By Joel Garcia

Katherine Mary Knight Australia’s first woman to be sentenced to life without parole. She was with the murder of John Charles Thomas Price. She was born to an alcoholic and abusive father who raped her mother repeatedly up to 10 times a day. In high school, she became alienated from classmates because she was a bully who stood over the other kids. She assaulted at least one boy with a weapon and was once injured by a teacher acting in self-defense. At 16, without having learned to read or write, she was hired at her “dream job”, at the local slaughterhouse boning, which provided her with her own set of butcher knives, which she hung above her bed every night before she would go to sleep. Knight began a relationship with John Price under these circumstances.

A series of assaults on Price culminated with Knight stabbing Price in the chest. He kicked her out of his house, and took out a restraining order to keep her away from both him and his children. One night she visited Price’s house while he was sleeping and watched TV for a few minutes before waking Price and having sex with him after which he fell asleep. By the next morning she had decapitated him and cooked parts of his body, serving up the meat with vegetables and gravy at the dinner table, each plate having the name of one of Price’s children on it. Price’s head was found in a pot with vegetables.

Knight initially pleading not guilty, but on November 8th, 2001, Justice O’Keefe pointed out that the nature of the crime and needed a severe penalty. She was sentenced to life in prison with the addition sentence that she was “never to be released”. This is the first time in Australian history that a woman was sentenced to life imprisonment.