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Widow Lived With Corpses of Husband and Twin
Posted 7/6/10


WYALUSING, Pa. — The 91-year-old widow lived by herself in a tumbledown house on a desolate country road. But she wasn't alone, not really, not as long as she could visit her husband and twin sister.

No matter they were already dead. Jean Stevens simply had their embalmed corpses dug up and stored them at her house — in the case of her late husband, for more than a decade — tending to the remains as best she could until police were finally tipped off last month.

Much to her dismay.

"Death is very hard for me to take," Stevens told an interviewer.

As state police finish their investigation into a singularly macabre case — no charges have been filed — Stevens wishes she could be reunited with James Stevens, her husband of nearly 60 years who died in 1999, and June Stevens, the twin who died last October. But their bodies are with the Bradford County coroner now, off-limits to the woman who loved them best.

From time to time, stories of exhumed bodies are reported, but rarely do those involved offer an explanation. Jean Stevens, seeming more grandmother than ghoul, holds little back as she describes what happened outside this small town in northern Pennsylvania's Endless Mountains.

She knows what people must think of her. But she had her reasons, and they are complicated, a bit sad, and in their own peculiar way, sweet.


Dressed smartly in a light blue shirt and khaki skirt, silver hoops in her ears, her white hair swept back and her brown eyes clear and sharp, she offers a visitor a slice of pie, then casts a knowing look when it's declined. "You're afraid I'll poison you," she says.

On a highboy in the corner of the dining room rests a handsome, black-and-white portrait of Jean, then a stunner in her early 20s, and James, clad in his Army uniform. It was taken after their 1942 marriage but before his service in World War II, in which he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, James worked at a General Electric Corp. plant in Liverpool, N.Y., then as an auto mechanic. He succumbed to Parkinson's disease on May 21, 1999.

Next to that photo there is a smaller color snapshot of Jean and June, taken when they were in their late 80s.

In many ways, Jean shared a closer bond with her twin than her husband.

Though June lived more than 200 miles away in West Hartford, Conn., they talked by phone several times a week, and June wrote often. The twins — who, as it happened, married brothers — were honored guests at the 70th reunion of the Camptown High School Class of 1937.

'I could touch her and look at her and talk to her'
Then, last year, June was diagnosed with cancer. She was in a lot of pain when Jean came to visit. The sisters shared a bed, and Jean rubbed her back. "I'm real glad you're here," June said.

On Oct. 3, June died. She was buried in her sister's backyard — but not for long.

"I think when you put them in the (ground), that's goodbye, goodbye," Stevens said. "In this way I could touch her and look at her and talk to her."

She kept her sister, who was dressed in her "best housecoat," on an old couch in a spare room off the bedroom. Jean sprayed her with expensive perfume that was June's favorite.

"I'd go in, and I'd talk, and I'd forget," Stevens said. "I put glasses on her. When I put the glasses on, it made all the difference in the world. I would fix her up. I'd fix her face up all the time."

She offered a similar rationale for keeping her husband on a couch in the detached garage. James, who had been laid to rest in a nearby cemetery, wore a dark suit, white shirt and blue knitted tie.

"I could see him, I could look at him, I could touch him. Now, some people have a terrible feeling, they say, 'Why do you want to look at a dead person? Oh my gracious,'" she said.


I know it's weird and pretty much wrong, but somehow I don't think she's bad in the slightest, just very lonely.
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Canada
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Posted 7/6/10
Thats sad, yet kind of creepy.
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69 / M / Limbo
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Posted 7/6/10
I bet she sat em down at the dinner table and had intricate conversations with them.


lol "Flowers for a lady".
Posted 7/6/10
That's sweet and very sad. She really misses them both
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20 / M / Next to the Invis...
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Posted 7/6/10
Talk about not letting go
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21 / F / New York
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Posted 7/6/10

magicuser360 wrote:



"Death is very hard for me to take," Stevens told an interviewer.


u can say that again

aww poor lady
Posted 7/6/10
Can't even imagine how her house must have smelled.
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20 / F / Cowboy Land
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Posted 7/6/10
I would also miss my relatives if they died ....but I hate seeing dead people or having the thought of them living in my house...
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24 / F / Tampa, FL
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Posted 7/6/10
Poor lady :/ she must be lonely
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Canada
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Posted 7/6/10
:[ what a sad article in the end everybody died D:. Well excluding the reporter
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17 / M / boys locker room
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Posted 7/6/10
NECROPHELIA
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22 / Where the Wild Th...
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Posted 7/6/10
It really doesn't sound all that bad. I mean, she wasn't really disturbing anyone right ? Yeah, sure. The thought might be disturbing, but she lost the two people she loved most. It's understandable. Letting go is a skill. It's not an easy one at that.
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27 / M / California
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Posted 7/6/10
That's what true love is.
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23 / M / Dallas, TX
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Posted 7/6/10

KleinerSkollexxx wrote:

NECROPHELIA


This.
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26 / F / Inside My Room
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Posted 7/6/10
aaaww... move forward.
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