Three Identical Strangers tells the true story of Robert Shafran, Edward Galland and David Kellman, who discovered, aged 19, that they were triplets
Three Identical Strangers tells the true story of three men, who discovered, aged 19, that they were identical triplets
The bizarre and moving true story of three strangers, Robert Shafran, Edward Galland and David Kellman, who made the chance discovery at 19 that they were identical triplets, is told in this compelling Channel 4 documentary.
The three brothers were initially delighted to be reunited, and enjoyed the fame that came along with becoming an overnight media sensation.
‘It was unbelievable,’ says David. ‘You think you’re dreaming. We couldn’t stop looking at each other.’
However, things began to unravel in spectacular fashion when Robert, Edward and David made a shocking discovery about the reason they’d been separated at birth…
The triplets had been separated at birth in a secret experiment carried out by a psychiatrist named Dr Peter Neubauer.
It was designed to end the ‘nature v nurture’ debate once and for all.
‘We wanted to understand parenting practices and how it would affect development,’ explains Dr Lawrence Perlman, who was a research assistant during the study.
‘In retrospect, it was undoubtedly ethically wrong.’
The fallout from the experiment is still being felt. All three brothers suffered mental-health issues, and Edward later took his own life.
When the film was made, the results of the experiment were under lock and key at Yale University, restricted until 2066, leaving Robert and David searching for answers to the mystery surrounding their adoption.
‘It’s like hitting a tidal wave,’ says David. ‘We were a science experiment – we were like lab rats. There’s so much we don’t know. I have more questions than answers.’
TV Times rating: ****
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