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On the morning of June 22, 1954, Honora Rieper had gone for a stroll through Victoria Park in Christchurch, New Zealand. Accompanied by her 15-year-old daughter, Pauline Parker, and her daughter’s teenage friend,Juliet Hulme, she had no idea that this would be the last walk she would ever take. About 130 meters down the path, in a wooded area, Juliet deliberately dropped an ornamental stone. As Honora leaned over to pick it up, the girls began bludgeoning her with half a brick wrapped in a stocking. It took up to twenty blows to successfully kill her. The pair quickly disposed of the murder weapon in the woods and fled to the tea kiosk, where they’d eaten just minutes prior, and were met with the owner of the shop. They promptly came up with a story that Pauline’s mother had fallen and hit her head, but when police came across Honora’s mangled corpse and the murder weapon, it was evident that this was clearly a murder. Pauline and Juliet were arrested. It was discovered that Juliet and Pauline had developed a freakishly close friendship in which they formed an elaborate fantasy life together, often sneaking out to see each other and act out stories with fictional characters that they created. Their parents found their behavior disturbing, and feared their relationship was sexual, even though Juliet would later state that while their relationship was obsessive, it was platonic. When Juliet’s parents divorced that year, they planned to send her to live with relatives in South Africa, partly so that she could be separated from Pauline for good. That was when the girls plotted to murder Pauline’s mother and leave the country for Hollywood or New York City. 

Since the girls were too young to be given the death penalty, they each only spent five years in prison for the cold-blooded murder. Upon Juliet’s release, she legally changed her name to Anne Perry and moved to the U.S., where she became a successful historical novelist. 

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Originally posted 2017-12-12 05:04:14.