Katherine Knight: The Original Australian Bully
Hannibal Lecter would be proud
This entry is brought to you courtesy of our month-long homage to Women’s History Month, “The Female Power Project.”
Viral internet sensation Casey Heynes has brought the topic of Australian bullying into the limelight within the past week. But long before the days of YouTube and 4chan and Richard Gale, there was the original Australian bully: Katherine Knight.
Admittedly, she did have a terrible childhood. Born in 1955, she grew into a family in which her alcoholic father, Ken Knight, openly used violence and intimidation to not only scare his children but also rape his own wife, which reportedly happened up to TEN TIMES A DAY. Katherine’s mother, as a result of being beaten and raped on a daily basis, would vent to Katherine about how much she hated both men and sex in general. Katherine herself was the victim of sexual abuse from several members of her own family, though apparently not her father. The only person Knight was close with growing up was her uncle, the champion horseman Oscar Knight, who committed suicide in 1969; to this day, she insists his ghost continues to visit her on a regular basis. According to Wikipedia, “Katherine (as a young woman) was by all accounts a pleasant girl who experienced uncontrollably murderous rages in response to minor upsets.” You know what? I would like to consider myself in that same category; I blame hormones. But I didn’t slit the throat of a fucking 2-month-old puppy. But alas, I’m getting ahead of myself.
While in highschool in Australia, she became a loner and was prone to bullying other children and even her teachers. She left early, at the age of 15, and soon after started a habit that not only would follow her throughout her life, but also should have set off the warning alarm of anybody she ever slept with: she liked to hang butcher knives directly over her bed, supposedly “so they would always be handy when she needed them.” She does not get this privilege while serving out her life sentence in prison.
Her first marriage took place in 1974 to David Kellett, and even then, there were several warning signs of things to come. On that day, Kellett and Knight showed up, as per Knight’s request, drunk on a motorcycle to their own wedding. Knight’s mother pulled Kennett aside and issued a sinister warning: “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. She’s got something loose, She’s got a screw loose somewhere.” Later that night, Katherine tried to strangle her new husband, on the grounds that he passed out after only having sex with her three times. ARE YOU STILL WITH ME HERE? I PROMISE that I’m not making any of this up.
Two years later, David Kellett left Katherine Knight for another woman and moved several cities away, which provoked a perfectly reasonable response from Knight: she put her then-two-month-old baby on the railroad tracks and, axe in hand, went in to town, threatening to kill everyone. Crisis was averted when a man working the railway spotted and rescued the infant; Knight was arrested, diagnosed with postnatal depression, and released. Just several days later, she slashed a stranger’s face and demanded that the frightened woman drive her to Queensland to find her estranged husband; the hostage escaped after pulling into a service station, but by the time the police found Knight, she was holding a little boy hostage, threatening to slit his throat. The police literally attacked her with brooms and swept her away to a psychiatric hospital, from which she was released after her husband left his girlfriend to support his crazy still-wife. Several years and another daughter later, Katherine Knight left Kellett; to this day, I’m sure he’s grateful for that.
Ok, I know this is getting long. But isn’t it the BEST STORY EVER? It gets better. I have to skip over a couple of things to get to the good stuff; don’t worry, there were just a couple more men that she fought with, stabbed, threatened to kill… Oh, wait. She did slash the throat of a FUCKING PUPPY. In 1987, she was dating a man, David Saunders, who happened to have an apartment in a neighboring town as well as the residence he shared with Katherine Knight. Katherine, the queen of jealousy issues, often speculated as to what he did to pass the time when he was away, and to really get her point across, slashed the throat of his two-month-old puppy in front of him, claiming that is exactly what would happen to him if he cheated on her. WOW. But this really isn’t the worst of it.
Let’s just skip to the best part. She had a couple more relationships, had a couple more kids. In the early 90′s Katherine left the man she had been dating at the time for the man she was having an affair with, John Price. Katherine and John fought constantly, and she was kicked out of his house numerous times. She went so far as to video items he had stolen from his job and send the videotape to his boss, for which he was immediately fired, after working for the company for 17 years. She stabbed him on more than one occasion in the heat of a fight, and it had gotten so bad that John’s friends refused to even talk to him because he was still with her. In February of 2000, John Price lost his life.
The day before, John had literally told his co-workers that if he didn’t show up to work the next day, it would be because Katherine Knight had killed him. Yep, he was right. Katherine had come over to his house that night, had sex with him, and waited until he fell asleep. Then she stabbed him… 37 times. Just pretend you’re stabbing something. You get the point after, like, ten swipes. She was clearly very angry. So angry, in fact, that several hours after John died, she skinned him and hung the “suit” of skin from a meat hook in his living room. She then cut off his head and cooked up several parts of his body, mixing the dead man parts with a medley vegetables in a stew-like concoction, and set the table for his children, who would be returning from their sleepover soon. She even wrote out name cards for them, and arranged John’s skinned, headless body on a chair next to the table, holding a soda bottle, waiting for them. On the table was a note for John Price, from Katherine, simply stating that she had gotten him back for raping her daughter… even though he hadn’t raped her daughter at all. Luckily, the police arrived before the children did – a tip off from neighbors who were concerned that John’s car was still in the driveway after he should have left for work – and found Katherine Knight in a comatose state on the floor next to the scene, apparently from taking a lot of sleeping pills. Not enough to kill her, though, and for this stunt she landed herself the title of “first Australian woman to be sentenced for life without parole.”
Dinner is Served! She must have made Hannibal Lecter very proud. But seriously… I don’t know whether to revere the woman for having such a thorough plan or throw up in my mouth. Just sayin’, next time Casey Heynes gets bullied, there better be some cooking of body parts involved. Come on Australia, I’m counting on you.