Orange Is the New Black Wiki
Orange Is the New Black Wiki

Helen Van Maele, aka "Skinhead Helen", was an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary. She was introduced in Season Four as a primary member of the white pride movement unwittingly initiated by Piper Chapman. She is portrayed by Francesca Curran.

She is currently at FDC Cleveland following the Season 5 riot. 


Helen is a racist white supremacist. She is outspoken on her prejudices against the minorities in the prison, and typically has no qualms with turning to violence when she feels disrespected. Helen is also shown to be quite an odd inmate as she often speaks in broken or half sentences. 

Though she has an aggressive and racist front, it is shown that she loves unicorns and Lisa Frank stickers. In Season Five, she and Brandy Epps help the Dominicans multiple times, exclaiming they are 'Team Latte'. 

Physical Appearance[]

Helen has a shaved head with tattoos on her face and neck. She is very tall and very muscular and is shown to be physically strong when pushing storm officers against lockers.


Before Litchfield[]

No one knows of Helen's past nor of her crime, but may have been of her racist and intransigent nature.

Season Four[]

Helen is first seen together with Piper and members of the White Power Group, although she was not seen at the initial meeting. She is known by Skinhead Helen, and has great prominence for its shaved head and several tattoos in the neck and the face.

She remains as a committed member of the movement after Maria's business is discovered. She also works on the construction team, when all other Whispers owners are replaced.

Eventually, she is seen making racist comments with prisoners along with Brandy, and both express admiration for sankey, since she is the new leader of the movement.

She witnesses the death of Poussey in the cafeteria, after the protest that all inmates joined. She, Brandy, Jennifer, and Sankey scoffed at Poussey as her body was removed from prison, to the fury of Janae, who physically assaulted Sankey, and they did not come to terms with the mourning period.

In the last moments of the season, she joins the riots in the suburbs and everyone leaves armed in the corridors until Humphrey is pressed by Maritza and his weapon fell to the ground, being caught by Dayanara. Helen becomes worried when Dayanara points the gun at them, but shortly afterwards she points the gun at Humphrey and everyone starts to ask for his death.

Season Five[]

After the riot begins in prison and Humphrey is shot by Dayanara, Helen alongside Kasey and Brandy, they come together and try to capture Blake and Stratman, but they are delivered by them and locked in the kitchen warehouse with Frieda. As the hours go by, they start playing "Fuck, Marry, Kill" with the guards and Helen claims that everyone is hers, seducing them drastically. Frieda manages to free them from the warehouse with a trap built by her during this period and Blake and Stratman are captured.

During the night, Helen, Kasey and Brandy are smoking in the outer prison area when Yoga and Anita watch Judy King trying to escape, they run a fence and catch Judy, apparently hitting her. They tie Judy with a stake behind her arms and back, forcing her to walk the dark corridors of the prison until they reach the roof. Helen and Brandy put hijabs on their heads and try to throw Judy off the roof and are confused with Muslims when a helicopter reporter comes and picks up all the time. With Judy King hostage, Brandy does an auction and Cindy wins.


Helen is mocked by Big Boo after stopping her from passing.

She participated in Tiffany's trial when she let Coates escape with the gun and accidentally shot Leanne's finger, shouting "Poo! Poo! Poo!" (advocating for Tiffany's incarceration in a portapotty) all the time and stressing out Big Boo, who was acting as Doggett's lawyer. Later, she joins Ramona and Ouija who have set up a coffee shop in one of the rooms, drinking coffee and reciting poems. Helen also began harrassing Tiffany through the influence of Leanne and Angie, preventing her from using the bathroom.

At the end of the riot, Helen, Brandy and Kasey join Ramona and Ouija, passing one of the dormitories to prevent SWAT from entering and then they fight bravely. They are eventually captured and taken out of prison, where they are put on buses at night, leaving Helen's fate unknown.

