The real-life story of a New South Wales abattoir worker who murdered, skinned and hung her de facto partner is set to be made into an Australian feature film.
It was 16 years ago that Australia learnt of John Price’s gruesome end at the hands of his partner, Katherine Knight, who had planned the murder over a number of days and removed his head to keep as a souvenir.
“The last minutes of his life must have been a time of abject terror for him, as they were a time of utter enjoyment for her,” Justice Barry O’Keefe said at the time of sentencing.
Knight was arrested by police on 1 March 2000. She was found at her home sleeping, with slices of Price’s buttocks served on plates ready for their children’s dinner, with bloodstains on the floor and his head in a boiling pot on the stove. Thankfully, police made it to the scene before the children arrived home from school.
Knight was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison in October 2001, the first woman to ever receive the sentence in Australia.
Peter Lalor immortalized the crime in his highly acclaimed book Blood Stain, which will be the basis for the film script.
Knight has consistently refused to speak with Lalor.
“[Her partner] knew she was trying to kill him,” Petor Lalor told news.com.au. “There was an inevitability around it.”
The violent behavior of Katherine Knight was well known to friends and family prior to Price’s murder. From killing a former partner’s puppy to stabbing Price in the chest, Knight had a long history of possessive, violent and aggressive behavior.
Following the murder, Knight’s ex-husband David Kellet reflected that on his wedding day, his mother 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.”
Despite the 15 years that she has since served in Silverwater prison, Knight maintains her innocence.
But the story, Lalor says, is “made for cinema.”
Settling on Australian screenwriters Dane Millerd and Ross Murray, the script will be built around the last few days of Price’s life, and the final events that led to his chilling murder.
“I’m surprised it hasn’t been made into a film earlier,” Lalor said. “You just want them to make a good film. I have read the first draft of the script and it’s faithful to the way I’ve written it [the book]’.
The film is due for release in 2018.