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!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • 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.