Season Six[]

She was seen briefly, laughing at the fact the guards couldn't humiliate her by cutting her hair off because it was already short. She was sent to the same prison as Linda Ferguson, Big Boo, and Ouija. (FDC Cleveland, Ohio). 





  • She is the tallest female recurring character, along with Alex, even taller than Vee and Cindy,( but not taller than Sally Jo, a guest star)

Memorable Quotes[]

"All for Helen."
— Helen Van Maele
"Still, apes swing."
— Helen Van Maele
"Latin class!"
— Helen Van Maele
"Unicorn stickers!"
— Helen Van Maele
"Poo! Poo! Poo! Poo!"
— Helen Van Maele's chant
"Adrenaline and lies..."
— Helen Van Maele's suggestion to Linda Ferguson's speed




Inmate Navigation
Maximum Security Galina Reznikov  •  Lorna Morello  •  Tasha Jefferson  •  Nicky Nichols  •  Frieda Berlin  •  Irene Cabrera  •  Marisol Gonzales  •  Dayanara Diaz  •  Rosalie Deitland  •  Antoinetta Kerson   •  Annalisa Damiva  •  Raquel Munoz  •  Tina Swope  •  Alana Dwight  •  Nicole Eckelcamp  •  Beth Hoefler  •  Maria Ruiz  •  Suzanne Warren  •  Adeola Chinede  •  Charlene Teng  •  Lolly Whitehill  •  Shruti Chambal  •  Elsie  •  Cathy  •  Marie Brock  •  Gail Abbot  •  Silka Webb  •  Aimee Sandoval  •  Amy Roth  •  Kelly Lee Glenna  •  Calloway  •  Claire St. John  •  Mandy Walsh Baker  •  Sally Jo  •  Juanita Vazquez  •  Crystal Tawney  •  Gladys Watkins  •  The Brown Twins  •  Alice Hutton  •  Claudette Pelage  •  Erica Taslitz  •  Aleida Diaz  •  Tali Grapes
FDC Cleveland Alex Vause  •  Carrie Black  •  Carmen Aziza  •  Helen Van Maele  •  Erica Jones  •  Leanne Taylor  •  Angie Rice  •  Janae Watson  •  Alison Abdullah  •  Kasey Sankey  •  Brook Soso  •  Anita DeMarco  •  Gina Murphy  •  Norma Romano
Metropolitan Detention Center Corrine Hill  •  Joyce  •  Felicia  •  Araceli  •  Darius McRae  •  Mazall
Unknown prison Michelle Carreras  •  Brandy Epps  •  Jennifer Digori  •  Stephanie Hapakuka  •  Rhea Boyle  •  Shelly Ginsberg  •  Lea Guerrera  •  Randolita  •  Reema Pell  •  Jeanie Babson  •  Jayne Cooke  •  Emily Germann  •  Ramona Contreras  •  Irene Rosario   •  White Cindy   •  Voth   •  Annette   •  Danita   •  Madison Murphy
Last seen in Minimum Security Irma Lerman  •  Annie Valdez  •  Loretta Fisher
Released inmates Piper Chapman  •  Stella Carlin  •  Mercy Valduto  •  Sara Rice  •  Linda Ferguson  •  Sophia Burset  •  Jane Ingalls  •  Jimmy Cavanaugh  •  Judy King  •  George Mendez  •  Cesar Velazquez  •  Cindy Hayes  •  Gloria Mendoza  •  Blanca Flores
Deceased inmates Poussey Washington  •  Yvonne Parker  •  Tricia Miller  •  Maureen Kukudio  •  Carol Denning  •  Barbara Denning  •  Rosa Cisneros  •  Dominga Duarte  •  Tiffany Doggett
Deported inmates Maritza Ramos  •  Karla Córdova  •  Shani Abboud  •  Swapna Majumdar  •  Dario Zuniga
ICE inmates Santos Chaj  •  Mei Chang  •  Efua Onagbeboma