Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Paul John Knowles: The Casanova Killer

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 with cerebral 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
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 he'd murdered.  She also could hardly believe that she had been riding around -- even driving - a car and living off the credit cards of Knowles's 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 in Perry, 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.

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