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Paul John Knowles AKA the "Casanova killer"

Updated on October 18, 2011

Paul John Knowles

Paul John Knowles was born in Orlando, Florida, USA on 17th April 1946.

He stayed out of trouble until he was 19 when he kidnapped a policeman who had stopped him for a routine traffic offence. Between 1965 and 1974 Knowles was a regular in and out of prison before finally being released in May 1974.

Between May and November 1974 Knowles was involved with the deaths of 18 people although he later boasted to the police that it was 35.

His first attack

On 26th July 1974 Knowles burgled the home of 65 year old Alice Curtis, putting a gag on her mouth which resulted in her choking to death.

His next victims were two young sisters Lillian and Mylette Anderson aged 11 and 7 years.He had been dumping a stolen car in a quiet road when the girls saw him. He knew the girls through his mother and frightened that they would tell the police lured them into his car. Knowles strangled the little girls and threw them into the swamp.

On 3rd September Knowles murdered William Bates in Lima Ohio after drinking with him. Knowles stole his wallet, money and credit cards.

Later in September Knowles met Ann Dawson a beautician,and they travelled together for six days until Knowles murdered her. The body was never found.

On 16th October Knowles killed Karen Wine and her 16 year old daughter, raping them first and then strangling them with a nylon stocking.

On 6th November Knowles frequented a gay bar at Macon, Georgia and met Carswell Carr who invited him to spend the night at the home he shared with his 15 year old daughter Mandy. Once at the house an argument started and Knowles stabbed Carr who had a heart attack. Whilst her father was incapacitated Knowles strangled Mandy and then tried to rape her dead body.

A few days later Knowles was in Atlanta, Georgia. He met a 40 year old British journalist, Sandy Fawkes in the Holiday Inn bar. She and Knowles paired up and began to drive down the coastal roads to Florida. Knowles introduced himself as Lester Daryl Golden to Fawkes. She said of the relationship " After a week I just had a feeling I wanted to get away from him", and she managed to elude Knowles deadly grip. This was not Sandy's first brush with death. She had been dumped as a baby on the banks of the Grand Union canal in Birmingham and never knew who her parents were.After Knowles was discovered police also investigated Sandy as they had suspicions that she might be involved in some of the murders. She subsequently wrote about the incident which was later turned into a book in 2004, Natural Born Killer : In love and on the road with a serial killer.

On 26th November a state trooper Charles Euguene Campbell pulled Knowles over for a traffic violation. In an echo of his first offence Knowles kidnapped the officer and forced him into the back of his own patrol car. Knowles used the cars livery and siren to stop a businessman, James E Meyer forcing him into the back of the car. Both men were subsequently tied to a tree and executed by shots to the head.

Capture and arrest

Knowles was captured the day after the shootings as he drove through a police roadblock losing control of the car and hitting a tree. Police captured Knowles after a manhunt through the Henry County woods.

On 18th December 1974 Knowles was being transferred to a high security prison in the back of a patrol car. Knowles had picked up a paper clip and used it to unfasten his handcuffs, making a lunge for Sherrif Earl Lee's gun. Seeing the struggle Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent, Ron Angel, shot him three times at point blank range.


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