Mysteries at the Museum (2010) s12e02 Episode Script

Kidnapped Film Director

Twin brothers on trial for murder WOMAN: If they put him to death, they'll also be killing his brother, as well.
the origins of a beloved board game He thought that he had a cash cow on his hand.
and a daring heist in the heart of London The media call this the perfect crime.
These are the mysteries at the museum.
Austin, Texas is famous for its lively art scene and eccentric residents.
So it's no surprise that this quirky town's unofficial slogan is "Keep Austin weird.
" And one of it's most idiosyncratic establishments is the Austin Toy Museum.
This institution celebrates classic playthings loved by generations, including a collection of vintage arcade games, toy robots from the 1960s, and Mr.
Potato Head's pal, Pete the Pepper.
But tucked away on a shelf is a character few Americans would recognize.
PORGES: It's about 10 inches high and 5 inches wide, and it's made of hard molded plastic.
It's covered in red, purple, and gold scales.
And it has a ferocious expression on its face.
[ Roar ] WILDMAN: This toy recalls a diabolical plot that seems ripped straight out of a Cold War thriller.
This is the story of an infamous dictator, a shocking kidnapping, and a monster movie.
WILDMAN: It's 1978 in Hong Kong.
South Korean film director Shin Sang-ok is a moviemaking legend.
PORGES: Shin made massively popular movies.
He was kind of the Steven Spielberg of South Korea.
WILDMAN: One night, Shin is walking along the waterfront when something terrible happens.
He's suddenly grabbed, thrown into a boat and knocked unconscious.
When he wakes up, he has no idea where he is until a guard tells him something terrifying.
He's in Pyongyang and is now a prisoner of the North Korean government.
PORGES: North Korea is the most totalitarian nation on Earth.
They control everybody who goes in and goes out.
There is no escaping.
WILDMAN: And Shin is not the only captive.
Also being held is his ex-wife, an actress named Choi Eun-hee.
PORGES: Choi was the epitome of glamour, the Marilyn Monroe of South Korea.
WILDMAN: The terrified hostages have no idea why they've been targeted.
They're held in captivity, monitored around the clock.
WILDMAN: And their ordeal is about to get even worse.
Shin and Choi are brought before one of the most feared men in the world, the tyrant Kim Jong-il.
To their surprise, Kim makes an unexpected request.
Kim Jong-il was a giant movie buff.
He tells them he has a problem.
He loves movies but North Korean movies stink.
The acting is terrible, the production values are terrible.
Kim Jong-il tells them, "You are gonna be in charge of the North Korean film industry, and you can make whatever you want.
" WILDMAN: Shin and Choi have no choice but to accept.
PORGES: This is North Korea.
If they say no, then they can be thrown into a prison camp or even executed.
WILDMAN: Under the watchful eye of North Korean officials, the two get to work.
PORGES: They start making martial arts movies, romance movies, movies that span genres.
And they make a lot of them.
Kim Jong-il is thrilled with his captives, 'cause these movies, they're actually pretty good.
WILDMAN: Over time, the pair earns the trust of the tyrant.
But Shin and Choi want just one thing, to get back home.
PORGES: As the years pass, they become focused on a single goal -- escape North Korea at all costs.
WILDMAN: In 1985, after 7 long years in captivity, Shin and Choi are summoned by the dictator.
Kim Jong-il demands that they turn their talents to one of his favorite film genres -- monster movies.
And he wants them to make the greatest monster movie the world has ever seen.
With no other options, Shin and Choi begin production.
Months later, their film is finished.
It's titled "Pulgasari.
" PORGES: This is a communist spin on "Godzilla.
" The monster Pulgasari teams up with peasants to take on evil landowners.
WILDMAN: Kim Jong-il loves it.
PORGES: Kim Jong-il is thrilled.
This is the best thing he'd ever seen.
WILDMAN: Shin and Choi realized they can use their good standing with the tyrant to their advantage.
If they're ever going to flee his clutches, it needs to happen now.
This was their one chance.
WILDMAN: So they approach Kim Jong-il with a novel idea.
PORGES: They tell him, "Your movies would be bigger, better, if only they were filmed in Europe.
" WILDMAN: The egotistical dictator is thrilled with the plan.
PORGES: Kim Jong-il eats it up.
This is what he wants, to be taken seriously on the world stage.
WILDMAN: He agrees to their approach on one condition.
The couple may go to Europe but are to be guarded at all times.
Shin and Choi know that escaping will not be easy.
If their plot was exposed, they could be executed as traitors.
WILDMAN: In March, the couple travels to Vienna.
Just days after the arrival, Shin and Choi seize their chance.
As they're leaving their hotel, they slip away from their captors and make a run for it.
Straightaway, a bodyguard is hot on their trail.
Stop! PORGES: It's like a chase scene from a movie through the streets of downtown Vienna.
WILDMAN: Shin and Choi jump into an empty cab.
PORGES: Shin tells the driver, "Get to the American Embassy as quick as you can.
" WILDMAN: The taxi careens through the streets of Vienna and finally pulls up at the embassy.
There, the filmmaking duo is questioned by an official from the U.
PORGES: They tell the Americans they've been kidnapped for 8 years by North Korea and were now seeking asylum.
WILDMAN: To their great relief, their request is granted.
Shin and Choi are finally free.
They end up moving to Los Angeles and resume work in the film industry.
WILDMAN: Today, this action figure of Pulgasari, the monster movie character that helped Shin Sang-ok and Choi Eun-hee gain their freedom is on display at the Austin Toy Museum.
It recalls the brave couple who devised a surprising plot twist to escape a real-life horror film.
Brooklyn, New York, is home to more than 1,600 houses of worship earning it the nickname the "Borough of Churches.
" And in the leafy neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights is one of its most venerable institutions -- Plymouth Church.
Visitors can see an array of Tiffany stained-glass windows, a chunk of the famous Plymouth Rock, and a piece of cloth taken from the coat worn by President Abraham Lincoln on the night he was assassinated.
But hidden away in a small velvet box is the most impressive artifact of all.
This object is circular, it is delicate, and it is made of 18 karat gold and has a ruby center.
WILDMAN: This tiny bauble once played a role in an ingenious plot to save a helpless child.
BLAIR: This ring was at the center of one small girl's search for freedom.
WILDMAN: It's 1860.
The nation is bitterly divided between the slave states in the south and the free states of the north.
For many northerners, slavery is seen as immoral.
One such abolitionist is a Brooklyn minister named Henry Ward Beecher.
BLAIR: Henry Ward Beecher believed that getting rid of slavery was a part of his ministry.
And he used his pulpit to get other people in New York to feel the same.
WILDMAN: And Beecher is about to get the chance to turn his words into action.
One winter's day, a fellow abolitionist pays the preacher a visit.
With him is a young girl named Pink.
BLAIR: Pink was a slave.
She lived with her grandmother in Washington, D.
WILDMAN: Pink's owner is planning to sell the girl and send her south.
Beecher knows this would condemn her to a terrible fate.
BLAIR: Beecher was convinced that he could do something to keep her from being separated from her grandmother and from being sold further down south.
WILDMAN: He vows to buy the girl's freedom.
But raising the money will be difficult.
Beecher had to guarantee at least $800 for the sale.
WILDMAN: It's a massive sum.
But then he gets a moment of inspiration.
BLAIR: Beecher decided that he would shock his congregants.
He decided to have a mock slave auction.
Slave auctions were loud and dirty and messy and horrible, and Beecher knew that many of his congregants didn't have any experience with this.
WILDMAN: The following Sunday, the minister takes his place at the pulpit.
He summons Pink to the front of the congregation and begins speaking.
He began to describe her height, her size, her age, where she was from, just as a slave auctioneer would've done.
WILDMAN: A ripple of horror spreads through the pews.
