- [X]Abernethy, Rex C. (Magistrate, Mr). [G?,mk]
- [Mr RC Abernethy, S.M.] Presided over PYP's being charged with the murder of her mother, the morning after her arrest. An acquaintance of HM Hulme through the Christchurch Marriage Guidance Council.
- [X]Adams, Francis Boyd (Justice, Mr). [jp,sb,G?]
- [Mr Justice Adams] Pronounced JMH and PYP guilty of murder on the recommendation of a 12-man jury, Aug. 28, '54, after a sensational, high-profile Supreme Court trial. Adams was characterized as a hard-liner at the time. Trial transcripts paint a picture of an even-tempered, extremely conservative justice, determined to uphold the letter of the law and the morality of the community, and determined to make an example of the case to discourage indiscriminate use of the insanity defense, at the very least.
After the defense had presented its case, Adams called the legal teams into his chambers. He informed them he was considering ending the trial because he did not consider a viable case for the defense had been presented. Both junior counsel, for the defense and the prosecution, argued against this and went to find precedents. Their research convinced Adams to continue the trial. G? credit Mahon in particular for arguing persuasively to see the case through and to give PYP and JMH fair access to the judicial system.
- [X]Alty, G.W. (Detective-Sergeant). [mk]
- [DetSgt GW Alty] Made application in Magistrate's Court on behalf of police in charging PYP and JMH with murder.
- [X]Barnett, Morris John (Mr). [mk]
- [Mr MJ Barnett] Superintendent of Reserves in ChCh. Presented evidence about Victoria Park layout, terrain, provided official drawings at trial.
- [X]Barnett, Samuel Thompson (Mr). [jp]
- [Mr ST Barnett] Secretary of Justice, NZ and Controller General of Prisons. Barnett held consultations after the conviction of PYP and JMH to determine recommendations for sentencing under the provisions of Section 5 of the Capital Punishments Act, 1950, relating to persons under the age of 18:
A person sentenced to detention 'During Her Majesty's Pleasure' shall be liable to be detained in such place and under such conditions as the Minister of Justice shall direct. A person detained pursuant to the directions of the Minister of Justice under this section shall, while detained, be deemed to be in legal custody. The Minister of Justice may at any time discharge on licence any person detained pursuant to his directions. The licence shall contain such conditions as the Minister may direct, and may at any time be revoked or varied by him. Where a licence under this section has been revoked the person to whom the licence relates shall return to such place as the Minister of Justice may direct. Failure to obey this condition may result in the person being arrested without warrant and taken to the place.
Sentence was actually pronounced and announced by Thomas Clifton Webb, the Minister of Justice. Involvement of Barnett and Webb illustrates the degree of public interest in the case (and hence political opportunity).
Barnett rose to be Secretary of State for Justice (Minister of Justice) by the time PYP and JMH were released. As Justice Minister he took a personal interest in their progress while incarcerated, receiving regular reports and authorizing special treatment, such as private tutoring. He announced their release and the terms of their release personally though, for some reason, all conditions were not announced at the press conference by Barnett.
Barnett had attended the innaugural meeting of the Christchurch Marriage Guidance Council in '49, and remained involved in its work. G? conclude Barnett may have known HM Hulme, through her work with the Council.
- [*]Bennett, Francis Oswald (Dr). [jp,lfr,sb,G?,mc]
- [Dr FO Bennett] Psychiatric witness for PYP defense, called by Dr AL Haslam. Registered medical practitioner (family physician, general practitioner, started practice in '34) whose family had settled in Christchurch in the 1860s. Held honorary positions at Christchurch Hospital and later wrote a history of the institution. Fellow of Royal Australasian College of Physicians. A social acquaintance of the Hulmes for several years before the murder. Worked with HM Hulme on Christchurch Marriage Guidance Council.
Bennett "was consulted about the girls' friendship before the tragedy occurred" according to testimony (see time line below). HM Hulme testified JMH was not "psycho- analysed" by Bennett or anyone else before the murder. Bennett examined PYP in Dec. '53, formally at HM Parker's request. After the murder, Bennett examined both PYP and JMH in the hours following their arrest "by courtesy of the police" and, later, at the request of the defense team.
