David Kellman and Robert Shafran of 'Three Identical Strangers' share their reunion

After 19 years of separation, two of the three triplets recount how a conversation with a friend revealed they were related.
7:07 | 01/23/19

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Transcript for David Kellman and Robert Shafran of 'