This week we’re going to dive into three crimes, with the suspects were narrowed down to two people in each case, but no one was ever prosecuted. Why not? Because they were committed by identical twins.
But before we do, let’s answer this week’s riddle:
A woman shoots her husband and then holds him underwater for five minutes. Next, she hangs him but right after, they enjoy a nice dinner together.
How is this possible?
Answer: She took a photo of him. Tough one, I know. But many of you got it!
Now, let’s get identical up in this piece.
Charles and George Finn: who flew the plane?
Charles and Geroge Finn, identical twins, served in the US Army Air Corps during WWII. George was a flight instructor. Charles piloted a B-17.
In 1952, the twins purchased a WWII C-46 plane from the Bakersfield school district. They wanted to modify it and use it to build up their new airline. But the government stepped in.
The US government stopped the purchase -- apparently the school district was not legally allowed to sell the plane. The brothers refused to return the purchase.
One of them flew the plane into the Nevada desert to hide it from the government. The FBI found the craft and arrested the brothers. Unfortunately, identical twins are, well, identical.
The federal grand jury did not prosecute the Finn brothers because the witness could not identify which of the two twins flew the plane into the desert.
Here’s an LA Times write up on Charles and the incident, after he passed away.
Hassan and Abbas O: who’s glove is this?
In 2009, a set of twins that were only identified as “Hassan and Abbas O” escaped from prosecution, despite being caught on camera robbing a jewelry store!
Three masked men, of whom at least one - and likely two - were Hassan or Abbas, robbed a luxury store in Germany. They stole watches and jewels worth around 5 million euros.
They left a glove behind.
The twins were hauled in for questioning, but neither one of them broke. The police had DNA from the glove, but well, twins.
They technically could not determine which brother the DNA belonged to. Since they had no DNA evidence to narrow to one person, and since no one confessed, the police had to let them go.
The jewelry was never found. Check out the full New York Times story.
Sathis and Sabarish Raj: wait, which twin had the drugs?
In 2003, Malaysian police officers arrested one of the 27-year-old Raj twins for possession of cannabis and opium. The problem? They weren’t sure which one.
Police arrived at the house to find one of the twins with the drugs. Shortly afterward, the other twin arrived at the house. They picked them both up, but well, they couldn’t identify which twin had originally been arrested for the drugs.
The brothers weren’t talking. DNA tests were obviously inconclusive -- they share DNA.
The judge at their trial discharged them because police couldn’t narrow it down to either one. And it’s a good thing too -- the penalty would have been execution.
Here’s an ABC article about the case.
Any others we missed?
Seems like the best way to commit a crime is to have a doppelganger. I’m, for instance, convinced that the Morris twins in the NBA have switched out for one another in key playoff games, but don’t have the evidence to back it up.
Any other stories about twins that you can think of? Let us know in the comments!
-Andy & Mark
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