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Thomas Knight

Florida Death Row Inmate


Thomas Knight

Thomas Knight

Prison Photo
On July 17, 1974, the victim, Sydney Gans, arrived at his place of business and parked his car. Thomas Knight, a former employee, who was carrying an automatic rifle, approached him. Knight then ordered Mr. Gans to get back into the vehicle and drive to his residence and pick up his wife, Lillian Gans.

Once Mrs. Gans was in the vehicle Knight ordered Mr. Gans to drive to his bank in order to obtain $50,000. Mr. Gans did as instructed and entered the bank. While inside the bank Mr. Gans notified the bank president of the abduction, and the police and FBI were alerted.

Mr. Gans then returned to his wife and their car with the money. Knight then ordered Mrs. Gans to drive the car in an evasive route toward South Dade County. The FBI and local law enforcement were in pursuit, and had remained undetected, however they briefly lost sight of the vehicle.

Knight ordered the couple to stop the vehicle in a remote area and then shot both victims in the back of the head at close range. The defendant fled the scene, but was apprehended shortly thereafter.

Knight attempted to hide from the police by burying himself in the dirt and weeds of a heavily wooded area. Police noticed bloodstains on the defendant’s pants and discovered the automatic rifle and $50,000 hidden underneath him.

Source: Florida Commission on Capital Cases

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