Posted on March 18, 2020

D.C. Sniper’s Jailhouse Bride Is a ‘Trust Fund Baby’ Turned Activist

Rachel Olding and William Bredderman, The Daily Beast, March 13, 2020

Lee Boyd Malvo, half of the two-man D.C. sniper team that killed 10 people in 2002, has found his “soul mate” in a wealthy political activist who spent a short amount of time in jail herself following a Black Lives Matter protest.

Malvo, 35, married Sable Noel Knapp, 30, in a low-key civil ceremony in Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison on March 6, according to a marriage certificate filed in the Wise County Circuit Court.

Knapp, part of a prominent Iowa family of property developers and power brokers, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to political causes. However, the self-described “trust fund baby” has spent her adult years passionately advocating for social equality, wealth redistribution, and racial justice.

“She’s really committed to social activism, for sure, and I think she was always looking for ways to make changes,” lawyer Julian Richter, who represented Knapp in 2016 when she was arrested at a Black Lives Matter protest in Maine, told The Daily Beast on Thursday.

Knapp lists her profession as a writer’s assistant living in Portland, Maine. Her grandfather, Bill Knapp, runs one of Iowa’s biggest real-estate companies and is responsible for building some of Des Moines’ most iconic buildings. Her late father, Roger, was a professional tennis player in the 1980s. {snip}

Knapp, however, appears to have rejected much of her family’s lavish lifestyle and instead involved herself in grassroots activism. {snip}


Malvo was 17 when he and John Allen Muhammad, 41, killed 10 people in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., during a three-week reign of terror. He was handed eight life sentences without parole.


He is largely kept in solitary confinement but was reportedly allowed to hold Knapp’s hand during a civil ceremony held in Red Onion’s visitors area.

Political donation logs show Knapp is a prolific contributor to Democratic causes, giving thousands to at least a dozen candidates including Bernie Sanders, Marianne Williamson, and Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne, as well as the Real Justice PAC. {snip}


Knapp was one of 18 activists arrested for blocking a roadway during a tense Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Maine, in 2016, following the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. She was bailed after spending a night in jail. Criminal charges were dismissed a year later after activists agreed to admit to a civil offense of disorderly conduct.