Mom to Face Cara Knott's Killer

The former CHP officer who killed Cara Knott 25 years ago is up for parole

December 27, 2011 marks 25 years since one of San Diego County’s most publicized murders. 
Cara Knott would be 45 years old today. 

Every day, her mother thinks about what Cara would have become.

"Her big thing was to be a mother and she really wanted to have children," said Joyce Knott.  "I have four grandchildren. I should have more, but I won't."

It was two days after Christmas in 1986 when 20 year old Cara left her boyfriend's house in Escondido heading south on Interstate-15 towards her parents’ house in El Cajon.

She never made it.

Knott's body was later found below the interstate near a dead-end road.

Not long after the murder, CHP officer Craig Peyer took a news crew from NBC in San Diego on a ride-along explaining the dangers of allowing a stranger into the car.

 "Anything could happen," Peyer told NBC San Diego's Rory Devine. "Being a female, you could be raped, robbed if you're a male, all the way where you could be killed."

Then, in an eerie twist in the case of Cara Knott, Officer Craig Peyer was arrested for Knott's murder. 

During his trial, prosecutors claimed Peyer pulled over Cara that night, and for a reason he's still never spoken publicly about, strangled her and dumped her body.

Next month, Joyce Knott will once again have to see the man she refers to as the monster. 
Peyer is up for parole, and Knott will travel to the prison in San Luis Obispo to personally try to persuade against it.

"I dread it.  It's a dreadful thing to have to do," said Knott. "It's kind of beyond anything you can imagine to go up and go into prison and go through those doors, and to be taken to this room and then the monster comes in."

While Knott will speak at a parole hearing, she says the parole board also reads letters when considering its decision. 

Knott is encouraging the public to send letters on Cara's behalf to the board of parole hearings at PO Box 8101 San Luis Obispo, CA 93409.

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