Los Angeles Youngsters, Joined at Head, Are Touring With Carnival Sideshow Now Showing at the State Fair.



Joined at head, Mary Yvette and Gladys Yvonne Jones can expect normal life span with proper care



Spectators show varying expressions on seeing Siamese Twins


Yvonne and Yvette McCarther were born in California at Los Angeles General Hospital on May 14, 1949. Their mother, Willa McCarther, wanted them separated and kept them in the hospital for several months while she met with doctors. When it was determined that the twins shared too much tissue to be separated safely, Mrs. McCarther took them home. Immediately she was confronted by people in showbusiness who wanted to exhibit the infant twins with circus sideshows. She initially refused, but when she was unable to pay the hospital bills, Mrs. McCarther and her daughters spent a six-month stint touring with the Royal American Circus. With the $300 a week the family earned, Mrs. McCarther was able to pay the hospital bill and take her babies home for good.

When Yvonne and Yvette were children, their doctors predicted that they would never be able to walk, since they were joined at the top of the head, and that they would be mentally retarded because of the brain tissue they shared. The twins proved their doctors wrong on both counts. They developed above-average intelligence and were so active physically that their mother was afraid they would break their necks. Their movements were well-coordinated and they walked and even ran in perfect unison. Although Yvonne and Yvette were raised in their family's San Fernando, California, home, they preferred the time they spent in Augusta, Georgia as children. They particularly enjoyed shopping and spent many hours perusing Augusta's many shopping centers.

The McCarther twins spent many years as successful gospel singers, touring the nation and singing at churches. They were managed by singer Linda Hopkins, who booked tours for them, as well as looking after them at home. Though they were not allowed to attend classes at high school, they managed to obtain their diploma through home schooling. For a while they received instruction over the phone, but when that didn't work, the teachers came to their house. In 1987, the twins moved out of their mother's home and into their own apartment. They also enrolled in community college, with the goal of earning nursing degrees. Sadly, on January 1, 1993, the sisters were found dead in their apartment. A coroner's examination determined they had died on December 15, 1992. Yvonne had suffered from an enlarged heart and it was presumed that this was the cause of their demise. The sisters' degrees were awarded posthumously at their funeral as a tribute to their extraordinary dedication.

The McCarther sisters got along very well, better than many conjoined twins, who often fight. They always wore the same outfit, shared cigarettes, and ate the same food at the same time. Interestingly, in interviews, both sisters refer to themselves as "I" rather than "we", showing the independent personalities these bright and well-adjusted sisters developed.

The sisters' biological father, John Jones, was out of the picture by the time they were born, but they are sometimes referred to as Yvonne and Yvette Jones. Their stepfather, Charles McCarther, died in 1970.


Elizabeth Anderson Phreeque Show

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