The Silent Twins Who Refused To Speak With Anyone Until One Of Them Died

“The Silent Twins” Who Refused To Speak With Anyone Until One Of Them Died!

June and Jennifer Gibbons, known as “The Silent Twins,” shared a unique bond that puzzled many. For over three decades, they communicated just with each other, using a special language only they understood and none of the others did. The twins suffered the condition of selective mutism and it didn’t stop. They did some petty crimes while experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

Well, the story gets more weird. The twins even made a secret pact where one had to eventually sacrifice their life for the other. Honoring this odd pact, Jennifer Gibbons passed away for her sister and the roots of her death remained a mystery. To everyone’s surprise, June finally started talking to outsiders. June’s response to her sister’s death was cold and unexpected. Let’s have a detailed look at their story.

Early Life of Twins: Isolation & Bullying!

June and Jennifer Gibbons were born on April 11, 1963, in a military hospital in Aden, Yemen. They were born to Caribbean immigrants Gloria and Aubrey Gibbons. The family moved to the UK in the early 1960s as part of the Windrush generation. They settled in Haverfordwest, Wales, in 1974. As the only black children in their community, the twins faced social isolation and bullying, which led them to flee further into their own world.

The twins developed a sped-up Bajan Creole language, that only they understood. Others couldn’t understand, not even their parents.

“We had a speech impediment. Our parents couldn’t understand a word that we were saying, nobody understood – so we stopped talking.”

June later explained.

Their unique language and mirrored behaviors (known as idioglossia and cryptophasia) only worsened their isolation. They spoke to no one except each other and their younger sister Rose. Despite attending school, they refused to read or write, and their behavior became increasingly reserved.

Image source: X (previously known as Twitter) / 91.3 WYEP

Criminal Behavior and Strange Writing!

In their isolation, June and Jennifer found comfort in creative expression. They spent years creating detailed plays with dolls and writing stories, plays, and novels. Getting inspired by gift diaries received on Christmas 1979, they took a mail-order creative writing course. Their works often featured strange and criminal behavior, such as June’s novel “The Pepsi-Cola Addict.”

However, their creativity did not stop them from committing criminal activities. In their late teens, they committed vandalism, petty theft, and arson. They even led to their indefinite detention at the Broadmoor Hospital.

“Juvenile delinquents get 1 million years in prison… We got twelve years of hell because we didn’t speak… We lost hope, really.”

June reflected on their punishment.
Image source: Financial Times

Life in Broadmoor Hospital

The twins’ life at Broadmoor was harsh. They were placed on high doses of antipsychotic medications, which affected their concentration. It even caused Jennifer to develop tardive dyskinesia. Despite this, they continued their diaries and joined the hospital choir. Journalist Marjorie Wallace of The Sunday Times brought their story to light, leading to the publication of her book “The Silent Twins.”

Image source: The New Yorker

The Death of Jennifer Gibbons: “Free at last”!

June and Jennifer had a bizarre pact. If one died, the other would live a normal life. During their stay at Broadmoor, they believed that one had to die for the ‘other to be free.’ Jennifer agreed to make the sacrifice. In March 1993, during their transfer to the Caswell Clinic, Jennifer suddenly fell ill. Upon their arrival at the clinic, Jennifer died from acute myocarditis. Surprisingly, there was no evidence of drugs, poison, or what might have caused it.

“I’m free at last, liberated, and at last Jennifer has given up her life for me.”

June described Jennifer’s death as a liberation, saying.

After Jennifer’s death, June slowly integrated into society, more importantly speaking and giving interviews. She eventually lived a quiet life near her parents in West Wales.

Image source: BBC

Aftermath and Legacy

June’s life after Jennifer’s death was marked by interviews with various publications and a gradual return to normalcy. The story of the Silent Twins continued to captivate the public, inspiring television dramas, documentaries, plays, songs, and films.


The story of June and Jennifer Gibbons is a profound exploration of human psychology, the effects of isolation, and the power of sibling bonds. Their selective mutism and creative expressions, combined with the tragic sacrifice of one twin, continue to intrigue and inspire. For those interested in delving deeper, there are numerous books, documentaries, and articles that offer a closer look at the enigmatic lives of the Silent Twins.

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