They give a whole new meaning to the phrase "Dead Ringers"
Identical twins, with the exact same genetic information, are a fascinating study in human behavior. It is a known fact that when separated at birth, they will often end up with very similar lives, without ever having met one another. So it seems to follow that if one twins turns out to be a "bad seed," the other will also go to the dark side. the shocking stories in Evil Twins prove this to be the case time and time again. And even more astounding are stories of twins turning upon each other in furious rivalries that may date back to the womb. Her is just a sampling of the compelling true stories about evil twins:
Sins of the mothers: Harvard-educated chemical engineer Jane Hopkins stabbed her two young children to death before killing herself-six years after her twin sister Jean had tried to poison her own two children...
My brother's killer: Identical twins Jeff and Greg Henry were close as brothers could be, inventing their own language and often exchanging identities. But they grew up to become violent alcoholics, and on one fateful binge, Jeff turned on his own twin brother and shot him in the heart with a shotgun...
Loathsome Lotharios: Handsome, charming twin brothers George and Stefan Spitzer went to Hollywood to become famous actors. But their movie-star good looks never landed them any parts-except in the lurid home movies they shot of themselves raping the unconscious women they doped up on "Roofies"...
Evil twins: Double the deadliness...with eight pages of shocking photos!
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St. Martin's True Crime
May 01, 1999
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Excerpt from Evil Twins by John Glatt
SEPARATED BY MURDER
One brother was a saint but his identical twin was a sinner. Yet Greg and Jeff Henry were inseparable--locked together in a sadomasochistic relationship that would end in a grisly death.
It is a twisted tale of a strange, dysfunctional Southern family that could have come straight out of the pages of an Erskine Caldwell novel.
Throughout their lives Greg delighted in intimidating and terrorizing his meeker brother, ordering him to fetch beer after beer and then clean up. To reinforce his dominance, Greg often fired his .22 caliber rifle at Jeff to scare him, spraying their apartment walls with bullet holes.
The Henry brothers lived and worked together in a strange master--slave relationship for nearly thirty-seven years, until they were ripped apart by a single shotgun blast at their home in rural Georgia.
Killed instantly was Greg, the brutal power monger, who finally pushed things too far one night after a marathon drinking session, when he threatened Jeff with a shotgun. For once the docile brother turned, savagely killing his twin before giving himself up to the police and being charged with murder.
Even as babies, Greg and Jeff Henry faced an uphill battle for survival in a world they could never quite come to terms with. They were born on January 23, 1955, in Dublin, Georgia, during a freak snowstorm. It became a family joke that the real reason the town's antiquated switchboard broke down from too many calls wasn't the snow, but the arrival of the Henry twins.
Their father, Dick Henry, was a successful executive, managing a local chemical plant, and their mother, Sue, once the most beautiful girl in Dublin, had won many local beauty contests in her youth.
Dick and Sue, who already had two boys, were overjoyed when the twins were born after a difficult Cesarean section. But within a few months Greg became sick and almost died. He was diagnosed with a brain disorder and had to have his spine tapped to save his life.
As infants, the Henry twins captured the imagination of the town. Sue, then thirty-six, would proudly push them through the streets to church every Sunday in their double stroller. And they caused quite a stir at Dick's country club, where they would play with their two older brothers, Chris and Mike.
From the very beginning they were known as "the twins" and never referred to by their names. Even their mother couldn't tell them apart and would ask them to raise their shirts to identify them, as one had an inner bellybutton and the other, an outer.
Sue Henry dressed them alike in fabulous no-expense-spared outfits and the twins became her pride and joy. She spoiled them rotten. As infants Jeff and Greg were inseparable and even sucked each other's thumbs. They played together and slept together and seemed like a single person inhabiting two identical bodies.
"If you had one, you had them both," declared their mother. "I don't remember them being any different."
Even before they could talk English they had instinctively developed their own language, which no one else could understand. They would happily jabber away for hours, using strange words like "Jogabawamama" and "Debogdoogwotama."
But the Henrys' perfect world fell apart when, in April 1958, Dick was diagnosed with brain cancer and died a year later. While he was on his deathbed, Sue brought Greg and Jeff into the hospital to say their final good-byes.
"Aren't they adorable?" said their dying father as he kissed them for the last time.
So at the age of forty, Sue--or Ma, as the twins called her--found herself a widow with just a small trust fund to support the twins and their two brothers.
