As of today, the KANOTIX distribution is...not dead, exactly, but most definitely without a firm direction. Its co-developer has left, its Paypal donation link is down, and it's not clear what's going to happen with it in the future.. Indeed, "Kano", for whom the distribution was named after, has said:
Since financing Kanotix through donations has proved a failure and I am planning restructuring to a more stable base (be it Ubuntu or Debian will have to show in tests) and I myself regard Debian/Sid as unfortunately not compliant with a more commercial orientation, he has left the project.
Here's my advice on how not to succeed in engendering donations for your own distribution in linux. I myself had made PayPal donations to kanotix on two occasions, the total being about the order of magnitude of the cost of a Windows XP upgrade. I had often received help from the kanotix user forums and IRC channel, including from Kano himself in both places.