7.4.3 Diaries

"Heavenly Creatures" states that Pauline's Diary for 1953 was a "Whitcombe's New Zealand Handy Diary." On the outside front cover it said "The Handy Diary for 1953." Inside the front cover were advertisements for a pen (left) and Edmond's Quality Products (right). Overleaf were tabulated 'handy facts' and The first page for January 1 was facing, on the right.

These facts have not been independently verified. If accurate, there were no blank pages at the front for the tabulation of the 'Saints' (see below), in which case the table would have had to have been near the front of the '53 diary on an unused regular page.

It has been verified from trial testimony that Pauline's father, Herbert Rieper, gave Pauline her diaries as a present. He was asked if he had ever read them, and he replied that he hadn't because that wouldn't have been honest. [jp]

Police photographer William McDonald Ramage testified during the trial that seven diary pages had been photographed and these photos were entered into evidence. Crown Prosecutor Brown stated that these were the pages which referred directly to murder. Published photographs of Pauline's diary entries reveal that the diary pages were headed:


Date DAY
day#--days left

and that the pages were unlined and unruled. Pauline began writing from the far left, not indenting the first line, level with the 'day#--days left#' and she actually embedded these numbers in the first line of her entry for the day. She did not rule her own margins and they were wavy along the left of the page, but not ragged. She wrote starting close to the left of the page and ran all the way to the right edge of the paper. Pauline's lines were evenly spaced, quite straight, parallel and square with the page, all of which indicates much practice at freehand writing (typists and word processors try it--it's hard. Then try it lying down in bed!). She often continued words rather than waste the space and start them fresh on the next line, breaking them appropriately but not bothering with hyphens at either side of the break. Pauline also used non-standard abbreviations for small words such as "with" and "and" and she edited her sentences as she wrote them to correct grammar or to make ideas clearer, according to the surviving photos. She would cross out words and write corrections above the line, but did not use typographic editing marks to indicate where the corrections should be placed, exactly.

It is clear that Pauline wrote in ink, with a fountain pen. Her writing is even, not changing in size on a page, quite small and remarkably legible overall, once the reader gets used to it. A graphologist could say more about it, no doubt. However, there is some question about Pauline's use of punctuation. In the surviving photos, she does seem to be a little lax when it comes to the use of commas and periods, using them sparingly and, in a way, for emphasis. Pauline does use dashes correctly. Unfortunately, none of the surviving entries contains an interrogatory sentence. All official police transcripts omit question marks completely. It would be an unusual habit for Pauline not to write them, especially since writing a question mark is one of the sensual pleasures of writing with a pen and ink and they form natural pauses in the process of writing and provide dramatic emphasis. I have tended to place question marks in the quotations assembled below, but the reader is warned that the issue is not a clear-cut one. [jp]

According to NZ law enforcement and Department of Justice officials, Pauline Parker's diaries do not exist anymore and haven't for many years. [mf]

Glamuzina & Laurie give the following information about the diaries in their book (abbreviated G? in this section, see 7.7): (p. 76)

There are two diaries - one for the whole of 1953, and one for 1954 up until 22 June, the day of the murder. The 1953 diary begins with a brief synopsis of important times during 1952 and includes a number of poems. The original diaries were transcribed for the defence and the prosecution. In transcripts, the 1953 diary contains 120 pages, with entries completed for nearly every day. The partially completed diary contains fifty-two pages, again with almost daily entries.

As we were unable to locate the original diaries we have used quotations as they appear in the official transcripts. However, these contain a number of omissions (marked in the transcript) and errors - for example, the word 'Christmas-sy' instead of 'Christmas-ish' and 'ike' instead of 'idea'. We were able to identify these as errors by comparing the transcripts with newspaper photographs of pages from the original diary and by reading the Supreme Court trial transcripts, which record the discussion and correction during the trial of the misspelt word, 'idea'. (p. 76)

Juliet Hulme may also have kept a diary. Comments in Pauline's diaries strongly suggest this. However, after the murder the police were unable to find any diary. There were rumours that her diary had been destroyed prior to her arrest, but these were never substantiated. (pp. 76-77).

Medlicott's article in Brit. J. Med. Psych. (abbreviated M in this section, see 7.8.1) contained many diary entries, though obviously obtained from notes made from the official diary transcripts and/or the trial transcript. The chapter by Gurr and Cox (see 7.7) contains photographs of the actual diary entries for June 21, 1954 and June 22, 1954. [jp]

Here are some statements about the diaries made by Jackson in an interview with David Lyman: "The Man Behind Heavenly Creatures: An Interview with Peter Jackson" printed on the WWW by Film.com/Point of Presence Company:

"Jackson hoped he would find some of the answers in Pauline Parker's diaries... The diaries provided him a spellbinding, day-by-day account of the girls' desperation and of Pauline's escalating hatred for her mother. They chronicle the pair's darkening fantasies and the contempt in which they held nearly everyone around them.

"There's a lot of it that is rather witty, as well," said Jackson. ... "There's a whole section where they fantasize about marrying James Mason. And they're not sure whether or not James Mason is married, so they resolve to murder his wife so that they can get their hands on him."" [sb]

The quotations from Pauline Parker's diaries given below have been gathered from a large number of sources; all sources are listed somewhere in section 7 but rigorous referencing has not been followed in this section because it would be extremely cumbersome. Often, quotes from different sources vary in content and syntax. In combining quotations, they have been weighted, based on the 'quality' of the source. Conflicts in grammar have been resolved by noting that Pauline Parker was described as a gifted writer by several authorities, though it is apparent she had her own pet idiosyncrasies, too. The events surrounding these quotations can be obtained from the time line, section 7.3.

The dates of some entries are not known precisely. Verbal testimony may have introduced some errors; newspaper transcripts of the verbal testimony sometimes disagree about dates; there may have been errors in the 'official' police transcripts of the diaries; there may have been errors in the notes made by Medlicott from the transcripts and likewise in Bennett's notes. Uncertainty in dates has generally been noted below.

When the principal source for a quote is the "Heavenly Creatures" voiceover, a note has been made. This is because, where comparisons with other sources can be made, it is clear that the "Heavenly Creatures" voiceover tends to be heavily edited for dramatic effect, often to the point of changing the meaning or context of the quote, unfortunately.

Medlicott's article, Glamuzina & Laurie and the published diary photos revealed that Pauline Parker invariably capitalized her 'Mother,' (see especially the entry for June 21, '54) her 'Father,' many of her generic references to JMH's parents, their 'Saints' (though see June 21 '54) and their 'Gods.' Henry Hulme was almost invariably 'Dr Hulme' and Hilda Hulme was most often 'Mrs Hulme,' though there are a few intriguing and important entries where Pauline refers to them possessively as 'Mother' and 'Father.' There are entries where 'the Hulmes' become 'we' and their possessions become 'ours.' Ilam is usually referred to by name but, again, it is sometimes 'home.'

