As an author myself, one piece of advice I’ve always gotten was to write what I know. There are some authors, however, that have taken that advice to heart in dark and murderous ways. As much as I love writing, and sometimes some very dark themes, I don’t think I have the level of committment to my crafy that these authors have!
One such author is Britsh author Anne Perry, born Juliet Hulme. Now a prolific writer of primarily historical detective fiction, she previously spent five years in prison for the murder of her best friend’s mother in June of 1954. At the time of the murder, Hulme/Perry was only 15, living in New Zealand. Her parents were on the verge of divorce and her move to South Africa was impending. Hulme/Perry’s mother says Pauline Parker, Hulme/Perry’s best friend, can go with her, but the two girls are convinced Pauline’s mother won’t agree. Not wanting to be separated, they hatched a plan to kill Pauline’s mother. It took more than 20 blows with a stone to kill her.
When they were convicted a few months later, the death penalty was not a possibility, New Zealand law holding that they were too young for that to be considered. Purportedly, the two have not had any contact since the trial.Gillies, Abby. “The Parker-Hulme Murder: Why It Still Matters to Us.” New Zealand Herald, 13 Nov. 2011, New Zealand Herald, … Continue reading
After her release, Perry, still using her birth name, worked as a flight attendant in England, later living in the United States for a few years. Later, she moved back to the UK, settling in Scotland to live with her mother. There she changed her name, using her stepfather’s surname as her own, and began a new career… writing. Her first book was published in 1979. Now in her early 80s, she lives in LA, still writing and promoting movies based on her novels.Hill, Emily. “Kiwi Killer Anne Perry Leaves Scotland Hideaway for Hollywood.” New Zealand Herald, 4 June 2017, New Zealand Herald, … Continue reading
Ironically, it was Hollywood that revealed her secret to the world, that well-known author Anne Perry was Juliet Hulme. It was in 1994, just a few months after the movie Heavenly Creatures came out, directed by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame. The movie was based on the murder, starring Melanie Lynskey as Pauline and Kate Winslet as Juliet.
All in all, it seems darkly prophetic that Juliet Hulme, aka Anne Perry, became an author of books involving crime.