the limitations imposed by the rules of the flock to become something entirely new to his species.� It doesnt matter how lonely he feels; what matters is that he has become something amazing.� The others view him as irresponsible and even dangerous, but Jonathan �� continues to go his way alone, content in being an outcast.
Eventually other outcasts join him, and they return to the flock to try to wake up the younger generation.� Jonathans guiding idea is, You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, and Whatever stands against the freedom must be set aside.� No limitation should be accepted.� In the end, Jonathan is a Christ figure, both revered and reviled, and altogether misunderstood.� He gives his message to a young disciple, who sees things as they are and prepares to pass on the wisdom.

Ian Brady
One might wonder why a man who had just committed multiple murders would find inspiration in a book with such a gentle, spiritual tone, but it would soon become clear that he identified himself with significant transcendent figures and believed that he ought to be as famous and important as they were.� Some people who strive to make their markon life and who find that theyre unable to do so with positive social contributions turn to crime.� Petty crimes are not sufficient for their purposes, so they turn to murder.� Leopold and Loeb were prime examples of this philosophy.� They viewed themselves as geniuses who ought to be recognized for their ability to commit the perfect crime, so they killed a boy to prove their clever intelligence.� Moors murderer Ian Brady wrote a book about how his belief in his intelligence set him apart (like Jonathan) and gave him a certain amount of freedom that most people would never know.� In short, some murderers view their crimes as a work of art, an expression of their special status as human beings.� Lester Daryl Golden appeared to be just such a person.� He needed to identify with those who had made a mark, because he felt it was his calling to do so as well.

Leopold & Loeb
Artful Dodger

Shortly after Fawkes parted from Golden, he took up with a couple who knew her and who kept him company because they felt sorry for him.� The next day, he attempted to rape the woman, Susan MacKenzie, but she escaped, and turned him in to the police.� When the police tried to apprehend them, he threatened them with a sawed-off shotgun and escaped.� Deciding to take a hostage, he posed as an IRS agent, entered the home of Beverly Mabee, an invalid withcerebral palsy.� He tied her to the bed, kidnapped her twin sister, Barbara Tucker, and stole their beige Volkswagen to make his getaway.�� Beverly managed to get out of her bonds to alert the police, but the intruder who had taken her sister had a good head start.� A picture of him was televised in the area, alerting residents to the fact that he was armed and dangerous, and area patrols received an all-points bulletin.

Paul John Knowles
Detectives located Fawkes soon thereafter to discover what she knew about the man whom they had now identified as Paul John Knowles, a parole violator, and to learn if she might have been an accomplice in any of his crimes.� �She was appalled to be a suspect, but became even more appalled when she realized that Golden, a.k.a. Knowles, was a rapist.� She was told that he was also a suspect in several murders and that he had kidnapped a woman, whom the police had reason to believe he might kill.� They showed Fawkes photographs of items taken from the Carr residence after the double homicide, and she was shocked to recognize clothing that Knowles had been wearing.� Every single garment I had so admired on my handsome escort, she wrote, had belonged to the dead man.� She turned over a Mickey Mouse watch that Knowles had given her, horrified that he had taken it from a child that hed murdered.� She also could hardly believe that she had been riding around -- even driving - a car and living off the credit cards of Knowless recent victims.���

Word soon came that the fugitive had let his hostage go in Fort Pierce, Florida.� He had tied her up and left her in a motel room, but Ms. Tucker had freed herself and escaped.� Then, on November 16, when State Trooper Charles E. Campbell, 35, recognized the stolen Volkswagen inPerry, Florida, he pulled Knowles over and put himself in grave danger.� Knowles kidnapped the officer in his own car, forcing him into the back seat.� He then used the siren to stop another motorist, James E. Meyer, a businessman from Delaware.� Forcing both men into the back seat of that car, he drove toward Georgia.