'Family' is a flexible concept in Pauline's diaries, sometimes referring to imaginary persons, but this is usually clear from the context, counter to the impression given by contemporary press articles. Wendy is referred to by her proper Christian name, as are the boarders, even though some were much older than Pauline. Miss Stewart is 'Stew' in some places. Trial testimony indicated that Mr Perry was 'Mr Bloody Perry' in many places, though this seems to have been edited out of published accounts. Pauline often used numerals to abbreviate numbers, especially with regard to time, and she used the numeral to refer to the '4th World.' She and Juliet referred to it as 'Paradise' by 1954. She did not hyphenate 'to-day' or 'to-morrow' unlike the official transcripts and the press reports of the day. In fact, it seems most likely that the diary transcripts were made by stenographers recording the flat, monotone verbal record of a person reading the diary entries.

From the context of several entries, it would seem that Pauline most often used euphemisms to refer to or to describe sexual or erotic events or ideas. The label 'Saints,' in particular, apparently took on double-entendre connotations as time went by, though this is obviously open to interpretation. Some imaginary characters seem to have had very specialized physical characteristics [thought: I wonder if the Ilam library had any collections of Aubrey Beardsley's cartoons. Anne Perry says Oscar Wilde was a favourite author. jp] and so references to them and their names may also have been used as erotic euphemisms. [jp]

1953, Diary inside front:
     The Saints

     Mario Lanza = Poor Mario = HE      |
     James Mason = The James = HIM      |
     Harry Lime = Harry III = IT        |
     Mel Ferrer = The Angry Man = THIS  |- THEY
     Suie Bjuling = The Last One = THAT |
     Guy Rolfe = King John = HIS        |

     THEY + WE = US

     Monsieur de la Tour d'Azyr = Gervais = WHAT
     Rupert of Hentzau = Rupeit = WHO

[note: PYP did not refer to Orson Welles by name, but as his character name 'Harry Lime' from "The Third Man." Crown Prosecutor Alan Brown knew who Harry Lime was, but it was clear from trial testimony that neither Medlicott nor Bennett did. 'Suie Bjuling' is probably the tenor Jussi Bjorling, who was a popular recording artist around that time [sb,lfr]. It would appear from PYP's diary entries that James Mason was the principal Saint in real life. G?, (on p. 62) claim that the Ceylonese students were referred to as "THEM" which does not seem consistent with these data. Perhaps they are "WHOSE." jp]

1953, Jan. 1 (Thurs).
"New Year's Resolution: To be lenient with others."
1953, Jan. 5 (Mon). "This morning I got up at seven o'clock and did some washing before Nana came down for breakfast. I worked hard all morning and did some baking."
1953, Jan. 10 (Sat). "...never before have I hit so many creatures so hard for so little reason..."

[note: Quoted by G?, p. 77, as an example of a misleading quote taken out of context during the trial. In context, it was part of a description of PYP's helping to 'muster sheep' while visiting a farm, through the Methodist Church PYP and Wendy attended. G? noted the allusion to Churchill's 'famous speech' though didn't identify it or give the original quote. It was:

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

Winston Churchill
Tribute to the Royal Air Force,
House of Commons, Aug. 20, 1940.

which followed Britain's triumph over Goering's L?ftwaffe in the "Battle of Britain." Note that PYP used the same allusion in an ironic sense when Nicholas was caught in her bed by HD Rieper. jp]

1953, Jan. 14 (Wed). (while staying at a farm on a holiday) "..[two men] put a note in my diary to say that they found it very interesting. I got a terrible fright when I read it."
1953, Jan. 31 (Sat). "...Mother says she is going to have Training College boarders..."

[note: This is such an important point, but G? don't discuss it. Was this the beginning of the boarders? I don't know what "Training College" refers to, though there is a Teachers Training College now located just west of Ilam in Christchurch. If this is what PYP was referring to, it would be very significant in terms of PYP's academic environment at home, and in terms of giving her role models. It is possible that the boarders were, on the whole, quite an intellectual bunch if they were all University students and teachers-in-training. jp]

1953, Feb. 9 (Mon). "...Harry arrived today. He seems quite nice and is about 35. He is very polite so far..."
1953, Feb. 10 (Tues). "...I do hope Ross turns out to be nice. I have been looking forward to his coming so much that I will probably be disappointed..."

"Mother kicked up a fuss about the way I always insist on doing the dishes and not letting anyone help. She says it worries her to think I'm working too hard."

1953, Feb. 13 (Fri). "...Mother was not well so I got up and prepared Harry's breakfast and had my own..."
1953, Feb. 18 (Wed). "...Ron, the new boarder arrived. He is quite nice and about 25..."
1953, Feb. 20 (Fri). "...Ross was up late this morning. Out for dinner and by the time I got home so I have not seen him all day."
1953, Feb. 22 (Sun). "...This evening after tea we decided to go to the beach. Mother and Nana did the dishes. Ron came with us. Ross was out to tea so naturally he did not come. We went to Brighton. Ron, Wendy and I went for a swim. Mother bought some chocolate and bicuits which we had in the car on the way home... A Man called to buy Ross's motor-bike."
1953, Mar. 4 (Wed). "...Today many people came about board. We may be getting a Frenchman. I hope very much that we are..."
1953, Mar. 9 (Mon). "...John helped me with my homework for about an hour. He says Damn a lot. I did a lot of homework..."

[note: Jackson & Walsh used John as the model for 'Nicholas' in "Heavenly Creatures." Note the comment about 'damn.' jp]

1953, Mar. 11 (Wed). "...Ross and John were home for dinner, to which Juliet came..."

[note: This is Juliet's first quoted appearance. Jackson & Walsh use this as the basis for the "Meet the Riepers" scene. jp]

1953, Mar. 15 (Sun). "Mrs Hulme was very grateful for the cigarettes and kissed me twice..."
1953, Mar. 18 (Wed). "We have decided how sad it is for other people that they cannot appreciate our genius. But we hope the book will help them to do so a little, though no one could fully appreciate us."
1953, Mar. 20 (Fri). An extract for March 20 showed they were taken to Lancaster Park, but when there they looked for a quiet spot where they could write poetry, as neither was interested in the school sports. When Parker went home she wrote another poem.

[note: From Medlicott's trial testimony. Was this when PYP wrote "The Ones That I Worship"? jp]

1953, April 3 (Fri). "Today Juliet and I found the key to the 4th World. We realise now that we have had it in our posession for about 6 months but we only realized it on the day of the death of Christ. We saw a gateway through the clouds. We sat on the edge of the path and looked down the hill out over the bay. The island looked beautiful. The sea was blue. Everything was full of peace and bliss. We then realized we had the key. We now know that we are not genii, as we thought. We have an extra part of our brain which can appreciate the 4th World. Only about 10 people have it. When we die we will go to the 4th World, but meanwhile on two days every year we may use the key and look in to that beautiful world which we have been lucky enough to be allowed to know of, on this Day of Finding the Key to the Way through the Clouds." [punctuation M, G?]

