The circumstances of this crime are unusual…

These were the words of the Crown Prosecutor, Mr A W Brown, during the opening of what might be the most notorious murder trial in Christchurch history.

Two teenage girls jointly accused of the murder of one girl's mother. A brutal and tragic death. A sinister friendship. Family secrets revealed. A rejected insanity plea. Is it any wonder Peter Jackson thought the story of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme would make a good movie?

Newspaper image of Pauline Parker and Juliet HulmeOn 22 June 1954, Pauline Parker's mother was murdered during an outing to Victoria Park. In a newspaper article in The Press the following day she is described, rather barely, as "Honora Mary Parker, aged 45, of 31 Gloucester Street".

Two months later Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme were standing trial for her murder.

Much has been written about the teenagers, the crime, and the trial but there's something very immediate about reading the newspaper reporting of the day, when the revelations that came out during the trial were new information.

You can read contemporary reportage of the trial on our Parker - Hulme page.

More information