At first, his congregants didn't know what was going on.
Was he actually selling this young girl? WILDMAN: It seems that Beecher's outrageous plan has backfired terribly.
No matter how much Beecher wanted to save this sweet, young child, he just didn't know how it would turn out.
Her future was in the balance.
It's 1860 -- Brooklyn, New York.
Abolitionist Reverend Henry Ward Beecher has a problem.
He must raise $800 to buy the freedom of a young slave girl named Pink.
So to get his congregation to chip in, the reverend concocts an outlandish and controversial stunt.
He'll hold a mock slave auction in his church.
So, will it work? To the horror of the assembled throng, Reverend Beecher begins speaking in the manner of a slave auctioneer.
He shocked the congregation.
WILDMAN: But then he changes tack and describes, in detail, exactly what Pink's life will be like if she's sold to a plantation in the deep south.
Slowly but surely, he feels the tide in the room start to turn.
It was heart-wrenching.
People ended up in tears.
WILDMAN: Seizing the moment, the minister plays his master stroke.
He grabs a collection plate and makes a heartfelt plea.
Beecher told his congregation to put money in that plate to buy her freedom.
WILDMAN: The plate is passed around the church.
And when it's returned to Beecher, it overflows with donations, more then enough to secure the young girl's liberty.
The entire congregation cheered.
[ Applause ] WILDMAN: But there's more in the collection plate than money.
Amid the cash is a beautiful gold ring set with a stunning red ruby.
When Reverend Beecher saw this gift, he said, "With this ring, I wed thee to freedom.
" WILDMAN: Pink goes on to lead a happy life with a successful career.
BLAIR: She went to Howard University.
And she eventually became a teacher.
WILDMAN: Years later, the gold ring with the ruby that Henry Ward Beecher put on Pink's finger is returned to Plymouth Church in Brooklyn.
It remains on display as an everlasting reminder of the brave young child and the inspirational minister who bargained for her freedom.
Rochester, New York.
This city's picturesque Ontario Beach Park features sandy shores, stunning views, and abundant wildlife.
But people looking for a break from the outdoors can head to The Strong.
Dedicated to the history of play, the museum's highlights include a 1960s Soap Box Derby race car, a 19th century wooden sled, and a giant jack-in-the-box.
But among the objects that celebrate pure fun is one which strikes a darker note.
It's 14-by-17 inches.
It has 64 squares on it.
And on the squares are words like poverty and intemperance and despair.
WILDMAN: The modern version of this board game can be found in homes all over the country.
But few know that the tale behind its invention is far from child's play.
BENSCH: The story of this game's creation has more obstacles than the game itself.
WILDMAN: 1860 -- Springfield, Massachusetts.
24-year-old Milton Bradley is an aspiring businessman, determined to make a fortune.
BENSCH: Milton Bradley had a lot of entrepreneurial spirit.
He is trying to get his foot on the rung to American success.
WILDMAN: One day, Bradley has an idea that he believes will make him a wealthy man.
With the country in the midst of a presidential election, he thinks he can capitalize on the rising popularity of one candidate in particular -- Abraham Lincoln.
Bradley sinks his life savings into the purchase of a lithograph machine that he uses to print hundreds of portraits of the up-and-coming politician.
BENSCH: In an era before things like "People" magazine, Americans craved images of famous folks.
Milton Bradley thought that he had a cash cow on his hand.
WILDMAN: But Bradley's novel idea is about to lead him to ruin.
In the fall of 1860, Abraham Lincoln grows a beard.
Milton Bradley's lithographs, which depict a clean-shaven Lincoln, are rendered worthless.
Lincoln's new facial hair overturns this great cash cow.
No one wanted these now.
WILDMAN: Demand for Bradley's lithographs dries up, and the aspiring businessman is left with dozens of unsellable portraits.
With no money left to make new prints, the entrepreneur faces bankruptcy.
He must have felt despair, that he was ruined.
