Updated: Jul 2
Katherine Knight was the first woman in Australia to receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole after slaughtering and cooking her boyfriend John Price. This is the full story of the brutal murder and her life before.
In February 2000, Katherine Knight did not only kill her boyfriend, but the Australian abattoir worker also hacked him to death with a butcher knife, slashing him at least 37 times, she then chopped him up, cooked him in a stew, and attempted to serve him to his own children. Before the brutal killing, the life of Katherine Mary Knight was fraught with violence and sexual abuse that hinted toward a bloody outcome in the end.
Katherine Knight's Childhood
Katherine Knight was born on October 24, 1955 in Tenterfield, Australia, Knight was the result of an affair between her mother Barbara Roughan, and her father, Ken Knight. Roughan was already married to another man and had four children with him when she fell pregnant with Katherine Knight, the scandalous affair shocked the small town in which she lived as she had met Ken Knight through her husband.
Ken Knight was a violent alcoholic and he would rape her mother several times a day, Katherine even claimed that she was sexually abused by several family members until the age of 11.
Whilst in school Katherine Knight was known to be a bully who would pick on smaller children, she never learned how to read or write at school and quit at the age of 15 and began working in a clothes factory.
A year later, she took a job that she would refer to as her "dream job", it was working at a slaughterhouse, where she was tasked with cutting out the internal organs of the dead animals.
Marriage To Attempted Murder
Katherine met a man called David Kellet, he was a violent alcoholic, much like her father used to be, he would frequently get into fights with other men while drinking heavily. Knight was used to this type of violent behaviour and got involved in one of Kellett's drunken brawls, quickly showing her new partner that she was also more than handy with her fists.
It didn't take long before Knight was dominating her lover, the violence she showed put her in charge of their relationship from very early on.
Knight's mother had even warned David Kellet about her daughter and her terrifying temper, she said that she had "a screw loose somewhere."
However, in 1974 Katherine Knight had managed to convince David Kellet to Marry her, even the wedding night showed all the signs of a future murderer in the making. Katherine Knight and David Kellet consummated their marriage three times before Kellet fell asleep, Knight took offence that he did not want the fourth round, so she decided to start strangling him in bed. Kellet woke up and managed to fight Knight off him, surprisingly, even though she had just tried to kill him on their first day of marriage, they stayed together for 10 years, the marriage, however, was rocky, to say the least.
David Kellet was often unfaithful throughout their marriage, Knight eventually discovered one of his affairs and took their two-month-old child to the local train tracks and placed them on the line just before a train was due to pass, luckily the train didn't come and the child survived, she also stole and axe and threatened several different people with it. Witnesses contacted authorities when they saw Knight aggressively pushing and swinging her second child down a busy street in her buggy. This resulted in her spending several months in a psychiatric hospital, it was during this time that she made an astonishing statement to the nurses who were caring for her, she explained that she intended to kill the mechanic that had fixed David Kellett's car for him because that made it possible for him to leave her.
Even after Knight had made this threat towards the mechanic, Kellet took her back when she was released from the hospital, however, this didn't last long and Kellet finally did end up leaving her shortly after.
More toxic relationships for Katherine Knight
The year was 1986, not long after her separation from David Kellet, Knight quickly jumped into another relationship, this time with a local miner by the name of David Saunders.
Only a few short months into their new relationship, Saunders moved into Katherine Knight's home, to live with her and her two daughters.
Saunders decided that although he was living with Knight he wanted to keep his own apartment, Knight hated this and quickly became suspicious and extremely jealous about what he was up to when she wasn't around, just like her relationships before, this one quickly became equally as toxic and violent.
During an argument, Knight did the despicable act of slitting the throat of Saunders's two-month-old dingo puppy just to show him what she was capable of.
After this horrific act, unbelievably, they stayed together and even went on to have a daughter a year later. Knight lashed out again though and attempted to kill Saunders using a pair of scissors, this was the final straw for him and he left her.
Her next relationship came when she met a man named John Chillingworth, the couple stayed together for three years and had a child, this was Katherine Knight's first son, Eric. During their time together there are no reports or known incidents of violence throughout the relationship, however, it ended when Chillingworth discovered that Knight was having an affair with a man called John Price, her future victim.
Katherine Knight and John Price's Relationship
It would appear that the relationship between Katherine Knight and John Price started relatively 'normally', Price had two older children that appeared to grow quite fond of Knight, he was also financially stable, working as a miner gave them enough money to live comfortably, they moved in together in 1995 and everything seemed as though it was going to plan.
Knight made the suggestion that the couple should get married, however, when Price declined she quickly resorted to type and started to get violent. Knight even framed Price for stealing from the company that he worked for, which resulted in him getting fired, this caused him to kick her out of their home, for whatever reason, after a few months they started seeing each other again, however, he refused to let her move back in with him.
Their friends and neighbours have spoken about how Knight's violence started to escalate after he wouldn't allow her to move back in with him straight away.
In February of 2000, an argument between the pair resulted in Knight trying to stab Price in the chest. After this, he got a restraining order against her in an attempt to keep himself and his children out of harms way.
In the same month, John Price even told his co-workers about his concern for his safety, telling them that if he ever went missing it would likely be because Katherine Knight had killed him.
February 29, 2000, John Price had just got back home from work, he went round and had a chat with his neighbours before going to bed at around 11pm.
Katherine Knight arrived back at the house after finishing work, she made herself dinner, had a shower, and watched TV for a while before going upstairs and waking up Price, the pair had sex and he went back to sleep.
Knight then took a butcher's knife from where she kept it, next to her bed, and stabbed him 37 times, Price woke up during the attack but was unable to fight her off. After he died from the injuries that Knight had inflicted on him, she dragged his body downstairs, skinned him, and hung him from a meat hook in the living room.
She proceeded to cut up his body into pieces and made a stew, using his flesh, potatoes, pumpkin, beetroot, cabbage, zucchini, squash, and gravy.
Katherine Knight dished up a plate for herself and proceeded to eat the man she had just murdered, according to the police reports it appears Knight only managed to eat about half of what she had served herself.
Knight then took a large number of pills while laying down, next to the headless, mutilated body of John Price, and passed out.
The co-workers of John Price called the police the following morning when he never arrived for work, the police quickly attended the property and found the brutal crime scene, and immediately arrested Katherine Knight, who was still barely conscious after the number of pills she had taken, once she came around she claimed that she had no memory of what had happened the previous night.
If that was not horrifying enough, the police found the head of John Price, boiling in a pot of vegetables on the stove in the kitchen. On the table there were two full plates of food, each with a label on them, in utter horror, the police realised that Katherine Knight had intended to serve the stew, made using John Price's body parts to his own children.
Although Katherine Knight claimed that she had absolutely no memory of what had happened on that fatal night the police quickly charged her with his murder.
In October of 2001, the trial began, however, it didn't get very far, Knight quickly changed her plea to guilty and the judge adjourned the case without any testimony, the reasons behind this are still unclear.
Katherine Knight was taken to prison that very same day and the judge ordered that the papers must be marked "never to be released." This was the first time in Australian history that a woman had been handed a full life sentence without the possibility of parole.
To this day Katherine Knight still argues her innocence and has refused to accept any responsibility for what happened to John Price, she even went on to appeal her sentence, which was denied almost immediately. She is currently serving her life sentence at Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre.
You can watch the full-length documentary about Katherine Knight's horrific crimes below:
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