7.6 Press articles contemporary with the "Parker Hulme" murderThese articles come primarily from 'non-tabloid' broadsheet international
- Daily Mail (London)
- Los Angeles Times
- The Manchester Guardian
- The New York Times
- The Oakland Tribune
- The Press (Christchurch)
- San Francisco Chronicle
- San Francisco Examiner
- The Sun-Herald (Sydney)
- The Sydney Morning Herald
- The Times (London)
The articles give a reasonably sober, representative and complete
(in terms of timeline) view of the world-wide publicity given
to the case--this is how the world learned of the murder and followed
the case. The case was sensational in British Australasia, was
followed intently in the United Kingdom, and made a small impact
in North America.
Articles have not been edited for length or content, so there
is some repetition and there are inconsistencies &/or inaccuracies.
These have generally not been noted except in the case of important
typographical errors or ambiguities.
This set of articles tells a compelling story, and it illustrates
how evidence often has to be filtered and collected piecemeal
from many secondary sources. It is interesting to compare these
straightforward press reports with the sometimes-sensational (and
often inaccurate) book chapters in the next section.
Articles are arranged in order of their filing date. [jp]
Part I: The Murder and Arrest
The Press (Christchurch), Wednesday June 23, 1954. p. 10. [mk]
"WOMAN'S BODY FOUND The body of a middle-aged woman was found in a hollow in Victoria
Park, below the tearooms, about 4 p.m. yesterday. An arrest has
been made and a charge of murder will be preferred in the Magistrate's
Court this morning.
Police Called to Victoria Park
MURDER CHARGE LAID"
The woman was Honora Mary Parker, aged 45, of 31 Gloucester street.
Her body was found by the caretaker at Victoria Park. He reported
the discovery to the police.
Officers of the uniformed brance were sent to Victoria Park,
and Detective-Sergeant A.B. Tate with Detective G.F. Gilles, of
the Criminal Investigation Branch, and Constable A. Griffiths,
of the women's division, arrived about 5 p.m. to make further
An hour later Inspector D. McKenzie took charge of the investigations
with Senior Detective McDonald (sic) Brown.
Police inquiries were continued until early this morning.
The Coroner (Mr E.B.E. Taylor) and a pathologist (Dr C.T.B. Pearson)
were among those to visit the scene. Photographs were taken in
the area by the police photographer, Constable W.M. Ramage.
The Times (London), Thursday June 24, 1954. p. 5. [jp]
SCHOOL GIRLS CHARGED WITH MURDERChristchurch, New Zealand, June 23.--Police here today charged
a 16-year-old school girl with the murder of her mother and soon
afterwards arrested her 15-year-old school friend on the same
charge. The police said that the two girls went walking with Mrs.
Honore (sic) Parker, aged 45, at Cashmere Hills, a suburb of Christchurch,
yesterday, and that afterwards her body was found on the hillside
with a bloodstained brick near by. Her daughter, Pauline Yvonne
Parker, was remanded at the magistrates' court this morning. Juliet
Marion Hulme, aged 15, will appear in court to-morrow.--Reuter.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday June 24, 1954. p. 1. [sb]
Schoolgirls On Charge of MurderWellington (N.Z.), Wednesday [June 23]--Two schoolgirls have been
charged with the murder of Mrs. Honora Mary Parker, 45, whose
body was found near Christchurch yesterday, badly battered about
the head and face.
One of the girls--Pauline Yvonne Parker, 16, the daughter of
the dead woman--was arrested late last night and remanded in the
Magistrate's Court this morning.
The other girl, Juliet Marion Hulme, 15, was arrested to-day
and will appear in court to-morrow.
The two girls went walking with Mrs. Parker yesterday afternoon
in the Cashmere Hills.
They later reported to a nearby teashop that Mrs. Parker had
been injured in a fall.
The shopowner called the police, who found a blood-stained brick
near the body.--A.A.P.-Reuter
The Press (Christchurch), Thursday June 24, 1954. p. 12. [mk]
Woman's Death In Christchurch
GIRL REMANDED TO JULY 1
Pauline Yvonne Parker, a student, aged 16, was charged in the
Magistrate's Court yesterday with the murder of Honora Mary Parker
at Christchurch on June 22.
On the application of Detective-Sergeant G.W. Alty she was remanded
to appear on July 1.
