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The Chilling Tale of Kathrine Knight: Australia's First Woman Sentenced to Life Without Parole

Hidden Wickedness

By Deji AkomolafePublished 5 days ago 4 min read

Kathrine Knight's story is one of the most gruesome and chilling criminal cases in Australian history. As the first woman in the country to be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, Knight's brutal murder of her partner, John Price, shocked the nation. Her crime was not only horrific in its violence but also in its disturbing aftermath, which involved an attempt to serve Price's head with a pot of vegetables to his children. This blog post delves into the harrowing details of Kathrine Knight's life, the murder of John Price, and the legal aftermath that led to her unprecedented sentence.

Early Life and Background

Kathrine Mary Knight was born on October 24, 1955, in Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia. She grew up in an unstable and abusive environment. Her father, Ken Knight, was an alcoholic who regularly abused her mother, Barbara Roughan. This tumultuous upbringing left deep psychological scars on Kathrine, which would later manifest in her violent behavior.

Despite her troubled childhood, Knight managed to secure employment at a local abattoir, where she quickly rose through the ranks due to her skill with knives. Her proficiency with these tools earned her a reputation and several promotions, but it also fed her fascination with violence and death.

A Series of Violent Relationships

Knight's relationships were marked by intense violence and instability. She married her first husband, David Kellett, in 1974. Kellett was also an alcoholic, and their marriage was fraught with violent altercations. Knight's temper was legendary; on one occasion, she attempted to strangle Kellett on their wedding night. The marriage eventually ended in divorce after several years of turmoil.

Her subsequent relationships followed a similar pattern of violence and abuse. Knight's partners often found themselves on the receiving end of her violent outbursts. Despite these warning signs, she managed to enter into a relationship with John Price in the late 1990s.

The Relationship with John Price

John Price, known as "Pricey," was a father of three and a well-liked member of the Aberdeen community. He began dating Knight in 1995, fully aware of her violent tendencies. Despite initial warnings from friends and family, Price continued the relationship, believing he could handle her volatile behavior.

As their relationship progressed, Knight's behavior became increasingly erratic and violent. Price eventually sought to end the relationship, but Knight was unwilling to let him go. In February 2000, Knight stabbed Price in the chest during an argument. Although he survived the attack, Price obtained a restraining order against her and told his colleagues that if he ever went missing, it would be because Knight had killed him.

The Murder of John Price

On the night of February 29, 2000, Kathrine Knight entered John Price's home while he slept. She had prepared extensively for the attack, including sending her children away for the night. Knight stabbed Price at least 37 times with a butcher's knife, inflicting fatal wounds.

The horror did not end there. Knight skinned Price's body and hung his skin on a meat hook in the living room. She then decapitated him and placed his head in a pot on the stove, surrounded by vegetables. Her intention was to serve this gruesome meal to Price's children when they returned home.

Discovery and Arrest

John Price's colleagues became concerned when he failed to show up for work the next morning. They alerted the police, who arrived at Price's home to find a scene of unimaginable horror. Knight was found unconscious on the floor, having taken a large dose of pills in an apparent suicide attempt. She was arrested and charged with the murder of John Price.

The police officers who discovered the crime scene were deeply traumatized by what they found. The brutality and macabre nature of the murder left a lasting impact on all those involved in the investigation.

Trial and Sentencing

Kathrine Knight's trial began in October 2001. She initially pled not guilty but later changed her plea to guilty, avoiding the need for a full trial. The evidence against her was overwhelming, and her plea change was seen as an attempt to avoid further scrutiny of her actions.

On November 8, 2001, Justice Barry O'Keefe sentenced Kathrine Knight to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. In his sentencing remarks, Justice O'Keefe stated that Knight's crime was "appalling and almost beyond contemplation in a civilized society." He described her as "a very dangerous person" and emphasized the need to protect the community from her violent tendencies.

Aftermath and Legacy

Kathrine Knight is currently incarcerated at the Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre in New South Wales. Her case remains one of the most shocking examples of domestic violence and murder in Australian history. It has been the subject of numerous books, documentaries, and true crime shows, each attempting to understand the mind and motives of a woman capable of such brutality.

The story of Kathrine Knight serves as a grim reminder of the potential for extreme violence in domestic relationships. It highlights the importance of recognizing warning signs and taking action to protect victims of abuse. While Knight's life sentence ensures she will never harm another person, the memory of her crime continues to haunt those who knew John Price and the broader community.


Kathrine Knight's case is a chilling example of human cruelty and the darkest depths of domestic violence. Her brutal murder of John Price and the gruesome aftermath shocked a nation and led to her being the first woman in Australia sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. As we reflect on this tragic story, it is essential to remember the victims of domestic violence and work towards preventing such horrors in the future.

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About the Creator

Deji Akomolafe

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Comments (1)

  • Sandeep Kumar 5 days ago

    Kathrine Knight's case is a stark reminder of the horrifying reality of domestic violence.

Deji AkomolafeWritten by Deji Akomolafe

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