"I'm a survivor," says the tough Southern belle, who became a secretary to make ends meet. "You do what you have to do to get by."
There seemed to be an almost supernatural, psychic bond between Jeff and Greg as they grew up. At the age of five Greg disappeared and couldn't be found anywhere. When Jeff was asked where his brother was hiding he immediately walked off and found him a mile away from their home. Somehow he was just drawn toward him.
Together the twins created their own world of fantasy and didn't seem to need anyone else. But from their earliest days Greg appeared to dominate Jeff, assuming the role of leader in all their games. By the time they started at a private pre-school and kindergarten, Jeff cheerfully took a back seat to his more extroverted brother, who always got better grades and made more friends. And wherever Greg led, Jeff followed.
From a young age the twins discovered a fascination for electrical appliances. When they were seven they surprised their mother by completely rewiring their bedroom, connecting every appliance to a single master switch so they could turn on everything at once.
It inspired them to want to become inventors when they grew up and they started reading everything they could about technology.
In 1962, Ma Henry remarried a local man named Jack Wright. The seven-year-old twins hated their new stepfather, a strict disciplinarian who tried to rein them in. Jeff and Greg considered him physically abusive and would avoid him at all costs.
At home there were frequent arguments and fights between their mother and new stepfather, who did not get along. Ma Henry turned to drink to overcome her problems, finally divorcing Wright in 1973.
Painfully shy and far slower than his smarter brother, Jeff struggled through Henderson High School as a "C"- and "D"-grade student. The introverted Jeff was physically frail and far weaker than Greg, and developed an inferiority complex after failing to have his brother's success with the girls.
Jeff could barely read or write, but he found that he had a talent for fixing radios and stereos, spending hours happily tinkering away with the electronic devices. The tall, skinny teenager, who sported long, blond hair, dreamed of inventing revolutionary machines that would change the world, like the ones he read about in science fiction comics.
Though they looked alike, the twins were as different as chalk and cheese. Unlike his nervous brother, Greg was a fearless daredevil. He loved racing his bicycle up and down the hallway of his high school, showing off to the other kids with his patented wheelies.
During their late teens the twins fought over everything and had an increasingly troubled relationship. Greg seemed to enjoy humiliating his shy brother in public, ridiculing his whimsical ideas. But if Jeff ever dared to stand up for himself and criticize Greg, it always ended in a fight.
"They were going through that rebellion thing," their mother would later explain.
The Henry family was torn apart when the twins' eldest brother Richard was diagnosed with schizophrenia and hospitalized in the late 1960s. It had a profound effect on Jeff who began to fear insanity might run in the family.
At the age of eighteen the twins graduated high school, finding jobs in the mailroom of a local company. Now that they were financially sufficient they left home to get an apartment together.
Both standing six foot two inches and weighing just one hundred and sixty pounds, the wavy-haired, pencil-thin Henry twins were an imposing sight. Their fellow workers found it almost impossible to tell them apart, before getting to know them. Then it was easy to pick out Greg by his loud bullying ways as opposed to his quieter, more easy-going twin brother.
"We used to kid him and call him a little wimp," said Ma. "He was so passive."
Two years after leaving high school, the twins were briefly separated for the only time in their life when Greg married his girlfriend, Julie. Jeff, who had never had a girlfriend of his own, couldn't bear to be apart from Greg and moved into the basement of the house the couple bought. But the marriage was short-lived and Jeff was overjoyed when Julie left and the twins were reunited.
Taking a large apartment on Seville Drive in Clarkston, Georgia, Jeff and Greg decided to become rock stars. Greg bought a set of drums and Jeff tried to teach himself bass. They recruited a couple of friends to join their band, rehearsing late into the night in the basement of their new apartment.
During band practices Jeff and Greg would down cases of Budweiser beer until they could hardly stand up. And the more beer Greg drank, the meaner he became to Jeff.
Friend and fellow band member and Jason Hill remembers Greg Henry constantly picking fights with his weaker twin brother.
"When they weren't drinking they were pretty much normal," said Hill. "But when they started drinking--I don't mean a twelve-pack of beer but two or three cases--Greg turned into a different person."
The brothers were so proud of their drinking that they would save each empty beer case to stack up against the wall as trophies. And they delighted in proudly showing off their collection of empty beer "suitcases" that soon reached to the ceiling.
