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Smith matched witness descriptions, he seemed to appear on nearby surveillance camera footage and there was DNA evidence apparently proving he was at the scene of the crime. Throughout it all, though, Donald Smith earnestly claimed that he didn't do it and instead offered an usual defense. He said his identical twin brother, Ronald Smith, was to blame, according to police. When investigators followed up on Donald's claim, they found a trump card in his favor among a battery of other evidence: Fingerprints at the scene of the crime did not belong to Donald but to Ronald Smith.

Even though identical twins share the exact same DNA, they do not share the same fingerprints.

Lives of the Twins, by Rosamond Smith This psychological - UPI Archives

After he was presented with the evidence against him, Ronald Smith admitted to the crime, police said. Ronald's attorney, Lawrence Lewis, said he has need seen the alleged confession and maintains his client's innocence. Our investigators were faced with a tough task, dealing with identical twins.

In a justice system that often relies heavily on high-tech DNA testing, it was fingerprinting, a practice more than a century old, that succeeded where DNA failed.

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It's thanks to a very similar case from years ago that fingerprinting is today just as critical to investigations as the much newer DNA evidence. At the turn of the 20th century, investigators had tinkered with fingerprinting, but the technique was not widely used, according to the FBI archives.

Rather, to identify suspects, investigators relied on the much-trusted Bertillon system, which "measured dozens of features of a criminal's face and body and recorded the series of precise numbers on a large card along with a photograph," FBI records said. That system, which had been used by investigators following its initial implementation in in Paris , met its match -- so to speak -- when convicted criminal Will West was marched into Leavenworth federal prison in Kansas in According to the FBI, the story goes like this: The admissions clerk at the prison thought he recognized West and asked if he'd ever been incarcerated there.

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West twice replied that he certainly hadn't. The clerk took West's Bertillon measurements, went to the files and came back with a card for "William" West, thinking he had his man. The only problem was, the back of the card showed that William West was already in Leavenworth, serving a life sentence for murder. Two men, Will West and William West, apparently looked almost exactly alike, measurements and all. The FBI said they "may have been identical twins.


  1. Bertillon System Meets Its Match When It Can't Match.
  2. Ten trades that make sense for the Twins (Part 1).
  3. Are These Twins Identical?.

By , the prison abandoned the Bertillon system and started fingerprinting all its inmates. Twenty years later, J. Edgar Hoover formed the Division of Identification within the fledgling FBI and allowed local law enforcement to submit fingerprints so that each could be housed in a single national database.

Lives of the Twins

The Bureau could then coordinate and "provide identification services" to various enforcement agencies. All rights reserved. Acosta defends his role in Epstein plea deal, offers no apology to victims. Sarah McBride could become Delaware's first transgender state senator. UK ambassador to US quits over leaked cables criticizing Trump. Hawaii becomes 26th state to decriminalize marijuana. James reveals a cynical, clever, almost sadistic side as the older of the two. Bouncing to and fro, and fretting all the while, between the two is Molly Marks - curiously referred to by her full name throughout a majority of the novel.

Jonathan and James' characters are the true depth of the story here. Again, this psychological, almost thriller-type novel can move fast - there are chapters that are only sentences long. Supposedly, Oates was disappointed when her ruse as Rosamond Smith was discovered, and never used a pseudonym again. I went into this book knowing that Smith was Oates, and the writing style is undeniably and completely Oates. Those who begin with this novel before any other books by Oates would understandably not draw the parallel too immediately.

I would suggest reading other stronger Oates pieces first - Lives of the Twins is okay, and intriguing enough, but nothing too amazing. I would rank it 3. I was curious what the book is like. I was a bit disappointed, mainly because of the ending. I somehow expected more from the ending but maybe that's because I saw the movie. It's an interesting book tho!

Jun 20, Vivienne Strauss rated it liked it. Feb 16, Paul rated it really liked it. For a pulpy thriller. I really enjoyed Lives of the Twins. This is a psychological thriller which gradually gets darker and darker. He piques her interest and the rather disturbing chain of events in set in motion. Lives of the Twins is a slow burning book. Nothing much seems to happen but what does happen is disturbing and fascinating. JCO delves into the entire theory of identical twins, how much of their identity and what makes them alike also makes them standout and be unique.

Lives of the Twins when is fascinating at times. I was intrigued by Molly.

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Sep 25, Kansas rated it really liked it Shelves: readings. Magnifica Joyce Carol Oates. Jun 24, Kolumbina rated it really liked it. An older book by my favorite writer. A really great book, well written. The three main characters are really convincing, couldn't escape their own demons.

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An outstanding psychological thriller. Didn't like the characters Feb 26, Donna rated it it was amazing Shelves: thrillers. The ultimate "evil twin" story. I first read this when I was a teenager and loved it, thoroughly enjoyed it this time, too! Molly und ihr Psychotherapeut Jonathan verlieben sich ineinander und ziehen zusammen. Jonathan und James sind "spiegelbildliche Zwillinge".

Molly, von Neugier getrieben, aber nicht intelligent genug, um es mit Jonathan und James gemeinsam aufzunehmen, meldet sich unter falschem Namen in James Praxis als Klientin an. Dass James ihm nun beruflich Konkurrenz macht, war sicher keine gute Idee.

Idaho Gems - Smith Twins

Feb 03, Chana rated it liked it Shelves: mystery-psychological. This is just the type of psychological thriller that attracted me to the mystery genre in the first place. I was fascinated. But the ending is so abrupt, the book ends but the story doesn't and we are left to wonder. It is a creepy and beguiling story and I enjoyed reading. It does have a grotesque premise. Tegan McKnight rated it really liked it Jun 21, Sasha rated it really liked it May 05, Yolanda Bourbotte rated it liked it Feb 18, Patrick rated it it was ok Nov 16, Bobbi rated it liked it Nov 14, Travis Wilbanks rated it liked it Jul 28, Anne rated it really liked it Sep 01, Emily rated it really liked it Jul 17, Elizabeth McDonald rated it really liked it Apr 15, May 11, Vivien rated it liked it.

An interesting and fascinating read, something very different than what I've read before. The protagonist is an unreliable narrator who you sympathize with less and less as you continue the story. Raven rated it liked it Mar 11, Katie rated it liked it Apr 11,