The case of

John Charles Thomas Price

Victim

John Charles Thomas Price

Victim Race

Caucasian

Victim Date of Birth

1955-10-24

Victim Age
Date Reported
Date of Death

2000-02-19

Case Status
Incident Location

Aberdeen, New South Wales, Australia

Body Location
Date of Conviction

2000-03-01

Body Discovered Date
Murderer

Katherine Knight

Who is Katherine Knight?

Katherine Knight was born on October 24, 1955, in Aberdeen, Australia. Her childhood was largely dysfunctional, having been conceived after her mother, Barbara Roughan, had an affair with Ken Knight. Ken was an abusive alcoholic and Barbara would often talk to Katherine about her sex life and how much she hated sex and men. Though there were many accounts of her being a sweet girl and a good student, Katherine would claim that she was sexually abused by many members of her family. When Katherine confided in her mother about being forced to do sexual acts, she was told to, “put up with it and stop complaining.”

Later, in high school, Katherine would be known as a loner and would bully smaller kids. She would fly into uncontrollable rages at the slighted provocation, and once even attacked a boy at school with a weapon. Katherine dropped out of school at age 15 and got a job at a cutter factory. A year later, she quit that job to work at her “dream job”  cutting up cows at an abattoir worker (slaughterhouse). Loving her job, she learned quickly and was promoted to boning and given a personal set of butcher’s knives. From then on, Katherine kept the knives hung over her bed so that they “would always be handy if I needed them.”

Katherine Knight’s own mother would say that “she’s got a screw loose somewhere.”

Marriage to David Kellett

Knight’s met her co-worker, David Stanford Kellett, in 1973, and married him in 1974. Their marriage was  On their wedding night, Knight attempted to strangle Kellett because he fell asleep after having sex with her only three times.

The marriage was violent and at one point, while heavily pregnant with her first child, Knight burned all of Kellett’s clothes and then hit him over the head with a frying pan when he arrived home late one night. The blow severely fractured Kellett’s skull.

Later, after her daughter was born, David Kellett left her for another woman. Knight was hospitalized with postnatal depression. When she was released, she left her 2-month-old baby on a railway track to be run over by a train. Thankfully, she was saved by a homeless man. For this, Knight was returned to the hospital but released the next day with a “fully recovered” sign-off.

Days later, she took a boy hostage and demanded to be driven to Queensland in order to find and kill Kellett and his mother. She was arrested.

Relationship with David Saunders

Katherine dated David Saunders in 1986. To warn him about cheating, she cut the throat of his newborn puppy as a display of what she would do if he did. She would later hit him in the face with an iron and stab him in the stomach with a pair of scissors before David finally got away from her.

Knight’s Last Relationship: John Charles Thomas Price

In 1995, Katherine Mary Knight moved in with John Price and two of his three children from another marriage. John Price described the relationship as going well, with his children liking her and their work making lots of money. Despite the occasional violent arguments, “life was a bunch of roses.”

Then, in 1998, Knight and Price had an argument due to Price’s refusal to get married. In retaliation, Knight videotaped items that Price had taken from work, and he was then fired from his job. Price kicked Knight out of his home. Over the next few months, they would have a tumultuous, on-again-off-again relationship, and Price would refuse to allow Knight to move back into the house. Price’s friends stopped hanging out with him and urged him to stop seeing her because they feared for Price’s safety.

When another violent fight caused Katherine to stab Price in the chest, Price threw her out of his house and then went to the police station to get a restraining order. It was that same day that Price told his co-workers that if he didn’t come to work the next day, it was because Knight had killed him. Yet, he feared not returning home lest Katherine get angry and kill his children. When he got home, the kids were sent to a sleepover and Price spent some time at a neighbor’s house before retiring to bed around 11pm.

Earlier that day, Knight went out and bought new black lingerie for Price. She videotaped all of her children and made strange statements that police would later interpret as a will. When she went to John’s house, she found him asleep, and that’s when she put her plan into action.

The Brutal Murder of John Price

Price didn’t show up to work the next day, prompting his manager to send another employee to check on him. No one answered the knocks on the door, but when the employee saw what looked like blood stains on the door, he called the police.

Police officers arrived at John Price’s home in Hunter Valley hamlet of Aberdeen on the morning of March 1, 2000. They broke the backdoor down and found a pool of blood.

John Price had been stabbed in his sleep, though had tried to run away while she chased after him and stabbed him in the back. It looked as if Price had made it out the door but either collapsed or was dragged back inside, where he died of blood loss on the floor. It was found that Katherine had stabbed him 37 times.

Katherine then went out and withdrew $1000 from his account.

When she returned home,  her next actions would be so heinous that Katherine Knight would go down in history as one of Australia’s worst female killers, and the first and only woman to receive life imprisonment.

Making Dinner for John’s Kids

Knight used a knife to remove the skin from John Price’s body, making something of a “skin suit,” which she hung from a meat hook.

NSW Supreme Court Justice O’Keefe would later say that the skinning, “was carried out with considerable expertise and an obviously steady hand so that his skin, including that of the head, face, nose, ears, neck, torso, genital organs and legs, was removed so as to form one pelt.

“So expertly was it done that, after the post-mortem examination, the skin was able to be re-sown onto Price’s body in a way which indicated a clear and appropriate, albeit grisly, methodology.”

Then, she decapitated him and put his head in a pot. She boiled the pot on Price’s kitchen stove with vegetables and gravy.

Knight cut off portions of Price’s body and cooked them, along with cabbage baked potatoes, and various other vegetables. Katherine set the dinner table with two plates with the names of John Price’s children on each, as she had planned on feeding his flesh to his kids.

Later, police officers would find a third plate thrown out onto the lawn with more cooked meat and vegetables. This was believed to be Katherine’s plate, and she had grown angry when she couldn’t eat the meat and threw it out.

The police found John’s headless body had been positioned with his arm draped over an empty bottle of soda and his legs had been crossed. Katherine had left a picture of John along with a handwritten note that read: “Time got you back Johnathon for rapping [raping] my dauter [daughter]. You to Beck [John’s daughter] For Ross — For little John [John’s son]. Now play with Little John’s dick John Price.” The accusations that Katherine made in this note were proved to be groundless.

Conviction

Katherine Knight pleaded not guilty and said that she had no memory of the crime. However, she was found sane and later changed her plea to guilty, though she refused to take any accountability for her actions.

When sentencing her to life imprisonment, the judge said, “The last minutes of his life must have been a time of abject terror for him, as they were a time of utter enjoyment for her.” The judge declared that Knight was a risk to the community and ordered that her papers be marked, “never to be released.”

Katherine Knight remains in prison today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Did Katherine Knight have BPD?

A: Yes. A team of psychiatrists diagnosed Katherine Knight with BPD.

Q: How old is Katherine Knight?

A: Katherine Knight was October 24, 1955, and is currently 66 years old.

Subscribe TO OUR WEEKLY
TRUE CRIME

NEWSLETTER