Anne Perry, whose crime writing was shadowed by her role in a murder that was spotlighted in Peter Jackson’s 1994 film, Heavenly Creatures, has died at 84.
Perry died in a Los Angeles hospital, her agent Meg Davis confirmed. She had been in steady decline since suffering a heart attack in December, Davis said.
The author served five years in prison starting when she was 15 for bludgeoning Honoah Mary Parker, her best friend’s mother. She was then known as Juliet Hulme, later adopting a pen name in her writing career. The crime happened n Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1954, and involved the two friends plotting the murder. The details were later discovered in journals the police found.
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Perry’s first novel, The Cater Street Hangman, arrived in 1979. It was the start of a career that saw her churn out mor ethan 100 mysteries and thrillers, selling more than 26 million copies worldwide. She won an Edgar Award in 2000, and was named one of the “100 Masters of Crime” by the Times of London.
The 1994 drama by Jackson starred Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey (both making their feature film debuts) as the teenage murderers. The film explored the relationship of the teens, culminating in the 1954 murder.
The film won the Silver Lion film at the 1994 Venice International Film Festival. It was later Oscar nominated for Best Original Screenplay.
No information on Perry’s survivors was immediately available.
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