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Peter Neubauer’s Sadistic Triplet Study Finally Gets the Documentary Treatment

A strange twist of fate brought together three identical triplets who were intentionally separated at birth.


CNN Films just dropped the trailer for Three Identical Strangers, an upcoming documentary that chronicles the almost unbelievable tale of a set of triplets separated at birth as part of a social experiment — only to find out about each other completely by accident later on in life. Directed by Tim Wardle, the upcoming film tells the tale of the three brothers that psychoanalyst Peter Neubauer of the Manhattan’s Child Development Centre conspired to separate in order to study the push and pull of nature and nurture. 

The triplets made headlines in the 1970s after 19-year-old Robert Shafran, one of the triplets, was mistaken for one of his twins on his first day of college. The two boys worked it out, quickly became inseparable, and then did the press circuit. Once their story got out, the third triplet, David Kellman, contacted the other two. Together, the three looked into what had happened and found their way to the Louise Wise Agency, which facilitated their adoptions. They were shocked to discover that the courses of their lives had been shaped by experimental design.

Things took a tragic turn from there. Gallan committed suicide at the age of 33.

What’s unnerving (aside from the whole sordid affair) is that the triplets featured in the film were not the only identical siblings to pass through the Wise Agency, which has since been absorbed by The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services in New York. It’s speculated that many others who passed through the agency might have unknown siblings.

Three Identical Strangers is slated for release on June 29th of this year.