The dark story of silent twins June and Jennifer Gibbons

The dark story of silent twins June and Jennifer Gibbons

Categories: Children | History | Society

The close relationship of twins with each other has been known to people since ancient times. But sometimes such dependence crosses all boundaries and becomes simply abnormal. The story of sisters June and Jennifer Gibbons is an example of such empathy, which eventually destroyed their lives and led to a tragic denouement.

The dark story of silent twins June and Jennifer Gibbons

Dark-skinned monozygotic twins June and Jennifer Gibbons were born in 1963 in Yemen. Their parents, housewives and a British Air Force serviceman, were from the Caribbean. Shortly after the birth of their daughters, the family moved to the small British town of Haverfordwest in Wales.

The dark story of silent twins June and Jennifer Gibbons

And although doctors claimed that the twins were born absolutely healthy, soon the girls' parents began to notice strange things. The sisters were very silent and communicated only with each other, ignoring other people. The older Gibbons sounded the alarm and went to the doctors. They suspected that the children were retarded in development.

But the parents were quickly reassured — June and Jennifer's intelligence was normal. The girls had no problems communicating with each other on any topics interesting to children of their age. The twins created their own language that no one else understood. This phenomenon is well known to science, and has a name — "cryptophase". Child psychologists explained that this is normal and everything will pass with age.

The dark story of silent twins June and Jennifer Gibbons

Many years later, it turned out that the sisters still communicated in their native English. One of the psychiatrists who observed the girls carefully listened to the recordings of their conversations. He determined that June and Jennifer were talking at high speed, so the words merged into an indistinct stream. An ordinary person could not make out a single word in their speech.

The Gibbons sisters' life was not easy. At school, they were the only black children, and classmates constantly bullied them. Because of this, they were even allowed to go home earlier so that other children could not offend them on the way home. This further isolated the girls from society and finally buried the hope of their socialization.

By the age of 14, the sisters' problem had become so serious that their parents decided to treat them. Several psychotherapists tried to help the girls, but did not achieve the slightest success. That's when the idea came up to separate the twins so that they could finally start communicating with others. But it was a bad idea, because after parting, June and Jennifer fell into a stupor and generally stopped reacting to the world around them. Therefore, the girls were brought together again.

The dark story of silent twins June and Jennifer Gibbons

After meeting, the sisters locked themselves in their room and talked and played for a long time. They staged puppet shows with dark plots and obviously enjoyed it. After the experiment, the twins' behavior changed. They plunged into creativity and spent hours recording on a dictaphone the stories of gloomy content they had composed. They gave these recordings to Rose's younger sister.

It seemed to everyone that the sisters were happy in their little world. But it wasn't like that. Here 's what June wrote about her feelings in her diary:

Growing up a little, the twins began to write whole novels, which were as creepy and hopeless as the stories. For example, in the work "Pepsic addict", June was told the story of a teenager seduced by a teacher. He finds himself in a correctional institution, where he is raped by a pervert warden. Jennifer's novel "The Wrestler" tells about a doctor who transplanted a dog's heart to his terminally ill child. Together with him, the vengeful spirit of the slain animal, thirsting for blood, also moves into the boy.

The Gibbons sisters have repeatedly offered their creations to various publishers. But they were repeatedly refused because of the excessive bloodlust of their prose. Having suffered a fiasco in the literary field, the twins decided to realize themselves by becoming criminals. The Gibbons twins easily found bad company in their city and began a criminal career. They stole, robbed passers-by and shops, and once committed arson.

The dark story of silent twins June and Jennifer Gibbons

In the end, the sisters were arrested and put on trial. They took into account their mental state and decided not to send them to prison, but to arrange for compulsory treatment. It was an even more terrible punishment — June and Jennifer spent the next 11 years of their lives in a closed psychiatric clinic.

The Gibbons sisters were sure that they were biased because of their lack of communication. In her diary , June wrote about it like this:

It is well known that prison—type psychiatric hospitals are far from a resort. The sisters were treated with heavy drugs that destroyed their personality. As a result of this "therapy" Jennifer developed dyskenesia. The girl was constantly repeating the same gestures with her hands.

The dark story of silent twins June and Jennifer Gibbons

Separately, it should be said that the sisters were kept in different rooms in the clinic. Despite the fact that there was a great distance between them, empathy did not disappear. Doctors noticed that the Gibbons twins unmistakably repeat each other's poses. There was no scientific explanation for this synchronicity. When the sisters managed to meet and communicate, they animatedly discussed one problem. They decided which of them should die in order to free their sister for a normal life. In the end, Jennifer agreed to sacrifice herself.

The Gibbons sisters had only one friend in their entire lives. It was the Guardian journalist Marjorie Wallace. The twins shared their idea of death with her. Wallace recalled that there was an agreement between them — as soon as one of the sisters dies, the second one undertakes to start communicating with people and try to live a normal life.

The tragedy occurred during the move to another clinic. The day before, Jennifer met with a journalist and told her that she was going to die. When asked why this is necessary, she replied: "Because that's what we decided." During the move, Jennifer Gibbons put her head on her sister's lap and seemed to fall asleep. But when the bus arrived at the place, it turned out that she was dead.

The dark story of silent twins June and Jennifer Gibbons

The autopsy showed that there were no signs of poisoning or injuries on Jennifer's body. In the conclusion of the death, the expert wrote that the girl died of myocarditis — inflammation of the heart muscle. She was only 30 years old. Immediately after her sister 's death , a joyful entry appeared in June 's diary:

It must be said that June fulfilled their agreement with her sister. After leaving the hospital, she made every effort to become a full-fledged member of society. In 2008, a woman settled near her parents in West Wales. The doctors recognized her as healthy, and the neighbors did not notice any oddities behind her.

The dark story of silent twins June and Jennifer Gibbons

In 2016, the twins' older sister Greta, in an interview, accused the clinic where June and Jennifer had been treated for many years of driving them to suicide. She said that cruelty and improper treatment led to the suffering of patients and their family members. Greta even tried to sue the doctors, but her parents did not support this idea. They believed that their daughter could not be returned anyway, and they considered revenge to be stupidity.

The story of the Gibbons twins has become one of the most mysterious pages of modern psychiatry. Many articles and books have been written about them, and even a two-part film "The Silent Twins" ("The Silent Twins") was shot.

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