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Daniel Caesar
Daniel Caesar
May 20, 2024

Who Is Katherine Knight?

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Have you ever heard of the woman Hannibal Lecter? The crazy woman who skinned her lover and cooked him? Well, she is a real, live woman, who is possibly the most notorious female killer ever, not for the number of murders she’s committed, but perhaps the sheer gruesome nature of her kill. 

Katherine Knight had 7 other siblings to her mom, Barbara. 4 of Katherine’s brothers lived with either their father or different family members, possibly for the better. Barbara had multiple husbands, but by the time she had her last two daughters, the twins, Ken Knight was who she was married to. It was reported that she was only ever close to her uncle and twin sister. Unfortunately, when Katherine was 11, her life began to fall apart. Her uncle committed suicide and her dad resorted to drinking. By the age of 14, her father was physically abusive to everyone in the household but was sexually abusive towards her mother. Her mother would tell her and her younger sisters in detail about the violent and frequent rapes. Katherine would say that her father would rape her dad up to 10 times every day, which might have been the reason that Katherine began to hate men from such a young age. 

Katherine was often described by her elementary friends as a nice girl, but she was said to have a terrible temper when she was overwhelmed. By the time she was in high school, she had lost a majority of her friends and was the “loner.” Her high school classmates said she was more of a bully and especially liked to bully kids who were smaller than her. “They remembered that she had a fight with one boy and assaulted him with a weapon.” The teachers said that she was a model student when she wasn’t bullying the other students, which is very unusual for the “bully” stereotype. 

Even though she was incredibly smart, she dropped out of high school when she was only 15. She immediately got a job at a clothing factory as a fabric cutter, even though it wasn’t her dream job. She desperately wanted to be a butcher. Yes, a butcher, and less than a year later she did get a job at a butcher shop, which might have been a bad idea given what she ended up doing with this experience. She quickly rose in the ranks of this butcher shop and was gifted her own set of butcher knives. She was so very proud of herself for getting this promotion, that she hung them over her bed so that they “would always be handy if I needed them.” 

When Katherine was 18, she met 22-year-old David Kellett in 1973. When they get engaged, Katherine learns how much David is like her father, in all the bad ways. David was an alcoholic because of two distinctly traumatizing events in his life. He had watched his friend die right in front of him, and then later he was in a bad train accident, leaving him feeling that he had no other option than to drown his pains with the bottle. Although, weirdly, it was Katherine who insisted on their marriage. On the day of their wedding, David said that he was given some advice from Barbara, “The old girl said to me to watch out. ‘You better watch this one or she’ll fucking kill you. Stir her up the wrong way or do the wrong thing and you’re fucked, don’t ever think of playing up on her, she’ll fuckin’ kill you.’ And that was her mother talking! She told me she’s got something loose, She’s got a screw loose somewhere.” 

Unfortunately, David did not listen to his mother-in-law’s warnings and continued with the wedding. That very night, David was drunk and fell asleep over only making love with Katherine 3 times. So Katherine decided she would try to strangle him. Yes, she tried to murder her new husband on their very first night together. She had heard from the women around her that they had had a much more “magical” night on their honeymoon. So, as one might assume, the marriage was not a healthy one. Katherine was extremely abusive towards David. 

When Katherin was about 8 months pregnant, she got angry and hit David on the back of his head with a frying pan. She felt this was a justified response because David had stayed out drinking too late. He had run to the neighbors and fell asleep there, and while they had called the police, David didn’t press charges because Katherine apologized and blamed it on her pregnancy hormones. It goes without saying, but this was in fact, not an appropriate reaction, no matter how problematic David’s drinking may have been. 

After the two had their first child, David was fed up with the abuse and walked out on their small family. He married a new woman and moved away, leaving Katherine and their daughter, Melissa Ann, to their accommodations. After David left, Katherine was seen walking down the street, thrashing around newborn Melissa Ann’s stroller, and was admitted to St. Elmo’s Hospital for Post Partum Depression. Sadly, Katherine’s time at the hospital didn’t seem to help at all, for she took little Melissa Ann on a walk to the train station, where she left her on the train tracks, right where a train was due to come chugging that very same track. She then got out her stolen axe and went around threatening to axe anyone in sight. Luckily for Melissa Ann, an older man found her and picked her up off the tracks, where the train drove by just minutes later.