Mr. Rex C. Abernethy, S.M., was on the bench.
Parker was not represented by counsel.
SECOND GIRL ARRESTED
Juliet Marion Hulme, a schollgirl, aged 15, was arrested by Chief-Detective
Macdonald Brown and Detective-Sergeant A.B. Tate at her home in
Ilam road yesterday afternoon.
She will appear in the Magistrate's Court this morning on a charge
of murdering Honora Mary Parker at Christchurch on June 22.
An inquest into the death of Honora Mary Parker was opened before
the Coroner (Mr E.B.E. Taylor) at 9 a.m. yesterday. Detective-Sergeant
A.B. Tate represented the police.
The inquest was adjourned sine die after evidence of identification
had been given by Herbert Rieper, a company manager, of 31 Gloucester
Daily Mail (London), Thursday June 24, 1954. (from clipping) [sb]
GIRL, 15, ACCUSED OF MURDER Auckland, New Zealand, Wednesday [June 23].--Juliet Marion Hulme,
15-year-old daughter of Dr H.R. Hulme, the British scientist,
was charged today with the murder of Mrs. Honora Mary Parker,
Friend, 16, is also charged: Woman dead under pines
Earlier Pauline Yvonne Parker, aged 16, Mrs. Parker's daughter,
had also been charged with murder.
Police say that Mrs. Parker, also known as Mrs. Herbert Rieper,
was found dead under pine needles in the Cashmere Hills, near
A doctor inspected the body. Later, detectives were called and
a bloodstained brick and knotted stocking were found near by.
Pauline Parker was arrested subsequently at Dr Hulme's residence
in Christchurch. She appeared in court and was remanded until
July 1. Juliet Hulme will appear in court tomorrow.
Dr Hulme, 46, was director of Naval Operational Research during
the war. He was to have returned to England in a few days.--from
Daily Mail Correspondent.
The Manchester Guardian, Friday June 25, 1954. p. 7.
GIRL, 16 (stet), CHARGED WITH MURDER Wellington (New Zealand), June 24.--Juliet Marion Hulme, 16-year-
old (stet) daughter of a former Director of Operational Research
at the British Admiralty, was charged here to-day with murdering
Mrs Honora Mary Parker (45), mother of one of her school friends.
Her parents, Dr and Mrs Henry Rainsford Hulme, were in the crowded
courtroom when Juliet was remanded until July 1.
Parents in Court
Dr Hulme is a former lecturer at Liverpool University, chief
assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and scientific
advisor at the Air Ministry. He recently resigned as Rector of
Canterbury University College here to take Juliet to South Africa
for three months. She had just been discharged from a tuberculosis
sanatorium. Dr Hulme planned to return later to England.
Mrs Parker's daughter, Pauline Yvonne, who is also sixteen, was
charged with murder yesterday morning. According to the police,
the two girls went walking with Mrs Parker in Cashmere Hills,
a Christchurch suburb, on Tuesday. Her body was later found on
a hillside, with a bloodstained brick near by.--Reuter.
The Press (Christchurch), Friday June 25, 1954. p. 12. [mk]
Woman's Death In Christchurch
SECOND GIRL REMANDED
Juliet Marion Hulme, aged 15 years 8 months, a student, the second
of two girls to be charged with the murder of Honora Mary Parker
at Christchurch on June 22, was remanded to July 1 when she appeared
in the Magistrate's Court yesterday before Mr Raymond Ferner,
Hulme was escorted into the dock by a uniformed policewoman.
She was represented by Mr T.A. Gresson, and Detective- Sergeant
G.W. Alty appeared for the police.
The Times (London), Saturday July 17, 1954. p. 5.
TWO GIRLS ON CHARGE OF MURDER Christchurch (N.Z.), July 16.--Pauline Yvonne Parker, 16, and
Juliet Marion Hulme, 15, a former Liverpool schoolgirl, were committed
to-day for trial in the Supreme Court on a charge of murdering
Mrs. Honora Mary Parker, 45, whose body was found in Victoria
Park, a Christchurch suburb.
