Crime Spree: February 29, 2000
Katherine Mary Knight decided her ex-boyfriend deserved to die. So she proceeded to stab him to death. Then she SKINNED him and hung his flesh from a meat hook in her kitchen. But she didn’t stop there! She then proceeded to COOK his head and parts of his body, along with plenty of healthy vegetables and gravy, for his own children’s evening meal!
(Thank God, the kids didn’t actually arrive for this very special event)
But don’t gasp yet. This was not the first insane move this obvious lunatic committed. But it would thankfully be her last.
Katherine Knight would, in time, become known as ‘the first Australian woman to be sentenced to life in prison without the opportunity for parole.’ The judge would even go so far as to write on her file the words ‘never to be released.’ She was convicted of the murder of John Price in October of 2001 and is currently detained in Silverwater Women’s Correctional Center.
Katherine was born about 30 minutes after her twin sister, Joy, on October 24th, 1955 in Tenterfield, New South Wales. Apart from her twin, the only person Katherine was close to was her uncle Oscar Knight. She was devastated when he committed suicide in 1969 and maintains to this day that his ghost visits her often. The family moved to Aberdeen that same year.
Katherine left school at the age of 15, not having learned to read nor write well and found employment as a cutter in a clothing factory. A year later, at age 16, she left the clothing factory for a job cutting up offal (decomposing animal flesh) at the local slaughterhouse. She was extremely good at her job and was quickly promoted to the position of boning. Katherine Knight was one happy camper.
Katherine Knight and David Kellett
In 1973 Katherine fell in love with 22-year-old truck driver David Kellett. They married one year later. (Rumor had it that Katherine attempted to strangle her new husband to death on the first evening of their honeymoon when he wouldn’t repeatedly make love to her. And falling asleep on her was evidently the worst move he could make.)
Katherine Knight gave birth to the couples first child, Melissa Ann, in 1976. However, David, evidently unwilling, or unable to deal with his wife’s outrageous, violent mood swings and possessiveness, decided to run off with another woman.
Deeply upset by her husband’s abandonment of the family, Katherine took her anger out on their two month old daughter. One afternoon, shortly after David’s departure, Katherine Knight walked down to the local train lines and left Melissa Ann in the middle of the tracks to be run over by the next train that came down the line. Fortunately there was a man foraging nearby who heard the baby crying and saved her minutes before the next train was scheduled to arrive on those tracks .
But Katherine didn’t stop there.
Later that same day, Katherine went on another rampage. She went into a nearby town threatening to kill perfect strangers with an ax! How the heck did she keep the police from throwing her in jail? She was absolutely out of control and no one seemed compelled to interfere. She was eventually apprehended and taken to St Elmo’s Hospital where she was diagnosed with postnatal depression and unfortunately released.
A few days later Katherine Knight slashed the face of a woman and demanded she take her to David Kellett in her car. Although the terrified woman was bleeding profusely, she was able to escape Katherine at a gas station and the law was called. The police arrived to find Katherine now holding a little boy hostage, waving a knife in the air and threatening to kill the child.
The police beat at Katherine with brooms until she finally dropped the knife and they could drag the boy from her grip. She was admitted to Morisset Psychiatric Hospital for treatment and detained under supervision. (Her baby daughter was placed in the care of her parents.)
David Returns To Katherine Knight
David Kellett was notified that Katherine was locked up in the most notorious mental institution in New South Wales. He, along with his mother, went immediately to see Katherine, who perked the moment she laid eyes on him.
Katherine Knight was released to her family on August 9th in 1976. Along with David and her mother-in- law Jean, Katherine collected her daughter from her parents and together they all went back into life together. They all moved into a rented bungalow in Queensland where David drove trucks and Katherine took a job boning at the Dinmore meat works in Ipswich.
Although the reconciliation was an instant repeat of violent rages and physical abuse for David, Katherine Knight gave birth to another daughter, Natasha Maree, on March 6th, 1980.
Katherine Knight Leaves
One day, in 1984, while David was working, Katherine gathered up her belongings and her girls and walked out of the house forever. She headed home to her folks in Aberdeen. She began going by her maiden name again and returned to work in the slaughterhouse. Within a year however, her body could take no more and she was forced into retirement. She was only 30 years old.
In 1986 Katherine Knight met 38 year old Dave Saunders. He was described as a pretty good guy with only a habit of drinking too much. But he and Katherine got along well enough and so the two became a couple.
