My interest has always been piqued by the colourful stories of ghouls and creepy experiences; especially when they hit close to home.
From the legend of the Chase vault, to the tales of the Steel Donkey, Heart Man and many more, ask and I’ve probably heard about it but this story was something completely new and bone chilling…
I’m referring to the story of twin girls from Barbados but raised in Wales named June and Jennifer Gibbons who were also known as ‘The Silent Twins’ because they never spoke to anyone besides each other and their younger sibling, Rose.
When they did speak to each other in public, it was usually in an incomprehensible patois that only the twins understood. As they grew older they became more and more haunted by the existence of the other.
As they only black children at their Welsh school, they were teased and bullied so badly, that administration allowed them go home early. This only made their unhealthy bond stronger. So at the age of 14 after several unsuccessful therapy sessions, the two were sent to separate boarding schools. However, they became even more withdrawn, forcing authorities to reunite them shortly after.
It was then, in 1979, that the pair started writing. Crime novels set primarily in California and other exotic locations unlike their sleepy Welsh town, featured …let’s just say.. imaginative and creative story lines.
In June’s Pepsi-Cola Addict, the high-school hero was seduced by a teacher, then sent away to a reformatory where a homosexual guard makes a play for him.
In Jennifer’s The Pugilist, a physician is so eager to save his child’s life that he kills the family dog to obtain its heart for a transplant. The dog’s spirit lives on in the child and ultimately has its revenge against the father.
Discomania, also by Jennifer, is about a young woman who discovers that the atmosphere of a local disco incites patrons to insane violence.
You get the idea…
Eventually they turned to committing violent crimes until finally they were institutionalised at Broadmoor Hospital for 14 years. Their tumultuous relationship continued even after they finally made a connection with another person, a reporter named Marjarie Wallace who published a story called “Genius Twins Won’t Speak” in The Sunday Times. The title of the article was an apparent reference to their having tested above average intelligence when being considered for Broadmoor Hospital.
Then suddenly, one day they announced that for one to live the other must die and they had already decided on which one it would be.
In March 1993, Jennifer dies from unexplained inflammation of the heart on exactly the day that they said she would. June is reported as saying she felt relieved that her sister who she had once described as the “dark shadow robbing me of sunlight” had finally given up her life for her but sad that the person closest to her was gone.
There were no drugs found in Jennifer’s system and to this day her death remains a mystery.
Bet you’re thinking ‘Oh, Really? Fanciful exaggerations.’
Well, stranger things have happened …