Paul John Knowles: The Casanova Killer
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
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
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.