A month before Alice Richard killed her twin, the headaches began. Alice, who was fourteen, was typically an excellent student, intelligent, and popular. However, her instructors at San Joaquin Memorial High School noted a decline in her grades.
She frequently had to leave class to get her migraines under control. A teacher told the Fresno Bee that Alice was “very moody, very nervous, and somewhat despondent,” but many teenagers were. The teacher recalled unhappily that nothing that looked like a warning sign didn’t appear until much later.
On March 19, 1950, at 1:45 a.m., Alice and her twin sister Sally arrived home after watching children. The Richard family drifted off to sleep as the six-room ranch-style house on Fresno’s Harvey Avenue became silent.
Alice got out of bed around 3 a.m. She eventually located the family’s bolt-action rifle and two rounds after some searching in the dark. As her twin sister slept, she put the gun next to her and then returned to the bedroom. Alice went for a stroll to the closest phone and dialed 911.
She said, “Come to 4721 Harvey right away. A murder has occurred.”
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Only a few examples of twins killing their twins have been documented, even in modern times. Alice committed an unprecedented act when she killed Sally.
Due to the news, Alice became well-known around the nation, with her picture appearing on top pages. Because of the ensuing hysteria, numerous newspapers published a piece from a psychologist assuring parents that their children were not budding murderers.
The doctor declared, “This is an uncommon situation. I have been unable to find any other instance in which one killed the other twin in the scientific records of studies of twins, in Europe as well as in America.”
Sally and Alice were nine years old when their family moved to Fresno after being born in 1935 in Long Beach. The Richards didn’t appear to be particularly noteworthy from the outside. While raising their six daughters and two sons, father Edgard worked as a salesman for plumbing supplies.
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