Anne Perry, a crime thriller author who was convicted of murder after one the most infamous crimes in New Zealand’s history, has died.
Perry sold over 25 million copies but only became an author after serving time in prison for helping to murder her friend’s mother. When Perry was 15, both she and Pauline Parker bludgeoned Parker’s mother, Honorah Mary Parker, to death with a brick in New Zealand.
The author served five years in prison for the crime, which took place in 1954. The motivation behind the attack was found in journals belonging to the girls. Those journals detailed the girls’ worries that they would be separated, with Perry’s parents planning a move to South Africa. They believed that Pauline Parker’s mother would get in the way of their plans for her to go to South Africa with Perry.
At the time of the murder, Perry was known as Juliet Hulme. However, she took on the name Anne Perry to support her writing career, with her first novel published in 1979. Her most famous literary works involve a police inspector called Thomas Pitt, with the last of these novels published earlier this year.
Peter Jackson dramatized the murder in the 1994 Oscar-nominated movie Heavenly Creatures. Kate Winslet starred as Hulme/Perry in the film.
Perry died in a hospital in Los Angeles in April after suffering a heart attack in December of 2022.
A statement from her agency detailing the death said: “Anne was a loyal and loving friend, and her writing was driven by her fierce commitment to raising awareness around social injustice.”
“Many readers have been moved by her empathy for people backed into impossible situations, or overwhelmed by the difficulties of life.”
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