June and Jennifer Gibbons were born identical twins in 1963. When they were young, the family moved to Haverfordwest in South Wales, where they were the only black family in the whole town. From an early age the twins had a close, almost psychic relationship, and as they grew up this developed so that they became silent and would not talk to anyone else. They spoke only to each other, in a secret language, building an elaborated fantasy life. Communication with other people was impossible (they did all their shopping by mail order) and they were sent to a special school. They had no friends, they were operated on, and their tongues were cut in the mistaken belief that they suffered speech impediment. When they were 16, they had nowhere to go except on the dole. This is the story of the "silent twins" who turned to arson and ended up in Broadmoor.
Marjorie Wallace is an award-winning journalist, author, playwright and broadcaster, and has won nine major awards for her journalism, books and plays. She is currently Chief Executive of SANE, the mental health charity, which she helped to found. Marjorie Wallace (Countess Skarbeck) is married and lives in London with her three sons, Sacha, Stefan and Justin, and daughter, Sophia Augusta.