[note: There actually is a small island offshore at Port Levy. "Genii" is being used as a logical, though unusual, plural for genius. G?, p. 62, quote "...on two days every year we may use the ray..." and "...which we are lucky enough..." They also note that PYP recorded in her diary that she was menstruating at this time (unfortunately not quoted--PYP's slang reference or 'code' for menstruation could be important in the context of recent statements made by Anne Perry. Ms Perry claims that PYP did not sneak out at night to see a 'lover' named 'Nicholas' but used a male name as a slang for visiting the bathroom.). PYP's menstruating at Port Levy was interpreted to be a very significant fact by a Maori Tohunga G? consulted for a traditional interpretation of the events (pp. 147-8). The Port Levy (Puaui) area contains several sites of particular spiritual significance to the Maori. jp]

1953, April 4 (Sat). In the diary record within a paragraph Roland slaps Carmelita's face when she turns his proposal of marriage down because she is engaged to Roderick, and in a blazing fury he shoots Roderick. The horse 'Vendetta' kills Gianina the night before her marriage to Nicholas. On the ledge of 'Satan's Hollow' 'Vendetta' crashes down on to Nicholas and with a wild scream turns into the sunset, his revenge complete. [Medlicott]
1953, April 6 (Mon). "The days I spent at Port Levy were the most HEAVENLY ones I have ever experienced... Mrs Hulme did my hair. She calls me her foster daughter."
1953, April 18 (Sat). The entry for April 18 shows the spending of hours out of doors at night. There are a number of references in the diary to nocturnal activities in the garden at Ilam. [note: From Medlicott's testimony. jp]
1953, April 23 (Thurs). "Mrs Hulme says she wished I was her daughter, too..."
1953, May 15 (Fri). "Mrs Hulme told me they had found out today that Juliet has tuberculosis on one lung. Poor Giulietta! It is only now I realise how fond I am of her. I nearly fainted when I heard. I had a terrible job not to cry. It would be wonderful if I could get tuberculosis, too." [note: Source is Medlicott's trial testimony and article and "HC" voiceover, with date supplied by testimony. "HC" voiceover omitted the "fond of her" sentence (!), combined entries for the 15th and 16th and omitted "We agreed" and implied school was in session. This entry was during May Holidays, so "HC" must be wrong. The spelling of Giulietta is the Italian spelling (assumed by me to be PYP's--cf. Gianina); the phonetic trial transcript had it 'Julietta.' jp]
1953, May 16 (Sat). "I spent a wretched night. It was a relief to see Juliet looking so well. ... We agreed it was a great pity I had not TB too and it would be wonderful if I could catch it. We would be in the sanatorium together and would be able to write a lot. ... We have decided we are the most incredible optimists."
1953, May 23 (Sat). Honora and Wendy attend the 'Christchurch Competitions.' PYP was apparently not interested. [note: G? note (p. 33) that these occurred 'during school holidays,' not consistent with my information, which places them in the first week back to school. Music, dancing, singing and elocution prizes and awards were presented. jp]
1953, early in JMH confinement in TB sanatorium. She records that she had a brain wave that Juliet and she should write to each other as Charles and Lance. [note: From Medlicott's testimony. "Lance" is Lancelot Trelawney, Pauline's preferred fantasy character incarnation at the time. jp]
1953, May 29 (Fri). "...a girl who sat at the same table as us in a milkbar [said] how beautifully I spoke English, that I almost had an Oxford accent, what a refreshing change it was, and several other very pleasing things..." [note: From G?, p. 46.] Parker records that she is pleased she had a letter from Juliet, who has entered into the spirit of the thing greatly. [note: From Medlicott's testimony. jp] "This evening I had a brainwave. That Juliet and I should write to each other as Charles and Deborah. I wrote a six- page letter as Charles and a two-page letter as Pauline. She has entered into the spirit of the thing greatly." [note: Source is "HC" voiceover. This combines entries and substitutes for the characters. jp]
1953, June 12 (Fri). "The school went to see the film 'A Queen is Crowned'. I thought the picture was rather boring as a picture, but I picked up useful information for Charles' Coronation."
1953, June 14 (Sun). "Juliet and I decided the Christian religion had become too much of a farce and we decided to make up one of our own." [note: This entry is dated variously the 14th or 15th. I have gone with 14th because PYP seems to have made many of her 'philosophical' diary entries on weekend nights, when she may have been less distracted with mundane events cf. weeknights. jp]
1953, July. From court transcripts: "According to the diary the boy was in bed with her to 3 a.m.?" "Yes." "And the following night he was in bed with her again and was caught by Mr Rieper?" "That is so." "There are other references to them attempting intercourse?" "That is so." "To think that so much could have happened in so little time caused by so few. A terrible tragedy has occurred... I lay there mesmerized. It was just too frightful to believe... When I got up I found Father had told Mother. I had a nasty foreboding feeling at first. But now I realize my crime was too frightful for an ordinary lecture... I am terribly cut up. I miss Nicholas terribly. Mother thinks I will have nothing more to do with him. Little she knows..." [note: The boy is referred to consistently as 'Nicholas' in the diaries, according to trial testimony. Source for quotes is "HC" voiceover. Note allusion to Churchill's "Battle of Britain" speech again. jp]
1953, Aug. 9 (Wed). The diary entry for August 9, 1953 makes it clear that Parker visited Hulme at the sanatorium and they discussed these imaginary characters and had a play acting scene. They appeared to have discussed Diello's various females. [note: Source is Medlicott's testimony. jp]
1953, Aug. 30 (Sun). PYP wrote that Mrs Hulme gave Pauline several presents and also gave Honora a powder compact upon her return from abroad. [note: G?, p. 67. Unfortunately, entry not quoted. jp]
1953, Sept. 9 (Wed). "It was wonderful returning with Juliet... it was as if she had never been away... I believe I could fall in love with Juliet." [note: This was the day JMH returned home from the TB sanatorium. It is a beautiful quote and it is quite surprising, and telling of their agenda, that Jackson and Walsh chose not to use it in the screenplay. jp]
1953, late September, a Thursday. PYP and Nicholas attempt to have sex but halt because it is too painful for PYP. [note: Sources were trial transcript, Medlicott and 'Thurs' was from "HC" voiceover, though the episode was incorrectly dated in "HC". jp]
1953, early October. "Nicholas was pleased that I was so early. We sat around and talked for an hour and then went to bed. I declined the invitation at first but he became very masterful and I had no option. I discovered that I had not lost my virginity on Thursday night. However, there is no doubt whatsoever that I have now."

[note: Fact and approximate date from trial transcript and Medlicott. Source of quote "HC" voiceover. In context of the correct timeline it is clear that "not lost.." refers to the previous attempt halted at PYP's request and not the incident which led to Nicholas' expulsion from the Riepers as implied in "HC". jp]

1953, Oct. 8 (Thurs). After a 'disagreement' with a boy PYP wrote "...not that I mind at all, it is so nice to think that Juliet and I could continue our friendship unmolested, with no outside interests." This was followed significantly enough in the same day by their discussing the people they would wipe out.

