Most disputes among romantic partners culminate in an expression of regret. However, for Katherine Knight, the outcome was far more sinister: it led to murder and disfigurement.
In the February of 2000, this Australian female butcher relentlessly stabbed her lover, inflicting no less than 37 wounds upon him, before proceeding to dismember, cook, and prepare him for a horrifying feast intended for his own children.
Even before this gruesome act, Katherine Mary Knight’s life was marred by violence and sexual abuse, hinting at the horrors that awaited in the future.
Katherine Mary Knight was the result of a scandalous union between her mother, Barbara Roughan, and her father, Ken Knight. Born on October 24, 1955, in Tenterfield, Australia, Katherine Mary Knight’s birth brought a wave of shock to their small, religious community. Barbara Roughan, who already had four sons from a previous relationship, met Knight through her husband, further intensifying the scandalous nature of their connection.
Knight’s tumultuous childhood did not improve after this challenging beginning. Her father, an abusive alcoholic, consistently violated her mother. Knight herself recounts that she endured sexual assault by various family members until the age of 11.
At school, Knight displayed a bullying nature, instilling fear in younger students. Dropping out of school at the age of 15, she sought employment at a clothing factory, lacking the ability to read or write. A year later, she finally acquired her “dream job” at an animal slaughterhouse, where her responsibilities included removing the internal organs of the animals.
According to journalist Peter Lalor, Katherine Knight held such affection for her job that she displayed her initial set of butcher’s knives above her bed, just in case they were ever needed. His true-crime book, “Blood Stain,” highlights the story of Katherine Knight.And eventually, that day arrived.
First Comes Love, Then Comes Attempted Murder
While working at the butcher shop, Knight encountered David Kellett, a violent alcoholic resembling her own father, prone to conflicts. Knight shocked her new companion by actively participating in one of his drunken altercations, as she was accustomed to such violence.
However, he soon discovered that Knight possessed the capability to inflict moderate harm with her fists, ultimately dominating him.
In 1974, Knight persuaded him to marry her. In a state of intoxication, he consented, even though her mother had warned him about her daughter’s volatile temperament, indicating that Knight had a “screw loose somewhere.”
Knight and Kellett consummated their marriage three times on their wedding night. Displeased with her husband’s exhaustion, Knight desired a fourth encounter but resorted to strangling him when he fell asleep.
Kellett managed to regain consciousness and thwart Knight’s attempt on his life. Despite her homicidal act occurring a mere day into their marriage, they remained together for another decade, although their union was far from idyllic.
Kellett frequently cheated on his wife and abandoned their two daughters, leaving them stranded one night. Upon learning about one of Kellett’s affairs, Knight threatened several individuals with a stolen ax. Knight also callously left their two-month-old baby on the local train tracks, just moments before the scheduled arrival (fortunately, the train never arrived, thereby saving the baby’s life).
After fiercely dragging and swinging her second child in a stroller down a bustling street, Knight was diagnosed with postpartum depression.
During her brief stay in a mental health facility, she confessed to nurses her plan to murder the mechanic who had repaired Kellett’s car, as it enabled him to leave her. Despite the threat, Kellett took Knight back when she was discharged. However, their reunion was short-lived, and Knight experienced significant distress following Kellett’s eventual departure.
Following her breakup with Kellett in 1986, Katherine Knight swiftly embarked on a passionate relationship with a local miner named David Saunders.
Within a short period, Saunders moved in with Knight and her two daughters. However, Knight’s intense jealousy and suspicion regarding Saunders’ activities in her absence tainted their relationship. This bond swiftly turned toxic and violent, mirroring her previous connections.
To demonstrate her capability, Knight once callously slit the throat of Saunders’ two-month-old dingo puppy in his presence.
Nevertheless, they remained together, and a year later, they welcomed a daughter. However, Saunders left Knight shortly after the birth, as she had attempted to sever his head with a pair of scissors.
Subsequently, Knight encountered John Chillingworth. After three years of marriage, they had Eric, Knight’s first son. While no violent incidents were reported during their relationship, it terminated when Chillingworth discovered Knight’s affair with John Charles Thomas Price.
Katherine Knight’s Violent Relationship With John Charles Thomas Price Initially, Katherine Knight and John Price enjoyed a harmonious relationship. Knight established a rapport with his two older children, who resided with him, and she financially supported herself by working as a miner. They cohabited in 1995, and things seemed promising.
However, when Knight proposed marriage, Price declined, leading to her aggressive behavior.
Knight falsely accused Price of theft, resulting in his dismissal from work. Although he initially ejected her from his life, they resumed their relationship a few months later.
But this time, Price forbade Knight from returning. As attested by friends and neighbors, Knight’s abuse intensified.
Following an argument in February 2000, Katherine Knight attempted to stab John Charles Thomas Price in the chest. Concerned for his children’s safety, Price obtained a restraining order against Knight. By the end of the month, Price confided in his colleagues, expressing his apprehension for his well-being, informing them that if he were to disappear, Knight had murdered him.
His fears were justified.
Murder, Mutilation, And A Macabre Dinner Menu On February 29, 2000, John Charles Thomas Price returned from work, engaging in customary conversations with his neighbors before retiring to bed at 11 p.m. Shortly after arriving home, Knight prepared a meal for herself, watched television, took a shower, and then proceeded upstairs. Price was awakened by her, and they engaged in sexual activity before he returned to bed.
It was then that Katherine Knight savagely stabbed Price 37 times with a butcher knife that she habitually kept beside her bed. Evidence suggests that Price regained consciousness during the assault but was unable to defend himself.
Afterward, Knight carried his lifeless body downstairs, skinned him, and suspended it from a meat hook in the living room. She decapitated him, subsequently dismembering parts of his body to cook with potatoes, pumpkin, beets, zucchini, cabbage, squash, and gravy.
Although she prepared a dish for herself, the partially consumed food found at the crime scene suggests she was unable to finish her macabre feast.
Consuming a substantial quantity of pills, Knight laid down beside Price’s headless and dismembered remains, losing consciousness.
The following morning, when Price failed to report for work, his colleagues heeded his previous warnings and promptly contacted the police. Upon arrival, the police discovered the gruesome crime scene orchestrated by Katherine Knight. Unconscious at the time, Knight claimed to have no recollection of the previous night’s events upon awakening.
Inside the kitchen, the police discovered Price’s head boiling in a pot of vegetables on the stove. Additionally, two fully set plates bearing names were found on the table, indicating Knight’s sinister intention to serve John Price’s remains to his own children.
Katherine Knight: “Never To Be Released” Despite Katherine Knight’s claims of innocence, she was immediately charged with the murder of John Charles Thomas Price.
Her trial commenced in October 2001, but it swiftly concluded. Knight altered her plea to guilty for unspecified reasons, prompting the judge to close the case without hearing any testimonies.
Upon her transfer to prison, the judge mandated that her records be marked with the designation “never to be released.” Thus, she became the first woman in Australia to receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Despite her conviction, Knight maintains her innocence and refuses to accept responsibility for her actions.
Katherine Knight previously appealed her sentence, but her appeal was promptly rejected. She currently serves her life sentence at the Silverwater Women’s Correctional Center.