7.5.5 Perry, Walter Andrew Bowman

Walter Andrew Bowman Perry, an industrial consultant (according to his descrption in The Press) gave the following testimony at the July 16 Hearing:

Perry said he came to Christchurch on June 22, 1953 (stet). [note: An obvious Freudian slip on Perry's part or the reporter's. Perry arrived July 2, 1953. jp] He went to live in a flat attached to the Hulme's house, at Christmas last year and had a housekeeper. When Pauline Parker visited the house, Juliet and she kept much to themselves. When Pauline Parker left Ilam to return home after visits Juliet Hulme became morose and inclined to seek her mother's company, which she had not wanted during Pauline's visit. A visit by Pauline was usually followed by Juliet spending a day or two in bed. Juliet wrote voluminously.

"I started to read one book. It was innocuous and the adventure type teenagers would read. I heard the plots of other stories which showed a change in their trend of thought. Certain amoral tendencies seemed to be creeping in.

About March last Juliet asked me if I could sell her horse for her as she wanted money to go home. I purchased the horse myself for 50 (pounds) and gave her father the money. I knew that the girls were planning to amass enough money to go to America together. I also knew that there was a proposal that Pauline accompany Dr Hulme and Juliet to South Africa. Juliet asked me the fare by air, and I said about 150 (pounds). Juliet said: 'Oh good. That means we only have to get another 50 (pounds). We have about 100 (pounds).'

On the forenoon of Tuesday June 22, Juliet was excited and more gay than usual. I returned home that afternoon just in front of Dr Hulme, who had the two girls in the car. Mrs Hulme came to my flat and said Mrs Rieper had fallen on some stones, was very seriously injured and perhaps dead. I was told later that the two girls wanted to see me. That was most unusual. I went to the bedroom. Pauline seemed very shocked and almost in a coma. Juliet was badly shocked and trembling but able to talk. We had a discussion on generalities.

When it was realized that the police would have to come into it, Dr Hulme, Mrs Hulme and I had a discussion. It was arranged that I speak to Pauline and that Mrs Hulme speak to Juliet. Pauline told me her mother had tripped on a piece of wood, had fallen and hit her head on a stone, and seemed to keep hitting it. Pauline demonstrated in mime how her mother had done it. I asked her what sort of stone it was and Pauline said she did not know, but it might have been a brick. I asked her if her mother had had a fit, and she said she did not know. Pauline became very distressed. I asked her if her mother had fallen down a ravine and she said no. She said they had tried to pick her mother up, and might have hurt her when they dropped her. She said she did not know whether her mother was alive when she had gone to the tearooms for help. She said she had felt for heart beats, but could not feel any. Pauline became very distressed indeed. I asked Pauline if there had been a quarrel and if her mother had attempted to hit her. She said: 'My mother has never struck me.' It was agreed that I be present with the Hulmes when the police interviewed the girls.

Juliet Hulme gave the police her version of what had happened, and it did not differ from what Pauline had told me earlier. I thought there was more to be told, but I thought it had been an accident. Senior-Detective Brown had given me an indication of Mrs Rieper's injuries, and I told Juliet to be very careful to tell the truth. She said she had not told the truth before because her mind was confused. She made a statement to Detective-Sergeant Tate and signed it. Pauline Parker was arrested that night and Juliet went to bed.

The following morning I went with Senior-Detective Brown to Juliet's bedroom and he told her he had information that she was present when the alleged accident happened. Juliet had said the night before that she had not been present. Juliet told Senior- Detective Brown that she preferred to say notheing at the moment. I had another talk with Juliet, and she told me the story which she later told to the police as her second statement. I did not gather from her story that the affair had been planned.

When Mrs Hulme came home I told her of my second talk with Juliet, and I asked Mrs Hulme if I could be present when the detectives interviewed Juliet. She agreed and I was present when the second statement was made, read to her and agreed by her as being true."

To Mr Gresson: "Right from the time the girls arrived home Mrs Hulme, Dr Hulme and I urged them to tell the truth."

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