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Heavenly Creatures

F.A.Q

3.2.7 Perry, Anne

After leaving New Zealand in 1959, first for a stopover in Sydney, Australia and then for her destination in the UK, Juliet Hulme became Anne Perry, a fact revealed in 1994. Her new surname was taken from her mother, H Marion Perry and her stepfather, Walter (Bill) Perry. Ms Perry lived with Walter and H Marion Perry for several years on her return to England. A detailed 'official' biography of Anne Perry is given in section 7.10.2. Anne Perry held a variety of jobs in England in the early 60s. She was a flight attendant on domestic UK flights and lived and worked in Newcastle, in the north-east corner of England, for a time. Then, in 1967, Anne Perry was at last granted a visa to live and work in the United States. She made a complete admission of her past to US Immigration authorities, who reviewed the transcript of her trial before granting her a visa. It is not known if her father, Henry Hulme, played any role in securing his daughter's visa, though it is almost certain that he would have been consulted because of the sensitive nature of his high- security position at the time. So, finally, thirteen years after dreaming about escaping to California with Pauline Parker, Anne Perry came to San Fransisco in the Summer of Love. She was 29 in 1967. While living in San Francisco, Anne Perry was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by an acquaintance, and she became a Mormon. She made a complete disclosure of her identity and her past to the Church, which welcomed her warmly. Ms Perry has written on the history of the Mormon Church in the UK. Anne Perry eventually moved to Los Angeles and worked, among other jobs, as an Underwriter by day, while writing at night. She was not able to sell any of her writing. She stuck it out for several years in LA, in a variety of jobs, until she decided she had had enough. She eventually moved back to the UK in the early 1970s. Back in the UK Anne Perry continued writing for several very lean years with no commercial success. During that time, it appears as if Anne Perry and her father, Henry Hulme, finally reconciled (see 7.10.2.1). Anne Perry's first novel, "The Cater Street Hangman," was accepted for publication and then published in 1979. Prior to this, she had written several works of historical fiction but had never managed to sell them. By moving into the Victorian era, and the genre of the murder mystery, Ms Perry had at last hit upon a commercial product. Since that time she has worked at a furious pace to build up her reputation, and her readership, to its present level of success. Ms Perry just published her twentieth novel, "Traitors Gate," and has just completed (March '95) a book tour of North America. Anne Perry now lives a mile from her mother on the eastern coast of Scotland, in a huge renovated stone barn overlooking the sea. She has three dogs and two cats and a neighbour who raises pigs. Her community is a small, close-knit one. Ms Perry never married, though she says she came close to it, a couple of times.

** Who made the connection between Anne Perry and Juliet Hulme?
Investigative reporter Lin Ferguson of Sunday News (NZ) revealed in July 1994, when "Heavenly Creatures" was playing in film festivals, that Juliet Hulme's present identity was Anne Perry. Although filmmakers Walsh and Jackson were aware of the rumours surrounding Juliet Hulme's identity and whereabouts, and their extensive research and attention to known detail actually put many clues to Juliet's new identity into the film, the film was careful not to include the new rumors or explicit statements which would have identified Ms Perry, or Pauline Parker. After apparently overhearing a comment made by a New Zealand friend of Anne Perry, Ferguson took up Juliet's trail with "Mr Walter Perry," the engineer/lodger/lover featured in "Heavenly Creatures," and the knowledge that the girls had had a burning desire to become published authors. Searching "Contemporary Authors" (see 7.10.2), Ferguson quickly found an author who listed Walter Perry, an engineer, as her father, and Juliet Hulme's birth date as her own. Phone calls to Meg Davis, Ms Perry's literary agent in London, led to Perry's acknowledgement that she was Juliet Hulme (see 7.8).


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