The Distinct Misfortune of a Curtain AKA Katherine Mary Knight
Hello, I'm Rebekkah Rosewood and this is Thrice Cursed.
The story you're about to hear today is a story I told on my former podcast. Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be releasing several of these episodes, as I put a lot of time and research into them, and all of the cases I covered are things that I reference quite often. So, I would like to be able to reference them and have you understand what I'm talking about. Seems kind of important. So, with that being said, I'm just gonna jump into it. Please keep in mind that because this was done with my former podcast, the format is going to be a little different than what you're used to with Thrice Cursed.
Katherine Mary Knight was born on October 24th, 1955. Up until the age of 4, when her father passed away, she lived with her father, and her twin sister. Growing up, aside from her sister, the only other person she felt close to was her uncle Oscar Knight, who committed suicide in 1969. She maintains that his ghost visits her to this day.
Her father was an alcoholic who openly used violence and intimidation to repeatedly rape her mother. This would sometimes happen up to 10 times a day. As traumatic as this probably was for Knight, the real damage was probably done afterwards. During Knight’s formative years, her mother would constantly over-share intimate details about her sex life, and how she hated men and sex altogether.
Then, when she once told her mother about a partner wanting to commit a certain sexual act with her, she was told to “put up with it, and stop complaining,” despite knowing that her daughter didn’t want to participate.
Knight also claims that throughout her childhood, she was sexually abused repeatedly by several of her family members. While psychiatrists didn’t necessarily believe this at first, confirmations from several family members caused the psychiatrists to accept her claims, only finding issues with some minor details.
With this kind of childhood, it’s no surprise that people reported Knight having a temper problem. As far as most were concerned, growing up, she was a pleasant girl, but she would experience uncontrollable murderous rages in response to minor upsets. --CUTE
As she grew older, she became more of a loner, and people no longer thought of her as pleasant. Instead, she was labeled a bully who would constantly tower over those smaller than her. In high school, she actually assaulted one boy with a weapon, and on a separate occasion, was injured by a teacher. After an investigation, he was found to have acted out of self-defense.
Oddly enough, Knight couldn’t wait to leave school. She was so set on getting out of there, that she left school at 15, before she was even able to read or write properly. From school, she started her first job, where she worked for 1 year. When she left this position, it was for her dream job. Acting? Singing? Karate master? Nnnnnope! She got an entry-level position at the local slaughterhouse. She was quickly promoted through the ranks, and was given her own set of butcher knives.
These knives were brought home with her each night, and hung above her bed. Weird decor, but cool. Cool, cool. When asked about this design choice, she said she did this so that they “would always be handy if [she] needed them.” So.. THAT’S a thing.
In 1973, Knight met her first partner, David Kellet, who was her co-worker. The two had one of those relationships where he’d get rowdy in a bar, and she’d back him up with her fists. They married only a year later upon Knight’s request. Interestingly enough, on their wedding night, Kellet was warned about Knight by her own mother.
She had said “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 fucking kill you. She’s got a few screws loose.”
Lo and behold, a few short hours later, Knight attempts to strangle her new husband because he wasn’t able to perform sexually more than 3 times before passing out. Another night, while Knight was heavily pregnant with their first child, Kellet stayed out later than expected playing darts in a competition where he had made the finals. In response to this, she burned all of his clothing and shoes before hitting him in the back of the head with a frying pan.
He fled to a neighbor’s house, where he immediately collapsed. He was later treated for a major skull fracture. Because Knight was now on her best behavior though, charges were never filed against her, despite urging from the police.
In 1976, after the birth of her first child, Kellet left for another woman, and moved to Queensland. Obviously, Knight did NOT take this well. She was seen violently pushing her child in the stroller along the street. This landed her a stay in St. Elmo’s Hospital. She was released shortly after, with a diagnosis of postpartum depression. She quickly spirals again, this time leaving her daughter in her stroller on a train track, just shortly before the train is scheduled to arrive. Fortunately, a man known as “Old Ted” was foraging nearby and found the two-month-old before any harm could come to her.
Meanwhile, Knight had made her way into town, stolen an axe, and threatened to kill several people. She was obviously arrested for this, and taken back to the hospital, where she “recovers” and signs herself out just one day later. A few days after this, she slashed the face of a random woman with one of her knives, and demanded that this stranger drive her to Queensland to find Kellet. The woman manages to escape while they are stopped at a service station.
In the time it took police to arrive, Knight had already grabbed a young boy, and was threatening him with her knife. The police used brooms to disarm her, and had her admitted to the Morriset Psychiatric Hospital. Here she admits that she had intended to kill the mechanic at the service station because he had previously fixed her husband’s car, allowing him to escape her. She then intended to kill both her husband, and his mother once she located them in Queensland.