Fueled by beer, Greg would pound his drums late into the night, refusing to allow the other band members to go home. On one occasion when Hill insisted on leaving at 2 a.m. so he could go to work the following morning, Greg flew into a rage, kicking his drum set across the floor.
"As we left you could hear Greg screaming at Jeff to carry on playing," remembered Hill. "You would have to drag him off those drums to stop him."
Greg Henry was often totally out of control, exploding at the slightest provocation. One night when the twins were staying with their mother, they started arguing so loudly that she asked them to be quiet.
"Greg gave me some lip," said Ma Henry. "And I don't take lip off my sons. When I told him not to talk to me like that he picked up a clock radio and hurled it across the room and it broke. Then he just grabbed his stuff and got into his car and left."
The growing tension between the twins escalated dramatically when they developed a fascination with firearms. They each bought themselves shotguns and proudly displayed them against the living room wall.
Now Greg's anger took on a sinister dimension. To make a point in an argument with Jeff, he would suddenly grab his .22-caliber firearm and start shooting up the room in fury.
Early one Sunday morning Jeff arrived at Jason Hill's apartment shaking with terror. He said he'd had enough of Greg and was moving out of their apartment.
"Greg had pulled a gun on him," remembered Hill. "Jeff wanted to get away from him and I don't blame him."
Although Jeff moved back with his mother, within a few weeks he found he couldn't bear to be separated from his twin brother. But as they moved into a new apartment together, Greg stepped up his reign of terror, making life even more miserable for the unfortunate Jeff.
The twins settled into a one-bedroom apartment at Tree Terrace in Maxham Road, Lithia Springs, and started drinking themselves into oblivion. Greg set up his drum kit in the front room and played along to his favorite rock 'n' roll albums into the early hours. He picked constant fights with Jeff, firing his gun indiscriminately at the least provocation.
In early 1989, Ma Henry, then seventy, decided to step in and try to get her twin sons' lives back on track. She was particularly concerned about Greg's drinking and the danger he posed to Jeff.
The twins had recently been arrested for driving under the influence and feared losing their licenses and not being able to drive their jointly owned Camaro sports car. So under pressure from Ma Henry they agreed to go on the wagon and give up alcohol.
The effects were immediate and they calmed down and began to get along with each other for the first time in many years. Turning over a new leaf, they both found jobs as audio repairmen at the Circuit City electronics store in nearby Austell, Georgia.
At first the twins impressed their boss with their enthusiasm and punctuality. They would spend hours in the back room, tinkering around with the broken amplifiers and televisions, as a nonstop talk radio station played in the background. It was piece-work, and Jeff and Greg took so long on repairs that they did not make much money.
"They'd test it and test it," remembers their Circuit City co-worker Ted Crowder. "They'd help you for two hours and speak to you, while neglecting their own work."
A few months into the job the brothers started drinking again. While on the wagon Greg had become addicted to coffee for the caffeine buzz. He drank so many cups a day that he became sick. When a doctor friend suggested an occasional beer instead, saying it would be harmless, Greg leapt at the chance. Soon he was back to beer, drinking more heavily than ever, with Jeff following in his wake.
As the twins fell back into their drunken ways, their fellow workers noticed Jeff becoming more and more paranoid and withdrawn. He bit his fingernails to the quick and was always scared that he was in trouble.
"Jeff had become like a Chihuahua," says Crowder. "He was real nervous."
At home the twins' relationship had deteriorated even further. The domineering Greg mentally tortured Jeff as they drank their way through cases of Budweiser every night. When Ma Henry visited her sons' apartment, she was horrified to see the stacks of empty beer containers piled up in rows against the wall.
"I knew they had a problem," she would later tell police. "[I] just didn't seem to be able to convince them that they did."
Things got so bad that Ma begged them to take the twelve-step program at Alcoholics Anonymous, but they refused, claiming that they were fine.
"I had discussed it with friends of mine that were friends of A.A.," said Ma Henry. "I was told that sometimes people had to get really violent before they recognized there was a problem. They had performed so well as children and had such a good reputation in their profession, that I couldn't convince them that they [needed help]."
Jeff began to confide in his mother about Greg's violent temper tantrums. He said he was frightened when his brother turned on him and began blasting off the shotgun that he kept by his bed.
When Ma challenged Greg, he admitted shooting at his twin once during a heated argument. But he apologized, saying that he had learned his lesson and would never do it again.
"Jeff was scared to death of Greg," said their mother. "He couldn't go to the bathroom without asking Greg's permission."
