The ‘Heavenly Creatures’ writer and convicted murderer has passed away aged 84.

Bestselling crime writer Anne Perry has died at her Los Angeles home aged 84.

Perry was formerly known as Juliet Hulme, who was convicted in 1954 of helping to murder her friend’s mother in Christchurch. Hulme was aged just 15 when she and 16-year-old Pauline Parker murdered Pauline’s mother, Honorah Mary Parker (Rieper), in an attempt to prevent the pair’s separation.


The crime inspired Peter Jackson’s critically acclaimed film Heavenly Creatures starring Kate Winslet and Kiwi actress Melanie Lynskey in the two lead roles.

Perry’s biographer Joanne Drayton said the trial sparked salacious interest and was the first of its kind in New Zealand.

“The matricide, the betrayal of a daughter by a mother, the lesbianism — homophobia was rife and undoubtedly in the mix, it was looked at with horror and a degree of repugnance,” Drayton told Stuff.

Although many presumed the relationship between Perry and Parker was of a sexual nature, Perry denied the pair were lesbians but conceded that the relationship was ‘obsessive.’

After serving 5 years in prison, working as a flight attendant before going on to write crime novels.

Perry died in Los Angeles where she had been living in recent years, promoting film adaptations of her many works.