Sunday, October 13, 2013

Episode #11: Twisted Sisters (Show Notes)

The Grady sisters from director Stanley Kubrick’s
horror masterpiece, The Shining (1980).
 Everybody knows the scene; it’s iconic. Little Danny Torrance is cruising on his tricycle through the corridors of the Overlook Hotel. Then, unexpectedly, he’s stopped by the appearance of the Grady sisters. Everything about them is unsettling, from their robin’s egg blue frocks and black Mary Jane shoes, to their ghostly entreaty to “Come and play with us...” I'm creeped-out just writing about it. Nevertheless, this episode’s subjects- June and Jennifer Gibbons, Christine and Léa Papin, and Ursula and Sabina Eriksson-could give those girls a run for their money!

June and Jennifer Gibbons’ early
childhoods were reasonably normal.
First, are June and Jennifer Gibbons. These British sisters became selective mutes after being tormented by primary-school bullies. Subsequently, they disengaged from their parents and siblings, too, and further separated themselves by speaking to each other using a made-up language. As teenagers, June and Jennifer became engrossed by a sadistic fantasy world played-out with dolls. They chronicled their escapades in numerous radio plays, short stories, and multi-chapter novels. After embarking on a petty-crime spree, the sisters were condemned to England’s notorious Broadmoor psychiatric hospital.

The Papin sisters, Léa (L) and Christine (R),
made headlines after their grisly crime.
French sisters Christine and Léa Papin worked as maids before slaughtering their employer’s spouse and daughter made them celebrities. The barbarous nature of the crime and rumors of incest, made the siblings’ trial a national preoccupation. Even today, the Papin's mystique inspires authors, playwrights, and film-makers.

Last are Ursula and Sabina Eriksson, Swedish-born twins. Similar to Christine and Léa, facts about the sister’s youth are sparse. They earned global notoriety when, on May 17, 2008, they ran onto England’s M16 motorway. Though Ursula’s legs were crushed, consequently incapacitating her, Sabina could only be restrained by multiple emergency workers and bystanders. Unbelievably, the episode was captured on tape!

(CAUTION! This video contains images some might find disturbing).

Listen to “Twisted Sisters” to hear the tragic ending of Ursula and Sabina Eriksson’s story, and learn more about the Gibbons and Papin sisters.

Further reading/watching:

June and Jennifer Gibbons:

Bound Together in Fantasy and Crime

The Silent Twins

The tragedy of a double life

We Two Made One

Christine and Léa Papin:

True Crime: The Maids vs. the Intellectuals

Murderous Maids: The Scandalous Crimes of the Papin Sisters

Ursula and Sabina Eriksson:

Complete BBC documentary, “'Madness in the Fast Lane”

Garry Hollinshead discusses Madness in the Fast Lane

1 comment:

Arlette Gomez said...

i just watched the video. OMGosh, can't believe it was all caught on tape! were taser guns not invented yet? poor women, they were nuts.

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