Although David moved in with Katherine, he did not let go of his own flat in a different city. And that proved a good move because Katherine immediately started to accuse David of affairs. She would physically abuse him and would, over and over again, throw him out of her house. She would however race straight to his flat and beg him back.
In June of the next year Katherine Knight gave birth to a third daughter she named Sarah and the new parents finally bought a small house. But the bliss would quickly come to an end after Katherine beat David half to death with a skillet and stabbed him several times with a pair of scissors. He called it quits and left her for good.
Katherine Knight and John and John
It didn’t take Katherine Knight long to find another lover. Enter John Chillingworth, 43, who worked at the Aberdeen meat works plants. Within months, Katherine was pregnant and in 1991, her son Eric was born. The relationship lasted only three years. Katherine had her eye on another John. John Price.
John “Pricey” Price was a terrific guy who was liked by all. He was a divorced man with a teenage girl and a teenage boy to raise. He had a good job in the local mines and owned a nice three bedroom home in Aberdeen. Life was good in the Price family. Until 1993. That’s when John met Katherine Knight.
Pricey and Katherine Knight quickly became a couple. John, having heard all of the rumors about how Katherine abused the men in her life, chose to dismiss them and walked into the relationship with his eyes wide open.
Here She Goes Again
In 1995, Katherine moved in with John and became the devoted, loving spouse she always started out to be in her relationships. She would cook and clean and collect her drunken boyfriend when he couldn’t manage to get himself home. But it didn’t last long. Soon the same old accusations of infidelity would creep in and she would throw him out of the house only to beg him back again. And he would go. The drinking escalated and so did the fighting. The abuse Katherine dished out was out of control and everyone saw it.
Three years later, in 1998, Katherine Knight showed John’s employers a videotape she had secretly recorded of some items that John had allegedly stolen from work. She intended to use these blackmail tapes to force John into marrying her. However, during a violent fight, John had fought back and struck her. She decided then to show the tapes to John’s employers. After 17 years of loyal employment, John was fired and immediately threw Katherine and her kids out of his house.
But, as always, Katherine began begging to return. And John began to fall.
Her Wicked Ways
It wasn’t long before Katherine once again moved freely in and about John’s home, although nothing in their violent relationship had changed. The drinking continued and so did the vicious fights between the two. In fact they had escalated and now included Katherine stabbing John in the chest with a knife.
In 2000, John Price had finally had enough and took out a Restraining Order against Katherine Knight to keep her away from himself, his children and his house.
That very same night, reassured by fact that Katherine was now out of the picture for good, John Price retired for the evening around 11 pm. He didn’t hear the car pull into the drive.
Katherine Knight let herself in. She watched a bit of TV, took a shower, then slipped into bed next to John. They made love and fell asleep.
Where Is John
About 6 a.m., the next morning, on Wednesday March 1, a neighbor noticed that the John Price’s work truck was still at his home. This was concerning to them because John normally left for work each day well before 6.
Likewise his employer grew concerned because it was not like John to be late for work. Attempts were made by the neighbor and another friend to wake John by knocking on his bedroom window. The neighbor and friend then went to the front door where they saw a small amount of blood on the wooden exterior. The authorities were called.
Police arrive on site around 8 a.m. and force entry into the rear door. Upon entry, the police locate the victim’s exterior layers of skin hanging from a hook in a doorway. They then locate the victim’s skinless, decapitated remains on the lounge room floor near a small foyer leading to the front door. Katherine Knight was discovered snoring loudly in a comatose condition on a double bed at the end of the house. She was immediately transported to the hospital.
Parts Of John
The crime scene reporter states: The dwelling had a full length veranda across the southern side and a smaller veranda central to the rear of the premises. My attention was drawn to a piece of cooked meat on the rear lawn in front of the white Ford sedan. I made an examination of this piece of meat and collected it for further testing. During my examination I took a series of photographs of the premises and the piece of cooked meat on the lawn.
I entered the premises to conduct a cursory examination with Detective Sgt Raymond. I walked in through the rear door and into the kitchen. Once inside the kitchen I saw a large section of what appeared to be human skin hanging from the top architrave of the doorway leading into the lounge room. This piece of skin extended from the top of the doorway right to the floor and appeared to be an entire human skin.