[note: G? p. 64 noted the part about the disagreement with a boy but left off all mention of wiping out people, which was Medlicott's observation. jp]

1953, Oct. 28 (Wed). (Juliet's Birthday) "...told Nicholas this evening that I was no longer very much in love with him because of my imaginary characters." [note: Incredibly, Medlicott didn't comment on the fact that this entry was made on JMH's birthday and G? ignore Nicholas almost entirely in their book. Some news reports have this entry dated the 29th. jp]
1953, Nov. 2 (Mon). "To-day I felt thoroughly, utterly and completely depressed. I was in one of those moods in which committing suicide sounds heavenly."
1953, Nov. 28 (Sat). Parker and Hulme are planning a Coronation which is to take place in a fortnight. [note: Source is Medlicott's testimony. It is to be Diello's Coronation. jp]
1953, Dec. 10 (Thurs). The entry for December 10 says that Friday is Coronation day for Diello of Borovnia and they are busy setting imitation stones in a crown. They appear to be studying ritual for the ceremony. [note: Source is Medlicott's testimony. jp]
1953, Dec. 14 (Mon). "I did not go to sleep last night, and I went to see Nicholas at 12:30. I was very tired and dozed off while I was there. Nevertheless I felt extremely tired this morning and work I would have considered dreadful had it not been that I was living in a daze waiting to see Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. Mother carted me off to see a doctor after work, which was a half-witted imbicile thing to do, especially as I feel perfectly well. The doctor was a bloody fool. I felt very tense and then we saw Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. It is the most perfect story I have ever known. The best picture (easily) that I have ever seen. Pandora is the most beautiful female imaginable and Him is far too wonderful to attempt to describe. I feel depressed and will probably cry tonight."
1953, Dec. 20 (Sun). [After Dr Bennett's examination, HM Parker threatened that if 'Pauline's health did not improve,' she could never see JMH again. Medlicott's note, paraphrased. jp] "Mother woke me this morning and started lecturing me before I was properly awake, which I thought was somewhat unfair. She has brought up the worst possible threat now. She said that if my health did not improve I could never see the Hulmes again." ["HC" voiceover] "The thought is too dreadful. Life would be unbearable without Deborah. ...I rang Deborah and told her of the threat. I wish I could die. That is not an idle or temporary impulse. I have decided over the last 2 or 3 weeks that it would be the best thing that could happen altogether, and the thought of death is not fearsome." [note: Medlicott did not make the connection with Bennett's examination and 'diagnosis,' or the upcoming Royal tour. PYP was forbidden from seeing JMH until Jan 26. 'Coincidentally' this period corresponded to the Royal tour through Christchurch. This is the first diary reference after the Juliet -> Deborah transition. "HC" voiceover edited the Medlicott portion and did not date the entry. Judge Adams commented he thought this threat of suicide was in relation to Pauline being forbidden from seeing Nicholas. jp]
1954, Dec. 24 (Thurs). Parker records on December 24, 1953 that she does not feel very Christmassy. [note: Source is Medlicott's testimony. jp]
1954, Jan. 1 (Fri). "I rose at about 9 this morning, and spent until 2 working very hard helping mother." "My New Year resolution is a far more selfish one than last year, so there is more probability of my keeping it. It is to make my motto 'Eat drink and be merry for to-morrow you may be dead.'" [note: Medlicott made much of PYP's clever and cynical misquotation. G? did not consider the possibility that PYP was being ironic or facetious in describing her housework (also see below) nor did they mention the New Year Resolution. jp]
1954, Jan. 2 (Sat). "I rose at about 9 this morning, and worked hard about the house which was not [as] unpleasant as it sounds as I truly enjoy housework."
1954, Jan. 10 (Sun). "We went to Coes Ford. I was furious when we first arrived. There were dozens of people there."
1954, Jan. 12 (Tues). "During the morning a boy came to see Mother about board... he arranged to come for two months and he arrived to stay this evening. He is tall and slim with glasses and fair hair. He seems to regard me as the maid-help aged 10."
1954, Jan 15 (Fri). "Val and I went down to the river. She said she liked the country but hated the people. As this is my sentiment exactly we pulled them to pieces for some time."
1954, Jan. 19 (Tues). "I did a great deal of housework today as Mother and everyone else seemed to be dashing off to see the Queen all the time."
1954, Jan. 25 (Mon). "This morning Mother gave me the most fearsome lecture because I started to wash the kitchen floor in my house coat."
1954, Jan. 28 (Thurs). "We procured bunches of grapes from the hothouse. We discussed various amusing topics. If we were prostitutes how much we should charge the various bods." [note: This is the first diary quotation after PYP was allowed to see JMH again. jp]
1954, Jan. 29 (Fri). "I went over to Deborah's room early this morning about 7:30. It suddenly occurred to me that we had not celebrated He's day so we decided to today. In He's honour we ate some birthday cake, drank He's health, played all He's records and made a little edifice of He. We have shifted His to the Gods now. We worked out how much prostitutes would earn and how much we would make in such a profession and 'should' gradually changed to 'shall.' We have spent a really wonderful day messing around and talking over how much fun we will have in our profession. We have worked out some glorious plans and worked out a whole new family for our future."
1954, Feb 6 (Sat). On the sixth of February they celebrated Him's day in glittering black and went through what they termed the 'Saints Day' ritual. [M paraphrasing diary].
1954, Feb. 13 (Sat). "As usual I woke at 5 and managed to write a considerable amount. I felt depressed at the thought of the day. There seemed to be no possibility of Mother relenting and allowing me to go out to Ilam. This afternoon Mother told me I could not go out to Ilam again until I was eight stone and more cheerful. As I am now seven stone there is little hope. Also one cannot help recalling that she was the same over Nicholas. She said I could not see him again until my behaviour improved, and when it did she concluded it was not having his influence that caused it. She is most unreasonable. I also overheard her making insulting remarks about Mrs Hulme while I was ringing this afternoon. I was livid. I am very glad because [the] Hulmes sympathise with me and it is nice to feel that adults realise what Mother is. Dr Hulme is going to do something about it I think. Why could not Mother die? Dozens of people are dying all the time, thousands, so why not Mother and Father too? Life is very hard." [note: G? p. 74, had this 'official' police version of the extremely important "Why could not Mother die" passage so I have gone with the 'official' version and have added "[the]" and both "?" marks as they were missing. It is possible that PYP did not use "?" marks; there are other diary quotes in G? which lack them. Many different and conflicting versions of this quote were transcribed verbally during testimony and published in the press. Curiously, putting the "Why could not Mother die" passage into the wider context of a more complete entry makes it appear much more innocuous and much more like the kind of statement of frustration to be found in any teenager's diary. 'Stone' is an archaic unit of weight: 1 stone = 14 lbs = 6.3 kg. PYP wasn't emaciated, but she certainly wasn't 'stocky' as she has been described. jp]
1954, Feb. 21 (Sun). PYP records with delight that another passenger on a bus asked her how long she had been out from England. [note: G?, p. 46. This entry shows that PYP was acutely aware of accents and she was probably tailoring her own to sound more English. Unfortunately entry not quoted.]
