The Crime That Rattled Australia: An Overview of Katherine Knight’s Gruesome Murder of Boyfriend

Convicted Australian murderer, Katherine Knight.
Convicted Australian murderer, Katherine Knight.
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*This article contains material of a sensitive and graphic nature.   If you have a weak stomach, please take care when reading this true story.

In Australia, on an ordinary February night in 2000, Katherine Knight came home to her sleeping husband, John Charles Thomas Price. Before morning he would be dead after Knight had  stabbed him thirty-seven times with a butcher knife. She then severed his head and cooked it in a large pot of vegetables. She planned on feeding parts of him to his two children.  The murder was scandalous and horrific. Katherine Knight suffered from mental health issues and her motivation has been attributed to her traumatic childhood.


Katherine Knight’s Family background:

Before we talk about her birth, let’s give a little backstory about her family. Her mother Barbara and Jack Roughan were living in New South Wales and Aberdeen, which was a conservative, suburban town. Barbra and her husband  had four children. Barbara ended up having an affair with her husband’s best friend, Ken Knight which was scandalous as they lived in a very conservative town. They were intentionally run out of the town and forced to move. The four children were broken up with two of the children staying with their father and the other two staying with an aunt.

Katherine young life

Katherine Knight was born to Ken and Barbara on the 24 of October of 1955. She was a twin with her sister. When her mother’s ex-husband died, Barbara took the two children that had been living with her ex-husband and had already taken the two children who were living with an aunt. There were now six children with Katherine.

Katherine was the youngest. She was negatively affected because of the lack of attention given to her by her parents and the adults in her life. Her mother and father, Ken had many problems. Ken was an alcoholic who would  rape Barbara often ten times a day. When Katherine was about eight years old, her mother would tell Barbara all the details of Ken’s abuse. She would also tell Katherine  how much she hated men and though they were all trash.

According to, Katherine claimed she was physically abused by several family relatives until she was eleven years old. By the time she was in her teens, Katherine was known as a bully, both physically and emotionally, to other students as she suffered from uncontrollable rages. When her mother decided to move back to their old conservative town, Katherine dropped out of high school and took a job in a clothing factory.

A year later she got what she called her “dream job” and became a butcher at a slaughterhouse where she was given a set of butcher knives. She enjoyed killing and skinning the animals.  She would hang the set of knives above her bed because she wanted them there “just in case anything happened.” She would continue to do this all throughout her life.

Katherine’s Relationships

Katherine was 18 when she married 22 year old, David Kellett. David, like her father, was an alcoholic.  However, Katherine dominated her husband. Before their wedding, Katherine’s mother, Barbara would tell Keller,  “’You better watch this one or she’ll ****** kill you. Stir her up the wrong way or do the wrong thing and you’re ****** don’t ever think of playing up on her, she’ll —-‘ kill you.'”

Kellet also said that Barbara told  him that Katherine “got a screw loose somewhere .” 

The first tell-tale sign sign that Katherine Knight was, in fact, not mentally well was on their wedding night.  She ended up strangling David because he fell asleep. Other times in their marriage, she was violent with him. For example, he came home late from a dart competition, so she hit him over the head, fracturing his skull, with a frying pan and then burned all his clothes. Kellett left her soon after the birth of their first child, Mellissa Ann in 1978.  Soon after the birth, Katherine was seen roughly and violently pushing the stroller with her one day old baby in it.   The neighbors were extremely concerned.  Katherine ended up being rushed to St. Elmo’s Hospital and put onto a psychiatric ward for several weeks for postnatal depression.

After being released, Katherine took  her two month old child and placed her on the train tracks wishing her baby to get run over by a train. Thankfully, someone ended up finding Melissa. and Katherine ended up getting arrested and sent back to St. Elmo’s Hospital. However, she signed herself out a day later.