A Desperate Fugitive

Although he had allowed his first hostage to go free, there was no reason to believe he would do the same with the two men.� Knowles was now a desperate man, aware that he was being chased down and knowing that it was only a matter of time before he would be caught.� In fact, a gas station attendant in Lakeland, Georgia alerted the police to where they were, providing a valuable lead about the direction in which Knowles was going.� Two sheriffs deputies spotted the car the next day. Roadblocks were put into place around the area.
Knowles attempted to contact Fawkes, but she was away from the phone.� The police were hoping that he would tell her something or even try to arrange a meeting to seek her help, so everyone was disappointed that she had missed the call.� She was somewhat relieved, however.� Now that she knew who he was and what he had done, he frightened her.� Still, she was curious on one salient point: why had he not killed her?� Even as she stayed around people to feel protected, she wondered what would happen if she got him on the phone.� She did not know what she would say.� But she never got the chance to find out, because he never called again.
During this time of waiting, Fawkes learned more about the background of her transient companion.� Knowles was born on April 17, 1946 in Orlando, Florida, which made him 28 when he met her, not 33, as he had told her.� One can surmise that, given his sense of fate and his belief in his imminent demise, he identified himself with Jesus Christ.� In fact, his father was a carpenter, as Jesus father was.� Why he said he was a New Mexico native is anyones guess�-- he had never lived there.� He had two older brothers and sisters. � Because of a petty crime when he was eight, at his fathers wish, he had spent a lot of time during his childhood in foster homes and reformatories. Although he sometimes found work as a welder during his stints of freedom, he had several run-ins with the law for petty crimes such as burglary and stealing cars.� Newton says that his first arrest and prison sentence occurred when he was 19 (Frasier says 18) when he kidnapped a police officer who had stopped him for a traffic violation, and after that he averaged more than half of every year of the rest of his life in prison.
At one point, in 1970, he met a woman, corresponded with her, and decided to go straight, so he could get a job, marry her, and support her and her three children.� �However, he found that with his prison record, it was difficult to find employment.� Frustration overcame him and he gave up, precipitating a breakup with the woman and further crimes.� (She later received stolen goods that Knowles had taken from one of his victims, and he stayed with her for a brief period during his 1974 murder spree.)��
He drifted from one state to another, mostly in the South.� Frasier quoted him as saying, If I die tomorrow, it wouldnt matter that much.� He apparently just did whatever he felt like doing.� His lucky break came in the form of a woman who was vulnerable to his charm.

The Fianc�

Raiford Penitentiary entrance
In 1974, Angela Covic, from San Francisco, got involved with Knowles when he was in Raiford Penitentiary.� She was instrumental in getting him released from prison.� According to the story that Fawkes presented from the newspapers at the time, Covic had met Knowles in 1972 via a magazine called American Astrology.� They became pen pals, although its not clear who first contacted whom.� His handwriting apparently intrigued her and she was having difficulties in her marriage, so she quickly romanticized the correspondence.� He was eager to accommodate her, assuring her that he would be a wonderful lover.
Such encounters are not unusual.� Many women write to inmates, and the inmates usually underplay what they have done and overplay what they can become, if only they are given a chance.� Knowles apparently told Covic (according to her interview) that he was in prison over a drug transaction, although he was actually serving three years for burglary.� He flattered her, calling her his angel, and she felt as if she might be his rescuer.� She apparently consulted a psychic, who urged her to try to get legal assistance to get him out of prison.� (This psychic apparently wasnt very skillful, since she failed to foresee just how much damage he would cause in a very short span of time.)� Covic did exactly as she was told, and in May 1974, Knowles was free.� By that time, they had become engaged after one meeting at the prison, so he went right to San Francisco to claim his bride.

Paul John Knowles
Some people, predominantly females, are attracted to incarcerated felons.� Theyre disparagingly called prison groupies, and theyre often considered to be needy losers, but in fact many are financially well-off, stable, attractive, and educated.� Among the reasons that they get so deeply involved are the following:

  • They want to believe they can change someone bad.
  • They feel a strong need to nurture.
  • They acquire the perfect boyfriend,: They know where he is at all times, they feel that someone loves them, they can avoid the day-to-day issues of most relationships, and they can keep the fantasy active for a long time.
  • Some women have been abused, neglected or completely without a father figure, so they find an inmate to fill the void.
  • Some women believe they cannot find a man, and because men in prison are desperately lonely, its an easy way to get involved.
  • Some women like the idea of getting close to danger that will probably not hurt them.
Prison Groupies

Women Who Love Men Who Kill
In Women Who Love Men Who Kill, Sheila Isenberg quotespsychiatrist Park Dietz on prison groupies: I would be amazed if they werent among the neediest and most dependent of women.� As in the transference cure in psychoanalysis, the women are sucking up a part of the mens ego, and that gives them the illusion of being in control.� In other words, they may feel better about themselves when they get involved with men who have a record of violence, which is misperceived as a form of strength.� Then, if the man can make them feel truly loved, the connection can become addictive, and provides the illusion of being completely fulfilling.

