The Alarming Case of the Killer Twins

In 2008, two women shocked the UK when they ran into oncoming traffic on a major highway – the busiest in England. They were 40-year-old identical twins named Sabina and Ursula Eriksson. Sabina was hit by a car only to attack a police officer afterward and run into traffic again.

A woman runs into traffic.
Source: YouTube

She was finally sedated by paramedics. What followed was even more bizarre. The twins’ behavior was attributed to what is called folie à deux (the folly of two), a rare psychiatric condition that includes hallucinations or delusions transmitted between two individuals.

“Why Do You Kill Me?”

The entire incident on the highway was caught on tape thanks to the crew filming Traffic Cops. After sedation, Ursula woke up and to the surprise of everyone around, she stood up and yelled, “Why do you kill me?”

Officers try to stop the first woman from running into traffic.
Source: YouTube

She was evaluated in the hospital and taken to the police station. Ursula was rushed into surgery while doctors checked Sabina. Sabina later pleaded guilty to punching a cop and trespassing on the highway. She spent the night in jail.

Madness of Two

A year later, Sabina pleaded guilty to manslaughter with diminished responsibility after killing a man named Glenn Hollingshead. She was sentenced to five years. Years later, the case was reevaluated and the topic of SDD (Shared Delusional Disorder), or “Madness of Two,” was raised.

Sabrina is being treated by police.
Source: YouTube

If she had been adequately treated, Sabina would never have met Glenn, and he would still be alive. Ursula eventually recovered from her injuries and was never charged with any crime.

SSD in Pop Culture

The strange phenomenon of folie à deux often appears in pop culture. The film Bug from 2006 is about a couple afflicted with the condition. Then there’s an episode of The X-Files where a man experiences delusions about his boss, which is transmitted to the detective investigating the case.

Sabrina and Ursula are seen on CCTV forttage.
Source: YouTube

Other shows that depict Shared Delusional Disorder are Chance, Criminal Minds, CSI: Miami, and lots of others. Who knew it was a real thing… or is it?