By Natalia Avayu
May 18, 2024

There was a fourth one, but he died at birth. Now, their sinister story has been brought to light.

A recent documentary revealed the strange and particular case of three brothers who were subjected to a cruel social experiment during their entire lives. Robert Shafran, Eddy Galland y David Kellman didn’t know they were brothers. In 1980, when Shafran started college, he didn’t run into any trouble when making friends. “Guys would pat my back and girls would kiss and hug me,” he said in the documentary.

Everyone called him Eddy, and he didn’t know why. Michael Domits, his roommate, told him that the previous year he had shared the room with a guy called Eddy Galland, but he had moved to another room. They both looked alike, which it’s why people would mix them up. And everyone just thought that Eddy was back.

Three Identical Strangers

When Domitz discovered that they both had been born on the same day and that they were both adopted, he didn’t waste time and introduced them. They had similar IQs, they both practiced wrestling (same techniques), they both loved the same movies and quotes.

Three Identical Strangers

The hospital documents confirmed what everyone was seeing. They were identical twins. But that wasn’t the strangest part. David Kellman, a New York student, read the story in the newspaper and called the Galland family looking for Eddy.

He claimed that they looked similar and with time they not only discovered that they were triplets, but also that there had been a fourth brother who died at birth.

Sundance Institute
Sundance Institute

The brothers’ story became a documentary because of the strange circumstances which they met through. The adoption agency refused to explain why the brothers were separated.

Later, it was revealed that they’ve been part of a study on the cognitive development of children given up for adoption. Also, the agency specialized in single Jewish mothers looking for children.

It was Robert’s father who discovered everything when he spoke to Peter Neubauer, a psychoanalyst. He wanted to understand the concept of nature vs. nurture, to know if people developed thanks to their genetics or their environment.

Three Identical Strangers

During 12 years, and without the families knowing, they visited the research facility so the three children would be subjected to intelligence, behavior and personality tests.

Every single moment of their lives had been recorded. A group of psychologists spent hours studying their behavior. And only one of the brothers suspected that something strange was happening.

The documentary premiered at the Sundance film festival and soon will be available to the general public.