Monozygotic twins, better known as identical twins, are the result of one zygote splitting into two embryos. Besides looking almost identical, monozygotic twins have near-identical DNA. As they grow up, identical twins have a tendency to do things together and are less likely to fight with each other than fraternal siblings. However, some twins take their bond too far and do some horrible things together.
10Gerald And Jared Smith
Around 4:00 AM on June 30, 2014, in Fresno, California, a 35-year-old woman was beaten by two 18-year-old twins named Gerald and Jared Smith. A passerby, 49-year-old Nathan Halsted, came upon the scene while riding his bike, and he tried to intervene. That’s when the twins turned their attention to Halsted. Over the course of five minutes, the twins beat and kicked Halsted unconscious.
A car arrived on the scene, and the driver tried to stop Halsted’s beating. The Smith twins left the 49-year-old lying in the road and attacked the driver. A second car came down the road and, swerving to avoid Halsted’s bike, instead hit Halsted, who was lying in the lane. After Halsted was run over, the Smith boys fled the scene.
One of the two drivers had noticed that one of the twins had touched the hood of the car during their violent spree. Fingerprints were lifted and the police identified the culprit as Gerald Smith. The twins were picked up a short time later. Gerald and Jared Smith are currently awaiting trial. The driver that ran over Halsted was not charged.
9Betty Wilson And Peggy Lowe
On May 22, 1998, ophthalmologist Jack Wilson walked into his home in Huntsville, Alabama, and found an intruder in the house. The intruder attacked Jack with an aluminum baseball bat and then stabbed him twice. Sadly, Jack Wilson didn’t survive the assault. The people of Huntsville thought it was a robbery that had gone horribly wrong, seeing as 55-year-old Jack was a well-liked and respected figure in the community. A week after the deadly home invasion, James White, a 41-year-old carpenter who lived 241 kilometers (150 mi) away, was arrested and charged with Wilson’s murder. Three days after that arrest, Betty Wilson (the victim’s wife), and her twin sister Peggy Lowe were also arrested and charged with his murder.
In White’s confession, he said that he and Peggy Lowe were having an affair. Peggy was married and wasn’t planning on leaving her husband, but hoped that something would just “happen to him.” In response, White said that he could take care of “the problem.” Peggy didn’t take him up on the offer for herself, but said her twin sister, Betty, was in a similar situation and wanted something to happen to her husband. White agreed to make it happen. He said he was given $2,500 before the killing plus $300 in expenses, and he was promised $2,500 after the murder.
Betty Wilson and White were convicted for the murder and given life sentences and Peggy Lowe was acquitted. She claims that both she and her sister are innocent. She said she knew White, but denied the affair. She also said that White was mentally ill after serving in Vietnam and that he just happened to randomly kill her brother-in-law who lived in a different city so far away from his home.
8Gretchen Graham And Gloria Franklin
On December 11, 1989, in Wolverine Lake, Michigan, 28-year-old Gretchen Graham and her twin sister, Gloria Franklin, were spending time together in Gretchen’s home, watching her four-year-old son, Shawn Michael Graham. The boy started misbehaving, and so the sisters locked him in a bedroom. Somehow, while Shawn was locked in the bedroom, he managed to start a fire. When the fire broke out, neither sister tried to free him, nor did they call for help. As a result of their inaction, Shawn died in the fire.
The mother and sister were arrested. In December 1991, almost two years to the day after the deadly blaze, they pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and received sentences of 8 to 40 years in prison. The lawyers for both women said that the twins shouldn’t have been held responsible for the death because both of them had limited mental ability.
7Darlene Phillips And Delores Christianson
On April 1, 1990, 85-year-old Walter Gibbs was found dead in his home in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Originally, the death was ruled natural. A year later, however, police were told that Darlene Phillips, a 46-year-old woman in prison, was bragging about murdering Gibbs. Darlene, who had married and divorced Gibbs twice, was serving a 50-year sentence for trying to kill Gibbs by burning down his house while he slept on the couch just months before he died. She was sentenced to four months after Gibbs’s death.
Police exhumed Gibbs’s body and concluded that he was murdered. They suspected Darlene’s husband, Jerome Phillips. Jerome confessed that he smothered Gibbs with a pillow while Darlene held his legs down. Jerome also said that Darlene’s twin sister, Delores Christianson, sat in the other room while the deed was being done. It turned out that Delores had also married Gibbs twice. Delores first married him when she was 18. Their marriage ended after 10 years, and then Darlene married Gibbs. After they divorced, Gibbs went through another round of marriage with each twin.
As for why the twins wanted Gibbs dead, it was because Delores was the beneficiary of his will. Dolores, Darlene, and Phillips were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Darlene was convicted and was given a life sentence, while Delores was acquitted.
6Donte And Dante Hall
On September 9, 2006, 22-year-old Donte Hall’s girlfriend, Angel Glenn, was paid to be a stripper at a house party in Eustis, Florida. During the party, Glenn called Donte’s identical twin brother, Dante, to tell him where all the valuables were in the house. Shortly after the call, Donte arrived at the house armed with an AK-47. The brothers, along with two accomplices, put on masks and forced their way into the house. Once inside, things turned violent.
The home invasion left 35-year-old Anthony Bernard Blunt and 32-year-old Kison Evans dead and two other men injured. Donte and Dante were arrested after a stripper told police she recognized Donte’s clothes and his voice.
When the brothers went to trial, they were tried separately with their own team of lawyers. Dante’s defense team tried to make Donte out to be the evil twin. Donte was the one carrying the AK-47, and he shot Kison Evans in the face. Dante was armed as well, and he may have fired the bullet that killed Anthony Bernard Blunt. As a result of the trial, Donte was given the death penalty while Dante was given two life sentences.
