4.9 Anne Perry's statements

What are Anne Perry's comments about the film?

[jp] Anne Perry has been severely critical of the film "Heavenly Creatures" in her public statements, although she states she has not seen it (see 7.8). In a Feb '95 interview with the NY Times she claimed the film offered a grotesque and distorted portrait of herself and that her relationship with Pauline Parker had been misrepresented by the "idiotic movie-makers." A to-and-fro series of press volleys followed, between Perry and Walsh and Jackson. Perry has since softened her criticism of "Heavenly Creatures" somewhat, while maintaining the substance of her statements about the murder itself. Followup quotes:

Walsh: "We don't appreciate being referred to as 'idiotic movie-makers.' In all the interviews we've done for the movie, we've treated her with absolute respect." (Feb. 18, '95)

Walsh: "We tried so hard to get the research right. Fiction was our enemy. We wanted to tell their story from a humanitarian perspective to New Zealanders who've seen the girls as monsters all this time." (Feb. 18 '95)

Walsh: "I can understand Perry('s)...revisionist approach. Forty years on, she has a career to protect. She's rebuilt her life..." (Feb. 18, '95)

Perry: "That was an unfortunate quote and I don't remember saying it--it must have been in the heat of the moment.

From what I've been told, I don't feel the movie was grotesque and distorted at all--as the Times said.

It is all extremely painful. What others see as fair and objective is not the way you see yourself." (Feb. 18, '95)

What are Anne Perry's statements about the murder?

[jp,se] Anne Perry's public statements since July '94 concerning her memories of the "Parker Hulme" murder case are listed here without comment and without full attribution (all sources are listed as articles in this FAQ). It is left up to the interested reader to argue for or against Ms. Perry's interpretation of evidence, or to accept or reject new evidence she may present.

Ms. Perry states she "did not construct elaborate games with clay figures."

She describes the time she was confined in the sanatorium as "a strange and lonely time."

During her confinement to the sanatorium, "Pauline was my only contact with the outside world. I didn't know if I was going to get better, and she stood by me as a lifeline."

Juliet was under medication for a severe chest ailment and the medication may have clouded her judgement.

Pauline Parker was desperately unhappy and suicidal and it was to avoid Pauline's suicide that Juliet participated in the murder. Perry states: "I believed that if I did not do what I did she would take her own life. I'm not putting words in her mouth. All I will say is this is what I believed."

As evidence of Pauline's extreme emotional distress, Ms. Perry says that Pauline Parker was throwing up after eating.

The days immediately preceeding the murder were a confusing rush of traumatic events. Perry states: "My father lost his job and my parents were going to be divorced and that all happened within a matter of days, and we were going to leave the country." Could she not have told her parents about the dilemma? The question provoked an angry tone. "Come on. My father's just lost his job and his wife. And she was in a state of distress as well. And we've only got a few days to... (stet ellipsis) I suppose I was absolutely stunned."

Both Juliet and Pauline were devoted to Juliet's father and were deeply upset by what was happening to him.

Ms. Perry says Juliet was not a lesbian nor mentally ill. Perry is especially upset at any suggestion of psychological deviance or lesbianism. "I find it grossly offensive," she said. "I was so innocent sexually then."

Perry denies that Juliet and Pauline were such close friends that the breaking up of their relationship was the reason for the murder. "I mean certainly we were good friends, but [the murder] was a debt of honour. It wasn't a great 'I can't live without you' business that these idiotic movie makers are making out of it." (from the Darnton NYT article) "All I can actually remember feeling is: I don't want to do this. How can I get out of it, hysterically, how can I get out of it? I can't. Because if I don't do it, she's going to die and that's going to be even worse. I'm going to be responsible for a death one way or the other. And this one stood by me [PYP], that one [HMP] I didn't even know."

Ms. Perry claims not to remember much of the period leading up to the murder or the murder itself. "Like any other traumatic experience, nature helps you to put it away," she said. "All I can remember was feeling very afraid and very jammed into a corner. I didn't want to do it and I couldn't think of any way of getting out of it." "All I can say is that it was violent, and quick."

Ms. Perry says her memories of the arrest and trial are hazy, but "I want to make it plain that my family stood by me absolutely."

Ms. Perry recalls little of the trial, other than "the sense of helplessness when people tell lies about you and you can't say, 'No, that's not how it was.'"

Ms. Perry states that Pauline's diaries were misinterpreted. As an example, she says that Pauline "wrote about seeing 'George in the night.' I believe that in North America the equivalent is 'the john,' but the prosecution tried to make out that she had a lover."

Ms. Perry admitted to a sense of frustration because she was not permitted to testify during the trial and because, she states, the prosecution's case was based heavily on Pauline's diary entries and "I don't know how you can use one person's diary as evidence of another person's behaviour."

Ms. Perry has stated in several interviews that she fully accepts blame for her part in the crime and has said "I'm sorry. I'm utterly, totally sorry, without excuse." She also states "I think all Christian faiths will say that if you have paid the price and you have truly repented, there is forgiveness."

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