Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

They made a num­ber of at­tempts to gain their re­lease – even ap­par­ently writ­ing to the Queen – but their ap­pli­ca­tions were al­ways re­jected.

More than a decade would pass in­side the se­cure hos­pi­tal, and in lat­ter years the pair did ap­par­ently be­ing to talk a lit­tle to hos­pi­tal staff.

An en­try in Jen­nifer’s di­ary’s reads: “What a sense­less de­grad­ing havoc I have made of my poor sweet hu­man life.”

How­ever de­spite their co­pi­ous di­ary en­tries, they were heav­ily medi- cated at Broad­moor and their cre­ative writ­ing – their po­etry and short story writ­ing – dwin­dled.

Even­tu­ally in 1993 the de­ci­sion was taken to move them to medi­um­se­cu­rity unit closer to home – the Caswell Clinic at Glan­rhyd Hos­pi­tal in Brid­gend.

On the morn­ing of March 9 they boarded a van from Berk­shire but on ar­rival Jen­nifer was noted to be phys­i­cally weak and un­well.

She was rushed to the Princess of Wales Hos­pi­tal, Brid­gend, but died at 6.30pm that evening.

A post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion re­vealed an un­di­ag­nosed my­ocardi­tis, in­flam­ma­tion of the heart. She was 29 years old.

June re­mained at the Caswell for a year fol­low­ing her sis­ter’s death be­fore re­turn­ing to West Wales where she tried to re­build her life.

Wal­lace be­lieves that, dur­ing their stay in hos­pi­tal, they be­gan to be­lieve that in or­der for one of them to be free the other must die.

She wrote that when she had in­ter­viewed them in Broad­moor, Jen­nifer calmly stated that she had de­cided to die so that June could live a nor­mal life.

She said: “I don’t think there is re­ally an ex­pla­na­tion for that ex­cept Jen­nifer will­ing her­self to die. Af­ter I learned about Jen­nifer’s death – it was about two or three days later – I went down to visit June.

“And I found her sur­pris­ingly in­tact, re­ally, and very pre­pared to talk. She spoke very clearly about the con­flict be­tween her ter­ri­ble grief at los­ing the per­son clos­est in her life and her – the free­dom that Jen­nifer had given her.”

Jen­nifer is now buried un­der a head­stone en­graved with a poem writ­ten by June. It reads: ‘ We once were two/We two made one/We no more two/Through life be one/Rest in peace.’

An ex­traor­di­nary and com­plex life no doubt, and one from the out­side – and per­haps from the in­side too – that is hard to un­der­stand. A life of a sis­terly bonds, of love and hate, of iso­la­tion, imag­i­na­tion, words, and sad­ness.

The story of the “silent twins” would later in­spire the Man­ics’ song Tsunami on their al­bum This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours.

The words of the open­ing verse read: “For you my dear sis­ter Hold­ing onto me for­ever Disco danc­ing with the rapists Your only crime is si­lence.”


Chief ex­ec­u­tive of Sane Mar­jorie Wal­lace with the late Jen­nifer Gib­bons, left, and her twin June, dur­ing a visit to Broad­moor. Jen­nifer died aged 29

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