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The Ephraim Twins

Miriam tells Phoebe in “The Fire”, a story in The Deadliest Deceptions, that to verify Jacob’s alibi, she dropped in to see the Ephraim twins. Her suspect claimed that at the time of the murder, the twins were indulging him in an evening at The Gladiator, the tavern next to Aphrodite’s brothel:


“Having already been questioned by the magistrates, the twins were surprised to see me.”

“What were they like?”

“That’s just it, Phoebe, they were identical in every way, their faces , their long eyelashes, and their small mouths. Only their bullnecks, broad shoulders, and Hebraic beards kept them from looking feminine.”

“So, how did you tell them apart?”

“Hillel would rub the back of his neck as if it were stiff whenever he said anything. Otherwise, they were like a performing duo.”


Today we know that even identical twin boys accumulate differences in their genetic composition beginning with the spit of their fertilized egg. Still, they remain virtually identical, even more alike than identical twin girls. Identical twin sisters have different X-chromosomes and can express different combinations of those genes, whereas males have only the one X-chromosome, the one they got from their mother.


Is there enough of a difference in the genetic composition, the DNA, of identical twin brothers to tell which is the father of a child? In a recent Dutch court case, a man suspected of rape claimed that his identical twin brother was the perpetrator. A careful DNA analysis revealed a few differences in the DNA between the brothers. And the DNA profile of the suspected twin matched the DNA found on the victim’s clothing.


The twins verified Jacob’s alibi. You’ll have to read the story to find out who was the actual perpetrator. Just click here.


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