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Crime News

Just Like The Dennings In 'OITNB,' These Real-Life Sisters Killed Together

On season 6 of Netflix's "Orange is the New Black," the Dennings sisters escalate a decades-long rivalry. Here are three real-life stories of sisters who comitted their own bloody crimes together.

By Eric Shorey

On season 6 of Netflix's "Orange is the New Black," sisters Carol and Barb Denning escalate a decades-long war at the Litchfield penitentiary. (Spoilers ahead!) The twisted sisters had spent their time in prison ammassing their own armies and launching countless stikes against each others' factions. By the conclusion of the season, both Denning women meet their violent ends — taken down by each other in one last bloody brawl.

In a series of flashbacks, episode 10 reveals that Carol and Barb had landed in jail after jointly plotting to kill their younger sister, who had been the object of their parents' affection, sparking violent, jealous feelings in the duo. Locking her in a car and the pushing the vehicle into water, the teen girls showed little remorse for the heinous killing.

To what extent Carol and Barb's story was inspired by actual criminal sisters remains unclear. Nonetheless, here's three real life sibling duos who committed their sanguine misdeeds together.

1. Christine and Léa Papin

On Feb. 2, 1933, the Papin sisters killed their boss's wife and daughter. The women were working as maids for Monsieur René Lancelin in Le Mans, France. Lancelin had been scheduled to meet with his family, but when they did not arrive at the rendezvous point he returned home to find his doors locked. Police helped Lancelin gain entry to his home, where he discovered the bodies of his wife and daughter, beaten beyond recognition, according to HistoricMysteries.com.

The sisters immediately confessed to the killing. They had used a kitchen knife, a hammer, and a pewter pot as weapons. When the two were placed in separate prisons, Christine experienced self-harming fits of rage.

Christine was ultimately sentenced to death for her crimes. Léa, who was considered to be a victim of Christine's manipulations, received a 10-year sentence for the killings.

The case became a subject of heated debate in French intellectual circles at the time, with influential thinkers like Jean Genet, Jean-Paul Sartre and Jacques Lacan each developing idiosyncratic interpretations of the event. Through the lenses of psychoanalysis, existentialism, and Marxism, these cultural critics understood the killing as a symbol of the ongoing struggle between the economic classes of France at the time.

2. Sandra and Elizabeth Andersen

Linda Andersen was killed by her daughters on Jan. 18, 2003 in Ontario, Canada. Although the real names of Linda, Sandra, and Elizabeth were not released due to the girls being minors at the time, the killing became the subject of the 2014 film "Perfect Sisters."

"Sandra," 16, and "Beth," 15, had reportedly become irritated with their mother's alcoholism before deciding to kill her, hoping to collect money from insurance companies, according to The Toronto Star. The girls got their mother inebriated before drowning her in the bathtub, chatting with friends about the killing online shortly beforehand. Police initially believed the girls, who claimed their mother had drowned herself in the tub, until a friend of the duo admitted he had discussed the crime with the girls.

The siblings were ultimately sentenced to 10 years in prison for first-degree murder and were forbidden from communicating with each other while in jail. The elder sister was released to a halfway house in 2009, the younger was released under similar conditions in 2010, according to The Toronto Star.

3.  Jasmiyah and Tasmiyah Whitehead

Identical twin sisters "Jas" and "Tas" both pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 2014 for the beating death of their mother, Jarmecca Yvonne "Nikki" Whitehead, who was beaten with a vase and stabbed repeatedly, according to Time.

Raised by their great-grandmother, Della Frazier, the girls had a tenuous relationship with their biological mom, but Nikki fought for custody of the pair and won in 2007. The girls regularly got into physical fights with their biological mother.

"She was always talking about problems with the girls acting out," said Petrina Sims, owner of Decatur's Simply Unique salon, where Whitehead worked, to ABC News. "They were not wild all the time. They were real amenable girls, involved in ballet, playing instruments and in the performing arts. She had them involved. But they began to rebel and tried to jump on her and got away. The police apprehended the girls and took them to juvenile."

Nikki would go on to lose and then regain custody of the children on January 5, 2010. 

Nikki was found murdered less than two weeks later with bruises on her body that indicated a crime of passion and a struggle before the death. Bite marks found on one of the twins matched Nikki's dental records, according to Crime Watch Daily.

The girls at first denied involvement in the death but ultimately took a plea deal, landing them both 30-year sentences in seperate prisons, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. They were 16-years-old at the time of the killing.

[Photo: Screenshot via Netflix]