The riddle-like tale of traveling twin sisters who shot each other simultaneously, leaving police unable to figure out which had died and which survived, has gotten stranger: The women, who were in Colorado for "cultural exchange," were obsessed with Columbine.

29-year-old Candice Hermeler (sometimes identified as Candace) survives her twin Kristin, who died instantly during a mysterious Denver gun range shooting that left police baffled about the circumstances, physics, even the women's identities.

Questioned by the Denver PD in the hospital, the New York Post reports that Candice at first refused to reveal which sister she was. Now she's talking, but not about everything. She admits that the shooting was part of a suicide pact, but refuses to reveal why. The sisters, who are Australian, were in America with cultural exchange visas; when the authorities searched the sisters' luggage, they found clippings and letters about the Columbine High School massacre. (You could put a very dark gloss on the meaning of American "cultural exchange" based on this, but I'll do my best not to extrapolate.) Authorities don't believe the sisters were planning to kill anyone other than themselves.

According to the Australian press, the sisters had a reputation for being "quiet," "intellectual," and "the best of friends." Their father is a bank executive; both parents migrated from South Africa to Melbourne before their daughters' birth. The girls grew up "privileged," attended private schools, then college, and then traveled the world working as nannies. [NYPost, Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald, yearbook photo of the Hermelers via News.AU]


Cops Can't Figure Out Which Twin Is Dead in Shooting