Crime Author Anne Perry — Who Went to Prison for Murder as a Teen — Dies at 84

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Apr. 14 2023, Published 10:46 a.m. ET

In the 1994 film Heavenly Creatures, Kate Winslet plays a girl name Juliet Hulme who, along with her best friend, murders her friend's mother. The two friends were devastated by the fact that they were about to be separated due to Juliet's parents' impending divorce. Their friendship was rooted in a deep love for each other that soon became an obsession. They were determined to stay together, no matter the cost.

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A few months after the film's release, it was revealed that Kate Winslet's character was actually author Anne Perry (born Juliet Marion Hulme), who spent five years in prison for the 1954 murder. By this time, she had already written several books and was an active member of the Mormon church. Regarding the movie, Anne said it "seemed unfair" and negated all of her hard work. However, she continued writing up until the very end. Here's what we know about the 84-year-old author's cause of death.

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What was Anne Perry's cause of death?

According to The New York Times, Anne Perry's death was confirmed by her literary agent, who said the author's "health had declined since she had a heart attack in December." She died on April 10.

In November 2020, she was a distinguished guest of honor at the virtual edition of Bouchercon, a convention devoted to mystery fiction. During a livestreamed interview, Anne looked back on a career that spanned decades.

About being a distinguished guest of honor, Anne said it was "very nice." She added, "To be honored by anybody is important, but to be honored by other writers who know exactly what is involved, that's a big one."

Anne discussed the fact that keeping much of her stories in the past was born from respect. "In a way, you can make present-day commentary on whatever social ills you believe passionately ... if you set it back a little bit you can write it very plainly." And that's exactly what she did.

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It was that care and insight that got Anne on the 100 Masters of Crime list put out by The Times in 1998. Over a decade later, she was a recipient of a lifetime achievement award at the Agatha Awards. And yes, Agatha is a reference to prolific mystery writer Agatha Christie. It's said that people write what they know, but Anne credits her faith as the driving force behind her work.

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Anne Perry converted to the LDS church in 1967.

"I knew I was a Christian, but I couldn't be anything I'd come across," Anne told Deseret News in 1999.

At first she was resistant to their teachings because she was being too logical. Then one day, everything changed.

"I got down on my knees before I went to bed, and I asked my Father in Heaven if it was true or not, and when I woke up in the morning, the room was absolutely filled with light — and I don't mean sunlight," she said.

Strangely enough, it was scripture that moved Anne to tell her tales.

"The inspiration came from who I am," she shared. "I believe very strongly that one of the most powerful ways to reach people who do not wish to open the scriptures and who are not actively searching for something is to tell them stories. You can move people by stories, whether they wish to be moved or not."

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