DIARY EXTRACTS READ
Both girls were alleged to have admitted in statements to the
police, read in court, that they took a part in hitting Mrs. Parker
with a brick carried in a stocking. On April 28, Pauline had written
in her diary that anger against her mother was boiling up inside
her. "It is she who is one of the main obstacles in my path,"
she wrote. "Suddenly the means of ridding myself of this obstacle
occurred to me. If she were to die."
A detective read another diary extract, dated June 19, in which
she wrote of a plan to "moider"(sic) mother. "We have worked it
out carefully and both are thrilled with the idea. Naturally,
we feel a trifle nervous. But the pleasure of anticipation is
On June 21, she recorded: "We decided to use a rock in a stocking
rather than a sandbag. We discussed the 'moider'(sic) fully. I
feel very keyed up as though I was planning a surprise party.
Mother has fallen in with everything beautifully and the happy
event is to take place to-morrow afternoon. Next time I write
mother will be dead. How odd, yet how pleasing." On June 22--headed
"day of a happy event"--Pauline noted: "In the morning before
the death I felt very excited. Last night I didn't have pleasant
According to a post mortem report, Mrs. Parker had received 45
injuries. Death was due to shock, associated multiple head wounds,
and a fractured skull.--Reuter.
The Manchester Guardian, Saturday July 17, 1954. p. 5.
TWO SCHOOLGIRLS FOR TRIAL ON MURDER CHARGE Christchurch (N.Z.), July 16.--A sixteen-year-old girl accused
of murdering her mother by beating her about the head with a brick
is alleged to have headed an entry in her diary for that day:
"The happy event." This was part of the evidence given in a magistrate's
court here to-day when Pauline Yvonne Parker, 16, and Juliet Marion
Hulme, 15, were committed for trial before the Supreme Court on
a charge of the murder of Honora Mary Parker, Pauline's mother,
in Victoria Park, a Christchurch suburb, on June 22.
New Zealand Court Told of Attack with Brick
Juliet is the daughter of Dr Henry Rainsford Hulme, a former
director of operational research at the Admiralty in London, who
recently resigned as Rector of Canterbury University College,
New Zealand. He has also lectured at Liverpool University and
was a scientific advisor at the Air Ministry.
Evidence was given of the intense friendship which had developed
between the two girls. Herbert Rieper, a company manager, who
stated that he had lived with Mrs Parker for 23 years, said that
Pauline met Juliet Hulme at a girls' high school, and that he
and Mrs Parker became worried about the friendship which developed
between them. Dr Hulme also discussed the subject with him, and
as a result Pauline was taken to a doctor by her mother. Pauline
was always anxious to go to the Hulmes's home to be with Juliet,
Gasps arose in the crowded court when Detective Brown gave evidence
of a diary found in Pauline's bedroom. Among the extracts read
to the court were the following:
February 14: "Why could not mother die?
Dozen (sic) of thousands of people are dying, so why could not
mother and father, too? Life is hard."
April 28: "Anger against mother is boiling inside of me as she
is the main obstacle in my path. Suddenly the means of ridding
myself of the obstacle occur to me. If she was to die. ..." Also
on the same day: "I wish to make it appear accidental."
June 19: The entry mentioned "a plan to 'moider'(sic) mother,"
and added: "We have worked it out together and both are thrilled
with the idea. Naturally, we are a trifle nervous, but the pleasure
of anticipation is great."
June 20: "... Afterwards we discussed our plans for 'moidering'
(sic) mother and made them clear, but peculiarly enough I have
no qualms of conscience. Or is it peculiar?"
June 21: "We decided to use a rock in a stocking rather than
a sandbag. We discussed the 'moider' (sic) fully. I feel very
keyed up as though I was planning a surprise party. Mother has
fallen in with everything beautifully and the happy event is to
take place to-morrow afternoon. Next time I write mother will
be dead. How odd, yet how pleasing."
June 22: The entry headed "The happy event" read: "In the morning
before the death I felt very excited. Last night I didn't have
pleasant dreams, though."
"Blood on Clothes"
The story of how Mrs Parker died was told by two witnesses.
The first was Mrs Agnes Ritchie, owner of a tearoom in the park.
She told how she served Mrs Parker and the two girls with tea,
and then how all three set off along one of the park's winding
paths. An hour later, she said, the girls rushed back, agitated
and breathless. Pauline told her: "Mummy--she's terribly hurt.
She slipped. I think she is dead."
