CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews Three Identical Strangers 

Tragedy of the triplets split up at birth - all in the name of science: CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews Three Identical Strangers

By Christopher Stevens for Daily Mail

Published: 02:04 GMT, 1 March 2019 | Updated: 02:04 GMT, 1 March 2019

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Three Identical Strangers

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Halfway through Three Identical Strangers (C4), I had to press pause and check the newspaper archives to reassure myself that this documentary about triplets separated at six months wasn’t a hoax.

It wasn’t just that the basic story was so horrifying, or that the coincidences were so colossal. Three Jewish families around New York adopted three baby boys in 1961, and were monitored for the next two decades by scientists who never revealed this was all a gigantic psychological experiment.

The boys didn’t know of each other’s existence until, by a billion-to-one chance, one of them started college aged 19 to find everyone already ‘knew’ him. He had a doppelganger, a student who looked exactly like him.

Left to right: Edward Galland, David Kellman, Robert Shafran. Location in New York in 1980

Left to right: Edward Galland, David Kellman, Robert Shafran. Location in New York in 1980

The three boys were adopted by three different families as part of a gigantic psychological experiment

The three boys were adopted by three different families as part of a gigantic psychological experiment

That story made the papers, with pictures — which were seen by the third triplet. Soon Bobby, Eddy and David were national celebrities, appearing on chat shows and thrilling audiences who marvelled that the trio talked in unison and shared the same body language.

Madonna was so smitten that she gave them a cameo in her 1985 movie Desperately Seeking Susan. Life for the fun-loving triplets became one wild party.

It all seemed wildly improbable, a tale at once so bizarre and neatly constructed that it felt like the plot of a film . . .

The supporting cast, however, seemed too much like caricatures to be true.

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