Looking through this doorway into the lounge room I could see a headless and skinless human body. I walked east along the hallway and looked into the entry foyer and saw an extreme amount of blood pooled on the floor. There was also a large amount of blood smearing over the eastern wall of the entry.
I walked further east along the hallway and noticed some blood staining leading from the main bedroom. In this bedroom I noticed more blood staining however only moderate amounts. I then left the scene and had a discussion with Sergeant Raymond and other investigating police outside the scene. I then re-entered the premises and made a more detailed examination.
The Investigation Continues
I noticed blood staining to the shoulder area of a blue shirt which was draped over the chair on the western side of the table. The medication on the table consisted of three boxes of Felodur ER 5mg of which two were empty. This medication normally contains 2 strips of each containing 15 tablets, however there was only one full strip containing 15 tablets. There was also one empty box of Prinivil 20 tablets. An empty box of Dapa-Tabs was also on the table, this medication when full contains 90 tablets at 2.5mg. The fourth chair of the set was against the northern wall under the bench portion of the breakfast bar. I took a series of photographs of the dining room.
The Human Pelt
As mentioned earlier I saw what appeared to be a complete human skin or pelt hanging from the top architrave of the door separating the dining room and the lounge room. On closer examination I could distinguish black curly hair at the top, a nose and part of the mouth and ear. About halfway down the pelt I could see a clump of short black curly hair consistent with pubic hair. I could not recognize any other particular features as it continued to the floor.
The edges of the pelt were incised indicating to me that it had been removed with a sharp instrument. There were also a number of distinct stab wounds to the pelt, about a meter down from the top. The pelt was attached to the architrave by a stainless steel meat hook. The hook was pierced through the top of the head area of the pelt and then hooked over the architrave on the lounge room side of the door. The skin appeared to vary in thickness from approximately 1 to 4 centimeters.
I noticed a blood trail leading from the lounge room into the kitchen towards the kitchen cook top in the vicinity of the aluminum boiler. The boiler was on the right side rear element, which was at the time turned off. When I lifted the lid to the boiler I noticed it was warm to touch.
The Cannibalism of Katherine Knight
The pot was full of liquid and on the surface I could identify a skinned human head and a number of cooked vegetables. On the northern side of the aluminum boiler I saw a baking dish which was sitting across the right front side element. Inside the baking dish I saw an amount of liquid and the remains of baked vegetables. Just to the right or northern side of the cook top I saw two prepared meals. Each of the meals consisted of two pieces of cooked meat, baked potato, baked pumpkin, zucchini, cabbage, yellow squash and gravy.
Underneath each of the meals was a torn section of kitchen paper with a name written on it. The word “Beaky” was written in blue ink pen on one of the pieces while the word “Jonathon” was on the other. The pieces of meat appeared on the plates were similar to the piece I collected from the rear lawn.
On the section of the kitchen bench across the northern wall were a number of items of interest. On the western end of the bench I saw a green electric jug with blood staining about the handle. In the sink I saw an orange colored vegetable peeler and the vegetable peelings from potato, pumpkin, zucchini and onion.
On the eastern side of the sink I saw a cream colored microwave dish containing cooked cabbage leaves and a clear-ish liquid. In front of the microwave dish I saw a brown colored coffee cup that was sitting on a wooden cutting up board. Inside the coffee cup was a teaspoon and a small quantity of thick brown liquid similar to gravy. There was also the residue of the gravy type substance on the cutting up board. Just to the right of the cutting up board was a yellow handled “Swibo” knife and two forks. The handle of the knife was blood stained.
On the eastern side of the breakfast bar I saw a small black handled knife which was blood stained and four empty medication blister packs. One blister pack was labeled “Luvox” and had 15 tablets missing, two blister packets labeled “Aropax” and had ten tablets missing from each packet and the blister packet labelled Promethazine had 20 tablets missing. I saw a blood stained grey coffee cup which contained a white fatty substance. There was also an empty “Tooheys” brand beer stubby, a packet of Winfield red cigarettes and a black wallet belonging to the deceased on the bench. On the western side of the breakfast bar I saw a “Norton” brand “bench stone” sharpening stone.
On the southern side of the cook top on the bench against the western wall of the kitchen was a microwave oven. In front of the microwave was the remains of a roll of paper towel and a blue plastic lid. This lid fitted on the microwave dish that was on the kitchen sink. I also noted that the microwave door was open and the courtesy light was on. On the cork tiled floor of the kitchen at the south west corner of the kitchen bench I saw a blood stained bare footprint. This foot print was from a right foot of a person and at the time the person was standing adjacent to the kitchen bench with the right foot facing north.