Both girls had blood on their clothes and also on their hands,
and after they had washed this off, Pauline told her: "We were
returning and somehow she slipped on a plank." She said that her
mother hit her head on a plank and that her head kept bumping
and banging as she fell. Both girls told her that it seemed like
a dream and that they would wake up soon.
The other story of how Mrs Parker died was told, according to
the police, by Juliet Hulme herself in a statement which she made
to the police. This went, in part:
"I left home with the brick wrapped in newspaper. I arrived at
the Riepers' (Parkers') house with the brick and gave it to Pauline.
... Pauline wanted to come to South Africa with me. I wanted her
to come, too. We both thought Mrs Rieper (Mrs Parker) might object
and we decided to go with her to Victoria Park to discuss the
matter and have it out. I knew it was proposed that we should
take a brick in a stocking to the park with us."
In the park, the alleged statement said, she was expecting Mrs
Parker to be attacked. It went on:
"I heard noises behind me. It was a loud conversation and an
angry one. I went back and saw Pauline hit Mrs Rieper with a brick
in the stocking. I took the stocking and hit her too. I was terrified.
"I thought 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."
Mrs Hilda Marion Hulme, Juliet's mother, said that her daughter
suffered bomb shock at the age of two. She and Dr Hulme had discovered
"a very distressing plan" this year. Both girls intended to go
to America together "to have their books published."
The two girls seemed unconcerned as they were committed for
trial. They left the dock chatting together at the end of the
hearing. Neither was asked to plead.--British United Press and
The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday July 17, 1954. p. 1. [sb]
Strange Diary Of Girl Read At Murder HearingChristchurch, N.Z., Friday [July 16]-- Extracts allegedly from
a 16-year-old girl's diary, describing plans for her mother's
"moider," and adding "I have no qualms of conscience" were read
in the Christchurch Magistrate's Court at a murder hearing today.
At the end of the hearing two girls, Pauline Yvonne Parker,
16, and Juliet Marion Hulme, 15, were committed for trial on a
charge of having battered to death Honora Mary Parker, 45, in
Victoria Park, Christchurch, on the afternoon of June 22.
Both girls smiled and whispered together unconcernedly at intervals
throughout today's hearing.
Twice they were rebuked by a police orderly and matron.
Senior Detective Macdonald Brown told the court he had taken
possession of a diary from Pauline Parker's bedroom.
Among the extracts he read to the Court were:--
February 13, 1954: "Why could not mother die? Dozens of thousands
of people are dying. Why could not mother and father, too?"
April 28: "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 talked (stet) for some time."
[Mrs. Hulme's evidence showed that Deborah was Pauline's pet
name for Juliet Hulme.]
However I felt thoroughly depressed afterwards--and even quite
seriously considered committing suicide. Life seemed so much not
worth 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..."
April 29: "I did not tell Deborah of my plans for removing mother.
"I have made no ----- (stet) yet and the last fate I wish to
meet is one in a Borstal.
"I am trying to think of some way.
"I do not ----- (stet) to go to too much trouble, but I want
it to appear either a natural or an accidental death."
June 19: "We practically finished our books to-day and our main
'Ike' (stet) 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
"I shall not write the plan down here as I shall write it up
when we carry it out (I hope).
June 20: "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?)"
June 21: "I rose late and helped mother vigorously this morning.
"Deborah rang and we decided to use a rock in a stocking rather
than a sandbag.
"We discussed the moider fully.
"I feel very keyed up as though I were planning a surprise party.
"Mother has fallen in with everything beautifully and the happy
event is to take place to-morrow afternoon.
"So next time I write in this diary mother will be dead.
"How odd, yet pleasing: I have discussed various saints with
her to-day as I thought it would be interesting to have her opinion."
June 22: "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 Christmassy.'
"Last night, I didn't have pleasant dreams though. I am about
Detective-Sergeant A.B. Tate said accused Pauline Parker after
being taken to the police station wrote something on a piece of
paper, something she probably intended to put in her diary the
She threw it in the fireplace but a police matron retrieved
The only decipherable part was: "They have questioned Deborah,
but I have taken the blame."
In one of the strangest stories heard in a New Zealand courtroom,
evidence was given of the intense affection of the girls for each
other, the concern of the parents for this intensity, and how
the girls faced a separation because Juliet Hulme was going to
Evidence was given that the girls had written novels and an
opera, in some of which the murder was mentioned.