Bennett pronounced PYP and JMH insane (folie á deux paranoiacs of the elated type) and detailed their delusions and practices during the trial. His trial testimony was frequently inconsistent, impassioned and rambling. Prosecutor Brown befuddled Bennett on the stand several times and Bennett seemed to be way out of his depth in these procedings, legally. Bennett made one absolutely critical legal blunder in response to clarifying questions by an obviously confused and exasperated Justice Adams:
Justice Adams: Then may your view be summarized thus: in your opinion they knew the act [murder] was contrary to the law and contrary to the ordinary standards of the community, but nevertheless it was not contrary to their own moral standards? Dr Bennett: That is so, your honour. You have exactly summarized it.
What Justice Adams had actually summarized were the McNaghten rules defining legal sanity. What Dr Bennett had actually done by agreeing with the Judge was nullify, in one sentence, all his previous testimony for the defense.
Bennett's psychiatric qualifications consisted mostly of treating cases in his private practice, in hospital and in the Army associated with war trauma, and he had little or no experience with criminal psychiatry, according to Prosecution summing up.
- [X]Brown, Alan W. (Mr). [jp,G?]
- [Mr AW Brown] Crown Prosecutor, appointed Feb '54 after many years of working with previous CP. Brown had joined a local firm in '20, achieving partner in '24. Aggressive, effective and cunning, he adopted an indignant, conservative, judgemental moral tone throughout the trial. Brown managed to appeal to the community's prejudices against lesbians and social privilege while titilating with salacious and legally-irrelevant material, and to tap the community's outrage over the brutal murder. Concluding remarks (widely quoted): "This was a coldly, callously planned and carefully committed murder by two precocious and dirty-minded little girls. They are not incurably insane, but incurably bad. You may feel pity for these girls, but pity and sentiment have no part in British justice." G? mis-spell his given name as "Allan."
- [X]Brown, Macdonald (Senior-Detective). [jp,sb,G?,mk]
- [Senior-Detective Macdonald Brown] Received the radio message from Sgt Hope after the murder. Dispatched Det Sgt AB Tate and Det GF Gillies to investigate at the scene. Interrogated PYP at Ilam and extracted her confession. Testified at Hearing and Inquest and Trial. Read diary extracts, signed statement of PYP. G? incorrectly state his name as "McDonald Brown," probably because that was how it was listed in The Press (ChCh) on the day after the murder.
- [X]Elizabeth II, H.M. b. 1926/04/21 (aged 28 in '54) [jp]
- [H.M. Queen Elizabeth II] Queen Elizabeth became a young, vivacious, immensely popular monarch when she succeeded her father, King George VI, upon his death on Feb. 6, '52. Her Coronation took place June 2, '53 and touched off global celebrations in most capitals. There was a Royal Tour of Australasia in '53-4 which passed through Christchurch. It is virtually certain that Henry and Hilda Hulme, being prominent members of the Christchurch establishment, would have been presented to the Queen and would have been in attendance at evensong in the Cathedral Jan. 20, '54.
- [X]Felton, Margaret (Police Matron). [G?]
- [Matron M Felton] Left guarding PYP at the police station when PYP attempted to burn the final note/diary entry.
- [X]Ferner, Raymond S (Magistrate, Mr). [sb,G?,mk]
- [Mr RS Ferner, S.M.] Charged JMH with murder. Committed JMH and PYP to trial at the sensational Hearing and Inquest which foreshadowed the incredible trial to come.
- [X]Gilles, G Ferguson (Detective). [G?,mk]
- [Det GF Gilles] From Criminal Investigation Branch. Dispatched to murder scene. Testified at Hearing, inquest and Trial.
- [X]Gresson, Terence Arbuthnot (Mr). [jp,sb,G?]
- [Mr TA Gresson] Defense counsel for Hulme, engaged by Hilda and Henry Hulme. From a well-known South Island (NZ) legal family, he had met Henry Hulme at Cambridge; the two re- established social contact upon HR Hulme's arrival in NZ and Gresson was an occasional guest at Ilam.
Pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity (paranoia, folie á deux). Consistently out-maneuvered by the prosecution during the trial, largely because of damning statements made by JMH and PYP and legally-amateur testimony from consulting psychiatrists, Bennett in particular. In fact, Gresson had few options once a decision to plead not guilty by reason of insanity had been made, because the legal burden of proof falls on the defense in that case, not the prosecution, under NZ law. In effect, Gresson had to prove PYP and JMH were legally insane under the very restrictive definition of the McNaghten rules. Unfortunately the girls' statements to police and psychiatrists after the murder made it abundantly plain they were not insane under that definition. So the defense strategy was to appeal to the jury's unscientific perception of madness, heaping evidence of the girls' unusual beliefs and behaviour on the jury. The defense wanted the girls to be declared to be homosexuals because of the link at that time between homosexuality and mental imbalance.
Gresson was highly regarded in legal circles. He became one of the youngest judges appointed in NZ in '56. Found dead (apparent suicide) of carbon monoxide poisoning in his Auckland garage in '66 while a Senior Judge in Auckland Supreme Court.
- [X]Griffiths, Audrey Elsie (Constable). [jb,G?,mk]
- [Const AE Griffiths] Policewoman who arrived at the scene with Dets Tate and Gilles and performed the initial search of the site and inspection of the body. Later, she helped transport the body to Christchurch Hospital mortuary where she removed Honora's clothing and effects as evidence. She recalled in '94 that the victim's fingers had been severed when she tried to block the blows of the murder weapon. Family name Amos in '94. Testified at Hearing and Inquest.
- [X]Haslam, Alec L (Dr). [jp,sb,G?]
- [Dr AL Haslam] Defense counsel for Parker. Rieper family lawyer. Made little impact in contemporary press reports outside Australasia. Former Rhodes Scholar, 'Dr' may have been LLD. Defense team didn't appear to be well coordinated or particularly spirited. H Rieper spent years under severe financial hardship paying off the defense legal fees, which were eventually reduced when the firm "became aware of his difficulty in paying."
- [X]Hope, Robert William (Sergeant). [G?,mk]
- [Sgt RW Hope] First Christchurch police officer on the scene after the murder, with Const Molyneux. Arrived late, after first going to Victoria Lake. Radioed Central Police Station in downtown Christchurch after viewing Honora's body. Testified at Hearing and Inquest.
- [*]Hulme, Henry Rainsford (Dr). b. 1908 (aged 45 in '54). [jp]
- [Dr HR Hulme] A mathematical physicist, Rector of Canterbury University College, Christchurch, NZ '48-'54, a member of the Senate of the University of New Zealand and a close acquaintance of the Anglican Bishop of Christchurch and other prominent members of Christchurch society. Husband of Hilda, father of Juliet and Jonathon. Attended JMH's arraignment but left NZ shortly afterwards, before the Hearing, Inquest and Trial, with his son, never to return. Did not testify at the arraignment, hearing or trial. No statements read into evidence. Did not visit his daughter in prison after the trial. See 7.10.1 for a detailed biography.
- [*]Hulme, Hilda Marion (Mrs). b. 1913 (aged 41 in '54). [jp]
- [Mrs HM Hulme] Wife of Henry, mother of Juliet (F, 1st) and Jonathon (M, 2nd). Prominent member of Christchurch organizations and society. Testified at all stages of legal proceedings, appearing on subpoena at the hearing, inquest and trial. She was used cynically and effectively by Brown as a prosecution tool during the trial. Admitted to being in love with Walter Perry in testimony during the trial and provided much personal information about her family, reluctantly. Immediately following the trial she changed her name and left the country, and her incarcerated daughter, behind her. Did not speak with her daughter after the trial or visit her in prison. See additional biography of Juliet Hulme in 7.10.2.
- [*]Hulme, Jonathon. b. Mar. 22, 1944 (aged 10 in '54). [jp,sb]
- [Jonathon Hulme] Younger brother to JMH. Fond of his sister but apparently treated indifferently by her. Jonathon was removed from NZ by his father before the trial. Not known which parent ended up with custody of Jonathon.