Despite this terrifying confession, she was released on August 9th, 1976, INTO THE CARE of Kellet and his mother, who had moved back upon hearing about her mental breaks. They all moved to Woodridge, a suburb of Brisbane. In March of 1980, they had their second daughter - because the one she tried to leave on the train tracks wasn’t enough, apparently.
In 1984, the relationship between Kellet and Knight officially ends, when Knight decides to leave Kellet, and returns to Aberdeen. Their marriage somehow lasted 10 years.
Just two short years later, Knight meets David Saunders. He moved in with her and her two daughters a few short months after, though he did keep his apartment -- probably the wisest thing he could have done. At some point, Knight developed a SERIOUS case of FOMO for no reason, and threw him out. He returned to his apartment in Scone until she inevitably asked him to come back. This of course was never in the form of an apology, but rather a simple “we should be together, come back.” Everyone who knew Knight said that when she crossed a line, there was never a sign she felt any remorse.
In May of 1987, it got worse. She cuts the throat of his poor 2-mo-old dingo pup in front of him, as a demonstration of what she would do to him if he ever decided to have an affair. When asked if the dog had died, she responded simply,” they said it was a good, clean cut.” True to psychopath form. She then, in all of her rapunzel-esque glory, knocked him out with a frying pan.
Saunders decided that with all of the abuse, and mistreatment, something was missing. A CHILD! In June of 1988 Knight gave birth to her 3rd daughter. It’s at this point, the two decide they need to get a house together. This house was decorated with animal skins, skulls, horns, rusty animal traps, leather jackets, old boots, machetes, rakes, and pitchforks. Now when I say decorated, I mean COVERED. Top. to. Bottom. T TO B!
After an argument, she hit Saunders in the face, then stabbed him in the stomach with a pair of scissors. After this, he moved back to his apartment. He did return home to gather some things, but discovered she had cut up and burned all of his clothing. This act… not the dog, not the pan to the head, or the scissors to the stomach, caused him to go into hiding. He came back several months later to see his daughter, and, ever-the-victim, Knight had him served with a restraining order because SHE was “afraid” of HIM.
About 2 years later, she became pregnant with the child of former co-worker John Chillingsworth. She had her 4th child, and 1st son in 1991. Her relationship with Chillingsworth lasted 3 years, until she left him for a man she was having an affair with.
This man was John Price, otherwise known as “Pricey.” Price was a father of three when their affair began. He was said to be a “terrific bloke” by all who knew him -- except for maaaaybe his wife? I presume. . Price has been described by friends as hard-working, and hard-drinking, but not a violent guy. While his youngest child stayed with his ex-wife, his two older children lived with him
Price’s children apparently really liked Knight, and despite his knowledge of her violent behavior, she moved into his home in 1995. All seemed to be going well at first-- despite violent arguments. What??? But in 1998, a fight ensued. Knight wanted to be married, but Price refused. Because of this, she sends a video to Price’s boss. This video showed a first aid kit that she had claimed Price stole. The items were actually expired, and had been salvaged from a work dumpster. Regardless, because of this video, Price lost the job he had for 17 years.
She was willing to harm even herself if it allowed her to get even. Price, obviously overreacted, and kicked her out. Unfortunately, this development didn’t last.
A few months later, Price initiated the relationship. At this point, most of his friends stop having any involvement with him. So long as Knight is in the picture, they want nothing to do with any of it.
In February of 2000, another argument ensued. In this argument, Knight actually stabs price in the chest. She then calls the police on him, and states that she had been terrified for her life, because HE was abusing HER. The police grant her a restraining order.
Obviously, this doesn’t sit right with Price, so on February 29th before work, he heads over to the Magistrate to tell the true story, and have the record reflect that. He then goes to work, and tells several of his co-workers that if he isn’t at work tomorrow, they should call the police, because Knight killed him. These co-workers begged him not to go home, but he said that he feared for the lives of his children if he didn’t.
So, Price returns home to find that Knight isn’t there, and neither are his children. She had apparently sent the kids to a friend’s house for a sleepover. So with that taken care of, he heads to his neighbor’s house and is there talking and drinking until around 11pm. Before leaving this neighbor’s house, he also told them that if his car was in the driveway when this neighbor left, that he should call the police. Keep in mind- Price was always the first one to work, so it would be extremely strange if when this neighbor went to leave, Price wasn’t already gone.
While Price was going to the Magistrate and filling his co-workers and neighbors in on what was happening, Knight was handling her own personal matters. She had gone to the store and bought a new black negligee. She also made a strange video. She had videotaped all of her children, while also discussing her personal property. This video was later interpreted as a crude will by investigators.
That evening, Knight returned home after Price had gone to bed. She watched tv for a little bit, one source said she’d watched Star Trek - fun? Fact…? She then showered, and woke Price for sex. After this, she allowed him to fall back asleep. What came next would be faaar less pleasant.
