By John Stringer.
WARNING: disturbing material: This post is not an attempt to glorify this terrible killing or to be gratuitous, however in recent days there have been attempts, including within a documentary, for New Zealand to forgive Juliet Hulme (now Anne Perry) and allow her to come back to NZ, even embrace her as an author. While I am not against that as a citizen of Christchurch, neither of the girls has really repented of what they did, and the true facts of what actually happened are not well known. The Jackson film Heavenly Creatures did not – for good reason – examine this aspect in its general release movie.
This post is therefore about what actually happened, so the truth can stand alongside any attempts to reconcile Christchurch, and NZ, with Hulme or Parker and people can make an informed opinion about the future of the two as they relate to Christchurch which still holds the blood of Honorah Rieper/Parker in its soil.
Honorah’s blood splattered and ran twelve feet down the sodden clay path. There was a lot of it.
The girls planned the murder of Pauline’s mother Honorah several weeks, perhaps even months, before. They wrote about it and planned it, coming up with several scenarios and finally settling on a detailed plan. Juliet chose a place (Victoria Park) for its seclusion a short distance from the city, and how they would all get there (by bus), and selected a half brick from her house. Pauline took a stocking, which the brick was later dropped into, it was then knotted to stop it coming out, and popped into Pauline’s bag which she carried on the trip from her house, with her mother and Juliet. The girls prepared in Pauline’s bedroom while Honorah cooked them a lovely lunch, during which time the girls were in “sparkling form.” They all ate as a family and friend, including father Bert and sister Wendy, before they headed off to Honorah’s entrapment and death.
The threesome had drinks, cakes and buns at the Victoria Park tearooms together, then headed off for a walk down the muddy clay track of Victoria Park on the Port Hills over looking the city. Juliet had pocketed a ring stone, and walked ahead, mother Honorah in the middle, daughter Pauline coming behind. Juliet strategically dropped the pink ring stone she had brought, and as Honorah bent over to see what it was having been drawn to its attention by Juliet, Pauline pulled the stocking out, swung it, and struck her mother on the head. But she was a large muscular woman and did not go down quickly like in the movies.
There is evidence she ended up on her back, with one of the girls on top of her strangling her (there were bruises around her neck) while the other, probably Juliet, took the sock-brick, and swung it down repeatedly on to Honorah’s head and face. At some point the brick came out of the knotted stocking from the force, it was picked up again and repeatedly smashed down onto her face and temple like a caveman smashing bones. The deep gashes resulting on her face exposed the skull beneath. Her jaw was broken and smashed sideways. Blood spurted into the air and covered the girls. Honorah’s face was bludgeoned beyond recognition. Her dress was then hitched up around her waist in an undignified manner, perhaps to suggest a rape attack (common within the girls dark psycho-sexual fantasies). As the girls left to feign the next part of the plan (innocence and escape), they heard Honorah gurgling as she choked on the thick blood in her eyes, nose, mouth and throat evidence she was still alive, abandoned on the soggy clay path as she suffered horrendous and shocking injuries. What was Honorah thinking at the time? She must have been in utter shock that her daughter and the beautiful Juliet Hulme had just viciously and mortally murdered her in broad daylight.
There is evidence Honorah fought back, but sandwiched between the two girls, with a serious first head blow, she was seriously disadvantaged. Protecting her head with her hands, the swinging brick severed her little finger (finger severance by blunt brick) which demonstrates the force used.
Peter Graham takes up the moment based on the girls’ own testimony:
“Pauline bashed away mercilessly but her mother was slow to go down. She and Juliet forced her to the ground. Juliet grabbed the loaded stocking from Pauline and landed further furious blows on Nora’s (Honorah) head. Blood was spraying everywhere. Her resistance was weakening.
“The stocking broke. Nora was now lying face upwards, making a terrible noise. Juliet kneeled, gripped her around the throat and held her head against the ground while Pauline, grasping the hlaf-brick in her hand, hammered her again and again and again -on the forehead, the temples.”
The pathologist counted 45 external injuries to Honora, 24 on the face. This was a frenzied hate crime.
Afterwards the girls lied, play-acted, giggled, laughed, were ecstatic and amused themselves. They never showed remorse or even sorrow.
The men eventually sent to discover what the girls feigned was a slip and fall, were shocked beyond belief in quiet Christchurch of 1954. They never forgot what they saw, but had the dignity to cover Honorah’s dress over her privacy. What happened next, and the way the two murderous teenagers conducted themselves goes to the heart of evil.
These facts have to be held alongside any public calls for forgiveness and reconciliation for people like Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, the latter now a successful author who has made millions writing about crime, murder and murderers. I am still open to this, except that we have to ask questions about both girls’ psychopathy, especially Hulme/Perry’s psychopathic narcissism and her inability to have ever shown empathy for Honorah as a person, or shown genuine remorse for what happened almost 60 years ago. As John the Baptist said to the (shortly to be) murderous Jewish priests, “show the fruit of repentance you brood of vipers.”