- [*]Hulme, Juliet Marion. b. Oct. 28, 1938. (aged 15 in '54). [jp]
- [JMH] Evidence of troubled childhood and adolescence, chronic respiratory ailments, chronic abandonment, difficult family life and 'juvenile delinquency' (including blackmail) presented at arraignment and trial. She had a measured IQ of 170 in '52. Her statements to police were quoted extensively in the trial. Public opinion at the time of the trial held Juliet to be utterly spoiled and ruthlessly manipulative and this affected her sentencing. Medlicott: "Juliet is a tall, willowy, frail, attractive blonde with large blue eyes." G? give a decidedly different description of JMH. See 7.10.2 for additional biography.
- [X]Hunter, James Dewar (Dr). [jp,G?]
- [Dr JD Hunter] Superintendant Sunnyside Mental Hospital, Christchurch. Similar qualifications to Stallworthy and Saville. Employed by Department of Mental Hygene in NZ for 29 years, excluding 2 years spent as a medical officer in Scotland. Testified for the prosecution, stating he refused to certify JMH and PYP, believing them to be quite sane.
- [X]Keys, Harold Ernest (Mr). [mk]
- [Mr HE Keys] Driver for St John Ambulance Association, called to Victoria Park by A Ritchie. Saw body of victim, ascertained she was dead, then later took Dr HR Hulme's name and address when he came and took away PYP and JMH before the arrival of the police. Testified at Hearing and Inquest.
- [X]Mahon, Peter Thomas (Mr). [sb,G?,mk]
- [Mr PT Mahon] Junior member of Crown prosecution team. Born and educated in Christchurch, joining the firm where Brown had practised in '41. Served in the Army in WW II. Returned to work with Brown and Crown Prosecutor preceeding Brown. Succeeded Brown as Crown Prosecutor in '57 upon Brown's retirement. Later had a long and distinguished career.
- [X]McIlroy, Eric Gordon (Mr). [G?,mk]
- [Mr EG McIlroy] Labourer hired by ChCh City Council and Assistant to Kenneth Ritchie in Victoria Park. First to find Honora Parker's body with KN Ritchie. Stood guard over the body as instructed when Ritchie went back for police and doctor. Testified at Hearing and Inquest.
- [X]McKenzie, D. (Inspector). [G?,mk]
- [Inspector D McKenzie] Took charge of murder investigation with SeniorDet Macdonald Brown.
- [X]McLelland, Brian (Mr). [jb,G?]
- [Mr B McLelland] Junior defense counsel for JMH, assisting Gresson. Born and educated in Christchurch, attending Canterbury College. After War service joined Gresson's firm. Read JMH's and PYP's writings. In a '91 interview, after he had risen to be Queen's Counsel, he made these statements: "They really believed [JMH's play] was so brilliant that it would be filmed in Hollywood. They were going over there to arrange all this. The whole thing was ridiculous." He disagreed with the verdict, believing JMH to be insane. Never saw JMH again after trial. "Frankly I did not want to. There was nothing I could do. Juliet needed a doctor, not a lawyer." Died recently.
- [X]Medlicott, Reginald Warren (Dr). [jp,jb,sb,mf,G?]
- [Dr RW Medlicott] Medical superintendent of Ashburn Hall, a private psychiatric hospital, Dunedin for seven years prior to trial. In his early 30s, he was prominent and well- respected in his field, a Member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, visiting psychiatric physician to Dunedin Hospital, lecturer in psychiatry at Otago University Medical School, and had held a Rockefeller Fellowship, spending a year at a University Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Lead psychiatrist, testifyied at the trial for the defense, called by Gresson.
Bennet physically and mentally examined JMH and PYP and read their writings: PYP's diary, some fictional writings of both, some correspondence. Interviewed H Rieper, HM Hulme, Dr FO Bennett, Wendy Rieper, Amy ('Nana') Parker. Testified that both PYP and JMH were hostile and abusive toward him during examinations. Pronounced JMH and PYP insane (folie
deux paranoics of the exalted type). Read extensively from PYP's poetry and diaries in testimony. Grilled mercilessly and ridiculed in 2 days of withering cross-examination on psychological interpretation of poetry, among other things, by Prosecutor Brown during trial. Medlicott, like Bennett, seemed way out of his depth, legally, in the trial proceedings. His obvious lack of criminal psych experience was noted by the Crown Prosecutor in his summing up.
