The disturbing story of two twin sisters who spoke to no one but themselves for many years has been screened. The film was released in cinemas on 9 December.
June and Jennifer Gibbons were born in April 1963 and grew up in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.
They were taken to Broadmoor Hospital, a high-security mental hospital, when they were 19, before Jennifer died aged 30.
Marjorie Wallace, the film’s executive producer, described them as brilliant writers with a great sense of humour. For years, they spoke only to each other and, as teenagers, committed a variety of crimes, including vandalism, theft and arson, leading to their indefinite institutionalization.
These actions changed their lives causing them to spend 11 years at Broadmoor. Marjorie Wallace, investigative journalist and founder of mental health charity SANE, has spent a lot of time with the sisters over the years and still maintains a close relationship with June.
In 1993, the sisters were to be transferred to another location, but Jennifer died during the move. Although the cause of her death was never officially realized, Wallace said that she and June believed Jennifer “sacrificed herself so that June would truly be freed.”
The disturbing story of twin sisters became the subject of a movie
Marjorie Wallace is the executive producer of the new film The Silent Twins, which is based on her own book of the same name, originally published in 1986.
“I’ve never left the story, because I met June and Jennifer when they were 18 and have stuck with them ever since. In a way, their story was my story. We had our lives intertwined for 40 years,” Marjorie Wallace told the BBC.
For many years, Wallace spent weekends visiting the twins at Broadmoor and worked with them to tell their story. As he said, there were times when the visits were quite sad, but most of the time, they were genuinely enjoyable because the twins, despite everything, had a great sense of humour and even to this day, June displays the same infectious laughter.
“The real story came from their diaries, 3,000 words a day about each other and their love-hate relationship. Reading their diaries, I came to know the story of their pact and what was ultimately the tragedy of their lives. “, the journalist added.
Marjorie Wallace said the girls, from an early age, turned their bedroom into a “crucible of self-education” that she had the opportunity to go through to find their influences and inspirations. She also said their story was a “terrible” one, but believes both girls knew they couldn’t both live.
Marjorie still sees June regularly, whom she says is a wonderful person. The story of the twin sisters hits UK screens from 9 December 2022.