A few days later, she slashed a woman’s face with one of her butcher knives and forced this woman to drive her to Queensland to go find David Kellett. She was arrested and taken to the psychiatric ward, but was later discharged and left in the care of Kellett.

Kellett and his mother moved back to take care of Katherine.  They lived together for four years and had their second child, Natasha Maree. Katherine got another job as a butcher and began a relationship with 38 year old miner David Saunders. He moved in with her and her two children; however, he kept his apartment. This angered her and she ended up killing his two month old puppy in front of him as a warning what she could do to him. In 1988, the two had a child, daughter, Sarah. They purchased a house that Katherine decorated in animal skins, skulls, machetes, etc. After an argument, Katherine stabbed Saunders in the stomach. He went into hiding. 

A few years later, Katherine began dating John Chillingworth.  They had a son, Eric. They were married three years before she left him for a man she was having an affair with, John Price. 

John Price was a father of three when Knight had an affair with him. Two of his children lived with him and Katherine and her children  moved into the Price house in 1995. Price knew of Katherine’s violent tendencies, but he and his children really loved her. Price refused to marry her and in retaliation she sent a video of out of dates medical kits that Price had stolen from his work. John was fired. He left her, but, later, they got back together. 

The Murder: 

In February 2000,  Price had had enough of being abused by Knight after she stabbed him. He realized he was done with her. He kicked her out of the house again. By the end of February, Price got a restraining order against Katherine because he didn’t want her near him or his children. He even told his co-workers that if he didn’t come into work in the morning, it would be because Katherine killed him. They pleaded with him not to go see her and, instead to call the police, but Price went home anyway.

When he came home, he realized his kids were not home, which was unusual because they were all supposed to be there. Price found out that Katherine had sent his kids away to a friend’s house for a sleepover.

Price went to his neighbors’ house and had some beers and just hung out. Eventually, he went home and fell asleep. He was woken up at night by   Katherine who was wearing lingerie. They ended up having intercourse.

The next morning, he didn’t show up for work. His co-workers remembered exactly what he had told them. They sent the cops to his house. When the police looked through the window, they saw blood everywhere. The police found Katherine Knight sleeping. She had taken a bunch of pills.

Although she had stabbed Price 37 times, she didn’t remember anything from the previous night. Police pieced together that Price had tried to escape, but was bleeding profusely and Katherine had grabbed him dragged him back into the bedroom. The police had never seen anything like it. What Katherine Knight did to him was absolutely vile. After she killed him, she skinned his body and hung him on a meat hook just like she would do with an animal when she worked in the butcher shop. She also decapitated him and along with his head, she also cooked parts of his body in a meat stew. She had plated the table and had written his children’s names next to each plate. She had intended that his children would  eat their father. The police discovered parts of Price’s body and head cooking in a stew pot full of vegetables. before. Katherine had also cut off Price’s legs leaving them in a feminine position that later in court was argued as an act of defilement.

The Trial:

She was sent to the psychiatric section of the hospital. Once recovered,  she was charged with murder In 2001, Justice O’Keefe sentenced Katherine Knight to life in prison without parole with an order for her papers to be stamped “never to be released.” She is currently at an all-women’s prison at the Silverwater Women’s Correctional Center outside of Sydney, Australia. She was the first women in Australia to be convicted of a life sentence. Today, she is 67 years old and continues to believe that she is innocent.

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About the Contributor
Sophia Cipres
Sophia Cipres, Staff Reporter
HIIII!!! I’m a senior at Regina Dominican and this is my first year with the school newspaper The Crown and I’m so excited to write in the paper! I am involved in Alliance  Club, Art Club, DEI, Par-Tea club  and I sometimes work as part of the  crew in our theater department. I love to listen to music, draw, watch “Criminal Minds,” read stories and play Roblox in my free time. For college I am thinking of majoring in library science and or something related to criminology and ASL. A fun fact about me is that I have two lovely/psycho cats named Ginger and Twinkie.

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