June and Jennifer Gibbons

By: Alix Lambert
April 11, 2012

“I am immune to sanity or insanity — I am an empty present box — all unwrapped for someone else’s disposal. I am a throw away egg-shell with no life inside me — for I am not touchable but a slave to nothingness.” Which sister said this? Or was it both of them?

Identical twin sisters JUNE and JENNIFER GIBBONS (born 1963, Jennifer died in 1993) were so inseparable that they practically fused into each other; they created their own language and spoke only with each other. At the age of 14, after years of unsuccessful pairings with therapists, the girls were separated and sent to different boarding schools, where each withdrew into a stupor. After being joyously reunited, the girls wrote several novels, including Pepsi-Cola Addict (June) and The Pugilist (Jennifer). Crime was often at the heart of their stories; they themselves also started committing crimes. During their stay at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, where they spent 14 years, they agreed that Jennifer must die for June to function in the world. Shortly after their release, Jennifer died of natural causes, apparently willing herself to do so. After that, June finally began to communicate with other people. The Gibbons twins’ story illustrates the strange bond that sometimes occurs between two people which either precludes or causes certain behaviors that otherwise would never occur for either. The chemical or spiritual mix of these two persons coming together forms an energy greater than the sum of its parts.

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On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Adriano Olivetti and Vincent Gallo.

READ MORE about men and women born on the cusp between the Original Generation X (1954-63) and the Reconstructionist (1964-73) Generations.

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Cuspers, HiLo Heroes

What do you think?

  1. There have been several reports of twins “creating their own languages,” but as far as I know none have ever turned out to be true. (The most famous case was the subject of a wonderful documentary by Jean-Pierre Gorin called “Poto and Cabengo.”) But thanks for this.

  2. Two glaring errors in the above “report”: They did not create their own language, what they did was to speak English extremely quickly and to change the emphasis on the various syllables – This phenomenon has been encountered previously where twins use their mother tongue and apparently create a language by speaking quickly, quietly and with changed emphasis on the syllables.
    Jennifer did not will herself to die as stated above, she died of natural causes.
    Please do not create myths and mysteries where there are none. The reality is far more wondrous and is actually explicable.Ignored to varrying degrees by both parents the children retreated into their own world where they felt secure and they were both diagnosed as having mental illness which may have been exacerbated by their home environment.

  3. @Mike Howell,
    I’d strongly venturous to say, their having mental illness, were exacerbated by their extremely Racist environment, in which they were exposed through-out their formative years & beyond!
    Their other family members had no history of mental illness’s

  4. Is this the actual picture of these twins? Because sometimes they use photos of actors of the twins. So are these the actual photo of the twins? and do you have more photos of them as adults?

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