Channel 4 viewers were left “freaked out” and “disturbed” by the tragic story of identical triplets who were separated at birth.
BAFTA-nominated documentary, Three Identical Strangers, charted the incredible story of brothers who lived until the age of 19 never knowing each other existed.
In a bizarre twist of fate, the young men discovered they were a set of three purely by chance, when one brother was told on his first day of university that he was the spitting image of another student…
And so unravelled a discovery so extraordinary and astonishing that the threesome became celebrities for a time in the U.S.
However, behind the joyous reconciliation, there was a dark secret – the three had been separated deliberately as part of a ‘nurture versus nature’ experiment.
The moving documentary, which aired on Channel 4 last night (Thursday 28 February), astonished viewers as the two remaining brothers – now 52 – described everything that had happened to them.
Robert Shafran, Edward Galland and David Kellman – aka Bobby, Eddy and David – were born in 1961 and, six months later, adopted by three different sets of parents within a 100-mile radius of each other in New York State.
Unbeknownst to them, they were part of a study to track the development of genetically identical siblings raised in differing circumstances.
The three infants were intentionally placed with totally different families, with different class and wealth, but crucially never told about the others.
As the sad story unfolded, the brothers revealed they subsequently struggled with mental health issues for years.
Devastatingly, Edward Galland took his own life in 1995.
Fans were moved and “amazed” by the documentary, with one calling it: “Simultaneously fascinating and heart wrenching.”
Went from amazed to angry to sad watching that! #ThreeIdenticalStrangers
— Siobhan Buck (@Siobhan15491) February 28, 2019
— Gary Beech (@beechy34) March 1, 2019
— Nicky Campbell (@NickyAACampbell) February 28, 2019
#threeidenticalstrangers oh wow…what a story…wowsers. Wow…that’s it..wow
— Kelly Kershaw (@muzzahotstepper) February 28, 2019
#ThreeIdenticalStrangers My heart 💔😩😩😩😩
— Michelle (@Cuemel_b) February 28, 2019
— marcus church (@marc198911) March 1, 2019
Three identical strangers just wow #ThreeIdenticalStrangers
— Joey Hale (@JoeyHale) February 28, 2019
What a heartbreaking, incredible story. Amazing documentary! #ThreeIdenticalStrangers
— becca goose (@UGHenthusiast) February 28, 2019
Utterly heartbreaking …those poor brothers #ThreeIdenticalStrangers
— Catherine Kirk (@Catheri46585637) February 28, 2019
This has been harrowing. Getting to sleep will take a while #ThreeIdenticalStrangers
— LindaPerry (@Perivale001) February 28, 2019
TV presenter Nicky Campbell told his 134,000 Twitter followers: “Try and watch
#ThreeIdenticalStrangers tonight on channel 4 at 9. It truly is a wonderful, enthralling and also disturbing film. #longlostfamily – an utterly astonishing story.”
Another said they had gone from “amazed to angry to sad” watching it, while one more said: “As a twin, Three Identical Strangers Freaked. Me. Out.”
Others called it “harrowing”, “sinister” and “mind-blowing”.
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