The morning of March 1, 2000, Scott Matthews, general duties officer receives a call from the boss of John Price. He hadn’t shown up for work. Now, Scott Matthews actually knew Price, and he was well aware of his work ethic, and knew he wouldn’t just miss a day.
The police go to investigate and find that Price’s van is still in the driveway. After trying to get the attention of anyone who might be in the home, the two spot blood on the doorframe. They look through the mail box, trying to see if they can spot anyone. They don’t see anyone, but they do see an oddly-placed curtain blocking more of their view. It’s at this point that the officers decide they will need to break into the home. They break in through the back door, behind this curtain they had seen. One officer pushed the curtain aside with his left hand, and felt an instant cold wash along his arm. Upon examining his arm, he saw that it was covered in blood. Initially, the officer thought that he’d injured himself in the act of breaking in, but quickly realized that what it actually was, was much worse than that.
This curtain he’d pushed back, was actually a human pelt. As they got further in, they discovered a skinless body missing its head and genitalia. The two officers then searched the rest of the home for a suspect, when they heard what sounded like moaning coming from the back bedroom. In this room, they found Knight. She was groggy and unresponsive, but not at all injured. It was later determined she’d taken a concoction of various drugs, most likely in an attempt to end her own life.
The police called for an ambulance immediately, and were actually unable to speak to Knight for 5 whole days while she recovered. One forensic investigator on scene described a “sweet aroma” on scene, as if your mom was cooking stew. BLECH
As investigators searched the premises, the rest of the story became very clear.
That night, John Price awoke in what the world can only assume was sheer terror.
She’d stabbed him while he’d been sleeping. Blood patterns in the home show that he had run, and began stumbling, falling, and dragging himself out of the home as she continued to attack him. There was blood EVERYWHERE. On the light switch, on the carpets, the walls, the bed… Blood on the screen door and door frame indicate that Price had actually made it to the front door before being dragged back inside the home and finished off by Knight.
John Price had been stabbed at least 37 times in the back and front of his body. Several of these wounds punctured vital organs, and the forensic investigator said that even if he’d made it out front, he would have died long before he was able to receive help.
As bad as this was, it only gets worse. Knight, what with her background from the slaughterhouse, then skinned her boyfriend. She took off all skin, including his face, ears, scalp, and neck, and genitals… ALLLLLL skin except one small inch. The skin left was the scar from where she had stabbed him. She then hung this skin pelt where the authorities would have the distinct misfortune of touching it.
His head was found in a pot on the stove with various vegetables, and on the kitchen table were two untouched meals. The meat on these plates were later determined to have been taken from his glutes. Another meal was found in the backyard. The theory behind this one is that Knight had been unable to consume this meal herself.
The two plates on the table were left with spiteful notes for both of Price’s children. Apparently, she’d initially intended to feed Price to his own kids?
During an interview with Knight, police immediately knew there was something off with her. She claimed to not remember anything, but a certain glint in her eye told the interviewing officer that it was all bullshit. She had also said that she constantly feared for her life with Price, so MAYBE if she did it, that was why. Once they dug into her past though, they very quickly determined that this was all a lie. She was the perpetrator in any instances of violence between her and any of her exes.
After word breaks that Knight is being charged with the brutal murder, the town dub her “The Black Knight of Aberdeen,” though I don’t know that anyone in that town was surprised she was being accused of murder at this point. Though one close friend of the couple did say that he never thought their relationship was anything out of the ordinary -- what? -- And that this came out of the blue.
During the trial, Knight initially pleaded not guilty, but eventually did a 180 and pleaded guilty after all. Presiding Supreme Court Judge Berry O’Keefe was actually very hesitant to accept this plea. He was concerned that this clearly conniving criminal was going to try and botch this trial by claiming that she’d been too insane to properly understand what she had been doing. So, for this reason, she is submitted to psychiatric evaluations to determine that she is indeed sane enough to make this call.
When the psychiatrists determine that she is healthy enough to make such a call, the guilty plea was accepted. The trials continued, and no one could ignore Knight’s strange behavior. She refused to even look at the evidence photos, or any of the witnesses when they took the stand. She was completely impassive.
That is, until Knight was on the stand, and the evidence tape was playing. At this point, she began to rock violently back and forth, wailing, and falling on the floor. The judge has surmised that she’d grown tired and wanted an adjournment, so she manipulated her behavior to achieve that.
In the end, Katherine Mary Knight was the first woman in Australia to ever be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Everyone involved said that it was very clear Knight was a danger to anyone who might do anything that she perceived as a slight to her.
That ends the horrifying tale of Katherine Mary Knight.
After this I have an unscripted ramble for a bit, and ask you to contribute to my patreon. If you like what you hear/read, please consider doing that at the link in the menu.
Crimes That Shook Australia
All That’s Interesting