1954, Feb. 28 (Sun). First mention of the 'Plan.' Pauline was at Ilam. "Deborah and I started discussing our quest for 'Him.' We have now decided to hurry things up terrifically, in fact to start now. We had a marvellous time planning the life and the flight and how we will obtain all the money and what we will do." The plan was to get to New York together, where they would find someone to publish their books and then they would go to Hollywood where they expected to be hailed as actresses. [Medlicott]
1954, Mar. 14 (Sun). "Mother came out and said that I was not going back to school as she did not see why she should keep a horrid child like me [in school a moment longer]... The absolutely ironical part of it all is that I want to leave school terrifically but my pride would not let me ask." [note: The addition is from "HC" dialog of this incident. jp]
1954, Mar. 19 (Fri). "Mrs Hulme has put her foot in it. She has tried to talk me into going back to school. Apparently Stew rang her as she was worried about my leaving. This is all very flattering but nevertheless a bloody nuisance." [note: "Stew" is Miss Stewart, the headmistress of CGHS. Hilda Hulme was on the Board of Governors of CGHS. jp]
1954, Mar. 31 (Wed). PYP sneers at the ignorance of the people in her family circle, and comments that Honora "talked a lot of rot." [note: G?, p. 46. Unfortunately, entry not quoted.]
1954, April 6 (Tues). "I pretended to go to my own bed, but of course did not. We spent most of our time in the dark making up dirty little jingles."
1954, April 7 (Wed). "Mrs X is known to be light fingered. This pleases us very much as we will be able to take things and Mrs X will be blamed. She will be the scapegoat." Parker also referred to trying to get to Hollywood and getting into films that way. [note: Source is Medlicott's testimony. Obviously, 'X' was not used by PYP but was substituted at the request of counsel during the trial. jp]
1954, April 10 (Sat). PYP wrote that her mother "went to see Miss [Stewart] before tea." 1954, April 11 (Sun). "I rose at 5:30 this morning and did all the housework before 8 o'clock, including taking Wendy her breakfast in bed. I feel very pleased with myself on the whole. And also the future. We are so brilliantly clever, there probably isn't anything we couldn't do." [note: Sources: G? date, sentences 1,2. M sentence 4. "HC" 1-4 but omits date, and "there...do." jp]
1954, April 13 (Tues). "...Father came and told me that Mother was not well so I got up and prepared the breakfast. I did all the housework and had a row with Wendy this morning." [note: The following quote appears in some press reports from verbal testimony and Medlicott's paper dated at April 13th. It has always stood out as being out of place, to me. However, G? date it at April 30th, as does The Press (Christchurch), which could be consistent with "13th" being a transcription error from verbal testimony in the trial. This change of date would have extremely significant implications (see entry for 30th, below). jp] "Mrs C. came to tea and was thoroughly objectionable. Her ghastly attitude towards the Japanese has made me fonder than ever of them. I did not write this evening but I sat up and talked to Mother. I told Deborah of my intentions and she is rather worried but does not disagree violently. It is now 10:30." [note: PYP did not disguise names or shorten them to initials, even 'Mrs Hulme' or 'Mother' so entries where this has been done may have been edited, by Medlicott especially, to disguise names. jp]
1954, April 15 (Thurs). "We read our books to each other. We are so impressed with each other's genius." [note: Quote from Bennett's testimony, date from Medlicott's. jp]
1954, April 16 (Fri). (Good Friday) "We decided singing was the only branch of art we are not good at. We practised singing. We were both astoundingly good." PYP and JMH "...had the intriguing conversation about what her parents would think if they concluded that she had changed into a male. It would have explained a great many things extraordinary to them." [note: From G?, p. 65, although the quote was, unfortunately, contextualized poorly so it is not clear which girl and which set of parents are being referred to. Medlicott's testimony paraphrased this quote to "...about what Juliet's parents would think if she had changed..." which implies he thinks it was Juliet changing into a man, but the wording is still ambiguous. jp]
1954, April 17 (Sat). "Mrs Hulme was perfectly beastly to Deborah. She made her apologise for taking a record from Mr Perry's flat. This made us feel very cross and childish in a sort of I'll-show- them-so-there-and-that-will-make-'em-sorry feeling. We went for a walk in a field and sat on a log, shouting nasty jeering remarks to every rider that passed. About fifty did. This cheered us greatly, and we came back and wrote out all the Commandments so that we can break them." [note: This was obviously Medlicott's notes from the police transcript. PYP's style would probably have been to omit the hyphens and enclose the phrase in single apostrophies. Medlicott noted that "Commandments" was capitalised. Trial testimony indicates Mr Perry was probably referred to as 'Mr Bloody Perry' in this and other entries. jp]
1954, April 21 (Wed). PYP records that she began instruction at Digby's Commercial College after applying unsuccessfully for jobs "with the Airways." [note: 'Digby's' was the name of the vocational Commercial College PYP enrolled in at her mother's urging [mf,sb]. See also 7.11 where Anne Perry lists a short story with "Digby's" in the title.
1954, April 23 (Fri). "I rose about 8 and helped Mother a little before going to Digby's. This afternoon I played Tosca and wrote before ringing Deborah. Then she told me the stupendous news. Last night she woke at 2 a.m. and for some reason went to her mother's room. It was empty, so she went downstairs to look for her. Deborah could not find her, so she crept as stealthily as she could into Mr Perry's flat and stole upstairs. She heard voices from inside his bedroom, and she stayed outside for a little while, then she opened the door and switched the light on in one movement. Mr Perry and Mrs Hulme were in bed drinking tea. Deborah felt an hysterical tendency to giggle. She said, 'Hello' in a very [illegible] voice. She was shaking with emotion and shock, although she had known what she would find. They goggled at her for a minute and her Mother said, 'I suppose you want an explanation?' Yes, Deborah replied, I do. Well, you see we are in love, Mother explained. Deborah was wonderful. But I know THAT she exclaimed, her voice seemed to belong to someone else. Her Mother explained that Dr Hulme knew all about it, and that they intended to live as a threesome. Anyway, Deborah went as far as telling about our desire to go to America in [illegible], six months, though she could not explain the reason of course. Mr Perry gave her 100 [pounds] to get permits. Everyone is being frightfully decent about everything and I feel wildly happy and rather queer... I am going out to Ilam tomorrow as we have so much to talk over." [note: HM Hulme testified that JMH said "The balloon has gone up." not "Hello." PYP's diary account was disputed by both HM Hulme and WAB Perry during the trial, and edited heavily in the press accounts. Their alternative version was believed by no-one. G?, p. 73, have the most complete version of this entry I have found. They had "2 o'clock," noted that "Mother" was possessive and capitalised here, they had "goggled," which makes sense, vs. "giggled," which doesn't but which appeared in most press reports which gave that sentence. The press also left out the word "bedroom." PYP probably did not write out "pounds" but would have used the symbol, of course. "Frightfully decent" is probably tongue-in-cheek although PYP seems to have been picking up English idioms more and more, so she might have been serious. jp]
