Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century

Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century

by Peter Graham

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On June 22, 1954, teenage friends Juliet Hulme—better known as bestselling mystery writer Anne Perry—and Pauline Parker went for a walk in a New Zealand park with Pauline’s mother, Honora. Half an hour later, the girls returned alone, claiming that Pauline’s mother had had an accident. But when Honora Parker was found in a pool of blood with the brick used to bludgeon her to death close at hand, Juliet and Pauline were quickly arrested, and later confessed to the killing. Their motive? A plan to escape to the United States to become writers, and Honora’s determination to keep them apart. Their incredible story made shocking headlines around the world and would provide the subject for Peter Jackson’s Academy Award–nominated film, Heavenly Creatures

A sensational trial followed, with speculations about the nature of the girls’ relationship and possible insanity playing a key role. Among other things, Parker and Hulme were suspected of lesbianism, which was widely considered to be a mental illness at the time. This mesmerizing book offers a brilliant account of the crime and ensuing trial and shares dramatic revelations about the fates of the young women after their release from prison. With penetrating insight, this thorough analysis applies modern psychology to analyze the shocking murder that remains one of the most interesting cases of all time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626363052
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 03/20/2013
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 32,291
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

Peter Graham served as a barrister for many years before turning to crime writing. In addition to Anne Perry, he is the author of Vile Crimes: The Timaru Poisonings. He lives in New Zealand.

Table of Contents

Author's Note 1

1 A Walk in the Park 5

2 State of Shock 11

3 The Investigation 19

4 Taking the Blame 29

5 A Suitable Man 39

6 Strains of War 47

7 Cathedral City 55

8 A New Residence 63

9 "Sapienta et Veritas" 71

10 Family Secrets 77

11 Indissoluble Bond 89

12 Two Beautiful Daughters 95

13 Charles and Lance 105

14 Angelic Behaviour 117

15 The Temple in the Garden 123

16 Serious Trouble 133

17 A Lovely Remark 139

18 Hectic Nights 147

19 To Be Together Forever 151

20 No Ordinary Crime 159

21 The Only Possible Defence 167

22 A Crime in a Million 171

23 Dirty-Minded Girls 177

24 A Rare Form of Insanity 185

25 The Thing Called Bliss 191

26 Sleeping with Saints 203

27 "I See Nothing Insane..." 213

28 The Jury Retires 221

29 Her Majesty's Pleasure 227

30 The Presence of Evil 233

31 Life in Prison 243

32 A Difficult Year 251

33 A Fresh Start 257

34 Blighted Lives 267

35 A Secret Past 271

36 A Lesbian View 277

37 Stripped Naked 283

38 A Piece of Fiction 295

39 The Other Girl 301

40 What the Heck Was It? 309

41 Separate Lives 317

Epilogue 319

Select Bibliography 326

Acknowledgements 329

Index 331

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Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
LaylaCD More than 1 year ago
This is a clear, concise telling of the the murder in New Zealnd committed by 2 teenagers. This is not an exploitative book, and if provides interesting facts regarding the current lives these now-adult girls live.
MarienicollBetaIN More than 1 year ago
Very much along the same lines of the movie- after the first 100 pages, it goes into the trial and what and where the girls are today. Well written, enjoyed it.
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
We never like to think our children are capable of doing horrific things and it’s even more difficult to understand when two individuals predisposed to such acts find each other. When that happens, behavior that may never have gone beyond thoughts can become reality and this seems to have been the case with Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker. The interesting thing to me is that Juliet was considered the dominant personality and, yet, it was Pauline’s desire to kill her mother that they carried out. Both girls thought they were “geniuses far above the common herd of mankind”, a personality trait frequently found in anti-social personality disorders. They had developed their own sort of religion in which sin could be a good thing although they didn’t appear to take it seriously; it was mostly a form of self-entertainment. Both were very narcissistic and showed no remorse when they were found out. In many ways, they mirror the 1924 case of Leopold and Loeb. As intelligent as they may have been, especially Juliet, they were really clumsy with their attack on Pauline’s mother and their ineptitude was probably due to lack of knowledge about such things but there is no doubt that impulse control was not a factor as they planned the murder in detail. Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century is a fascinating account of a sensational case. Modern-day readers from the US and other more “sophisticated” countries won’t recognize this as the murder of the century but it certainly was in 1950′s New Zealand. There are recognizable contributing elements such as the girls’ self-imposed isolation and their obsessive dependence on each other and it’s interesting that Juliet received much rougher treatment in prison for no apparent reason. Overall, the accounting of Juliet’s and Pauline’s lives after prison takes a harsher approach to Juliet, who took the name of Anne Perry in an attempt at anonymity. In particular, she is painted as an icy woman even in her 70′s and, with this, I must take some exception. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Perry in 2002 at a book event and spent a few moments chatting with her over my display of her books. She was nothing but charming and friendly and I suspect that her demeanor towards readers is quite different from how she reacts to those who pry into her life. At the time that I met her, I had not heard her story but, when I did a year or two later, it did not change my opinion that she is a likeable person. I believe Anne Perry is a prime example of the young person who commits a terrible act but is able to redeem herself in later life and would never pose a threat to anyone again. I have no reason to doubt the veracity of Mr. Graham‘s account of this crime and its aftermath but it’s time to let it rest. Anne Perry’s private life is hers to protect and I’m content to just enjoy her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the whole book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had already read Joanne Drayton's book, The Search for Anne Perry, when I happened upon Peter Graham's Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century. I was immediately gripped by the authenticity, the background trial accounts, and the thorough and well-written presentation of the fascinating material. Compelling. Still wanting more answers, but this is pretty close to what the public will probably ever get.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LucyVan More than 1 year ago
I was so looking forward to reading this book and so disappointed in the first half of it that I never finished it. I found it rather dry. Character development is lacking and the pace is laborious. I just can't recommend it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These two girls had terrible childhoods and lived in their own dream world. Sad story and interesting but to descriptive. I didn't need background information on every character and there are many.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating non-fiction book. I highly recommend it. It is unusual, odd, informative, and well written. It reads like fiction because it keeps your full attention. Another great book on the Nook is the novel "The Partisan" by William Jarvis. Both books deserve A+++++