Barbara Mabee Abel: Where is Paul John Knowles’ Survivor Now?

Image Credit: Barbara Abel/Facebook

In 1974, when Barbara Mabee Abel returned to her home, she found her sister with disability held hostage by a notorious serial killer. As she willingly sacrificed herself for her family, the killer took her with him and held her hostage for several days. The harrowing event is covered in the episode titled ‘Surviving the Casanova Killer’ of Investigation Discovery’s ‘People Magazine Investigates: Surviving A Serial Killer.’ With the help of interviews with the survivor, her loved ones, and the officials involved in the case, the viewers get a detailed account of the entire incident.

Barbara Mabee Abel Was Kidnapped by Paul John Knowles

Born on April 17, 1943, to Albert Earl Mabee and Matilda P. Mabee, Barbara Mabee Abel came into the life of her parents and other family members as a little bundle of joy. Growing up in a loving household in the company of her siblings, including her twin sister Beverly Mabee, brother Gary Mabee, and another sister Jacqueline Hellin. Her twin sister was unfortunately born with cerebral palsy and had to face many challenges in her life while growing up. Barbara stood beside her like a pillar of support, being with her every step of the way and helping her overcome several difficult situations. After graduating from high school and college with flying colors, she grew up to be a professional copywriter.

Image Credit: Barbara Abel/Facebook

At the time of her abduction, Barbara was a single mother to a six-year-old son, with whom she and her sister lived in West Palm Beach, Florida. Their humble abode was turned into a horrific space in November 1974 when the notorious serial killer, Paul John Knowley, entered the house under the pretense of an IRS agent and held Beverly hostage while Barbara was not at home. However, when she returned home, the single mother tried to pacify the situation, only for the killer to turn his attention to her six-year-old son. When he tried to kidnap her son, the 32-year-old woman begged and convinced him to take her with him instead.

Paul even stole their beige Volkswagen to flee the scene with Barbara, driving her off to Fort Pierce, Florida, where he tied her up in a motel room. Meanwhile, Beverly managed to untie herself and called the police, detailing the entire incident. After that, the authorities televised the killer’s picture in the area and alarmed the locals about the armed and dangerous individual. Barbara, who was held hostage at a Fort Pierce motel, was repeatedly raped during her captivity before she was able to escape from the bonds after he left her alone on November 15, 1974. A couple of days later, on November 17, Paul John Knowles was finally captured in Henry County, Georgia, after allegedly claiming more than 30 victims.

Barbara Mabee Abel is a Published Author Today

Several years later, Barbara Mabee Abel was interviewed about the traumatic incident. She stated, “I had no idea how many he had murdered. He tried to keep telling me, and I wasn’t listening.” She revealed that due to the fact that she was a copywriter, Paul told her that he wished to write a book about all the murders he had committed. According to Paul’s brother and lawyer, he was aware of the fact that he would be caught, so he was allegedly trying to publish a book so that the proceeds could go to his mother.

Apart from Barbara, there was another survivor named Sandy Fawkes, a woman who was a writer by profession. Thus, there was a theory floating around that Paul deliberately let the two women live so that they would write about him and make him famous. Several decades later, Barbara eventually published a book titled ‘One Survivor: 35 Dead How I Became the Sole Kidnapped and Raped Survivor of the Casanova Serial Killer (Paul John Knowles),’ in which she gave a detailed account of the horrifying incident.

Following the release of her book, which was published on August 31, 2021, she posted on social media talking about it. She wrote, “After decades of wanting to put this story on paper, lots of hard work, friends encouragement, and a promise to my twin sister, it has finally come to fruition, with God’s help making me wait to include more survivor tales.” Barbara ended up finding the right partner for herself and got married. Reportedly, she currently resides in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she leads a happy life, trying to move on from what transpired decades ago.

Read More: Courtney Wild: Where is Jeffrey Epstein’s Survivor Now?