William Knofel was known a really bad guy in Butte, Montana back in the 1950s. He did time in the Montana State Penitentiary, was a prime suspect in a murder investigation, and somehow managed to escape from the Butte city jail *three* times. One day, a jailer noticed that Knofel was in a cell right next to a young man locked up for reckless driving....named Robert Craig Knievel. The guard commented, "What a place! We've got Awful Knofel and Evil Knievel!"
Mister Knievel adopted the name "Evel", and made a career out of driving recklessly.