WILDMAN: But Bradley is about to come up with a new use for his lithograph machine, one that will take the world by storm.
It's 1860 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
24-year-old entrepreneur Milton Bradley has gone all in with his latest business venture, selling lithographs of a clean-shaven Abraham Lincoln.
But when Lincoln grows a beard, the prints become worthless.
So is this game over for Milton Bradley? One afternoon, Bradley is at a friend's house when he's introduced to a novel form of entertainment from England.
It's called a board game.
These mass-produced parlor games are designed to bring the whole family together and are almost unheard of in the United States.
Bradley is suddenly struck by an idea.
He can use his lithograph machine to print his own board game.
BENSCH: Very few games are being produced in the United States.
And the few games there were, frankly, weren't very much fun.
All he needed was a better game than the ones that were out there on the market.
WILDMAN: Bradley spends countless hours brainstorming ideas.
And inspired by his own experience of life's ups and downs, he finally comes up with one that he thinks will be a winner.
Bradley designs a board with 64 squares and marks some of them with the highs and lows one might experience over a lifetime.
He assigns the positive squares point values and the bad ones penalties.
BENSCH: Bradley has spots like "honor" and "wealth" that gain you points, but also has spots like "ruin" and "despair.
" WILDMAN: Players navigate the board collecting points.
The first to reach 100 wins.
Bradley gives his creation a fitting name.
Bradley calls this game "The Checkered Game of Life.
" WILDMAN: In 1866, Bradley files a patent for the game.
He takes his prototype to a shopkeeper in New York City and convinces him to invest.
BENSCH: Bradley had a prototype, he started printing.
He built up a stock of this game.
And it really starts to sell.
WILDMAN: "The Checkered Game of Life" is an instant success.
BENSCH: In the first year, Milton Bradley sold more than 40,000 copies, which was a huge number at the time.
This game absolutely encapsulates the American dream.
WILDMAN: Milton Bradley's company eventually becomes the largest producer of board games in the world, creating countless classics like "Candy Land," "Shoots and Ladders" and "Twister.
" Today, "The Checkered Game of Life" is known simply as "The Game of Life.
" It remains one of the best- selling board games of all time.
And this first edition copy that started it all is on display at The Strong.
It recalls the ambitious entrepreneur who wrote his own rules and came out on top.
Washington, D.
The idyllic neighborhood of Georgetown is home to a scenic waterfront, elegant 18th century architecture, and a world-famous university.
But the areas most prestigious institution is this 200-year-old mansion, Tudor Place.
The collection here includes a bust of Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette, a piano from 1804, and porcelain punch bowl owned by George and Martha Washington.
But among these ornate items is a simple object that is easy to overlook.
QUINONES: It's 18 inches high and 14 inches wide.
It's made of walnut wood, iron and leather.
The base forms an X.
And it has leather stretched across the top.
WILDMAN: This stool belonged to an iconic American leader and recalls a crucial battle that decided the fate of the nation.
QUINONES: This is a story about war, patriotism, and one man's bravery.
WILDMAN: October 1776 -- New York.
6 months into the Revolutionary War, General George Washington's ragtag Continental Army is on the brink of defeat.
The Americans are hardly a match for the highly organized British forces.
QUINONES: The Continental Army at this point is an army of volunteers.
They're poorly trained, badly equipped.
They haven't won a battle yet.
And they're demoralized.
WILDMAN: To move his troops to a stronger position, Washington orders his forces to march north from the island of Manhattan to the small village of White Plains.
Tasked with defending the retreat is one of his most trusted officers -- 43-year-old Colonel John Glover.
QUINONES: Washington trusts Colonel Glover because he's a very brave, resourceful man.
He knows about facing difficulties and standing, really, in the face of danger and even death.
WILDMAN: But for the war-weary army, things are about to get even worse.
On the morning of October 18th, Colonel Glover's regiment is camped near the town of Pelham when they receive alarming news.
A flotilla of British ships is sailing up the Long Island Sound, headed directly towards their position.