Dr. Park Dietz
Isenberg also notes that a large percentage were raised as Catholics and were severely affected by church teachings, including sexism, subjugation of women, and repressions of sexuality.� She goes on to say that their fathers were often missing, withdrawn, or abusive, and their mothers might have been demanding.� Many of these women had also had poor relationships or marriages.

Angela Covic was among them.� Unhappy with her marriage, she had started looking elsewhere for connections with men, and she found Knowles.� He liked to draw little designs on his letters to her, which added to her impression that he was thinking about her a lot.� When they met face to face, he proposed and she accepted.� Then, through friends, she met attorney Sheldon Yavitz, a prot�g� of famed New York attorney Ellis Rubin, and he worked with her to get Knowles paroled.� Fawkes indicates that her mother paid the bill.� Yavitz managed to find a technical difficulty with the case, so it wasnt long before Knowles was a free man.� Before that, however, a psychic told Covic that she had a dangerous man in her life.� She apparently interpreted this in a way that eliminated Knowles from the equation and eagerly awaited a reunion with her new fianc�.� She found potential employment for him and prepared for them to start their life together.� She even sent him money to fly to San Francisco.

Ellis Rubin (l) & Sheldon Yavitz
However, shortly after they got together, she felt uneasy about him.� �Deciding to give it a chance, she let him hang out for four days, but she kept him at arms length.� I just had a funny feeling about him, she told a journalist.� Newton suggests that she reinterpreted the second psychics reading and decided that Knowles was the dangerous man after all.� She was especially concerned when he showed no interest in the job she had lined up.� Her former husband began to look better to her, and immediately after she sent Knowles packing by putting him back on a plane to Florida, she worked at getting her marriage back together.� Yet Knowles had not given up on her and from time to time would call her or send notes. She continued to rebuff him.� �
Newton and Everitt write that Knowles allegedly went out on the night Covic rejected him and killed three people in San Francisco.� Apparently he confessed this on tapes or in documents given to his attorney, but these murders were not verified.� He may have been saying it to enhance his dangerous reputation, or these victims simply disappeared into the system of a large city as unknowns.� At any rate, it wasnt long after arriving back in Florida before he was arrested again for stabbing a bartender during a fight, but he picked a lock in his detention cell (or kicked his way out) and quickly escaped.� Thats when he claimed his first victim, albeit inadvertently.

Lethal Legacy

While Knowles may or may not have started to kill while in San Francisco after Covic rejected him, many writers, including Fawkes, indicate that his first traceable murder took place in Georgia, shortly after he escaped from prison.� The date was July 26, 1974.� On the tapes, heard only by a judge and Georgia grand jury (although transcripts were later leaked), he describes how he got out and then discusses what he recalls of fourteen separate murders (some of which were double homicides).� On the night of his escape, Knowles entered the home of an elderly woman, 65-year-old Alice Curtis.� He tied her up while he went through her home looking for money and things he could use.� Frasier writes that he left her that way and, because of the gag, she choked to death on her dentures (but at least one writer indicates that he realized before he left that she had died).
According to Newton, Knowles fled the scene in her Dodge Dart, using it for less than a week before he decided to dump it after realizing that the police had connected him to the crime and had posted his picture in the media as a wanted fugitive.� �On the street where he was going to abandon it, he noticed two sisters who knew his family, so he kept the car and kidnapped them.� Lillian Anderson was eleven and her sister Mylette was only seven.� Because they could identify him, he strangled them both and buried their bodies in a swamp.� They were not found until five months later, in January, after Knowles had revealed the crime.�
The day after the girls disappeared, on August 2, Knowles met Marjorie Howie, 49, in Atlantic Beach, Florida.� She either invited him or was forced by him to go to her apartment, where he strangled her with a nylon stocking.� Newton says that he stole her television set (and then gave it to a former girlfriend).� Soon afterward, Knowles indicated on the tapes, he picked up a teenage girl who was hitchhiking and killed her as well.� This girls identity is unknown, but Knowles said that he killed her just for sport.� Its not clear if the murder was sexually motivated.
Toward the end of August, Knowles showed up in Musella, Georgia, and forced his way into thehome of Kathie Sue Pierce, who was there with her three-year-old son.� Knowles used a cut telephone cord to strangle her in her bathroom, but did nothing to the child.� Then he left the South and went roving.� His next murder occurred in Ohio.
He entered a roadside pub, Scotts Inn, near Lima on September 3 and met William Bates, a thirty-two-year-old account executive for Ohio Power Company.� The bartender, who knew Bates, recalled that Bates and a young redheaded man had several drinks that evening and left together.� Bates wife then reported him missing , and the police realized that his car was missing as well.� Near the inn, an abandoned Dodge Dart was traced back to Alice Curtis. In October, Bates body turned up, nude, strangled and dumped in the woods.
But the killer hadnt finished.� In Batess car, he moved on to California (calling Covic again),Utah, and Nevada, where in Ely he bound and shot two elderly campers, Emmett and Lois Johnson, on September 18.� Because it was a random murder, there were no leads until Knowles later confessed, although he used their credit cards for a while to pay his expenses.� InTexas, he raped and killed a stranded female motorist (Frasier and Fawkes say she had stopped to admire the sunset), Charlynn Hicks, using her pantyhose to strangle her and then dragging her through a barbed-wire fence.� Her body was found four days later.
Then he met a woman with whom he kept company for a while.� Apparently Fawkes was not the only one he played this game with, but Fawkes was the lucky survivor, probably because she left him before Knowles himself did anything.� He apparently tried to find Fawkes again but was unsuccessful, so its not clear what he might have done.� With beautician Ann Dawson, 49, whom he met in Birmingham, Alabama, he traveled for a few days, letting her pay the bills, until he decided it was time to conclude their arrangement.� Although she went missing and was never found, Frasier writes that Knowles claimed later that he had killed her and dumped the body into the Mississippi River.� It was now the end of September, and he was still not finished.