5Lydell And Laycelle White
On the evening of August 17, 1993, a police officer in Salem, Oregon, went to the house where Richard and Grace Remy lived. They were an elderly couple, and when they didn’t answer the door, the officer went around to the back of the house. There, he found evidence of a break-in. The officer entered the house and found 82-year-old Richard and 80-year-old Grace both dead. They had been brutally beaten and strangled.
Not long after, 15-year-old twins Lydell and Laycelle White were arrested for the murder. The twins, who lived close to the victims, had criminal records dating back three years for crimes of harassment, burglary, carrying a concealed weapon, and sexual abuse. Their original sentence was life without parole, but that was ruled cruel and unusual. Now, Laycelle is allowed to apply for parole in 2048, while Lydell can apply in 2050.
4Tasmiyah And Jasmiyah Whitehead
On January 13, 2010, 16-year-old twin sisters Tasmiyah and Jasmiyah Whitehead started arguing with their mother in their Georgia home because they woke up late for school. According to the twins, their mother started threatening them with a pot, and the fight got physical. The twins broke a vase over their mother’s head and strangled her with the ribbon from a childhood medallion. Then, they took turns stabbing their mother with a kitchen knife. After the fight, they dragged their mother into the bathtub and watched her die. They said their mother’s last words were that she hated them.
After the murder, the twins started to clean up the scene, but then decided against it and went straight to school. They had expected the police to be there and their mother’s body gone when they got home. Instead, they flagged down a passing police car. The first officer at the house said the crime scene was “gory.”
The twins initially said they had come home and found their mother dead. They were arrested four months later and confessed to killing her. They both received 30 years in prison.
3The Bawcum Twins
Shortly after 9:00 PM on April 1, 1999, a 44-year-old named Deborah Bawcum found a .223-caliber assault rifle under one of the bed covers in her 11-year-old twin sons’ bedroom. After confronting her sons, one of the twins (neither were identified), wrestled with her, and the other one shot her in the arm with a handgun. The twin’s father, 46-year-old William Bawcum, ran into the bedroom to save his wife and was shot twice in the neck. When the twins’ 16-year-old sister called 911, she was shot as well. Shortly after the shooting, police arrived on the scene and found one of the twins calmly feeding a rabbit.
Deborah (the mother) and Robin (the sister) survived the shooting, but the father, William, succumbed to his injuries. The twins were sentenced to up to six years in prison and would be released when they reached the age of 18. The police do not believe the twins had planned to kill the family. They had simply disobeyed by storing their parents’ guns in their beds. This led to the argument, which resulted in a deadly shooting.
2Joel And Michael Stovall
Around 9:00 PM on September 29, 2001, in Penrose, Colorado, sheriff’s deputy Jason Schwartz responded to a call saying that 24-year-old Joel Stovall had shot his neighbor’s dog five times. Joel was arrested and was put in the back of Schwartz’s police car. The Stovall family started to confront Officer Schwartz, so he called for backup. Things got worse when Joel’s twin brother, Michael, was also arrested for uttering threats. Unfortunately, Michael hadn’t been frisked before he was put into the backseat of the cruiser.
As the deputy drove the twins toward the police station, Michael asked Schwartz to let them go, or else. Schwartz ignored him, at which point Michael took out a pair of handcuff keys from his pocket and freed himself. Michael pulled one of two handguns he had in his pockets and shot Schwartz in the back of the head. The car crashed into the ditch, and the twins pulled Schwartz out of the car and shot the deputy 16 times before fleeing to the nearby town of Florence, where they had a rented trailer. They loaded the trailer with weapons and ammo, but before they left it, two officers arrived. The twins opened fire on their car, and the officers crashed. One of the officers, police corporal Toby Bethel, was shot several times, and his injuries left him paralyzed.
After the ambush, the Stovall twins stole a truck and led police on a high-speed chase. As the chase progressed, the brothers fired at the pursuing officers and threw stuff from the back of the truck. They were able to put one police car out of commission by throwing a typewriter at it. The twins also set up ambushes for the police that injured a number of them. Finally, the twins ran over road spikes and encountered a police roadblock. Once they hit the roadblock, they turned around and drove off. A short distance away, they abandoned the truck and escaped into the mountains.
Over the next 24 hours, police and tactical teams searched for the brothers, but the twins ended up turning themselves in. In total, they killed one officer, paralyzed another, and injured 17 more. They were given life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, plus 896 years.
1Stephen And Robert Spahalski
Stephen and Robert Spahalski were born in December 1954. As they became teenagers, they became more erratic and dangerous. When they were 17, the twins were doing armed robberies. During one robbery, Stephen ended up killing the store owner and was sentenced to life in prison. After Stephen went away, Robert got heavily involved in drugs and male prostitution. His life of crime led to him being in and out of prison for various crimes from about 1973 onward.
In 1990, his crimes became more serious when he killed a prostitute and drug addict named Moraine Armstrong. A few months later, he strangled his girlfriend, who was also a prostitute and an addict. Then, in 1991, he killed a man after he refused to pay for sex. From then until 2005, Robert took a break from killing. Then, one day, he was smoking crack with his girlfriend’s neighbor and started hallucinating. Robert claimed that she turned into a demon, so he beat and strangled her to death. After coming down from his high, he walked into the police station and confessed to the four murders. He was sentenced to 100 years in prison.
As for Stephen, he did eight years on his murder conviction and he was paroled in 1982. He was back in prison a year later for kidnapping and robbery. In 1999, he was paroled again but was back in prison after a month. He was released in 2006 and managed to stay out of prison until 2010, when he was incarcerated again for robbery.
Robert Grimminck is a Canadian freelance writer. You can friend him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and Pinterest, or visit his website here.