If the Redcoats gain a foothold in the region, they would be within striking distance of Washington's camp.
And if they capture Washington, the revolution will be all but over.
QUINONES: General Washington really has no replacement.
There's no one who can step into his shoes.
There's no hope without him.
WILDMAN: Glover monitors the progress of the British ships as they sail up the sound.
QUINONES: He is up on a little hill.
He's looking to see when and how and how massively the British are going to arrive.
WILDMAN: Then, shortly after sunrise, he sees the enemy make landfall.
And the situation is worse than he could possibly have imagined.
QUINONES: Four thousand men had landed on the beach.
Now, Glover himself has 750 men.
He's outnumbered more than four to one.
WILDMAN: It seems that Glover's small regiment has no chance against the advancing British horde.
QUINONES: At this point, it seems like there isn't anything Glover can possibly do to hold off the superior force.
And if he fails, the British will have New York, they'll have the American Army, and they will have General Washington.
It's October 1776 -- New York.
Thousands of British soldiers have landed near the small of Pelham.
Their target -- General George Washington, who is holed up nearby.
The only thing that stands between the Redcoats and their prize is a tiny band of American revolutionaries led by Colonel John Glover.
So, can Glover save the day and the revolution? Colonel Glover realizes that his position offers one key advantage.
The only way for the British troops to advance inland is along a narrow country lane lined by stone walls on either side.
He realizes he can use this feature to launch a surprise attack.
So he concocts an audacious plan.
First, he'll have his men split into groups and hide behind the walls.
Then he'll order one group to attack, while the other behind a wall on the opposite side prepares for the next stage of the ambush.
QUINONES: One group will pop up and shoot at the British, they'll pop back down.
And as the British reach the next point on the wall, the next group will pop up and shoot into them.
The British are going to be under a barrage of musket fire the entire time they're walking between those walls.
WILDMAN: But if the plan fails, so does the revolution.
Glover places his men into position.
All he can do is hope for the best.
So now the British are marching along a beautiful country road.
To them, it's just an ordinary road with stone walls on either side.
WILDMAN: Glover's men wait as the column of British troops advances.
As soon as the enemy is within range Glover springs the trap.
The soldiers jump up and open fire.
QUINONES: This is shocking to the British.
They're being shot like fish in a bowl.
WILDMAN: Then, as quickly as they appeared, Glover's troops drop down.
QUINONES: The British probably think that that's it.
But as they get to the next phase in the wall, the next regiment pops up and shoots another volley of musket fire into them.
WILDMAN: Glover's ambush is a resounding success.
The daring attack kills almost 800 enemy soldiers and succeeds in delaying the British advance.
The skirmish, which goes down in history as the Battle of Pelham, buys enough time for General Washington to retreat to White Plains, saving the budding revolution.
QUINONES: One of the great things about the story is it shows the beginnings of this American ingenuity and will to win and triumph over the odds no matter what.
WILDMAN: Today, George Washington's camp stool, used during the Revolutionary War is on display at Tudor Place.
It recalls an historic moment when the fate of the nation depended on the element of surprise.
The English county of Gloucestershire is renowned for its rolling hills, verdant woodlands, and quaint villages.
But in the small town of Cinderford is an institution dedicated to the dark side of British history -- the Littledean Jail Museum.
The collection here includes a knife used by British commandos in World War II, a pair of Nazi handguns, and a noose used in more than 400 executions.
But hidden among these sinister relics is an artifact with the strangest story to tell.
This item measures 5 inches long and 2 inches thick.
It's made of metal, and hidden inside is a complex, internal mechanism.
WILDMAN: This device recalls a daring robbery committed by an unlikely group of thieves.
WILDING: This lock holds the key to one of the most ambitious heists in Britain's history.
WILDMAN: April 7th, 2015 -- London, England.
[ Sirens wail ] Police are summoned to one of the most secure locations in the city's lucrative diamond district -- the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company.