Katherine was readmitted to the hospital, as it was crystal clear that her mental issues needed a bit more help. Although the idea was in the right place, she signed out the very next day. Just days later, Katherine took one of her butcher knives from above her bed, went on another walk, found a random woman on the street, and slashed her face. Katherine then told the lady that if she wanted to live, she’d better drive her to go find her ex-husband. The woman was very smart and convinced Katherine to let her pull over, she then ran into a gas station and called the police. After a long and drawn-out chase of wild events, Katherine was eventually arrested and admitted to Morisset Psychiatric Hospital. She admitted to staff a few of her murderous dreams, which they somehow thought she was just pulling their leg because only a few months later, she was released back into the world to possibly live out her fantasies, and her 2 caretakers were to be David and his mother. The 2 people that she had told staff she wanted to murder. 

Katherine was able to get another job at a slaughterhouse the next time over, which in my opinion, was not the best job for such an unstable human being. 4 years later, Katherine and David welcomed 2 more children into the world. But, months later, David went into hiding from Katherine. She had hit him in the face with an iron and then stabbed him with scissors. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t want to leave his children with Katherine again, but when he tried to go back, he found that she had filed a restraining order against him, even though every single report showed that she was actually the abusive one. 

A few years later, she had an affair with her coworker and gave birth to her first baby boy. She left the coworker after 3 years for… a different man she was having an affair with! How surprising that Katherine was not only super abusive but also a chronic cheater. She marries John Price, who had 3 children from previous partners, and the 2 were said to be an unlikely match because John was happy-go-lucky, but Katherine had a horrid temper. John might not have been the most smart man, for he knew all about Katherine’s abusive behaviors, but still married her and allowed his children around her. After a few years, Katherine was begging John to marry her, but he refused. Katherine was so angry about this rejection, that she told John’s boss that he had stolen from work, even though he had only taken a few out-of-date medical kits from the trash can. 

John was fired, and Katherine’s revenge plan backfired because John was supporting their entire family, and the only source of steady income. John was so angry that he kicked Katherine out of his house, and she just moved back into her own house. After a while, John got back with Katherine, but it would just get worse. By 2000, the fighting had greatly increased and Katherine had even stabbed John in the chest. He, smartly, got a restraining order against Katherine in February of that year, and even went as far as to tell his coworkers that if he didn’t come to work the next day, then Katherine had killed him. Even after his coworkers urged him not to go home, he still did, claiming it would be better for the children. 

When he got home, he saw that Katherine had sent the children away to sleepovers, but she was nowhere to be found. Seeing that his children were safe, he went to his neighbor’s house for dinner, then slept in his house, which Katherine had full access to. She let herself into the house and watched television, she claimed that she and John even had sex before they slept together. The next morning, a neighbor was concerned because John’s car was still in the driveway, and they had heard John’s cryptic warnings the night before, so they went and knocked on the door, but ultimately left because there was no answer. Later, one of his coworkers came to check on him and became worried when the house was silent and still. He even went to the window to try and wake John up, if he were still sleeping. When he went back to the door, he noticed a red substance splattered on there. 

The cops were eventually called and entered the house, finding two bodies very quickly. John was found, bloody, and Katherine was lying, unresponsive, near the body. Katherine was transported to the hospital, and there was half a bottle of pills in her system, she had tried to kill herself. As for John, there was so much blood evidence. He had been stabbed in the bed, probably when he was sleeping, then tried to escape out the door, but either stumbled back into the house or was dragged back. Then he died of blood loss while in the house. 

As the police were exploring the house, they noticed an interesting curtain just hanging in a doorway. After investigating this curtain, they realized that it was human skin. Katherine, the butcher, had skinned her husband and hung it out to dry. Obviously, Katherine was the number 1 suspect, and there was a lot of evidence against her. 

“In a pot on the stove was Pricey’s head with vegetables surrounding it. The pot was still warm, indicating that it had been cooking early in the morning. They also saw there was dinner at the table with notes beside the two dinner plates. Each note had the name of Pricey’s kids on it. There was also another dinner that had been thrown outside on the back lawn. The dinner plates held meat – which was Pricey’s cooked flesh, served with baked potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini, cabbage, yellow squash, and gravy.”

When Katherine was taken in for questioning, she claimed that she had no memory of that night. Even so, she was labeled fit for trial and even pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Unlucky for her, the idea was immediately rejected and her trial began on October 15, 2001. The very next day she changed her plea to guilty and was charged with the murder of John Price. She would get life in prison, with no chance of parole, and she is the first woman who would ever get this sentence in Australian history. As of now, she is imprisoned at the Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre in New South Wales.

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About the Contributor
Mitchell Sherman is a sophomore who lives with her grandparents, dogs, and other pets. Her hobbies include but are not limited to, crocheting, sewing, herbology, gardening, and baking.

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