The crime that shook Australia
How an Australian woman butchered her boyfriend and stripped the skin from his body
Katherine Mary Knight (born 24 October 1955) is the first Australian woman to get a sentence of life imprisonment without parole. She was convicted of the murder of her partner, John Price, in October 2001, and is currently imprisoned at the Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre in NSW. She stabbed him to death and then skinned him. She then put his skin on a meat hook, cooked his head and parts of his body and placed them together with vegetables on plates with placecards with his children’s names.
If there is one lesson to be learned from the death of John Price, it’s that you should never trust a hot-tempered woman whose prize possession is a set of butcher knives.
Price learned this lesson on Feb. 29, 2000, a day before police in the tiny Australian town of Aberdeen — known primarily for its slaughterhouses — found his head in a warm pot, stewed with potatoes, cabbage, and zucchini.
Dangling from a nail in an archway, like a Halloween costume, was Price’s skin, which had been so skillfully removed from his body that only a few shards of flesh were missing from the toes, fingertips and chest. The skinless torso, arms and legs, were on the floor.
Forensics later found 37 stab entry wounds, but it was impossible to tell if there had been more because not much was left of his neck.
Two dishes containing a stew of baked vegetables mixed with chunks of the dead man’s buttocks had been placed on the kitchen table. Under each dish was a paper towel, makeshift dinner place cards with the names of two of the victim’s adult children.
No one had any doubts that this true-life scene from a Hollywood slasher flick was the handiwork of Price’s girlfriend, Katherine Knight. Her violent outbursts were the stuff of legend in their small community.
Everyone had a Kath story, each more gruesome than the last. Remember the time Katherine left her baby on the train tracks? Or the time she slashed the throat of her lover’s Dingo puppy? Or when she whacked her fellow in the head with an iron?