WILDING: It held millions of dollars worth of gems and jewelry owned by private citizens and jewelers.
WILDMAN: When the officers arrive, they are met by an astonishing sight.
WILDING: A massive hole had been drilled through the thick concrete wall of the vault.
Inside, dozens of safe deposit boxes were smashed open, emptied, and strewn across the floor.
WILDMAN: When the losses are tallied, it's one of the largest jewel heists in British history.
The offenders got away with around $300 million worth of loot.
WILDMAN: Tasked with solving the case is Detective Chief Inspector Paul Johnson of Scotland Yard.
WILDING: Johnson was amazed.
He'd never seen anything like this before in his entire career.
The criminals were somehow able to break into a building, take out all the security cameras, then lower themselves down an elevator shaft into the basement, where they're then able to drill through a 2-foot-thick concrete wall into the vault.
WILDMAN: Johnson's team combs the crime scene for clues.
But despite their efforts, investigators come up empty-handed.
The detective then checks the area for possible witnesses.
But he's unable to find a single person who saw anything suspicious.
WILDING: With so little evidence left behind, this looked to be the work of a very professional outfit.
The media call this the perfect crime.
WILDMAN: With the case rapidly growing cold, Johnson and his team expand their search.
And they get their first solid lead.
WILDING: A neighboring store believed that their security cameras had video that could help identify the offenders.
WILDMAN: When Johnson studies the footage, he finds what he's looking for.
The images on this videotape would make or break this case.
It's 2015 in London.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Johnson of Scotland Yard is investigating one of the biggest diamond heists in British history.
His only clue -- surveillance footage from a neighboring business.
And what it reveals will cast this caper in a whole new light.
Johnson scans the footage and spots a vital clue.
He found blurry images of seven men dressed in construction outfits letting themselves into the building.
WILDMAN: The men are not wearing masks and the video offers clear shots of their faces.
So Johnson has the images run through state-of-the-art facial recognition software.
WILDING: And, unbelievably, there was a match, and then another and another, until he had identified six of the seven thieves.
WILDMAN: There's one thing about the thieves that surprises Johnson.
They are almost all senior citizens.
WILDING: London's diamond district had been had by a bunch of old geezers.
WILDMAN: The suspects are almost all in their 60s and 70s and are career criminals with lengthy rap sheets.
The robbers are tracked down and arrested.
But when they're all in custody, Johnson gets another surprise.
WILDING: These men were all plagued with various illnesses.
One was incontinent, one was blind in one eye, and one walked with a cane.
But they wanted to relive their glory days by pulling off one last big heist.
WILDMAN: At trial, the men plead guilty, and all are given lengthy prison terms.
And although the seventh member of the gang is never identified, Johnson recovers much of the stolen loot.
Today, this lock from a safety deposit box is on display at the Littledean Jail Museum.
It recalls a heist that proved that, for some criminals, age is just a number.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, boasts some of the nation's most important cultural and historical attractions.
It's home to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Franklin Institute, and Independence Hall.
But tucked away along a quiet side street is one of the weirdest institutions on the planet -- The Mutter Museum.
Its gruesome gallery is a repository for all manner of bizarre medical specimens, including a set of tumor-riddled brains, a shrunken head from a South American tribe, and an 8-foot-long human colon.
But hidden in the museum's archives is an artifact with the strangest tale to tell.
It's about 10 inches tall and 6 inches wide.
It shows an illustration of a well-dressed man of means with a very unusual protrusion coming out of his chest.
WILDMAN: This image, from a 17th century anatomy book, recalls one of the most unusual criminal trials of all time.
This is a story of parasitic twins, brotherly love, and one of the strangest murder cases in history.
WILDMAN: It's 1638 in Genoa, Italy.
21-year-old Lazarus and Joannes Colloredo are twins linked by a remarkable medical condition.
LADY AYE: These aren't your average twins.
They're what's known as parasitic twins.
WILDMAN: Lazarus is a healthy, fully functioning adult, but Joannes hangs limp, upside down from his brother's torso.
