Katherine Knight: Slaughterhouse Worker Who Skinned & Cooked Her Boyfriend
ABERDEEN, AUSTRALIA — On February 29, 2000, Katherine Knight, 45, grabbed her prized set of butcher knives and applied a lifetime of skills she’d learned working in slaughterhouses to finally ending a series of arguments with her live-in boyfriend, 44-year-old John “Pricey” Price.
Knight had physically abused Price for years, with the attacks escalating when he refused to marry her.
On the very last day of his life, in fact, Price took out a restraining order against her and told coworkers that if he didn’t show up the next day, it would be because Knight had murdered him. Well, John “Pricey” Price certainly did not show up to work the next day.
Price’s employer summoned police, who broke into his home. Officers found Katherine Knight unconscious after an apparent suicide attempt, from overdosing on pills. Price turned up in pieces all over the apartment.
Knight had stabbed Price 37 times and meticulously removed his skin all in one piece, which she then hung on a hook in the kitchen. Price’s torso, arms, and legs lay on the floor nearby.
Atop the stove, Price’s head bubbled in a stew with cabbage, potatoes, pumpkin, cabbage, and zucchini. But the intended feast didn’t end there.
Knight set the dining room table with servings of baked potatoes, vegetables, and gravy mixed with prime pieces of Price’s buttocks. Atop each plate sat a card bearing the names of Price’s children.
A photograph of Price accompanied by a handwritten note served as a centerpiece. The note (with its misspellings intact) read:
“Time got you back Johathon for rapping [raping] my douter [daughter]. You to Beck [Price's daughter] for Ross — for Little John [his son]. Now play with little Johns Dick John Price.”
Medics rushed Knight to the hospital, where she woke up and was promptly arrested. A subsequent investigation into the note’s accusations found them to be utterly false.
The murder and butchering of John Price capped off a lifetime of Katherine Knight’s violent outbursts that had made her notorious in Aberdeen, a tiny New South Wales town best known for (what else?) its meat industry.
Knight had been married twice and mothered four children with three different fathers. All in her orbit seemed to fear her. Among Knight’s previous transgressions:
• Bloody public donnybrooks with her twin sister, beginning when they attended school together and had to be separated.
• Suddenly attacking and slashing the face of a teenage girl she did not know.
• Throwing her own infant daughter on the town’s railroad tracks (a neighbor saw what happened and rescued the baby).
• Roaming the local woods with an ax and swinging it at anyone who approached her.
• Slitting the throat of an ex-husband’s puppy.
• Slamming the same ex in the head with a clothing iron and stabbing him with scissors.
• Brawling with a police officer and cutting him in the process.
Despite all this, Katherine Knight had never done any serious jail time. That would change promptly.
Initially, Knight pleaded not guilty to murdering Price. She expressed no remorse and said she did not remember a single event surrounding the bloodbath. Her defense team claimed she suffered from amnesia and disassociation. State psychiatrists agreed, but ruled that Knight was sufficiently sane to know what she was doing.
As the court attempted to assemble a jury, Knight suddenly changed her plea to guilty. On November 8, 2001, Justice Barry O’Keefe ordered Knight to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole — the first time a woman had ever been so sentenced in Australia.
A news story in 2017 claimed that Knight has adjusted well to life in lock-up. Her fellow inmates at the Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre reportedly turn to Knight to negotiate disputes and call her "The Nanna."
Regardless, guards keep a constant watch on Knight, authorities won't assign her a cellmate, and as the news service put it, "she is not allowed anywhere near knives."