Oscar Knight is the only son of Russell and Maxine Knight. He was born in Oxford, Mississippi, on October 18, 1954. The Knights had one other child, a daughter, Carolyn, born four years after Oscar.
Russell ruled his house and family with an iron fist. He used a razor strop to whip the kids into shape if he thought they were being sassy or trying to get away with doing anything he didn't want them to.
As a child, Oscar preferred to keep his own company most of the time and took any opportunity to get away from his family, even to go to school. He didn't like the authority the teachers had over him, but even the meanest of them was easier on him than his father.
Oscar took out his frustrations on his classmates and got into scrapes with other students almost daily. After some of his teachers and the principal paddled him on several occasions as punishment, he learned to do his fighting after school. By the time he was a teenager, his peers knew him as a bully, and most gave him a wide berth.
His teachers report that Oscar had an aptitude for mathematics but was poorly socialized, which made him a difficult student. He had little patience for class discussions or group projects and was often disrespectful of teachers and classmates, especially the female ones.
Oscar lived at home with his parents until he graduated from high school when his father informed him it was time for him to pay his own way.
In December 1973, Oscar enlisted in the Army, where he served for 12 years and earned a degree in civil engineering.
After leaving the Army, he never returned to the family home in Oxford, and instead found a small apartment in Tupelo. There, he was hired by Patterson Engineering & Development, Inc. After four years there, he bought a home of his own on Bella Vista Street in Tupelo.
Oscar's mother, Maxine, passed away in 2013. His father, Russell, now lives with his daughter, Carolyn, in Tupelo. Friends say Carolyn has not forgiven her father for his treatment of his family in the past but feels a responsibility to care for him.
Oscar is reportedly estranged from both his father and sister. Those who know Oscar say he has few close friends. He lives alone, has never married, and has no known children. He still works for Patterson Engineering.
According to the Tupelo Police Department, officers responded to an altercation at the Sweetgum Lounge on September 17, 2015. Oscar was taken into custody at the scene and booked, but the charges were later dropped.
Rebel Inn motel records show Oscar checked into room 120 on August 18, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. He was last seen at The Roadhouse Bar & Grill the evening of August 19th. Guests on either side of his room at the Rebel Inn report hearing him yell and bang on the walls between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m. that same night.