Crime History: 'Casanova Killer' shot after chaotic manhunt

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On this day, Nov. 18, in 1974, Paul John Knowles -- dubbed "the Casanova Killer" -- was shot dead after slipping out of handcuffs while in custody.

In 1974, Knowles went on a deadly, four-month, cross-country rampage after his fiancee dumped him on the advice of a psychic, killing between 18 and 35 people, including hitchikers, elderly women and a young mother while her 2-year-old watched.

He took a Florida trooper hostage and used the officer's patrol car to pull over another vehicle, then shot both hostages.

Knowles was finally captured by an armed civilian after crashing his car at a roadblock in Georgia. While in a police car, Knowles used a paper clip to unlock his handcuffs.

He grabbed an officer's handgun and was shot dead.

- Scott McCabe

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Author:

Scott McCabe

Staff Writer - Crime
The Washington Examiner