Medlicott wrote up the case history for publication in a learned psych journal (see 7.8.1). The case seems to have had a lasting impact on him. Glamuzina and Laurie interviewed him in '87, when he "described a dream he had about Juliet, where he thought that an evil scorpion-like creature which crawled out of a wall symbolised her. Even nearly thirty-five years later he was still preoccupied with ideas of evil about the two girls." Rumour was that Medlicott would have committed PYP and JMH to his private hospital had they been found insane. He died ca. '88.
- [X]Molyneux, Donald (Constable). [G?,mk]
- [Const D Molyneux] First police to arrive at murder scene, with Sgt RW Hope. Stayed with Honora's body when Sgt Hope returned to radio for assistance. Testified at Hearing and Inquest.
- [*]Parker, Honora Mary (Mrs). b. 1909 (aged 45 in '54). [jp,sb]
- [Mrs HM Parker] British emigrant to NZ at 18. Common-law wife of Herbert Rieper for 23 years [some accounts say 25]. Mother of (?) (M, 1st), Wendy (F, 2nd), Pauline (F, 3rd), and Rosemary (F, 4th). Known in life as Honora Rieper. Her children also known by Rieper name. Murdered by PYP and JMH on June 22, '54.
- [X]Parker, (?) (M, 1st). [jp,sb]
- Older brother to Wendy, PYP and Rosemary. "Blue baby," i.e. born with perforated heart &/or other cardio-pulminary defects. Died within 24 h of birth according to court testimony.
- [*]Parker, Wendy Patricia. b. Mar. 1937 (aged 17 in '54).
- [Wendy Parker] Older sister of PYP and Rosemary. Medlicott described her: "An attractive blonde of seventeen years of age. She is of average intelligence, likeable in manner, sociable and keen on sport, and has never given her family any cause for concern. Of different temperament than Pauline they have never had much in common." [sb,jb,jp]
- [*]Parker, Pauline Yvonne. b. May 26, 1938 (3rd, aged 16 in '54).
- [PYP] aka Pauline Rieper. Evidence of wit and intelligence presented in arraignment and trial through statements and writings. Suffered from severe osteomyelitis as small child and had recurring disability and pain throughout her life. PYP attended East Belt Methodist Church with Wendy quite regularly, though her parents did not attend. Both girls spent holidays on a farm which took in city children referred to them by the Methodist Church. PYP's diaries and writings were key pieces of evidence used to prove premeditation of the murder and involvement of JMH in planning it. Medlicott: "Pauline is a dark, rather sulky looking but not unattractive girl of stocky build." G? describe her in very different terms. Public perception of PYP at the time of the trial was that she was moody, evil and used by JMH as a lover and an agent of a 'thrill killing.' Perception of PYP as an intelligent 'quasi-victim' affected terms of her incarceration. [jp,sb]
- [X]Parker, Rosemary. b. Mar. 1949 (4th, aged 5 in '54). [jp,sb]
- [Rosemary Parker] Younger sister to Wendy and PYP, described as a 'mongolian imbecile' (Downs' Syndrome) in court testimony. Rosemary was institutionalized at Templeton Farm outside Christchurch, in '51, at age 2 [G?] or in '52 at age 3 [Medlicott]. HD Rieper testified she was visited regularly and brought home from time to time and was apparently loved by PYP. The birth defects of PYP's siblings were discussed in court, in terms of "raising a query as to the stock from which she comes."
- [X]Pearson, Colin Thomas Bushby (Dr). [sb,mk]
- [Dr CTB Pearson] Pathologist who examined Honora Parker in Victoria Park. Later performed post mortem and catalogued her injuries at the Hearing, Inquest and Trial.
- [*]Perry, Walter Andrew Bowman "Bill" (Mr). [jp,sb]
- [Mr WAB Perry] Consulting Engineer living in Hulme's home. Testified at Hearing, Inquest and Trial. Admitted to being in love with Hilda Hulme in testimony during trial. Born in Winnipeg, Canada. See additional biography of Juliet Hulme in 7.10.2. Now dead.
- [X]Ramage, William McDonald. (Constable). [G?,mk]
- [Const WM Ramage] Police photographer who photographed Honora's body and the murder scene on the evening of the crime, and during the post mortem and also photographed 7 pages of PYP's diaries for evidence.
