Anne Perry, formerly known as Juliet Hulme and inspiration for Heavenly Creatures, dies aged 87

Anne Perry, formerly known as Juliet Hulme, who along with Pauline Parker was jailed for the notorious murder of Parker's mother in Christchurch's Port Hills - has died, aged 84.

As a 15-year-old she and 16-year-old Pauline Parker repeatedly struck Pauline's mother Honara, with a brick, in Christchurch in 1954, to prevent the friends being separated.

The murder later became the subject of Peter Jackson's film, Heavenly Creatures.

They spent five years in jail.

As a condition of her release from prison, Hulme changed her name to Anne Perry, before moving to the UK where she forged a career as the prolific writer of best selling crime novels.

Perry was the subject of a biography by New Zealand writer, Joanne Drayton who told Morning Report she really changed the trajectory of her life after doing "possibly the worst thing you could do".

Perry went on to greatly contribute to the world and was remorseful, Drayton said.

"She was one of those defining characters where there is some redemption and effort to moving on and finding something.

"I think the big thing was purposeful, I think she wanted to live a purposeful life to...realise the dreams she had before that event."

Perry wrote over 120 books, most which revolved around murders and detectives, she said.

A devout Mormon, Drayton believes religion gave Perry a sense of redemption in the afterlife.

Perry was released on the condition that she had a new identity, it wasn't something she chose, Drayton said.

She lived a quiet life in a Scottish village and was revealed as Hulme in 1994 on the eve of the release of Heavenly Creatures.

When she was outed it "blew her world apart".

"She was a middle 50s Mormon lady, twinset and pearls, kind of really your maiden aunt and all of a sudden that whole ground of identity was whipped away from her. She felt resentful from that but she also discovered through the fallout that people really loved her for was a sort of rebirthing of the real person that she was."