The Spree Continues

Although he traveled through numerous states, from Oklahoma to Minnesota, he indicated that he had killed no one there.� Overall, he racked up some 20,000 miles on his lethal journey, using stolen credit cards in twenty-five different states.� After the Dawson murder, reports of the other murders conflict.� Fawkes says that on October 16, he killed Karen Wyne and her daughter, Dawn, in Marlborough, Connecticut, binding and raping them before strangling them (as per the tapes).� He took a tape recorder from them.� But Newton indicates that he killed again inVirginia, in mid-October.� He was in Woodford on October 19�(Fawkes says October 18) when he knocked on the door of Doris Hovey, 53.� When she opened it, he forced his way inside.� He found her husbands weapons and used a rifle to shoot her.� He removed his fingerprints and lay the gun beside her.� For investigators who came in later, there appeared to be no reason for this murder.� Nothing had been taken, and there was no evidence of attempted rape.� This offender apparently just enjoyed killing for its own sake.
Knowles was still driving the car he had stolen from William Bates in Ohio and had made some recordings that involved a confession of his deeds thus far.� Newton states that he handed tapes over to Sheldon Yavitz shortly after the Hovey murder (and Fawkes confirms that this occurred on October 25), although it wasnt until November 7, after killing Carswell Carr and his daughter, that he purchased blank tapes and a tape recorder.� Thus, he must have been recording an ongoing diary of some sort, using different machines.� He seems to have stolen the first one and purchased the second one, although its not clear why he needed two.
In any event, he went back to Florida from Virginia, getting as far as Key West before he was stopped for a traffic violation.� Unbelievably, the traffic cop did not bother to check if the car was stolen, but the stop probably saved the lives of the young couple that Knowles had picked up.� Instead of doing anything to them, he dropped them off and went to see Sheldon Yavitz.� Newtonsays that the attorney suggested he surrender but he decided against that, believing that he would rather be shot down on the run than go through the prison system.� He had murdered people in several death-penalty states, so either way, he knew his days were numbered.
Newton and Fawkes indicate that he may have killed another pair of hitchhikers, Edward Hillard and Debbie Griffin.� Hillard was found not far from Macon, Georgia, on November 2. He had been shot five times, but Newton says that his companion remained missing, while Fawkes says she was found in the woods in August 1975.� However, her purse and clothing were found near Hillard, and Knowles was known to have been in the area on November 2.� Newton also indicates that on November 6, Carswell Carr invited Knowles home for the night, which led to the double homicide in Carrs home.