- [*]Rieper, Herbert Detlev (Mr). b. 1894 (aged 60 in '54). [jp,sb]
- [Mr HD Rieper] Common-law husband of Honora Parker for 23 years. Married to an older woman, and father of two children with her, when he met and started relationship with Honora. Father of four children with Honora. Three daughters survived infancy: Wendy, PYP and Rosemary. Manager of Dennis Brothers' fish shop, according to court testimony. Testified at all stages of legal procedings but did not bother to attend trial after his testimony was done. Was not present at PYP's conviction and had no contact with her before her incarceration. Seems a lost, tragic and bitter figure after the murder, reading between the lines of press reports. Though he did visit PYP once in prison, the statements he made upon her release suggest he did not reconcile with her, and the two never met again. PYP's legal defense was a severe financial burden on HD Rieper for many years. Died in '81.
- [*]Ritchie, Agnes (Mrs). [jp]
- [Mrs A Ritchie] Owned tearoom near Victoria Park. Witnessed JMH and PYP return from murder, hysterical and bloodsoaked. Testified at hearing, inquest & trial. She called for an ambulance and a doctor at the girls' request, and instructed her husband to go and find Honora. Later, she called Herbert Rieper at Pauline's request and Henry Hulme at Juliet's request, allowed the girls to wash off the blood from themselves, and she served them tea to calm them down.
- [X]Ritchie, Kenneth Nelson (Mr). [G?]
- [Mr KN Ritchie] Caretaker of Victoria Park and husband of Agnes Ritchie. First to find the body of Honora Parker with his assistant, Eric McIlroy. Pulled Honora's dress back down to cover her legs; it was up around her thighs, perhaps because Honora had fallen head downmost on the rather steep grade, perhaps because she had flailed her legs. Later returned to the body with police and doctor.
- [X]Saville, James Edwin (Dr). [jp,G?]
- [Dr JE Saville] Medical officer Sunnyside Mental Hospital, Christchurch NZ, with Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degrees as well as Diploma of Psychological Medicine (London). Started career in general practice, moving to mental institutions in England in '37. Came to Sunnyside in '46 after 8 years as a medical officer in the prisons service in England and Wales. Psychiatric witness for prosecution. Pronounced JMH and PYP sane and cunning. G? mis-spell his family name Savill.
- [X]Stallworthy, Kenneth Robert (Dr). [jp,G?]
- [Dr KR Stallworthy] Senior medical advisor Avondale Mental Hospital, Auckland NZ, with 15 years experience working in psychiatric hospitals in NZ and England. Held Bachelors degrees in Medicine and Surgery and Diploma of Psychological Medicine (England). Psychiatric witness for prosecution. Gave important, frank testimony refuting link between homosexuality and insanity, thereby negating pillar of the defense argument. G? give middle name erroneously as Robin.
- [X]Tate, Archie Brian (Detective-Sergeant). [jp,G?,mk]
- [DetSgt AB Tate] Sent to Victoria Park to investigate Honora's murder. First to perform inspection of murder site and the body. Arranged for the coroner, a pathologist and the police photographer to come to the Park. Interrogated JMH at Ilam and obtained detailed statements from her. Testified at Hearing, Inquest and Trial.
- [X]Taylor, E.B.E. (Dr). [G?,mk]
- [Dr EBE Taylor] Coroner who inspected Honora's body. Held inquest into her death.
- [X]Walker, Donald (Dr). [G?,mk]
- [Dr D Walker] Arrived at Victoria Park in response to Agnes Ritchie's call for assistance. Upon learning from KN Ritchie that Honora was obviously dead, Walker waited until arrival of police before proceeding to inspect the body. Walker confirmed that Honora was dead and did not disturb the body. Testified at Hearing, Inquest and Trial.
- [X]Webb, Thomas Clifton (Mr). [jp,G?]
- [Mr TC Webb] Minister of Justice, NZ. Pronounced sentence of separate imprisonment for girls, announced at press conference. Very unusual public involvement of a cabinet minister in a criminal proceeding, illustrating the degree of public interest and scrutiny in the case.
- [X]Wicks, J.A. (Mr). [sb]
- [Mr JA Wicks] Junior defense counsel for PYP during trial.