Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Paul John Knowles: The Casanova Killer

Double Homicide

Carr residence, outside
Carr residence, outside

Someone had called to report a woman in his neighborhood screaming hysterically, and by the time the police arrived that morning, several people had clustered on the lawn of the suburban home of Carswell Carr.  His wife had run from the house upon returning from her nightshift work as a nurse to find her husband and daughter murdered inside.  Assistant Police Chief Charles Osborne had gone to the scene with several deputies, and they were shocked by what they found.

The definitive book on the string of murders that included the Carr double homicide is Killing Time, by British journalist Sandy Fawkes.  There are newspaper accounts as well, from papers around the Milledgeville area, near Macon, Georgia, including the Atlanta Constitution, but most descriptions of the crimes and the offender in books on serial killers derive from Fawkes' story, because she had a uniquely privileged viewpoint.  Some writers believe that Mrs. Carr was the victim in this crime, but it was, in fact, her husband, who was probably killed for his clothing.

Outside Carr residence, police
Outside Carr residence, police

As the police went into the Carr home on November 7, 1974, the police saw that the place was in terrible disarray.  Furniture had been picked up and thrown about or overturned, books picked up and tossed, mirrors and picture glass broken, and some of the upholstered furniture had been slashed open with a sharp implement.   Yet this was nothing compared to what awaited them in the back rooms.

In the master bedroom, Carswell Carr lay dead on the bed, nude, with his hands bound behind his back.  There was blood all over his body and the bed, as if he'd struggled valiantly until the end.  He had been stabbed superficially multiple times with what appeared to be a pair of scissors, but the medical examiner indicated that his death had been the result of a heart attack.  The intent of the attack appeared to be torture, and he had clearly suffered.  Twenty-seven stab wounds were evident, according to Frasier in Murder Cases of the Twentieth Century.

In another room down the hall, fifteen-year-old Mandy had also been bound and left face-down, but she had been strangled and a nylon stocking had been forced deep into her throat to asphyxiate her.  The pathologist spent fifteen minutes getting it out.  Another stocking was wrapped around her throat and tightly knotted, and there was the appearance of attempted but incomplete rape.   Both victims had died around the same time, but the time-of-death estimate was difficult to narrow down to less than some time during the night - the span of Mrs. Carr's work hours.


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