"The Greatest Criminals of All Time." Stein and Day, New York, 1982. p. 217. "Hulme, Juliet and Parker, Pauline."
This short description appears to be recycled primarily from "The Encyclopaedia of Murder" and it contains many errors (left to the interested FAQ reader to find, this time). The most notable passage is probably the description of JMH and PYP, one of the few instances where JMH is not characterized as the ringleader. [jp]
Parker was 16, the daughter of a common-law marriage that had lasted 25 years. She was headstrong, dominating and intelligent. Hulme was 15, daughter of an ex-Rector of Canterbury University College in New Zealand. She was a good girl, meek and polite. In 1953 the two had met and formed a deep friendship, redolent with fantasy. They wrote novels and dreamt of saving enough money to have them published in America. They wrote letters to each other in their fantasy roles. Juliet was 'Deborah, mistress of the Emperor Charles II of Borovnia'. Pauline was Lancelot Trelawney, a soldier of fortune who wooed Deborah and married her, becoming the Emperor himself. Their fantasies escalated to violence and sex. They slept together, 'imagining how the saints make love', and Pauline experimented with a boy in order to make reports to her friend. They went shoplifting and wondered about the potential returns from prostitution or blackmail. In 1954 they moved towards murder, planning more and more seriously to kill Pauline's mother, Honoria (sic). On 22 June 1954 they killed her, beating her with 45 blows from a brick wrapped in a sock and inflicting 24 wounds to the head, face and body. Then they rushed into a nearby teahouse, Pauline screaming, 'Mummy's dead!'. The police were not taken in and they arrested Pauline that same evening. At first she claimed complete responsibility, but Juliet refused to let her suffer alone.
At their trial the defense claimed that they had acted through 'paranoia of the exalted type' and communicated insanity. They were certainly certifiably mad, but the prosecution convinced the jury of the girls' intelligence, shrewdness and above all the cold-blooded planning of the murder, set out in their diaries and leters. This was a 'callously planned and premeditated murder,' it was alleged, 'committed by two highly intelligent and perfectly sane but precocious and dirty-minded girls'. The jury agreed. The girls were detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure. They were released in 1958.
Plate caption: Juliet Hulme (l) and Pauline Parker (r): 'Deborah of Borovnia' and 'Lancelot Trelawney', they wondered how the saints made love and killed without remorse.