1954, April 24 (Sat). "I rose very early, did all the housework and prepared breakfast. It rained cats and dogs (panthers and wolves). I biked out to Ilam and nearly froze on the way. Deborah was still in bed when I arrived and did not get up until some time afterwards... Then Dr Hulme came upstairs and asked us to come into the lounge to have a talk with him. He said we must tell him everything about our going to America so we told him as much as that we wanted [illegible] for acting characters to act each part. He was both hope-giving and depressing. We talked for a long time and then Deborah and I were near tears by the time it was over. The outcome was somewhat vague. What is to be the future now? We may all be going to South Africa and Italy and dozens of other places or not at all. We none of us know where we are and a good deal depends on chance." [note: G? pp. 73-4 have the most complete and accurate quote of this extremely critical entry, given above and below and supplemented by newspaper accounts and punctuated slightly by me. The editing in "HC" of the entries for these two days changes their interpretation completely. According to trial testimony, the events of the Saturday and the Sunday were separated as shown here. "HC" has everything happening on the Saturday. Indeed, as written by PYP, the entries for these days paint a much more complex emotional picture of PYP and JMH. Note also the mention of South Africa--very, very significant!--and Italy (likewise). jp] 1954, April 25 (Sun). "Dr and Mrs Hulme are going to divorce. The shock is too great to have penetrated in my mind yet. It is so incredible. Poor Father. Mrs Hulme was sweet and Dr Hulme absolutely kind and understanding... Deborah and I spent the day soaring between hell and heaven... Such a huge amount has happened that we do not know where we are. Dr Hulme is the noblest and most wonderful person I have ever known of. But one thing, Deborah and I are sticking [to] through everything (We sink or swim together)." "Such a huge amount has happened we don't know where we are, but one thing Deborah and I are sticking to through thick and thin. We sink or swim together." [note: The police transcription added the [to] in the last sentence, but it is unnecessary and was probably not in the original. Just for the sake of variety, the lower quote is is Bennett's version of "sink or swim" from trial testimony. jp]
1954, April 28 (Wed). "I felt rather tired to-day, but fortunately the time at Digby's went rather quickly. Mother went out this afternoon so Deborah and I bathed for some time. However I felt thoroughly depressed afterwards--and even quite seriously considered committing suicide. Life seemed so much not worth the living and death such an easy way out. Anger against Mother boiled up inside me, as it is she who is one of the main obstacles in my path. Suddenly a means of ridding myself of this obstacle occurred to me. If she were to die... I spent the evening writing and managed to finish my chapter." [note: For such a critical passage, this is, unfortunately, the one with the most variations in printed versions. The press was reluctant to use the word 'bathed' and the exact wording of the critical 'obstacle' sentences is really quite variable. Reporters (and the gasping gallery) registered the words: anger, boil, obstacle, rid, die. This is my best guess, put together from many sources. G? quote a fragment of this entry, and are the only source to list "...worth the living, the death such an..." which, if correct, would be a very important difference as it would refer to Honora's death, not PYP's suicidal impulse. jp]
1954, April 29 (Thurs). "I did not tell Deborah of my plans for removing Mother. I have made no [illegible. definite plans?] yet as the last fate I wish to meet is one in Borstal. I am trying to think of some way. I do not [illegible. want?] to go to too much trouble, but I want it to appear either a natural or an accidental death."
1954, April 30 (Fri). "Mrs C. came to tea and was thoroughly objectionable. Her ghastly attitude towards the Japanese has made me fonder than ever of them. I did not write this evening but I sat up and talked to Mother. I told Deborah of my intentions and she is rather worried but does not disagree violently. It is now 10:30." [note: G? p. 46 state PYP was critical of attitudes and conversations of visiting neighbours on April 30th. The entry was not quoted. Later, on p. 74 they quote "I did not write... violently." This is an absolutely critical passage and The Press (ChCh) and G?, from their notes, have put it at April 30th, not April 13th as reported in the trial transcripts, most press reports and Medlicott's paper. If G? transcribed the date correctly from the 'official' diary transcripts, then this is an extremely important point and they have confirmed a very important trial transcript error. This passage had always been very hard to understand dated at April 13th. However, at April 30th it means that JMH was informed of the vague desire/murder plans formulated in the preceding few days by PYP, months in advance of the June plans. jp]
1954, May 1 (Sat). "[Mrs Hulme] made a lovely remark. She said Won't it be wonderful when we are all back in England. Do you think you will like England Gina. I was delighted. ... We did not sleep together as we were afraid Dr Hulme might come in."
1954, May 2 (Sun). "We rose about 10. We sat in the park and discussed odd sods and who we should leave alive if we could rule the world."
1954, May 6 (Thurs). "We are feeling gloriously happy and we love our new fiances so much."
1954, May 23 (Sun). "Deborah rang to say that Mr Perry was taken suddenly ill. I do hope he does not die. It would spoil everything." [note: This is a fascinating entry I have not seen discussed elsewhere (apart from trial testimony). Does this mean that PYP and JMH were actually counting on the marriage break-up by this point? The break-up might have seemed to justify JMH being taken from NZ and, in PYP's mind, perhaps, it might have provided an argument to be presented to her mother for PYP having to leave NZ with JMH as a comforting companion in JMH's 'hour of need.' If Mr Perry were to have died, it would have removed the reason for JMH to leave for South Africa (in PYP and JMH's eyes--they probably thought the new lovers didn't want JMH). In any event it strongly implies that the 'plan' was now for PYP to travel to South Africa on her own and that the 'Hollywood' plan has been abandoned. Trial speculation was that PYP and JMH were upset at the thought of losing Perry as blackmail victim, which strikes me as being way off the mark. jp]
1954, May 27 (Thurs). An entry for May 27 shows that Parker rose early and went to her father's shop with the intention of getting money from her father's safe, but that was thwarted because a policeman was on watch. [note: Source is Medlicott's testimony. jp]
1954, May 29 (Sat). "We did not get up early as we were feeling so tired. We did the Saints and played records. We were very truthful about the Saints, especially their figures. This was not hard as we decided that we like a large amount of man." 'You agree that the diary references of May 29 refer to the physical characteristics of these Saints? "He" at one stage is Mario Lanza? And Mario Lanza is Roly Poly? What is "His" on May 29? "Well Covered" isn't it?' [note: From press account of Brown's cross examination of Medlicott. This exchange is very confusing (and, I think, highly censored). jp]
1954, June 3 (Thurs). "...there was a wonderful photo of a portrait of Dr Hulme in the paper, so wonderful that I have cut it out and pinned it on cardboard on my wall..."