They were planning to save up to go to the United States together
to publish their books.
Reading of the diary brought gasps from the crowded court.
The date for the Supreme Court hearing has not yet been fixed.
--From a Special Correspondent.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday July 17, 1954. p. 6. [sb]
Mention Of "Murder" Novels As Girls Committed For TrialChristchurch, N.Z., Friday [July 16]-- Two girls, aged 15 and
16, were committed for trial from the Christchurch Magistrate's
Court to-day on a charge of battering the mother of one of them
In an alleged statement, which police read to the Court, one girl
said: "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 connection."
During the day's hearing the Court heard the story of a passionately
affectionate friendship between the two girls.
Showing no signs of emotion, both girls left the dock chatting
together at the end of the daylong hearing.
ONE OF THEM HAD TO DIE
At the end of the day's hearing, the magistrate, Mr. R. Ferner,
committed the two girls, Pauline Yvonne Parker, 16, and Juliet
Marion Hulme, 15, for trial in the Supreme Court.
The girls are alleged to have killed Pauline's mother, Honora
Mary Parker, also known as Rieper, in Victoria Park, Christchurch,
on June 22, a few minutes after having afternoon tea with her
in the park kiosk.
BRICK IN BAG
Senior Detective Macdonald Brown told the magistrate that Pauline
Parker, in her statement, said she had made up her mind to kill
her mother a few days previously. She had not told anyone and
Juliet Hulme took no part in the killing.
He quoted from her alleged statement that she had used a half-brick
inside the foot of a stocking.
The alleged statement continued: "I took them with me for that
purpose. I had a brick in my shoulder bag. I wish to state that
Juliet did not know my intentions, and she did not see me strike
my mother. I took the chance to strike her when Juliet was away.
I still do not wish to say why I killed my mother.
"As soon as I had started to strike my mother, I regretted it,
but I could not stop then."
Christchurch police gave evidence that Juliet Hulme had made two
statements when interviewed.
In the first she said that on the visit to Victoria Park she went
ahead at one stage and was separated from Pauline and her mother.
She heard one of them call out. She returned and found Mrs. Rieper
lying on the ground with blood all around her head. Pauline, who
seemed hysterical, had told her that her mother had slipped and
banged her head against a stone.
This alleged statement added: "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
connection and might well have done so at Pauline's place to-day
before we left home."
Police said the next day Juliet made her second statement in which
she said the girls had decided to take Mrs. Rieper to Victoria
Park to discuss taking Pauline to South Africa.
The girls wanted Pauline to accompany Juliet and her parents to
South Africa, but the parents had said it was out of the question.
In this alleged statement Juliet said she knew it was proposed
they should take a brick in a stocking. She had taken a brick
from near her garage, wrapped it in newspaper, and carried it
the Riepers' for lunch. She gave the brick to Pauline and she
knew it was put in a stocking.
HIT HER TOO
This alleged statement detailing the incidents at Victoria Park,
"I heard noises behind me. It was loud conversation and anger...
"I went back. I saw Pauline hit Mrs. Rieper with the brick in
"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
"I was not quite sure what was going to happen when we went to
"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 I knew it would be necessary for us to kill
her. I was terrified and hysterical."
WORRIED BY FRIENDSHIP
Herbert Rieper, company manager, gave evidence that he had lived
with the dead woman for 23 years and she was known as Mrs. Rieper.
Three (stet) children had been born to them and the accused, Pauline
Yvonne, was the second (stet).
She was an average child, but she had osteomyelitis at the age
of five, spent several months in hospital and took more than three
years to recover.
Rieper said Pauline became friendly with Juliet Hulme at Christchurch
Girls' High School. They were in the same form.
The friendship became very intense and their affection for each
He said Dr. Hulme, Juliet's father, had called at his house and
discussed with Mrs. Parker the question of the girls' friendship.
[Dr. H.R. Hulme was formerly rector (sic) of Canterbury University
As a result Mrs. Parker had Pauline to a doctor.
Mr. Rieper said that in the last year Pauline had bought a horse
without telling him. When he found out about it some months later
he agreed she should keep the horse. He believed it would make
her friendship with Juliet less intense.
