11Alive investigative reporter Catie Beck first aired her Twisted Twins investigation in 2014. It's been rebuilt in this new version of 11Alive.com due to its continued popularity. It remains one of our most-watched investigations of all time.
PHOTOS: Jasmiyah and Tasmiyah Whitehead
CASE PHOTOS | Twisted Twins
ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. -- It was a chilling crime. It is the story of two teenage twin sisters that viciously killed their mother and told police they were the victims.
Jasmiyah and Tasmiyah Whitehead signed a plea agreement in their case. They confessed, and got 30 years behind bars. But what came before their confessions, shows a twisted web of lies.
While their fate is sealed, their case file is not. Through an open records request 11Alive obtained critical evidence that never made it to a courtroom: crime scene photos, interrogation tapes, surveillance video and, finally, the girls' taped confessions.
Sisters initially claimed innocence
Identical twins share everything: birthdays, clothing -- even DNA. However, twin sisters Jasmiyah and Tasmiyah Whitehead also share a dark past. They admitted to killing their mother -- a confession that came after months of lying to cover it up.
"Twin girls had come home and found their mother deceased," said Rockdale County District Attorney Richard Read. At first glance, police believed their story that the two sweet 16-year-old girls had just discovered a gruesome scene.
"It was the bloodiest scene I think I've ever been to," said Lt. Chris Moon of the Conyers Police Department.
On Jan. 13, 2010, one of the twins flagged down a passing police car to come inside their home where they claim they have discovered a crime scene. Conyers police found their mother, Jarmecca Whitehead, the victim of a brutal attack, dead and submerged in a bathtub.
The girls, known as Tas and Jas, were described as visibly distraught and were taken into the care of Conyers police.
The police were about to get each version of the story, and unlike the twins, they'll be far from identical.
Teens' trail of lies begins to unravel
Investigators said there was evidence that the girls had tried to clean up the mess before realizing it was too much. Detectives smelled bleach in the carpet, saw bloody clothes in the wash, and found clothes the twins had thrown away.
"Once we got them both arrested, we got the car mic'ed up to listen to them in case they said something incriminating," said Lt. Moon.
An audio recording of the girls on the day of their arrest captured their conversation:
Jas: They're talking about the damn bite marks.
Tas: Yeah, they're saying that I have momma's teeth on my arm.
Tas: I'm not going down for something I did not do.
Jas: Me either.
Tas: The day that you find a murder with my fingerprints on it or something -- please do that. Please find a murder weapon and then it will be different. For real.
The two sweet victimized twins were long gone. "Just the anger coming out in the voice again, talking about how terrible our evidence was and how if you want to charge me find a murder weapon," Lt. Moon said.
Teens confess to brutal murder of mother
It was almost exactly four years after the murder. The once fragile-looking 16-year-old twins -- now aged and hardened by incarceration -- give police yet another version of the story. Only this time, it's not another denial. It's a confession.
"My state of mind at the time was defend yourself. It wasn't like a fight on the street, it was more like a fight until somebody dies," said Jasmiyah Whitehead in her taped confession.
In chilling detail, the twins described what really happened the morning of the murder. It started with a fight with their mother in the kitchen after waking up late for school. "You're late for school, you're not going to do what you want to do, you have to live by my rules," recalled Rockdale County District Attorney Richard Read.
The twins say their mother began threatening them with a pot from the stove. "She just started waving the pot around things like that whatever so I guess she was trying to hit us with the pot," said Jasmiyah. The twins claim they wrestled the pot away from her, but it was the start of all-out brawl.
After all the biting, punching, screaming and stabbing, the twins drag their mother in to the bathtub. Neither can really explain why they did it.
The unseen footage
Dig deeper into extra resources on 11Alive award-winning series on the twins.
Extended video of interrogation room: Watch as Tas and Jas are asked about what happened
Extended video of teens in back of cop car: Listen as the teens talk after being arrested, not knowing policemic'd the car