Closing In

For nearly two tense days, as they awaited word about Knowles and the two male hostages, the police tried to close in on the fugitive.� �Finally, on November 17, he came.� He was alone in a car, and he ran a police roadblock in Stockbridge, Georgia, but lost control of the car, slammed into a tree, jumped out, and tried to run.� Firing a gun to keep people back, he disappeared into the Henry County woods.� Inside the abandoned car, police found a gunbelt and hat that had belonged to Campbell.� There was no evidence that the men had been shot or stabbed, so the police hoped that they might still be found.� For four hours (Fawkes says two), the police used tracking dogs and helicopters to locate Knowles, under orders to take him alive for whatever information they could get from him about the missing men, and he was finally brought in by an armed civilian with a shotgun.� Knowles asked him for help, but Clark forced him toward a house, where that resident was asked to phone the police.�

Paul John Knowles in custody
Knowles provided no information about the fate of his hostages, and when he was taken to the police station to be detained, he spotted a crowd of journalists.� He apparently decided that he liked the attention, so he clammed up and would not say whether the police officer or the hapless driver he had taken into the woods were dead or alive.� He even played a little game, telling officers that one word would provide the right clue for determining their whereabouts, but then would not say the word.� One thing was for sure: If they were bound somewhere, without some assistance, they would soon die. � An intensive search was conducted to find them, and off-duty officers came in to assist.� The police arranged to have Fawkes talk to Knowles so she could try to coax information from him, but when she offered an interview exclusive to a local paper, investigators stopped that plan and looked for an alternative.� They were desperate to get to the hostages before nightfall.

However, the men werent found that day, or the next three.� It was not until November 21 that some hunters came across them in a wooded thicket an hour from Macon.� It turned out that Knowles had taken them into the woods, handcuffed them to a tree, and shot them both in the head execution-style.� There had never been any hope for them.� Knowles then said that the word that would have helped to locate them was Pabst, for the brewery nearby.

Twelve Murders

Knowles was suspected in twelve murders at the time, including the two hitchhikers near Macon, the Carrs, Bates, Curtis, two killings in Jacksonville, and three more in Georgia.� They did not yet know just how widely he had traveled.� Once in custody, Knowles mentioned the tapes he had given to his attorney, which started a legal battle in which his attorney was cited for contempt.� Ellis Rubin arrived from New York in support, and Sandy Fawkes was called to a grand jury as well to describe what Knowles had told her about them - which was not much.� Yavitz spent some time in jail before relenting and turning over two packages of documents and tapes.� At first he would only say that while the tapes might have information relevant to the Carr double homicide with which Knowles was charged, they also provided a record of his activities in jurisdictions across the country.� Knowles had given him instructions that upon his death, all tapes and documents were to be revealed to the world for the good of society. Yavitz later called Knowles the most heinous murderer in history.� (Theres little doubt that he regretted his involvement entirely.)

Paul John Knowles, profile
Knowles thoroughly enjoyed the fuss, saying that the only thing he would miss when executed would be seeing the police make fools of themselves.� He gave several media interviews, calling himself the most successful member of my family.� The women who had been involved with him also gave interviews which, along with his good looks, contributed to his moniker, the Casanova Killer.� Photographs showed him to be a devil-may-care type who exhibited a suave sophistication.

GBI agent Ron Angel
On December 18, 1974, Knowles was scheduled to be transferred to a more secure facility (Newton says a maximum-security prison, but others indicate that it was a county jail).� He told his captors that he would show them where he had dumped Charles Campbells service revolver.� Along the way, he quietly picked his handcuffs with a bent paper clip.� Once he was free, he reached for the gun in the sheriffs holster, causing a struggle that discharged it and triggered a fast and lethal response from Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Ron Angel, who shot at Knowles three times. Just as Knowles had predicted to Sandy Fawkes only forty days earlier, he was killed on the spot in the back of the sheriffs car.� Some people speculated that it had been an outright execution staged to look like a struggle, but the wrecked car indicated that the story told was likely true.� After an investigation, it was ruled a justifiable shooting in self-defense.

Knowles was buried in Jacksonville, Florida, accompanied by a quiet service attended only by his family and Angela Covic, the woman who had rejected him.� Fawkes says that the minister refused to pray that his soul would rest in peace. �� No one conducted an autopsy to see if a medical condition may have contributed to his sudden spate of brutal violence.� And, just as Knowles had hoped, Fawkes wrote about him.