Pauline was always anxious to go to the Hulme home "Ilam," so
she could be with Juliet.
Lately Pauline had been doing a "terrible lot" of writing--books,
novels. It was interfering with her school work this year.
One night sitting in front of the fire, she said she was writing
As far as he knew Pauline and her mother had agreed she should
leave school and go to another school, and this had been done.
Dr. Hulme again saw Mrs. Parker and told her he was leaving New
Zealand in about three weeks and taking Juliet with him. This
meant that the friendship between the two girls would be broken.
Rieper said he was very pleased at this. He allowed Pauline to
see Juliet pending her departure. He could not remember if Mrs.
Parker ever refused Pauline permission to see Juliet.
Mrs. Parker sometimes remonstrated with Pauline. One cause was
the way Pauline just ignored her parents.
On June 22 Juliet came to their house for lunch before the Victoria
Park trip. Lunch was a very bright and happy affair.
REMOVED FROM TRAGEDY
Mrs. Hilda Marion Hulme in evidence said her daughter, Juliet,
was born in England in October, 1938.
She suffered bomb shock at the age of two. Later, while Dr. Hulme
was in America during the war, Juliet became ill and spent two
years away from school.
Mrs. Hulme said she and her husband came to New Zealand about
six years ago.
Last year Juliet spent three and a half months in Cashmere Hills
Sanatorium with TB. (Cashmere Hills is a suburb of Christchurch.)
Juliet's rating in an intelligence test was very high. She was
always a demanding child. "I and my husband were always very fond
of her and gave her every attention," Mrs. Hulme said.
She said that at first the friendship between Pauline and Juliet
seemed a normal, happy one.
The friendship increased considerably after Juliet was discharged
from the sanitorium.
Mrs. Hulme said that when her husband decided to leave New Zealand
it was first agreed that she and Juliet should stay to avoid the
This was altered because of a "very distressing plan" she discovered.
The plan was that both girls should go to America together to
have their books published.
When this was discovered, Dr. Hulme decided to take Juliet as
far as South Africa. Juliet pressed her parents to let Pauline
go with her.
Mr. (sic) Hulme said she knew Juliet had written two novels.
The girls lately had not used their Christian names in addressing
each other. Juliet became "Deborah" and Pauline became "Gina."
Questioned by Mr. T.A. Gresson (for Juliet), Mrs. Hulme said that
Juliet was always a difficult girl to bring up.
After her return from the sanatorium, the friendship with Pauline
seemed to dominate Juliet's thoughts.
Mrs. Hulme said Juliet's writings struck her as grandiose and
unreal. Parts of her second book appeared unpleasant and unbalanced.
The night after the tragedy she slept with Juliet in her arms.
Mrs. Hulme said: "One repeated sentence of Juliet's was she didn't
wish to talk about it. She wanted to go to sleep and forget it.
"She seemed elated and removed from the tragedy.
"Before she went to sleep and the next morning she recited poetry."
Mr. Gresson: Does she appear to you over recent weeks to have
realised her position?
Mrs. Hulme: She seems quite removed from the seriousness or the
reality of the situation altogether.
Walter Andrew Bowman Perry, industrial consultant, said he went
to live in a separate flat in the Hulme's home at Christmas. He
was aware of the girls' writing and would describe it as voluminous.
Their first novel was innocuous, something like "The Prisoner
of Zenda." However, in the plots of later books there was a certain
amount of amorality.
The girls play-acted among themselves.
THINK SHE'S DEAD
Mrs. Agnes Ritchie, proprietress of the tea rooms at Victoria
Park, said the woman and two girls appeared perfectly normal and
quite at ease at afternoon tea.
Half an hour later the girls burst into the tea room.
They were very agitated, breathless, gasping, and speaking almost
One girl said: "Mummy, she's terribly hurt. I think she's dead."
One, whom she later found was Juliet, was almost hysterical. The
other, Pauline was very white.
Both girls had a lot of blood on their clothes and particularly
on their hands. Pauline had a blood splash on her face. They were
worried about the blood, which they washed off in the servery
She asked the girls how it happened. Pauline said: "Somehow she
slipped on a plank. Her head kept bumping as she fell."
