VIDEO: Identical Twin Sisters Shared Life, Death Together

The 58-year-old siblings were recently found in a Naples home, both deceased. One had hanged herself. The cause of the other's death is undetermined.

Two twin sisters, 58, were found dead together in a house in Naples. Photo courtesy of Frank Donadee
Two twin sisters, 58, were found dead together in a house in Naples. Photo courtesy of Frank Donadee

Originally posted at 11:18 a.m. Feb. 5, 2014. Edited to add video and additional details.

By Penny Arévalo

Naples, California — Investigators today were trying to understand the deaths of 58-year-old identical twin sisters -- one of whom hanged herself -- in the Naples home they shared for about 30 years.

Valerie Blackler hanged herself in the home in the 100 block of Syracuse Walk, according to coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter, but investigators have yet to determine how her sister, Diane, died.

“It's just such a tragedy,” neighbor Marilyn Bittle told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “There's so many questions. What was the cause of such drastic action.”

Diane Blackler's body was found in her bed, according to published reports.

Frank Donadee, who writes a blog about antique collecting and antique collectors, featured the sisters, whom he calls the “Gynotwins” because of their profession, in an article.

The hunt for treasures, they explained, was a way to get away from their jobs as nurse practitioners, which they adored but also found stressful. Donadee wrote:

We get bad news every day,” they explained. Just the Friday before the Long Beach Show, they diagnosed a 32-year-old woman with cervical cancer, and a 24-year-old with HIV/AIDS. ... Shopping at flea markets and buying baubles helps them escape from the seriousness of their work.

Nancy Pratt of the Long Beach Beach Police Department said there was no sign of foul play in the two-story home and no indication anyone else was involved.

Long Beach police found the bodies Saturday about 5:50 p.m., based on concerns expressed by neighbors, who noticed some lights left on around the clock. The mail carrier stopped delivering mail because it was piling up, a neighbor told The Los Angeles Times.

The women could have been dead for as long as two weeks, according to published reports.

Neighbors described them as polite but private.

--City News Service

Brian Slupski February 05, 2014 at 05:46 PM
@Amanda – Sorry for any confusion. This is content that is flowing only into one category on the site. The homepage still is local at http://stoughton.patch.com/
Tara Schmitt Pepke February 05, 2014 at 06:01 PM
I logged into Wyandotte patch, in Michigan. .not Cali. Patch has gone down the tubes
Bryan Bentley February 05, 2014 at 06:02 PM
Brian, with respect, I would point out that the local Patch websites have had no new content posted for quite awhile. The only content being posted are advertisements for lawyers and such disguised as blogs. It is almost like craigslist without the porn. I tweeted you with a question about what comes next, and you did not respond. I can only take that to mean that you simply do not know what the future brings, but a suggestion would be to at least respond to folks before they just quit reading, blogging, etc. The lack of response will equate to a hemorrhagic loss of loyal viewers. Nuff Said
Lisbeth Allen February 05, 2014 at 06:05 PM
Time for a Revolution!
Guntoter66 February 05, 2014 at 06:11 PM
I read the headline, thinking it was about people in the area. Yellow Tabloid stuff at it's worst. Bring back Keith Brown.
JasperRam February 05, 2014 at 06:36 PM
I agree this article surprised me in that it had nothing to do with us. I also recognize that Patch AOL has greatly reduced staff. However, given the skeleton crew I know they have I was impressed with the coverage they have been providing of LOCAL news. These people must really be scampering.
Sandra Surico February 05, 2014 at 07:29 PM
Why is this article of interest or importance to our area? I really am unhappy with the new format and reporting that has taken place on Patch. I enjoyed the previous coverage method of our LOCAL area.
jks February 05, 2014 at 07:34 PM
Sorry, no longer happy with local news on Patch. Erika Jackson would follow a story until she got all the details. She cared about readers, she followed up and got involved with local groups that were of interest to all of us.
JasperRam February 05, 2014 at 07:44 PM
I am surprised by these posts. Does no one know what is happening at Patch. please google 'patch layoffs'.
Rick February 05, 2014 at 07:50 PM
I wonder if their sponsors care about how unhappy subscribers here are now that they took away our areas staff away........we are not pleased and, if things don't change pretty quick I am deleting this horrible replacement they've come up with......
Rick February 05, 2014 at 07:51 PM
Rick February 05, 2014 at 07:52 PM
Maybe they should have taken the time to notify subscribers here and maybe notify employees in a more professional fashion.
Rick February 05, 2014 at 07:56 PM
I will miss this page, it really did provide in depth news from local sources.
JasperRam February 05, 2014 at 07:57 PM
Rick, the new owners don't care. They are closing down Patch as it has been - this is their second big layoff in the past several months. Global is NOT in the newspaper business. They are working with, presumably, best people until they decide to do with it. The few people left are trying to give us something. This article may very well be the work of a disgruntled employee trying to point out the absurdity of it all.
Shirley Dicktor February 05, 2014 at 11:02 PM
The whole story is not here, as in the case often with these supposedly local stories. Both were eccentrics, so just guessing one went over the edge...we prob will never know unless they can contact relatives.
. February 05, 2014 at 11:50 PM
@Rick Subscribers? No one pays to read this. There are plenty of ways to get local news. The Patch was never accurate or up to date anyway. I don't know why everyone is so upset with the change.
Sandra Trionfini February 06, 2014 at 06:43 AM
Yep. New Patch stinks. Really? Why is this story part of the Canton, Connecticut Patch that I read on Facebook? I don't need or want this type of reporting.
JohnnyMass February 06, 2014 at 09:05 AM
Who cares about this crap?
JasperRam February 06, 2014 at 09:20 AM
Johnny Then why would you respond?
macgeek February 06, 2014 at 09:35 AM
I had no idea edgewater md was local to CA. lol why are these girls famous? what did they do? I never heard of them.
Gabe Gonsalves February 06, 2014 at 10:19 AM
agreed....what does this have to do with our local community.
Dirk Anderson February 06, 2014 at 11:21 AM
Dear Patch, You have become complete crap. To save money they laid off writers and staff. But now the product is complete garbage. Save time and shut it down now
Jennifer Jamison February 06, 2014 at 05:53 PM
Sad story but not sure why its my news in Maryland
Jennifer Jamison February 06, 2014 at 05:55 PM
BTW, the new Patch format sucks. Confusing, hard to follow, hard to find a story.
Higgs Andrys February 06, 2014 at 09:01 PM
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wm c barker February 07, 2014 at 06:18 PM
does he charge?
Tom Hollman February 07, 2014 at 09:24 PM
Patch is controlled by lefties and gays they are no longer on my list
JasperRam February 08, 2014 at 03:57 PM
Tom you are both a fool and wrong.
chris February 10, 2014 at 12:48 AM
If you can't cover the news from my locality, this site is not worth coming to at all. Generic articles about lifestyle and culture don't cut it either. You may think it works because it is relatable to the majority of Americans, but it doesn't. What we really want to see is names and places from home. Goodbye Half Hollow Hills Patch.
chris February 10, 2014 at 12:53 AM
This article is not local. Why am I seeing this?


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