Does Haunting Photo Show Singin' Jewish Twins?

Miller Sisters, Onetime Sensation, Died Together in Seclusion

forward association

By Chana Pollack

Published August 17, 2013, issue of August 23, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

Patricia and Joan Miller, who may have inherited their famously non-Jewish features from their dairy salesman father, Elmon Gordon ‘Bud’ Miller, appeared to be the best bet. Popular enough to sing on television’s “The Hoffman Hayride” in the 1950s, they certainly have a close resemblance to the image in our archive. It is tempting to declare the case closed and remove the stigma of the orphaned image.

But truth be told, it’s too close to call. And what about imprinting a mistaken identity and ending up with a case of the dybbuk of mixed-up-souls? The question may be more than purely theoretical.

The Miller twins became reclusive in later years and lived together in the resort town of South Lake Tahoe, Calif. In March 2012, the twins were found dead in different rooms in their shared home.

A coroner determined that they died of natural causes, but the case remains puzzling, since it’s unclear if they died within a very short time of each other. Detective Matt Harwood told Britain’s Daily Mail that he believed the two sisters, long each other’s only companion, could not live without each other.

“My perception is, one died and the other couldn’t handle it,” said the detective, who has been unable to identify any close friends or family members to inform of the sisters’ deaths. ”It appears purely natural, but we are still trying to piece it all together.”

Getting back to our mystery photo, it’s like the Yiddish saying: “Az ikh vel zayn vi yener, ver vet zayn vi ikh?” It roughly translates to: ”If I am to be like someone else, who will be like me?” The unidentified pair in the photo could be the Millers, but it might not be them.

One day soon, the right answer might rise up from the Internet. Maybe someone will start a website for long-lost sister singing groups.

Chana Pollack is the Forward’s archivist. Contact her at pollack@yiddish.forward.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.