Juliet then told her she would always remember the woman's head
banging. Both girls said it seemed like a dream. They would wake
Dr. Colin Thomas Busby Pearson, pathologist, said he examined
the body of Mrs. Parker on the path, and later carried out a post-
Cause of death was shock associated with multiple wounds to the
head, and a fractured skull.
Dr. Pearson listed 45 injuries, some minor, but many serious.
There were 24 lacerated wounds to the face and scalp, some of
which penetrated to the bone.--A.A.P-Reuter
Daily Mail (London), Saturday July 17, 1954. p. 3. (incomp) [sb]
PLAN FOR MURDER--IN A GIRL'S DIARY Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday July 16.--Sixteen-year-old Pauline
Parker wrote in her diary "Day of a happy event." That afternoon
she and her 15-year-old friend, Juliet Hulme, battered Pauline's
mother to death. So it was alleged in Christchurch today. The
two girls were sent for trial, accused of murder. They were in
court for seven and a half hours. During that time, they giggled,
whispered, yawned and scribbled notes. During that time, too,
they heard a detective read six extracts from a diary alleged
to have been written by Pauline. These were the extracts: [material
missing]...--from Daily Mail Correspondent and Agencies.
Court told of entry: 'Next time I write, mother will be dead--how
The Sun-Herald (Sydney), Sunday July 18, 1954. p. 2. [sb]
Music in Gaol For N.Z. GirlsChristchurch, (N.Z.), Saturday July 17.--Pauline Parker, 16, and
Juliet Hulme, 15, who are in a women's prison waiting trial on
a charge of murdering Parker's mother, listen to classical music
for an hour each morning and afternoon.
The mother was found battered to death in a bush-clad valley in
a Christchurch suburb June 22.
The girls are in the modern cottage-type Paparua prison, 10 miles
The cell block, built two or three years ago, has four bedroomed
cells which are shared by seven women prisoners there at the moment.
The girls are kept apart from the others.
They spend much of their time on the block's sun verandah.
The girls are free to write and they write voluminously.
They are very happy when together, and seem completely unconcerned
at the seriousness of their position.
They commented to the police Matron at the end of Fridays' daylong
Magistrate's Court hearing that it was "all very boring."
Psychologists have been to the prison to examine the girls.
Time, 64:24, Monday July 26, 1954.
New Zealand: CollaboratorsAs schoolmates in Christchurch, Juliet Hulme, 15, and Pauline
Parker, 16, often collaborated in the writing and production of
amateur plays--plays which, according to equally amateur critics,
were "not bad at all." They both liked detective stories, and
as if to strengthen their status as best friends, both had been
visited by similar misfortune: each had missed long periods at
school through illness. They also both wanted to go to America
"to have novels published and filmed," but their parents would
not let them.
One day three weeks ago, Pauline and Juliet, like many other fashionable
New Zealanders, sat taking tea with Pauline's mother at a restaurant
in lofty Victoria Park. After tea the two girls and Mrs. Parker
took advantage of the brisk, sunny afternoon to stroll down the
park's winding hillside tracks. A few minutes later, Pauline and
Juliet came racing back to the restaurant. Mrs. Parker, they said,
had fallen and was desperately injured. When the doctor arrived,
Pauline's mother, her face and head cruelly cut and bruised, was
It was a shocking end to an afternoon of quiet enjoyment, but
for respectable Christchurch a worse shock was still to come.
That evening the police stopped by at Ilam, the official residence
of Dr. Henry Hulme, rector of staid Canterbury University College,
and arrested Pauline Parker on suspicion of murder. Next day they
came back and picked up Dr. Hulme's daughter Juliet on the same
charge. Near the blood-soaked ground where Pauline's mother had
lain, police found a brick and near it a bloodstained stocking
in which the brick had been inserted and swung like a bludgeon.
Last week, in several grisly hours at the Christchurch lower court,
the police charged that Juliet and Pauline had killed Mrs. Parker
with the brick-filled stocking. Their principal evidence: confessions
from both girls, and excerpts from Pauline's own diary, in which
Mrs. Parker's death was listed as the "Day of the Happy Event."
Dozens of people die every day, sometimes thousands, said the
schoolgirl's diary: so why not Mother too? [Only reference to
either Parker, Pauline or Hulme, Juliet in "Readers' Guide to
Periodical Literature" found in Apr. 1953 - Feb. 1955, p. 1764.