The very existence of twins has long raised questions regarding “nature vs. nurture.”
Many physically identical siblings grow up to have entirely different interests, pastimes, and personalities. Then again, sometimes twins come of age acting exactly like one another — and in these following cases, that similarity proved absolutely lethal.
1. PAT & PETE BONDURANT: THE “BIG BOY” DRUG LORDS WHO RAPED, MURDERED & RULED BY FEAR
Throughout the 1980s, twin brothers Pat and Pete Bondurant held the area surrounding the small town of Pulaski, Tennessee, in a grip of terror. The brothers ran drugs and other criminal operations by using cruelty, violence, and even murder as the stock tools of their trade.
In 1986, the “Big Boys,” as they were called, drugged Gwen Duggar, a 24-year-old local mom into incoherence, whereupon they raped her, beat her with an ax handle, and shot her to death. After which, Pat and Pete burned Duggar’s remains and ditched them in a river.
Five years passed before the Bondurants were convicted of murdering Duggar. In the course of that investigation, authorities additionally discovered that Pat had also murdered his coworker, Ronnie Gaines, and that Pete had slain his own girlfriend, Terry Lynn Clark.
Both Bondurants were convicted for murdering Duggar in 1991. In January 2017, Pete walked free after serving 25 years. Pat remains behind bars, but he could potentially come up for parole in 2019. [WHNT]
2. ROBERT & STEPHEN SPAHALSKI: CAREER CROOKS WHO ROBBED AS A DUO, KILLED SOLO
Coming of age in upstate New York, identical twins Robert and Stephen Spahalski took to crime before even hitting adolescence, with each brother trying to “out-steal” the other in a nonstop array of local thefts.
In 1971, though, 16-year-old Stephen escalated to murder when he stabbed a shopkeeper he had been in the process of robbing. In time, Robert would “out-kill” his brother, by committing four murders for which he received a 100-year jail sentence.
In the years leading up to Robert’s deadly run, the Spahalskis were in and out of prison for various infractions, occasionally even serving time together. In 1978, one of the twins attempted to escape from a state penitentiary — but officials, to this day, aren’t sure which one it was.
Still, upon hearing about Robert’s getting sent to join him in Attica as a convicted serial killer in 2005, Stephen reportedly quipped to a guard: “I thought I was the only murderer in the family!” [CrimeFeed]
3. RONNIE & REGGIE KRAY: SWINGING LONDON’S STYLISH GAY GANGSTERS
March 4, 1969 marked the definitive end of the decade-long reign of Ronnie and Reggie Kray, a pair of world-famous, highly glamorous, celebrity-hobnobbing twin brothers who ran “The Firm” — the most powerful mob in London’s underworld.
Hiding behind the hugely successful and (mostly) legitimate nightclub businesses they owned, the Kray brothers reportedly committed all manner of the usual gangster mayhem.
At the same time, though, Ronnie and Reggie strutted about in sharp suits and were fawned over by the media stars in their own right. They both openly had sexual relationships with men at a time when being gay in England was completely illegal. Still, nobody dared bash the Kray boys.
The Krays’ final undoing came by way of two murders: the face-shooting of rival mobster George Cornell in 1966, and the repeated stabbing of their henchman Jack “The Hat” McVitie after he had bungled one of their capers.
Both Kray brothers remained locked up for the rest of their lives. They remained colorful and intimidating figures to the end and Ronnie, for one, never expressed regret for their criminal endeavors. In 1993, he wrote:
“They were the best years of our lives. They called them the ‘Swinging Sixties.’ The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were the rulers of pop music, Carnaby Street ruled the fashion world, and me and my brother ruled London. We were f—–g untouchable.”
Ronnie Kray died at age 61 in 1995. Reggie passed away in 2000, at age 65. [CrimeFeed]
4. JASMIYAH & TASMIYAH WHITEHEAD: MURDERED MOM FOR WAKING THEM UP
An argument over sleeping late might seem a typical hot-point between parents and teenagers, but on January 23, 2010, 16-year-old identical twins Jasmiyah (Jas) and Tasmiyah (Tas) Whitehead took the dispute to homicidal extremes.
On this particular morning, the girls’ mother, Jarmecca “Nikki” Whitehead, reportedly woke them up in a rage. The girls later claimed that Nikki threatened them with a pot and a steak knife.
In a flash, though, Jas and Tas said they rushed Nikki and tackled her, smashing a vase over her head and then hitting her with the pot she’d been wielding. Grabbing the knife, Tas reportedly stabbed Nikki in the chest, while Jas choked their mom with a ribbon from a childhood medal.
The brawl, shockingly, continued until the sisters dragged their mother to the family bathroom, forced her into the tub, and continued to stab her, puncturing her lungs and severing her spinal cord in the process. Nikki allegedly died there while her daughters watched.
From there, Jas and Tas went to school as though nothing had happened. Upon returning home, they flagged down a cop car and said they found their mother dead.
As each teen was covered in scratches, bruises, and bite marks, police investigated their involvement and, in May 2010, charged Jas and Tas with murder. The twins initially pleaded not guilty.
But in early 2014, both Jas and Tas confessed to killing Nikki. They entered guilty pleas and are presently each serving a 30-year jail sentence. [CrimeFeed]
5. KEVIN DUGAR & KARL SMITH: TWIN CONFESSES TO MURDER THAT PUT HIS BROTHER BEHIND BARS
Not all killer twins are a matched set. To be sure, Kevin Dugar and Karl Smith are absolute lookalike siblings and they were both notorious Chicago gang-bangers. But, in 2016, one brother said he did a homicidal crime while the other has since done the time.
In 2005, a jury found Kevin Dugar guilty in a Chicago drive-by shooting that killed two and wounded one. The judge sentenced Dugar to 54 years.
Although Dugar was a member of the drug gang Conservative Vice Lords, his twin brother Karl Smith came forth in 2016 to claim that he, in fact, was the brother who had opened fire on rival gang members — not Kevin.
Officials expressed skepticism at Smith’s surprise announcement. Prosecutors noted that Smith brought up the story only after his 99-year sentence was upheld regarding a 2008 home invasion in which a six-year-old boy was shot in the head.
Illinois Assistant State’s Attorney Carol Rogal said she believes Smith just wants to get his guilty brother sprung from lock-up, stating: “He’s got nothing to lose.”
After a series of investigations, no new trial has yet been scheduled for Kevin Dugar.