Since Greg's divorce almost fifteen years earlier, the twins had not dated, preferring their own company. But when a persistent young woman began pursuing Greg romantically, he told her that he was not interested. When she refused to take no for an answer he pulled out his shotgun and fired over her head, and she fled the apartment in fear for her life.
One Christmas in the late 1980s, Ma Henry organized a family reunion at her luxurious new home in Roswell, Georgia. After a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings, the twins and their brothers staged an impromptu musical jam while Ma washed the dishes.
Remembered Ma Henry: "Mike was there with his guitar and Greg had his guns [by his drum kit]. I was putting up with it because it was Christmas, but at two in the morning Jeff and Mike were ready to go to bed. And we went out to try and get Greg to go to bed but he just would not give up. He just sat there beatin' that drum. And he got mad."
Eventually, Greg drunkenly kicked his drums over and stormed into the house in a black mood. He went upstairs and climbed out of a second-floor bedroom window, sliding down the roof and landing in the garden.
When Ma heard Greg drunkenly staggering around outside, she went out in the garden in her pajamas to see if he was all right. It was a freezing night and when she failed to find Greg she gave up and went back to bed.
Half an hour later she was awakened by screams coming from the garden. Greg had fallen into a bed of roses and scratched himself badly. Staggering back into the house, he began hammering on his mother's bedroom door in tears.
"I let him in," said Ma, who felt sorry for him. "And he got into bed with me. He was just convulsing with crying. And he said, 'I almost blew it, didn't I?' I said [he had] and told him I loved him."
Then her weeping thirty-four-year-old son fell asleep in her arms until he woke up the next morning with a savage hangover.
In June 1990, the Circuit City store laid off most of their workforce because of a recession, but the Henry twins managed to stay on. Their supervisor liked their work, considering them hard workers and the two best technicians on his staff.
Although they were both drinking heavily, they still managed to get in on time, insisting on working longer hours than anyone else.
That Thanksgiving, Greg caught flu and went into work while the rest of the family celebrated at Ma's house. He spent the whole three-day holiday alone in the repair shop, catching up on his workload.
Over the next few months Jeff withdrew even further as his twin brother became ever-harder to live with. Jeff was now expected to be at Greg's constant beck and call, serving him beer after beer and preparing all the meals. And the more Greg demanded, the harder Jeff served his unappreciative brother. He would even politely thank him afterward.
"Jeff says thank you all the time," said Ma Henry. "'Yes, ma'am, no, ma'am.' We used to say, 'Jeff, you could get run over by a Mack truck and you would get up and thank the man for not killing you."
But alcohol was taking its toll on the twins. They worked during the day and drank in the evenings and on weekends, staying in their one-bedroom apartment watching football games and old movies. Every night Greg would play his drums into the early hours and the neighbors were beginning to complain about the noise and the twins' constant arguments.
Late one night in June 1991, the apartments' security officer, W. M. Montgomery, was summoned after Greg and Jeff got into a violent argument. When he entered the apartment he was shocked to see them blind drunk and covered in blood, the apartment littered with empty beer cans.
"Greg had a cut hand and Jeff had blood on his shirt," remembered Montgomery. "There was blood on the carpet and the Sheetrock wall opposite the doorway was damaged."
The twins refused to discuss why they were arguing, and when Montgomery walked through the squalid apartment, he saw Greg's loaded .12-gauge pump shotgun with pistol grips lying on a bed. When the guard asked them if they were on drugs, the twins angrily denied it, ordering him to leave.
On his way out, Montgomery told them that he would be reporting the incident to the landlord and they would be evicted. Then Greg burst into a rage, slamming the door as hard as he could behind Montgomery.
A few days later Greg and Jeff received a landlord's eviction letter, ordering them out by the end of the month. They were told they were breaking their lease as there were two people occupying a one-bedroom apartment.
The first thing the twins did after receiving the letter was to call their mother for help. Immediately the indomitable seventy-two-year-old Henry matriarch came to their rescue, as she always did. Telling her sons not to worry, she found them a two-bedroom apartment across the road in Sweetwater Creek, even helping them move in the following weekend.
After moving out the furniture, Greg told Jeff to go back and clean up. While Greg spent the rest of the afternoon watching a football game, Jeff dutifully scrubbed the blood off the carpet and threw out hundreds of empty beer cans.
