12 Scary Facts About Teenage Murderers Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme

True Crime Lists T

The case of two teenage girls, Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, who fell in love, created their own religion, entered a parallel dimension called The Fourth World, then carried out the premeditated murder of one of their mothers.

This and NINETEEN other stories can be found in Bizarre True Crime Volume #12

A Teenage Murder Plot

In Christchurch, New Zealand, on 22nd June 1954, an event took place that changed the landscape of the city. Honora Rieper fell victim to a murderous plot by her teenage daughter, Pauline Parker, and Pauline’s close friend and lover, Juliet Hulme.

At the time, Parker was only 16, and Hulme was 15. Their story has since inspired plays, novels, non-fiction books, and films, including Peter Jackson’s 1994 film, Heavenly Creatures and the French drama Don’t Deliver Us from Evil, along with countless copycat films.

Read the full story in Bizarre True Crime Volume #12

Bizarre True Crime Volume #12

They Were From Different Worlds

Pauline met London-born Juliet when they were both in their early teens. Parker came from a working-class background, with her parents working as part-time house staff and gardeners at a university.

Her father, Herbert Rieper, and her mother, Honora, lived together but were not married – a fact that was only revealed during the subsequent trial.

Juliet had immigrated to New Zealand with her parents in 1948. The girls met each other when they attended Christchurch Girls’ High School.

Their friendship seemed to be an unlikely one as they were both from very different backgrounds and different classes.

Dangerous Obsession

Before long, the girls became obsessed with one another, which caused their parents to worry about the nature of their relationship.

But the families continued to allow the girls to see each other, and Pauline was often welcomed at the Hulme family home for overnights and holidays.

The girls unusually romanticised the idea of being sick, as not only did it bond them, but it also separated them from their peers.

Their obsession with one another would soon become dangerous and ultimately end in murder.

12 Scary Facts About Teenage Murderers Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme
Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme. (left to right)

A New Version Of Heaven

Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme invented their own religion, complete with their own moral code, and rejected Christianity in favour of worshipping their own saints.

They envisioned a parallel dimension called The Fourth World – their version of Heaven – which they believed they could access during moments of spiritual enlightenment.

Their friendship had enabled them to achieve what they believed was a high level of spiritual awakening.

It was initially seen as something the girls had in common but little did their families know of the horrors The Fourth World was about to bring to them.

Family Split Sent Them Down A Path To Murder

In 1954, Juliet’s parents separated, and her family planned to return to England. However, it was decided that Juliet would be sent to live with relatives in South Africa.

Devastated by their impending separation, the girls plotted for Pauline to join Juliet in South Africa. But they had only one problem, both girls believed that Pauline’s mother, Honora, would never let her go.

The girls saw no other way out and hatched a plan to murder Pauline’s mother, hoping to eliminate the perceived obstacle to their future together.

Murder In The Park

On the afternoon of 22nd June 1954, the girls went on a seemingly innocent walk with Honora, through Victoria Park in Christchurch.

As they passed a wooded area near a small bridge, the girls attacked Honora and beat her with half of a brick enclosed in an old stocking.

Covered in blood, they ran back to a café and acted scared and panicked, crying for help. Pauline cried out, “please help us, Mummy is hurt, covered in blood.

Their Story Fell Apart Quickly

They claimed Honora had taken an almighty fall and hit her head. However, she had major lacerations to her head, neck, and face, as well as minor injuries to her fingers.

When police arrived, they could tell immediately that the attack was the result of more than a fall.

They found the stocking with the brick still inside, in the nearby woods, and the girls’ story of the accident quickly fell apart.

They Committed Premeditated Murder

Within hours, both girls were arrested and charged with the attack. Honora died the next day having suffered more than 20 blows to the head.

Faced with the facts, both girls made a full confession and admitted they had bludgeoned her to death with the brick.

Pauline’s diary was crucial evidence, revealing that the death of her mother was premeditated. In her writings, she described their intentions to end Honora’s life and stage it as an accident.

Read the full story in Bizarre True Crime Volume #12

Too Young For The Death Penalty

On 28th August 1954, Pauline and Juliet were convicted, and since they were too young for the death penalty, they were each sentenced to five years in prison.

Juliet’s release was unconditional, and she immediately rejoined her father in Italy, while Pauline was placed on six months’ parole in New Zealand.

Pauline Parker’s Life Beyond Murder

Upon her release, Pauline adopted the identity of Hilary Nathan and spent some time in New Zealand under close surveillance before being allowed to leave for England.

By 1992, she was living in Strood, Kent, running a children’s riding school. Though she never spoke to the press, her sister shared a 1996 statement expressing deep remorse for the murder.

Her sister added that Pauline had spent 40 years making amends by keeping away from others and living a quiet life.

Juliet Hulme’s Life Beyond Murder

Juliet moved back to England where she became a successful historical detective novelist under the name Anne Perry.

Her new identity remained relatively unknown until 1994. Juliet or Anne, passed away of a heart attack aged 84 on 11th April 2023, six years after moving to Los Angeles.

The Story in Film

The story of the murder has been adapted in various films.

This included the previously banned 1971 French film Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal (Don’t Deliver Us From Evil).

Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal (Don't Deliver Us From Evil) film poster banned
Film poster for ‘Don’t Deliver Us From Evil’. Both actresses in the lead roles were aged 20 and 21 at the time of filming.

The most famous film based on the real-life story of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme is Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures (1994).

Perry’s identity was publicly revealed shortly after Heavenly Creatures was releases.

Read the full story in Bizarre True Crime Volume #12

Bizarre True Crime Volume #12

READ NEXT: 12 Scary Facts About the Deaths of Dutch Hikers Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon in Panama

Help share the article

Response (1)
  1. […] Not So Heavenly Creatures: The case of two teenage girls who fell in love, created their own religion, entered a parallel dimension called The Fourth World, then carried out the premeditated murder of one of their mothers. Read a preview! […]

Leave a comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. There's a lot more the Italian authorities are not releasing over this case. Makes you wonder the extent of the…