That fact that Sandy Fawkes was a journalist probably saved her life, because the idea of being immortalized in a book probably appealed to Knowless narcissistic side.� When Fawkes first met him, she immediately informed him about her work as a ploy to keep him at arms length, but she inadvertently gave him an idea, perhaps making herself functional for him in a way that was different from his other victims.

Killing Time
Killing Time�is a quick read, with no real insight or analysis, but it definitely documents the final days of Paul John Knowles, including the indignities of his inadequate sexual performance.� Yet with the knowledge that impotence can trigger homicidal anger, its likely that her ability to tolerate his inept performance further endeared her to him.� He told her that he was having the best time of his life, and that may well have been true.� He was finally with a woman who seemed to accept him for what he was, and who was there to basically provide him with company and the illusion that he had a normal life.

She seems to think that in the end, once he knew that she knew who he was, he might come back to kill her, but that may simply have been dramatic license on her part.� Theres no reason to think, if he spared her life because he wanted a book written about him, that he would have eventually murdered her.� In fact, once he was arrested, they briefly encountered each other, and he smiled at her and told her she looked good.� He may have felt some genuine affection for her, and he was also probably certain that she would follow through and write the book -- which for her would be the story of a lifetime.


Short Bussed
A Unique Serial Killer

Ted Bundy
Indeed it was.� No journalist has ever had such an experience - a week up close and personal with a murderer, not even Ann Rule, who worked with Ted Bundy.� Knowles was still in the midst of his spree even as he was courting Fawkes, and while Knowles � appears in accounts about serial killers,� hers is the only book devoted entirely to him.� Crossing her path as he did and letting her live did served to immortalize him.

The taped diary that he gave to his attorney, says Frasier, included his description of killing sixteen people (Fawkes says fourteen) across eight states, some for sex, some for material gain, and some just for notoriety.� �He also compared himself to the bank robber John Dillinger, bragging that he would one day be as famous.�

John Dillinger
In custody, he claimed 35 murders, although investigators could not link him to more than eighteen or twenty.� In the end, he was credited with eighteen murders, which is the number he wrote on the palm of his hand when Sheriff Earl Lee asked him for a figure.� Hickey provides a list of the victims, with dates and dispositions of the bodies.� Besides those mentioned above, Knowles is suspected in the rape/strangulation of an unidentified adult woman in Nevada in September during his spree.

Sheriff Earl Lee
As a serial killer, Knowles is unique in that he selected a variety of victims and used a variety of killing methods, sometimes raping, sometimes robbing, and sometimes having no apparent motive. � Not much was known in 1974 about serial killers, but in retrospect, he might better be classified as a spree killer.� Schechter dismisses him as a nihilistic lowlife who degenerated from a petty criminal into a homicidal drifter, randomly killing anyone unlucky enough to get in his way.� In the end, he wasnt really much of a Casanova.
Another Perspective

Following the double homicide of Carswell Carr and his daughter in Millidgeville, Georgia�onNovember 7, 1974, James D. Josey, currently Chief Detective at the Baldwin County Sheriffs Office, became part of the investigation team.� The lead investigator at the time for the Carr case was Charles Osborne, Assistant Chief of Police, but when he had to leave town to look into other leads, Josey handled the Georgia-based investigation.�

Chief Detective James D. Josey
I was a uniformed officer at the time, he said, and on the second day of the investigation, Chief Eugene Ellis and Assistant Chief Charles Osborne brought me in. Asst. Chief Osborne and I, along with Special Agent Gerald Coffee of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, began interviewing anyone and everyone, neighbors, friends etc. re-working the crime scene. At the time we had what we in law enforcement called a who done it. We had nothing to go on until Knowles abandoned his car in Florida, and the authorities there contacted us. � Assistant Chief Osborne and Agent Coffee went to West Palm Beach, Florida and worked with those officers for several days.