1954, June 6 (Sun). "...We went to sleep at 4:30 tomorrow morning after talking all night. We were discussing at first how we sometimes had a strange feeling that we had done what we were doing before. We realized why this was, and why Deborah and I have such extraordinary telepathy, and why people treat us and look at us the way they do, and why we behave as we do. It is because we are MAD. We are both stark, staring, raving mad. There is definitely no doubt about it and we are thrilled by the thought. (Proof n'est capos!) All the cast of the Saints except Nino are mad, too. This is not strange as it is probably why we love them. We have discussed it fully. Dr Hulme is MAD, as MAD as a March hare. We are feeling thrilled and scared by the thought." [note: 'Proof n'est capos' is possibly a joke by PYP or, more likely, a mistranscripition by police or, less likely, by Medlicott. Proper French would be 'n'est ce pas?' = 'is it not?' which has the same number of letters. However, 'capos' is a slang term for capital letters, usually used during French dictations in class (the dreaded 'dict?s') and when said aloud the term is a sonorous "nescapo." Juliet was apparently quite proficient in French according to G?, so the joke may be a real pun used by PYP and JMH. 'MAD as a March hare' is probably a reference to Alice in Wonderland, of course, but the phrase actually refers to a male rabbit driven into a copulating coital frenzy in the Spring. Both G? and "Daughters of Heaven" report rumours that Dr Hulme was having an ill-concealed extramarital affair, so this may be a veiled reference to that, too. Medlicott abbreviated Dr Hulme to Dr H. jp]
1954, June 7 (Mon). "We rose realising how mad we are. Dr Hulme knows and he is mad, too. ... We wrote a great deal into the Saints' book and discussed Him. We realize now that we cannot be revolted. We can discuss the most unsavory subjects. (Such as whether the Saints sanitary habits are prevented by sex) during a meal..." [note: Not clear if previous parenthetical note is Medlicott's delicate paraphrasing or not, but that seems likely in the context. jp]
1954, June 8 (Tues). "I dreamt about He for the second time and Deborah about This, also for the second time. We behaved exactly the same way in each other's dreams, so have put it down to telepathy."
1954, June 9 (Wed). "I was feeling particularly mad today. I raved quite a lot at Digby's and terrified the girl next to me... Mother and I had a disagreement as I wished to see 'Trent's Last Case' tonight and the bloody bitch would not let me... I have come to bed all scented and sweet (physically)." [note: Not clear if previous parenthetical note is Medlicott's or PYP's barb. jp].
1954, June 10 (Thurs). "Mrs Hulme has told Deborah a great deal about the old subject and we have discussed it fully. We know a great deal more now." Other entries suggest the the 'old subject' refers to sex. [G?] "...I am feeling particularly close to Deborah." [note: G? use the top quote to indicate that Hilda Hulme probably instructed JMH on sex, but do not comment on it's extraordinary timing or context within the case. They do not mention the lower quote. Bennett's testimony dates the lower quote at June 16, Medlicott's article at June 10. jp]
1954, June 11 (Fri). "...we were then driven out to see It in 'Trents Last Case.' It was the first time I had ever seen It. Deborah had always told me how hideous he was, and I had believed her, though from his photos he did not look too bad. 'It' is appalling. He is dreadful. I have never in my life seen anything that, so... in the same category of hideousness, but I adore him (S'queer). We returned home and talked for some time about It, getting ourselves more and more excited. Eventually we enacted how each Saint would make love in bed, only doing the first seven as it was 7:30 a.m. by then. We felt exhausted and very satisfied..." [note: See section 7.11 where Anne Perry lists a short story "Digby's First Case." The name also crops up in her books. jp]
1954, June 12 (Sat). "We came to bed quite early and spent the night very hectically. We went to sleep after getting almost through. We had a simply marvellous time and we definitely are mad but very pleasingly so..."
1954, June 13 (Sun). "We gave ourselves two new Saints. 'Onward Heel' and 'Buster.' Of all people, my god. We had very amusing discussions about God, Christ and the Holy Ghost. In fact the whole day was very amusing and exciting... We spent a hectic night going through the Saints. It was wonderful! Heavenly! Beautiful! and Ours! We felt very satisfied indeed. We have now learned the peace of the thing called Bliss, the joy of the thing called Sin."
1954, June 14 (Mon). "...We were feeling absolutely exhausted which was scarcely surprising. We discussed which Saints we wished to have about us at such a time and found very few. We talked of Him's new character a little and loved it. We discussed the spicy ideas whom (s'queerly) we have grown to love... Two more spicy ideas became Saints... We intend to decorate the Cathedral. I am very happy. We have both spent a glorious Saintly day."
1954, June 15 (Tues). "...I had the most beautiful dream about That and Gay and Boinard and Deborah and myself at Port Levy. It was so heavenly that I am determined to make it come true. We came home late and we intend to sleep. It is a glorious night, very similar to the one at the island at Port Levy."
1954, June 16 (Wed). "...We came to bed late and spent a very hectic night. It was wonderful. We only did 10 Saints altogether but we did them thoroughly. I prefer doing longer ones. We enjoyed ourselves greatly and intend to do so again. We did not get to sleep until about 5:30. Obviously I am writing this to- morrow."
1954, June 17 (Thurs). "...confessed we were disappointed in the Saints so we had an absolute clean up and threw out 8 of them. We discussed the ones left fully and felt very happy over them. We did not misbehave last night." [note: By this time, PYP & JMH were staying up all night, and PYP was getting into the habit of writing diary entries the 'next day.' So 'last night' means 17th, written early morning of the 18th. jp]
1954, June 18 (Fri). "...We had several brilliant ideas to write an opera each, to produce our own films and to murder all odd wives who get in our way. We went to town and bought books to paste our characters in. We planned our various moiders and talked seriously as well..." [note: There was apparently a difference between the two types of murder. From a quote of Peter Jackson's it could be that "murder all odd wives..." refers to getting rid of any possible spouse of James Mason when the girls have escaped to Hollywood and have started their quest for James. jp]
1954, June 19 (Sat). "We practically finished our books to-day and our main idea for the day was to moider Mother. This notion is not a new one, but this time it is a definite plan which we intend to carry out. We have worked it out carefully and are both thrilled by the idea. Naturally we feel a trifle nervous, but the pleasure of anticipation is great. I shall not write the plan down here as I shall write it up when we carry it out (I hope). We both spent last night and the one before having a simply wonderful time in every possible way. We also planned a few odd pictures and recast most of the "Saints' Christmas." We burnt all our film books this evening." [note: "main idea" was transcribed "main 'Ike'" in the official diary transcripts used by both teams. It was often reported as "main idea" by the press, but it appears as "main 'Ike'" in the official court transcripts and in Medlicott's article. G? lambaste Medlicott in their book for perpetuating this error "inexcusably" (p. 124). They state that it is a police transcription error which was discussed during the trial and decided to be a misspelling of 'idea.' G? only quote part of this entry. jp]
1954, June 20 (Sun). "... I tidied the room and messed about a little. Afterwards we discussed our plans for moidering mother and made them a little clearer. Peculiarly enough I have no (qualms of) conscience (or is it peculiar, we are so mad.)" [note: The punctuation above is from G?, p. 75. The court stenographer's transcript of verbal testimony reads "(or is it peculiar we are so mad?)" and Medlicott has still different punctuation. Punctuation more consistent with the previous diary entry from June 6 would be "Or, is it peculiar? We are so mad!" This is another 'official' quote without the appropriate "?" The paranthetical "qualms of" may be the transcriber's notation for an addendum. A photo of PYP's actual entry for June 21 shows that she wrote additions above lines of text but did not use proofing symbols to indicate where they would go. jp] "I was picked up at 2 p.m. I have been very sweet and good. I have worked out a little more of our plan for moidering mother. Peculiarly enough, I have no qualms of conscience." ["HC" voiceover]
1954, June 21 (Mon). [sb,mk]

