The Parker-Hulme murders: Why they still matter to us

The grisly killing of Honorah Parker in 1954 by her daughter Pauline and her friend Juliet Hulme in a Christchurch park remains one of New Zealand’s most notorious murders. Abby Gillies of APNZ examines the teenagers’ actions in light of modern psychiatry and why the case still holds such fascination.

More than 50 years on from what is arguably New Zealand’s most famous murder, the Parker and Hulme case and the lives of the two girls convicted of the grisly murder continue to generate intense interest.

Juliet Hulme, 15, and Pauline Parker, 16, were two friends who conspired to kill Pauline’s mother Honorah because they believed she would force them apart by not letting her daughter join Juliet, who was leaving the country with her parents.

On the afternoon of June 22, 1954, the girls lured Honorah to Victoria Park in Christchurch’s Port Hills, under the pretence of a walk. Down a secluded path, they bashed her to death by hitting her more than 20 times with a half-brick inside a stocking.

In a murder case that transfixed the nation, the girls were arrested for murder and tried in the Supreme Court of New Zealand in Christchurch.

They were found guilty and sent to separate prisons.

After 5 1/2 years, in November 1959, they were released – free to start a new lives under new identities.

While it is a common belief that the girls were to never communicate again as a condition of their release, this is untrue.

Read the rest at The NZ Herald.

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