While he never made the acquaintance of Sandy Fawkes, he did have an encounter with Paul John Knowles.� �When Knowles was arrested and brought to the Milledgeville Police Department for processing (fingerprinting, photos, etc.), I asked him his occupation and he replied Thief. � So I asked him, when he wasn't stealing what did he do, and he replied, Musician. While I was booking him, he made the statement to me, I am going to build my mother a house before they kill me. �
What Josey clearly remembers some thirty years later is the impression Knowles made on him that day.� Knowles had the coldest eyes.� He could see right through you. � He had no qualms about killing.
He apparently had no qualms about dying, either, or about playing games with peoples lives.� When he grabbed State Trooper Charles E. Campbell and businessman James E. Meyer as hostages and then was captured alone, he refused to give up their whereabouts.� Josey recalled that as well.� I carried Colonel Beech, Commander of the Florida Highway Patrol, to Knowles jail cell in the Bibb County Court House for the Colonel to ask Knowles where his trooper was, so he could give him a Christian burial and Knowles smiled sarcastically and said, You know I can't tell you that. � That was hard to witness.� If you could have seen the anguish on the Colonel's face, it was heartbreaking.� They were soon to learn that Knowles had executed these men and left them in the woods.
Josey also assisted the producers for New Dominion Pictures as they made a television movie about the case called Dangerous Pursuit and spent several days filming it in the Millidgeville area.� The producers had contacted Josey for his impressions and he offered whatever assistance he could.
Knowles definitely left an impression on people who came into contact with him.� Sandy Fawkes book has been reissued in England and anyone else who knew the cold-blooded killer still thinks about him this many years later.


  • Alice Curtis was a 65-year-old resident of Jacksonville, Florida. Knowles gagged her on July 26, 1974, while stealing her belongings. She choked to death on her gag.
  • Lillian and Mylette Anderson, aged 11 and 7 respectively, were strangled early August 1974. Their bodies were never found.
  • Marjorie Howe lived in Atlantic Beach, Florida. She was strangled with a nylon stocking. The motive, apparently, was that Knowles stole her television.
  • Ima Jean Sanders was a 13 year old hitchhiker from Warner Robins, Georgia whom Knowles raped and strangled.[1]
  • Kathy Pierce was strangled with the cord of her telephone on August 23, 1974. Her three-year-old son, who was also present, remained unharmed.
  • William Bates was murdered on September 3, after having shared some drinks with Knowles in Lima, Ohio. His body was not discovered until October. His car, money and credit cards were all taken by Knowles.
  • Emmett and Lois Johnson were out camping in Ely, Nevada, where Knowles murdered both on September 18.
  • Charlynn Hicks was killed on September 21. Her motorcycle broke down in Seguin, Texas. Knowles raped her before strangling her and dragging her body through some barbed wire.
  • Ann Dawson, from Birmingham, Alabama, met Knowles on September 23. They traveled together for a while, until Knowles killed her on September 29. Her body was never found.
  • Karen Wine and her 16 year old daughter, were killed on October 16. They were bound, raped, and strangled with a nylon stocking. They were discovered by Wine's older daughter Cheryl. A tape recorder was missing from their home.
  • Doris Hovey was 53 years old and lived in Woodford, Virginia. She was shot to death by Knowles with her husband's rifle on October 19.
  • Carswell Carr and his daughter met Knowles on November 6 in Milledgeville, Georgia, and invited him over to his house. Subsequently, Knowles stabbed Carr, who had a heart attack before Knowles strangled his daughter. He attempted to engage innecrophilia with her body, but failed.
  • Edward Hilliard and Debbie Griffin were hitchhiking near Milledgeville, Georgia, on November 2. Hilliard's body was found in nearby woods, but Griffin's remains were never discovered. Knowles was not proven to have murdered them, but he was under strong suspicion.
  • Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Charles Eugene Campbell was abducted while on patrol in Perry, Florida and shot by Knowles in Pulaski County, Georgia.
  • James Meyer was a businessman whom Knowles took hostage along with Campbell. Knowles handcuffed them to a tree and shot them with the trooper's gun.

Bach, Richard.� Jonathan Livingston Seagull.� New York: Macmillan, 1970.
Everitt, David.� �Human Monsters.� New York: Contemporary Books, 1993.
Fawkes, Sandy.� Killing Time.� New York: Taplinger Publishing, 1977.
Frasier, David K.� Murder Cases of the Twentieth Century.� Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1996.
Hickey, Eric.� �Serial Murderers and Their Victims.� Third Edition.� Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2002.�
Newton, Michael.� The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers.� New York: Facts on File, 2000.
Schechter, Harold.� The Serial Killer Files.� New York: Ballantine, 2003.
Isenberg, Sheila.� Women Who Love Men Who Kill.�, 2001.
Kingston, Anne.� Real Life Prisoners of Love., June 5, 2004.

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