On Sunday, December 15, Greg and Jeff awoke at noon to spend the day drinking and watching a football double-header on television. Over the last month, the brothers had been drinking harder than ever and it was beginning to affect their work.
Three weeks earlier, Jeff's Circuit City boss had sent him home for being drunk, giving him an official warning. Ever sensitive, Jeff had sunk into a depression, fearing that his job was now in jeopardy and he would soon be unemployed.
After getting up late, the brothers settled down on the settee, wearing identical white T-shirts and faded jeans, to watch the first Falcons game. They began knocking back Budweisers as they argued about the finer points of the game.
By late afternoon, between games, Greg ordered Jeff to the kitchen to prepare him a meal of shrimp and fried potatoes and bring more beer. They were already drunk as they ate together and began watching the second football game. When it was over they watched a couple of movies on their betamax recorder, chugging back beer after beer.
It was one a.m. when they turned off the television and began debating Jeff's fanciful new theory for a revolutionary source of power. Through a haze of alcohol, Jeff enthusiastically explained that the power would be 99 percent efficient and pollution-free. Greg started laughing at him, calling him a dumb-ass imbecile and a moron.
When Jeff told his brother that he had a right to his theory, Greg turned violent, viciously lashing out at his twin.
"[He started] hitting me and cursing me," Jeff would later testify. "He knocked me out of my chair to the floor and pulled me up by the hair."
Greg suddenly ran to his bedroom, and Jeff's first thought was that he was going for the loaded shotgun that he always kept by the bed. Fearing for his life, Jeff ran into the other bedroom to get his own gun to defend himself.
Jeff felt a rush of adrenaline as he rushed toward Greg's room, smashing the door open with the barrel of his gun. Inside, Greg was lying flat out on the bed, drunk.
All Jeff's years of ridicule and torment suddenly came to a head as the twins had their final confrontation.
Their eyes met briefly as everything seemed to go into slow motion. Jeff screamed out, "Take this!" shooting his brother in the chest at point-blank range. Greg stared at Jeff in stunned disbelief as his chest exploded, his lungs splattering out over the bedroom wall. On hearing the shotgun blast and seeing the flash, Jeff went into shock. Then his nightmare began. He couldn't believe that he had actually pulled the trigger on his brother. He felt himself being separated and torn in two. It was as if the shotgun blast had ripped his very molecules apart. He knew he would never be the same again.
Then he dashed out of the bedroom and into the hall to try and calm down, as the full horror of what he had done sank in.
"I threw my gun away and went back in," he would tell homicide detectives several hours later. "I saw Greg lying on the bed."
In a mad moment of desperation, Jeff screamed as he jumped on top of his dying brother, begging him not to die and leave him alone. He used his palm to try and stem the bright red blood oozing from the wound, but it was too late. Greg died in his twin brother's arms, with one blazing eye still open.
"I started screaming and yelling," said Jeff. "I saw he was wounded and I shook him and tore open his shirt."
In a frantic attempt to bring him back to life, Jeff began giving Greg mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. For five long, agonizing minutes he tried unsuccessfully to breathe life back into his twin.
With tears running down his face into his brother's blood, Jeff looked at his brother's one gazing eye; a demented stare that would haunt him forever. Finally he couldn't take it anymore and closed the eye, screamed and ran barefoot out of the apartment.
Jumping in his car, Jeff drove off to find a pay phone to call his mother for help. It was two in the morning and Ma Henry was asleep when the telephone by her bed started ringing. When it wouldn't stop she picked it up to receive the shocking news.
But, though Ma Henry had managed to rescue her son from schoolboy scrapes to unemployment, poverty and eviction in the past, murder was something she would not be able to save him from.
"Mom, my God, my God, I've killed Greg," sobbed her tearful son into the phone at a nearby Citgo gas station.
Oblivious to the freezing temperatures, he stood under a streetlight covered in his brother's blood and tearfully told Ma Henry what had happened.
"I tried to revive him, Ma," he cried. "I gave him CPR, Ma. I did everything I could. He's dead, Ma, he's dead."
Remaining calm, Ma asked him if he was certain his brother was dead. When Jeff said that he was, Ma told him to stay put while she called the police. She promised that she would then come and meet him at the filling station and look after him.
After reassuring him that everything would be all right, she put down the phone and called the police.
Later, Ma would admit that she was not surprised about what had happened; in fact, she had even been expecting it.
"There you go--I knew this would happen," she would say philosophically.