Paul John Knowles, “The Casanova Killer”
In 1974, at the age of 28, Paul John Knowles was incarcerated for a myriad of petty crimes. He began corresponding with Angela Covic, who traveled to Florida from California to arrange his release from prison. She was successful, and Knowles eventually joined her in California after proposing marriage.
However, Angela visited a psychic who warned her of a “dangerous new man in her life”; she broke it off with Knowles, who became enraged at her rejection. Though unverified, he claimed to have murdered three people on the streets of San Francisco after Angela dumped him, then returned to Florida.
In Jacksonville, he was imprisoned yet again for stabbing a bartender, but he picked the lock on his cell and escaped — thus began his murder spree.
Knowles started by breaking into the home of 65-year-old Alice Curtis with the intent of looting her house for valuables. Alice choked to death on her own dentures. He stole her car, then when attempting to abandon it after being identified by police, killed young sisters Lillian and Mylette Anderson (who he wanted to remove as witnesses).
While running from the police, Knowles killed many more victims, some circumstantial and some for unknown reasons. Many of these murders were for financial gain to keep him supported on his escape, but others were seemingly just for “fun”. He’s thought to have murdered anywhere from 18-35 victims, possibly more.
After several months of mayhem, capture by police, escape, and an ensuing manhunt, Knowles was finally taken into custody. While in the patrol car, however, he reached for an officer’s gun and discharged it through the holster; the other police officer fired three shots into Knowles’ chest, killing him instantly.