He cannot open his eyes and is unable to speak.
Joannes was only partially formed and appeared to only have a face, a torso, arms, and one leg.
He was actually fused with his fully-formed brother's body.
WILDMAN: Because of their appearance, the wins are victims of merciless harassment and constant mockery.
LADY AYE: I imagine people of Genoa found them quite shocking and perhaps even a sign of bad luck.
WILDMAN: Their condition makes any hope of an ordinary life impossible.
LADY AYE: It was probably difficult for the brothers to find any sort of normal occupation.
WILDMAN: To make a living, the Colloredo brothers are forced to take the only work available to them, performing in a freak show.
Lazarus decided to display himself and his brother all across Europe.
WILDMAN: The twins debut their act in France.
On opening night, Lazarus takes the stage before a packed house, shrouded in a heavy cloak.
Then, as the crowd watches intently, he dramatically reveals his malformed twin.
[ Audience gasps ] The crowd gasps at the spectacle.
It was probably a once-in-a-lifetime thing to see for most people.
Lazarus was very gentlemanly, he was very bright by all accounts.
So he's probably made a very charming showman.
[ Applause ] WILDMAN: Before long, word about the amazing Colloredo brothers spreads.
Money starts pouring in, and the twins tour all over Europe.
At each stop, they are greeted by legions of fans.
For the first time in their lives, the twins feel embraced by society.
The Colloredo brothers actually used something which most people would describe as monstrous to create a great amount of acceptance for themselves.
WILDMAN: But this new life doesn't last for long.
One night, the twins are enjoying a drink at a local tavern when another patron begins mocking them.
The man's cruel words reopen old wounds.
Lazarus became enraged at the teasing.
WILDMAN: As tampers flare, Lazarus strikes the stranger on the head, killing him instantly.
LADY AYE: I don't think he had any intention of killing this man.
He was quite remorseful, and he felt terrible about it.
WILDMAN: The twins are arrested, convicted of murder, and sentenced to death.
Lazarus is wracked with guilt.
His innocent brother will be unjustly punished for his crime.
LADY AYE: Lazarus must've been incredibly upset and nervous.
His brother, through no fault of his own, was now facing the penalty for his crime.
WILDMAN: So what will happen to the Colloredo brothers? It's the mid-1600s in Italy.
A man named Lazarus Colloredo has been sentenced to death for murder.
But there's a dilemma.
Lazarus is a conjoined twin.
And there's no way to spare his innocent brother, Joannes, from being executed.
So can Joannes be saved? Lazarus resolves to do whatever he can to spare his brother.
And as he sits in his cell, he is struck with an idea that might save them both from certain death.
Just days before their scheduled execution, the twins appear before the court.
Lazarus expresses tremendous remorse for killing the stranger in the tavern.
And then he makes an unusual appeal for mercy.
LADY AYE: He explains that if they put him to death, they'll also be taking a completely innocent life by killing his brother, as well, since they can't be separated.
WILDMAN: The court is faced with an unprecedented scenario.
LADY AYE: This is an incredibly unusual defense.
It's probably never been used before or since.
WILDMAN: After much debate, the judge finally makes his ruling.
And the verdict is reversed.
LADY AYE: The court decides that it can't convict one brother without condemning the other.
WILDMAN: The court revokes the death sentence.
Both lives are spared, and the two brothers are set free.
Lazarus must have been quite relieved.
He continues to be able to protect his brother, and they're able to continue on with their successful career.
WILDMAN: The twins return to their act and are able to live out remarkably normal lives.
LADY AYE: Lazarus goes on to marry and father several otherwise healthy children, and of course, with his brother at his side until his dying day.
WILDMAN: Today, this portrait found in a 17th century anatomy book at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia is a reminder of true brotherly love and one of the most exceptional murder cases in history.
From unlikely robbers to a classic board game, a surprise attack to a movie monster.
I'm Don Wildman and these are the mysteries at the museum.