I noticed blood staining to the fridge on both the handle of the door to the fridge section and the eastern side of the unit. The staining to the door handle contained some ridge structure and was in a position consistent with opening the door with bloodied hands. There were also smears on the eastern face of the fridge, and lower down, staining from droplets of blood that had come in contact with this surface.
The Skinless Corpse
The skinless and headless body of a person now known to me as John Charles Price was in a supine position with his legs protruding into the entry foyer, from knees down. There was a substantial amount of blood smeared over the carpet around the body. As mentioned earlier there was also an extreme amount of blood pooling on the floor of the entry foyer. In this blood pool and staining were marks where the body of the deceased had been dragged about one meter from about the middle of the entry foyer onto the carpet in the lounge room.
The deceased was laying on his back with his legs crossed at the feet, the left ankle was on top of the right. His left arm was extended and out from the body at an angle of about 45 degrees. Under the left wrist of this arm was an empty plastic 1.25 liter Shelleys Club Lemon Squash bottle. The right arm was also extended and lying alongside the body. On the floor, adjacent to the right arm of the deceased was a blood stained 31 cm yellow plastic handled knife. The blade of this knife was 17.5cm long. The body was virtually devoid of skin and flesh, exposing the muscles and some organs. There were a number of wounds present on the body, one of the most obvious being a stab wound to the left side of the chest which extended into the chest cavity.
Katherine Knight Decapitates Her Mate
As stated the body had been skinned in a manner that leads me to believe that the person responsible would have had skill in this area. From the blood staining on the carpet I was able to determine that the deceased had been skinned prior to being decapitated. There was a definite outline of the head in the blood staining on the carpet. Examination of the neck region of the deceased indicated that the head had been removed very carefully and cleanly with a sharp instrument.
On the seat of the single lounge chair in the north east corner of the room (adjacent to the shoulders of the deceased) was a black handled honing steel (sharpening stone) and an opened packet of Winfield Blue cigarettes. I also noticed bloodied hand prints on the back and arms of this chair. On the northern wall on the western side of the door to the kitchen was a small display cabinet.
Lying on this cabinet was a broken picture frame containing a picture of the deceased. Lying on top of the picture frame was a blood stained watch. To the west of the photograph, still on top of the cabinet, was a blood stained hand written note together with another broken picture on top of it. Apart from being blood stained it had small pieces of flesh on it. The note was poorly written and contained very basic spelling mistakes. It read: “Time got you back Johathon for rapping (raping) my douter (daughter). You to Beck for Ross for Little John. Now play with little Johns Dick John Price.’ ” (These allegations were baseless.)
It was evident that Katherine Knight had murdered John Price, skinned and decapitated him and cooked his head and served it, and portions of his buttocks (the pieces of meat in the backyard also proved to be from the victim’s buttocks) on plates for herself and his two children for dinner when, or if, they returned to the house at some time.
Detective Muscio added; “I remember walking down the hallway and at about shoulder height there were all these blood splatter marks on the walls. To me, it’s indicative of each attack. John Price was absolutely fighting for his life.
The autopsy revealed that the victim was dead when he was skinned. A razor sharp knife had been inserted just under his collarbone and sliced horizontally across the top of the body, right under the clavicles. It was a straight, clean cut, anatomically precise. Katherine Knight then peeled the victim’s skin off, including his head, his hair, his face and all the way down the length of the body to the feet exposing the victim’s intestines. The entire skin was in one piece including hair, face, ears, nose, mouth, genitals and complete stab holes and dripping in blood. Hanging from the S-hook in the doorway, the feet were dragging on the ground.
The killer, by now covered in warm, sticky blood, then removed the victim’s head. According to forensic pathologist Dr. Timothy Lyons, the whole procedure would have taken slightly less than one hour.
The Trial & Sentencing
Katherine denies having any recollection of what happened that night. She only knows she arrived at the house and had sex with her lover. She does however plead guilty to the crimes she was accused of. According to court-appointed psychiatrists she was perfectly sane when she committed these bizarre crimes.
On November 8th, Katherine Mary Knight was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. “Never to be released.”
Katherine Knight ranks right up there with Albert Fish, Jeffery Dahmer and Ed Gein.
Source: Murderpedia | Wikipedia
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