Separated Triplets are Reunited


Eddy, David, and Bobby when reunited.

Brianna Skaff, Editor

On July 12, 1961 at Hillside Hospital in New York, three boys were born to a teenage mother, who were then separated at 6 months to three different families. The catch, none of the boys knew anything about their other siblings. Robert Shafran, ⅓ of the triplets, first heard of one of his brothers when he went to Sullivan Community College for his first day in 1980. When he arrived, everyone seemed to recognize him as someone else. Having never seen any of these people before, he was confused, until friend and fellow student told Shafran that he believed that he had a twin. Edward Galland, had dropped out of the university a year ago and had also been adopted. Shafran and Galland met up that day with their now mutual friend Michael Domnitz, in Gallands home town New Hyde Park, LI. A news story was published about the two brothers, where David Kellman, recognized the two brothers as having a face identical to his. Astounded, he called up Galland, and the triplets reunited. What seemed to be an astounding coincidence that all three brothers grew up 100 miles away from each other and managed to meet, actually turned out to be something more astounding. The split-up was actually a psychological study.

Before the initiated adoption of the three boys, the adoption agency informed the adoptive parents that the boys were a part of “routine childhood development study,” which implied that it would be much simpler to adopt the boys if they participated in the study. For the next 10 years of the boys lives, they were visited by Dr. Peter Neubauer, coworker of Sigmund Freud’s, the father of the psychoanalytic perspectives, daughter. The purpose of the study was to analyze the effects of the nature v. nurture debate, by separating the boys into different family environments (upper-class, middle-class, lower-class). The tests conducted were cognitive, and were always filmed. From some of the tests and observations from the parents, it was made aware that the twins suffer from separation anxiety, and as they grew older, their mental health decreased. Both Kellman and Galland had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals and Shafran was on probation for the murdering of a women in 1978.

After they met, the triplets immediately became intrigued with each other. They soon after meeting began living with each other, and in 1988 opened a restaurant together called “Triplets Romanian Steakhouse.” At times, the brothers admitted that one would grow jealous of how close the other two were, but that all continued to grow closer to each other with each passing day. In due course, all three of the boys married off and had children of their own, but it wasn’t all a happy ending. In 1955, Galland committed suicide after a long-standing battle with bipolar depression. After Gallands death, Shafran and Kellman became more distant with each other, but still talk occasionally. Although Neubauer’s findings from the study were never published, a documentary was released on June 29, 2018, detailing the story/lives of the three united triplets, titled “Three Identical Strangers.” With 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, critics and audiences encourage people to divulge into the “amazing reunion” that is “Three Identical Strangers.”