On the evening of June 22, 1954, Juliet Hulme was first interviewed by Senior-Detective Macdonald Brown and Detective- Sergeant Tate in the presence of Henry Hulme, Hilda Hulme and Walter Perry. Her answers to police questioning were along the lines of Pauline Parker's first statement.
Walter Perry then spoke privately with Juliet Hulme, advising her to "tell the truth," apparently with the agreement of Henry and Hilda Hulme. Juliet Hulme then made an official statement to Detective-Sergeant Tate, called her 'First Statement' in trial testimony:
"I am 15 years of age and live at home with my parents. For the last two years I have been very friendly with Pauline Yvonne Parker Rieper. The friendship arose through being in the same form at school. She has often stayed here with me. I have also stayed at her place. We telephone each other daily, and yesterday Pauline rang and invited me to accompany her and her mother to Victoria Park. We had never been there together before. I had been there myself about five years ago. I do not know if Pauline had been there before.
I went to Pauline's place for lunch. I got there shortly after 11 a.m. Pauline and Mrs Rieper were there when I arrived. Relations were normal between Mrs Rieper and Pauline when I arrived. I mean that they were pleasant to each other. I know that Pauline and her mother frequently had rows and I know that Mrs Rieper resented the fact that Pauline was friendly with me. We had lunch some time after 12 noon. Mr Rieper and Pauline's sister, Wendy, were also there for lunch. Pauline and I did the washing up with Mrs Rieper after lunch. Mr Rieper had gone with Wendy by that time.
About 20 minutes after Mr Rieper left the house, Mrs Rieper, Pauline and I left to go to Victoria Park. We walked to the Square. We waited for a bus which went to the Hills terminus. I do not know at what time the bus left the Square. When we arrived at the Takahe we left the bus and walked to Victoria Park by way of the rough metal road. When we arrived at the Park we entered the tea rooms and Mrs Rieper had a cup of tea. Pauline and I had soft drinks and some cakes and scones. Afterwards we all walked down the track on the side of the hill where the plantation is. It was decided before we left Mrs Rieper's home that we intended to walk down this track. I don't know who suggested it first. It was not my suggestion.
We went down the track for quite a long way. I found a small pink stone. We were all walking together. I picked it up and talked about it. I still have it. We went on down for quite a long way. Pauline and I left Mrs Rieper on the track for about three minutes and went further down. It may have been a shorter time. We went just out of her sight. She did not think she wanted to go on and we thought we would like to go to the end if she didn't mind.
We decided to come back and we rejoined Mrs Rieper. We all three of us walked up the track. I was in front nearly all the way. I dropped behind once, but caught up again and got ahead once more. I found that we were getting near the place where I had found the pink stone. I told the others that I would go to the place where I had found the stone. I went on ahead and left them behind. I searched for a setting from which I thought the stone might have come. I spent some minutes looking for this.
While I was looking around in this spot I heard a voice call out. I cannot say now whether it was Pauline's voice or her mother's. I did not return immediately. I called out and told them I would come soon or something to that effect. I had to go back along the track to reach Pauline and her mother. I have no idea of the distance. I came upon both of them.
I found Mrs Rieper lying on the ground. Pauline was there. Pauline was hysterical. There was blood all around Mrs Rieper's head. I was shocked. I took her head in my lap. Mrs Rieper did not speak to me. I think she was unconscious. She seemed to be, to me. I think Pauline helped me. That was when I tried to nestle her head on my lap.
I do not remember seeing a stocking with a knot in it. I did not take any particular notice of a brick. I do not know how long we stayed with Mrs Rieper. It might have been five minutes. It could have been any time. I asked Pauline what had happened. She said that her mother had slipped and banged her head against a stone. I beleived her at that time. I felt that we had to get help. Pauline and I hurried up the path towards the tea kiosk. When we got there we told the story between us as to what had happened. The story we told was that we had been together when Mrs Rieper had fallen and had obtained her injuries when she had fallen on some stones.
I knew when I said this it was not true that I had been present when Mrs Rieper had got her injuries, but I said I was there because the idea occurred to me that they may have quarrelled but I thought that she probably had slipped. However I thought that it would be better for Pauline if I said I was there and supported her story that Mrs Rieper had obtained her injuries accidentally. We waited at the kiosk for my father to come and fetch us. He was summoned by telephone. He brought us home.
