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Folie à Deux – The Bizarre Tale of Sabina and Ursula Eriksson


This is a true-crime article, the content of which may be detailed and graphic. Please be advised that this isn’t for everyone. The contents of this article include violence, assault, and homicide. If you find this offensive, read no further.

Sabina and Ursula Eriksson are twin sisters from Sweden born on November 3rd, 1967. By the year 2000, Ursula lived in the U.S., while Sabina lived in Ireland. One day, Ursula visited her sister in Ireland, and they were said to be inseparable on the first day of the trip.
However, they slipped away in the night on a ferry to England without notifying Sabina’s husband or children. Sabina’s husband, trying to find her, contacted the police. Upon arriving in England, the twins went to St. Anne, with the local police reporting concerns for Sabina’s children in Ireland. Confused why the twins would come to England, the authorities called a welfare check on Sabina’s children in Ireland. The report came back three hours later, stating that the children were alright.

The twins then got on a bus en route to London. While on this bus, they refused to have their bags checked, huddling together. The bus driver began to grow suspicious of the twins’ erratic behavior. He asked the twins to exit the bus after making an unplanned stop. The manager of the rest stop was worried that they had a bomb in their bags and called the police. The police interviewed the twins and concluded there was nothing wrong and let them on their way. The twins then set out on foot to M6, the busiest highway in England.

Police were eventually called with reports of two women who were dodging in and out of the middle of traffic, causing chaos. The police officers who arrived on the scene were, by coincidence, on a television show reporting on traffic crime.

If you’re interested, footage of the following details are available on YouTube. The footage isn’t graphic; however, it may be unsettling. Having received reports of women being struck by vehicles multiple times, the policemen arrived on the scene expecting the worst. However, the police found Sabina and Ursula on the shoulder of the highway with only superficial injuries. The twins casually spoke to the police officers, with traffic resuming. Then, Ursula randomly broke away from the officers and walked into the path of a semi-truck. An officer tried to stop her by grabbing her jacket, but she wiggled free. She hit the side of the truck, with the wheels running her over.

Soon, Sabina nonchalantly walked into traffic in the same manner as her sister, getting in the path of a volkswagen polo, colliding with its windshield, and rolling off the car and onto the concrete of the highway. They both survived.

Ursula was conscious but immobilized. Sabina was unconscious for 15 minutes. Ursula refused medical treatment by screaming, hitting, and spitting at the first responders. Strangely, she was calling for help from police just as she fought them. She was caught on camera saying, “I recognize you, I know you are not real.”

Drug use was suspected by the police officers at the time. Sabina, who had resumed consciousness, called out, presumably to her sister, “They are going to steal your organs!” Sabina immediately jumped onto her feet, despite cries from the police. In an attempt to calm her, a police officer was pulling on her arm. During the struggle, she punched the police officer, and in an attempt to escape, she tried to jump to the other side of the highway. All the while she screamed, “Help, help, police.”

With assistance from bystanders, it took six people to restrain Sabina while she kicked, flailed, and screamed. One of the officers commented it was as if she were waving them around like rag dolls. The medics required compliance, so they sedated Sabina and restraints remained on.
Ursula, the twin hit by the semi-truck, was airlifted to a hospital, with her sister being driven to a different one. Once the authorities were able to send the twins to their separate hospitals, they looked in the bags and found multiple cell phones, the majority of which were nonfunctioning. While Ursula was in critical condition, Sabina was released from the hospital within hours, entering police custody. The officers braced themselves for aggressiveness, but were greeted by pleasantness. She was even joking with the officers, saying that her feet may smell bad since her sock was lost on the highway. All of this was recorded since the film crew were extremely interested in what was going on. As Sabina was being discharged from the custody of the police, she turned to one of the officers and said, “In Sweden, we always say that an accident rarely comes alone. Usually, one or more follows. Perhaps, two.”

Ursula was still in the hospital at this point. Sabina seemed bothered by the details of hitting a police officer, but hadn’t asked about her sister. When talking about her medical history, they asked if she had ever harmed herself previously, and Sabina responded, “No, never.”
Bloodwork had been done on both twins and concluded that they hadn’t been drinking or doing drugs. While in custody, Sabina pleaded guilty to trespassing on a motorway and assaulting a police officer. She was then sentenced to one day in prison.

Sabina’s husband was notified and had no idea what happened. Sabina had no previous convictions and was released after serving her time. Wandering the street, she stumbled upon two men walking a dog named Glen and Peter. Her belongings were in a plastic bag, and she wore her sister’s ripped up shirt. She asked them where the nearest bed and breakfast was, and mentioned that she was looking for her sister as well. Glen took pity on her and decided to let her stay at his house. Peter felt uneasy about this. The trio went to Peter’s house and had some drinks. Sabina began to act paranoid and nervous. It appeared to the gentlemen that she was on the run from an abusive partner. She would offer them cigarettes from her own pack, but as soon as they had them in their hands, she would yell at them and tell them that they were poisoned.

Peter said he couldn’t take it anymore and left. Glen then called his brother asking about Ursula because he worked at a hospital. Glen later went to his neighbor’s house asking for some tea bags. His neighbor remained outside as he witnessed Glen return to his house and stumble out less than a minute later, bleeding and collapsing. Quickly dying, Glen asked his neighbor to watch his dog.

Sabina immediately exited the house and bolted. She started running away from the house, as surveillance footage shows Sabina hitting herself in the head with a hammer she found at Glen’s house. A man driving by the highway witnessed this and tried to stop her from hitting herself, pulling the hammer away. Sabina then pulled a brick from her pocket and hit him over the head with it, stunning him enough for her to get away.

The neighbor had contacted the police, and they chased her to an overpass of a highway. She jumped and survived, but suffered two broken ankles and a fractured skull. The skull injury may have been from the hammer.

Sabina was hospitalized for three months. Her sister Ursula was discharged from the hospital and relocated back to Sweden. The same month, Sabina was released from the hospital and charged with Glen’s murder. She refused to answer any questions. To this day she can’t explain what happened.

Sabina was diagnosed with madness by two (folie à deux). However, many experts disagree because madness by two usually occurs when two people who already have homicidal intentions join together, and neither of the twins had any previous history of criminality.

Authorities were baffled by what happened. The twins have two older siblings who have no previous history of mental illness and agreed that this occurrence was extremely strange. Sabina’s husband felt the actions were out of the blue as well. The prosecution called for acute polymorphic psychotic disorder, which means that the victim sees illusions that are variable.

The judge decided that Sabina wasn’t at fault because she couldn’t prevent what happened and sentenced her to five years in prison, where she converted to christianity.

Both sisters have never had another incident and in open society. However, finding information on them is difficult.

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Folie à Deux – The Bizarre Tale of Sabina and Ursula Eriksson