Jennifer and June Gibbons were born on April 11, 1963, in Yemen. Soon after, the Gibbons family moved to Wales in a predominantly white neighborhood, with them being the only people of color. When the twins went to school, they were bullied because they had speech impediments. Kids would bully them for the color of their skin. The twins were being bullied so badly that they were let out earlier than the rest of the students.
The two girls were already very shy, and being made fun of for the way they spoke caused the girls to retreat and stop talking to anyone outside their family. The two girls made up their own ‘language’, which was actually sped up English and a mix of some other languages. The two girls spoke so fast that their words were unintelligible.
This caused them to have trouble in school so they had a special needs teacher pull them aside to help the two. Cathy Author, the girls’ teacher, hid voice recorders and cameras in the class wanting to catch the girls speaking. When she slowed it down she could understand the girls clearly.
The two girls were so dependent on each other because they only spoke to one another. This caused a love-hate relationship between them. They had to do everything together in unison. They ate at the same speed and walked the same speed. They would do everything very slowly.
Eventually, the twins decided they needed to separate and become their own people. They went to separate boarding schools and had no way of contacting each other. While there, the girls wouldn’t eat, sleep, or move and just stayed in one spot not moving or doing anything other than cry. The girls were brought back together, which helped them with the problems that they were going through.
The twins stopped going to school after that. They stayed in their bedroom and only spoke to their sister, Rose until she moved out of the room. They wouldn’t eat unless the food was placed outside the bedroom door. The girls didn’t leave for years until two boys caught their attention. They finally left the bedroom after two years of self-isolation. They did drugs, drank and committed petty crimes until they decided to do something more extreme. They set a building on fire.
After they were caught, they were sent to Broadmoor, a hospital for the criminally insane. The girls were at Broadmoor for over a decade. While they were there, some odd things happened. They would be in their separate rooms with no way to contact one another and the nurses would find them in the same positions. They would switch off-on eating; one would starve herself while the other ate.
While they were there, a reporter started visiting on weekends for some tea. On one of their last days at Broadmoore, Jennifer said, “Marjorie, I’m gonna have to die.”
The twins have had a hate-love relationship all their lives. They hated being together because they did everything in a slow manner and weren’t ‘normal’, but they also couldn’t be apart. The solution the girls came up with was that one would have to die.
June and Jennifer were about to be released and admitted into Caswell Clinic and then released to the real world. Marjorie Wallace, the reporter, was shocked considering that both the girls were healthy and getting better.
The day that June and Jennifer were being transferred, Jennifer laid her head on Junes shoulder and closed her eyes. Apparently she fell into a coma because of swelling around her heart and passed that night. Jennifers last words were, “at last, we’re free.”
Jennifer’s heart shouldn’t have swelled up, there was no cause, she just died. June went on to live a long, happy life after the death of her twin sister.