I told my mother and Mr Perry the story that I was present when the accident occurred. I also told the police the same story when I first saw them. I told that story because I wanted to be loyal to Pauline and did not want to see her in any trouble. Mrs Rieper had no quarrel within my hearing or to my knowledge at any time at Victoria Park today. Pauline and I have been engaged in writing novels for some time. In the plots of these books the question of murder has arisen. We often discuss murders in this connexion and might well have done so at Pauline's place today before we left home. I cannot remember exactly what we talked about."
[note: "The Square" is Cathedral Square, the origin of the #2 bus, a few blocks from the Rieper's home. "The Takahe" is a landmark at the terminus of the #2 bus in the Cashmere Hills. By "rough metal road" Juliet Hulme meant a road that was paved but with a surface covering of small stones; it was necessary to walk a short distance from the bus terminus up the hill to the tea kiosk in Victoria Park. The reference to the stocking and brick was probably in response to previous questions from Senior-Det Brown, not out of the blue. jp]
The following day, June 23, 1954, Senior-Detective Brown and Detective-Sergeant Tate returned to Ilam on the strength of a statement made to them by Pauline Parker in Tate's office and because of the diary entry/note Pauline Parker had written and tried to burn. Brown testified:
"I told the girl Hulme we had reason to believe her first written statement was not correct and that she was present when the assault took place. I then said: "You are suspected of taking part in the death of Mrs Rieper. You are not obliged to say anything, but if you do make a statement, it will be taken down in writing." She asked me questions, and I told her the girl Parker had said we were to ask Deborah, and what she said would be right. I asked her for information but she said she would rather not say anything then. Later she made a statement which Detective-Sergeant Tate took down."
Detective-Sergeant Tate testified:
He returned to Ilam on June 23 and saw Juliet Hulme. She was quite composed. She apologised to him for misleading him the previous night and said she now wished to tell him the truth. She said she now wished to make a statement. He gave her the usual warning. She made a statement (labelled her 'Second Statement' in trial testimony), as follows:
"Pauline wanted to come with me to South Africa. I wanted her to come, too. My father and I were booked to leave New Zealand on July 3 next. Pauline and I had discussed the matter. We both thought that Mrs Rieper might object.
We decided to go with Mrs Rieper to Victoria Park. We decided that it would be a suitable place to discuss the matter and have it out. I knew that it was proposed that we should take a brick in a stocking to the park with us. Pauline rang me recently and gave me the invitation to go with Pauline and her mother to Victoria Park. I knew this was the trip we had planned. It may have been the day before yesterday that she rang.
I left home with my father at about 10:30 a.m. yesterday. I had a part of a brick which I wrapped in a newspaper. I had got it from near the garage. My father left me near Beaths. I made some personal purchases there and then walked to the Rieper's house. I arrived there still carrying the brick. I gave it to Pauline. I know the brick was put into the stocking at Rieper's [sic] house. I did not put it there.
Mrs Rieper, Pauline and I left their place after lunch to go to Victoria Park. Pauline carried the brick and stocking in her shoulder bag. We went to Victoria Park together and had tea as I have previously stated. There had been no conversation on the subject of the South African trip up to this time. We walked together down the tracks among the trees. There was a pink stone on the path. I dropped it there myself. We went to a spot well down the paths and Mrs Rieper decided to come back. On the way back I was walking in front. I was expecting Mrs Rieper to be attacked.
I heard noises behind me. It was loud conversation and anger. I saw Mrs Rieper in a sort of squatting position. They were quarrelling. I went back. I saw Pauline hit Mrs Rieper with the brick in the stocking. I took the stocking and hit her, too. I was terrified. I thought that one of them had to die. I wanted to help Pauline. It was terrible. Mrs Rieper moved convulsively. We both held her. She was still when we left her. The brick had come out of the stocking with the force of the blows.
I cannot remember Mrs Rieper saying anything distinctly. I was too frightened to listen. We both went back to the tea kiosk and told the woman there that Mrs Rieper had fallen and had got her injuries in that way. My father was called and took us back home.
I have always known Pauline's mother as Mrs Rieper. I am sure that Pauline would have told me, if she had known, that her parents were not married and that her mother's name was Parker. I was not quite sure what was going to happen when we went to Victoria Park yesterday. I thought we may have been able to frighten Mrs Rieper with the brick and she would have given her consent then for Pauline and I to stay together. After the first blow was struck I knew it would be necessary for us to kill her. I was terrified and hysterical.
The three pages of this statement have been read to me. they are true and correct."