This story is one that will probably come as quite a shock to the “#MeTo” lobby group for this book details the crimes that one seemingly feminine woman visited on at least four virile able bodied Australian men. Although women didn’t escape scot free, as quite a few who got on her wrong side could attest, but she reserved the real viscous violence for the men who were unfortunate enough to enter into physical relationships with her. Not only did these men refuse to believe the advice of those who had known this woman all her life that they should under no circumstances enter into a physical relationship with her but at least a couple actually went back after being lucky enough to escape with just some serious head injuries! I don’t know if this says more about where these men’s brains were or that they had a hard time believing that such a loving caring woman could be capable of such extreme violence. So extreme was her violence that her husband David Kellett who did manage to get away lived in abject terror for the rest of his life that she would track him down.
This story more than any other true crime story raises the argument of ‘nature versus nurture’ i.e. are you born bad or made bad by your environment? Katherine Knight did indeed suffer a horrendous childhood with a brutal father and an ineffectual mother who was unable to help herself. or given the times escape her awful situation. In country NSW in the 1950-1960s no one interfered in domestic situations. If the wife was strong enough to escape there was no welfare to help her or her children so, mostly, they just had to get on with it. So Katherine learnt early on that violence was power and she mastered it from an early age.
In my estimation, Katherine Knight is that rare animal, a true narcissistic female psychopath and I think that even had she had a loving upbringing she would still have committed the crimes she did. Should you read this story? Yes. Will this story leave you wondering about the inherent nature of women? Yes. But it will also leave you more prepared to acknowledge that domestic violence can and is, perpetrated by both sexes.
This is a well written and well researched book and it comes just in time to remind us all that women are also capable of great cruelty and depravity. As a member of this Author’s early reader club I received an advance copy of this book and this is my honest review.
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