"I rose late and helped Mother vigorously this morning. Deborah rang and we decided to use a rock in a stocking rather than a sand-bag. We discussed the moider fully. I feel very keyed up, as though I were plan ning a surprise party. Mother has fallen in with everything beautifully and the happy event is to take place tomorrow afternoon. So next time I write in this diary Mother will be dead . How odd -- yet how pleasing. I have discussed various odd saints w her today as I thought it would be interesting to have her opinion . She loathes That & It. I washed my hair this afternoon. I came to bed at 1/4 to 9."

[note: This entry has been transcribed by me from a published photograph of the actual diary entry. The content of each line is the same as the diary, and the margins and spacing within the lines have been made roughly consistent with the lines in the diary, although the right margin is even for lines 1-5, indented 2 spaces for line 6, indented 6 or 7 spaces for lines 7 and 8, then aligned with the margin again for lines 9-11. Comparison with the 'official' version quoted by G? (p. 75) reveals several errors in their version, either original transcription errors made by the police or errors introduced by G?, since they mentioned that they had access to these photos and they corrected some errors here and elsewhere. Published versions also differ from this one.

Points of note: "sand-bag" was hyphenated. This has always seemed such an odd choice of weapon, but the Concise Oxford Dictionary offers this definition: "sandbag. 4(c) as ruffian's weapon inflicting heavy blow without leaving mark." Leather coshes filled with lead shot were popular weapons in crime films from the 30s and 40s; in American popular culture these were referred to as "saps" and being "sapped" was the same as being "sandbagged," both popular expressions in pulp fiction for being hit and rendered unconscious from behind.

The "keyed up" sentence was obviously seen to be an important one to get right because it was edited twice. First, the beginning of 'was' was crossed out and the subjunctive "were" was written above it. "Planning" was written as a hyphenated word (with no hyphen) because it came at the right-hand edge of the page, yet it wasn't simply written beginning on the next line, to save space. The word "surprise" was inserted above the line, falling between "a" and "party" but there was no editing mark.

The word "Mother" immediately following "party" was written slowly, with exceptional care and penmanship for PYP (who tended to be a slightly sloppy writer). The "M" was beautifully done and, unlike her custom when she was in a hurry, the "t" and "h" in the "th" were clearly separated and the "t" was crossed. (PYP's "th"s often look like tall and skinny "U"s in these passages), and it was dead level on the page and there is a large space between "Mother" and "has." The "the" before "happy" was also written above the line, after crossing out the beginning of some other word that might have been "hap," so the sentence may have originally ended after "beautifully" and been added to, piecemeal.

The next two sentences are critical, of course, but looking at them carefully indicates that they were written almost hesitantly, or at least slowly and with several pauses. The details are, to me, very poignant. Based on the changes in slope and spacing, it looks as if the first sentence was written: "So" "next time I write in this diary" "Mother" "will be" "dead" "." The word "dead" stands out as the one by far the most out of horizontal on the whole page and the slope is in the opposite sense to "will be." To me, this says that Pauline stopped writing, shifted her position and adjusted her book at the very least before writing that last word of the sentence. And there was even a pause after writing it, before the period. The most obvious period on the page is the one after "dead." It is set off far from the word "dead," all by itself between the sentences, and it is particularly dark.

The next sentence beginning at "How odd" is not in line with "be dead" but it is once again straight, parallel with the rest of the text and fluid in its penmanship. It is also noticeably generous in the space allotted to the words, and it includes a rather long dash. There is a large blank space after "how," which puts "pleasing" by itself, for emphasis, at the beginning of the next line. It looks to me like Pauline paused and thought again for some moments at least at that preceding isolated period. Then she came to some kind of forward resolve, and the whole next sentence is just a kind of punctuation mark or bravado. The following sentences are back to a trajectory that returns to the extraordinarily, eerily mundane.

PYP did not hyphenate "to-morrow" or "to-day" unlike the press accounts of the day. The sentences after "pleasing" look cramped, a little messy and rushed. The word "saints" probably does not have a capital "S" here, as the "s" is very similar to the one at the beginning of "sand" and "surprise," and is smaller than the one in "So" and "She." The contraction "w" is used for "with" in the next sentence and it may have an acute accent above it (or a random ink mark)--the 'standard' way of symbolizing the word is a small "c" (abbreviation for the Latin 'cum') with a bar over it. Only the first letters of "That" and "It" were capitalized, and the symbol used for "and" was similar to a small script "e." The words "hair this" were joined at the far right of the page because the page may have lifted with the pen. The next "to" almost looks scrubbed out. The periods for the last two sentences are either very faint or absent. PYP used numerals and a proper fraction in the last sentence.

Though there is always the danger of over-interpretation, it is really a pity that the bulk of the original diary pages are no longer available for study. This actual entry was so informative compared to second- and third-hand transcripts. jp]

1954, June 22 (Tues). [sb,mk] "The Day of The Happy Event."

     "I am writing a little of this up in the morning before the
     death. I felt very excited and 'The night before Christmas
     ish' last night. I did not have pleasant dreams though. I am
     about to rise. |"

[note: This version was transcribed by me from a clear photographic image of the actual diary entry, found in the literature. The wording of the lines exactly matches the lines of the actual diary entry. "The Day of The Happy Event" was printed in small, neat, upright script across the very top of the page, above the "June 1954" that ran at the top of the pages for that month. The police mis-transcribed the third sentence as "'the-night-before-Christmassy'" and that is how it was entered into testimony and widely reported in the press. The phrase was actually not hyphenated, and it was enclosed in single apostrophies. PYP did not hyphenate words which ran over a line in this or the previous day's entry, so there was no hyphen after "Christmas" or before "ish."

Curiously, after making an issue of "ish'" in several places in their book and stating that they, too, used the photographs of this key entry as a source, G? (p. 75) also misquote many details of this very important diary entry.

The entry for June 22 was written on the morning of June 22, before the murder, counter to PYP's habit of recording events after they happened. It was cramped up at the top of the page exactly the same way the previous day's entry had begun, leaving lots of space below. The vertical line after "rise." was probably PYP's way of indicating pauses within a day's entries. Hence, there was every indication that she expected to return later to write up the events of the day. The police transcript interpreted it as an exclamation mark, but that is clearly an error. The penmanship in this entry was not studied or different from the entry of June 21, except the letters are a little less-well defined. The lines are parallel, square and evenly-spaced, the left margin ramrod straight. There is no evidence of long pauses or shifts in position in this entry. The entry doesn't look like a careful 'farewell' note in the least. This was the last diary entry. jp]

Other references and quotations not dated (though probably all come from the period Feb. - June 1954, from their content):

"Mother gave me a fearful lecture along the usual strain. I rang Deborah immediately as I had to tell someone sympathetic how I loathed Mother." ["HC" voiceover, approx. early April '54 by "HC" time line. jp]

Referring to a new purchase being made by Dr Hulme for the Hulme household, PYP wrote: "we are getting a radiogram worth sixty pounds." [G?, p. 66. Very, very unfortunately not quoted more extensively or dated. This is potentially an extremely important quote, being one of those which could indicate that PYP identified with being a member of the Hulme family. jp]

There were other references to shoplifting (at Woolworths).

During her interrogation at the police station, a piece of paper was confiscated from Pauline. Later, during a subsequent interrogation session, she grabbed it and threw it into the fire. It was only partly recovered. Courtroom speculation was that Pauline intended to put the piece of paper into her diary later that day. She herself never made a public statement about the paper. It was enormously important in terms of defining the course of the investigation, of course. On it had been written the following:

The detective stated that the note commenced with a reference to Pauline finding herself in an unexpected place. She then made reference to having committed her 'moider'. She then went on to write about the treatment she had received: "All the Hulmes have been wonderfully kind and sympathetic. Anyone would think I've been good. I've had a pleasant time with the police talking 19 to the dozen and behaving as though I hadn't a care in the world." There were then several sentences he couldn't remember but the final sentence was: "I haven't had a chance to talk to Deborah properly but I am taking the blame for everything." [Medlicott] Current location of the diaries

Although the official word is that the diaries were destroyed, an intriguing, anonymous comment was posted to the Heavenly Creatures discussion group a few years ago that claimed, in a circumspect and roundabout manner, that the diaries were"safe" and being well taken care of! While this person's identity was (and remains) a mystery, it raises the possibility that the original diary was not destroyed, but is safe and sound. Of course, it may be years - or never - before it's made public, but in the meantime one can only hope...

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