It’s a story that seems more at home in a psychological horror film than in the real world, and first hand accounts of the events involved feel unsettlingly removed from reality. But the lives of June and Jennifer Gibbons are a matter of record. Weird, weird record.
They were born on April 11th, 1963, the twin daughters of Carribean immigrants. At age 11, they moved to the town of Haverfordwest in Wales. Already exhibiting an unusual withdrawal from the people surrounding them, the sisters became more and more dependent on one another, reportedly speaking only to each other, according to NPR. They utilized a private language unintelligible to outside observers. In their private time, however, they were voracious writers, penning entire novels about strange characters and unsettling crimes.
Shortly after graduating from high school, seemingly without warning, June and Jennifer began a small arson spree around their hometown. Their resulting conviction led to their incarceration at Broadmoor Hospital, a high security asylum. Unsurprisingly, this change of scenery didn’t make the continuing story of the Silent Twins any less bizarre.
British asylums, where stories don't get less creepy
Held for more than a decade, the Gibbons twins reportedly showed an altogether ooky series of behaviors. Locked away on opposite ends of the hospital, they would apparently freeze in the same pose, eat on alternating days, and, presumably, invite visitors to come and play with them, forever and ever.
During this time, the one person who managed to get through to the sisters was a journalist, Marjorie Wallace, who worked for The Sunday Times. During her weekly visits with the twins, she built a rapport with them. They laughed together. As time went on, however, she noticed an upsetting trend. The sisters’ writings turned acrimonious. Each described the other as a deadly enemy.
Just before they were set to be transferred to a lower security facility, the twins told Wallace that one of them, Jennifer, needed to die in order for the other to live a normal life. Then, en route to their new digs, she did exactly that — during the drive, without warning, Jennifer went into a coma. She died of inflammation of the heart, not long after. Her death is still a mystery, as no signs of physical distress or poison were found.
Anyway, pleasant dreams.
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