About a month ago, I finished listening to The Sheen on the Silk by Anne Perry on audiobook. I recently referred to it when I was updating my Where I’ve Been in 2012map–that’s a Google map on which I record the settings of the books I read. I couldn’t remember exactly where it took place, so I just looked up the book on Wikipedia and it redirected me to the Anne Perry page. Where I found this (Anne Perry was born Juliet Marion Hulme, FYI):
Murder and trialMain article: Parker–Hulme murder
On 22 June 1954, the girls took Honora Rieper for a walk in Victoria Park in their hometown of Christchurch. On an isolated path Hulme dropped an ornamental stone so that Ms. Rieper would lean over to retrieve it. At that point, Parker had planned to hit her mother with half a brick wrapped in a stocking. The girls presumed that would kill her; instead, it took 45 frenzied blows from both girls to finally kill Honora Rieper. The brutality of the crime has contributed to its notoriety.
Parker and Hulme stood trial in Christchurch in 1954, and were found guilty on August 29 of that year. As they were too young to be considered for the death penalty under New Zealand law at the time, they were convicted and sentenced to be “detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure“. In practice, this sentence meant they were to be detained at the discretion of the Minister of Justice. They were released separately some five years later.
Parker and Hulme are not believed to have had any contact since their trial.
And I was like, “Ummm, what?!?!!?!” Would it not surprise you to learn that an author that you had assumed was normal was actually a murderer? It doesn’t change anything, I suppose, but that was definitely a weird thing to learn.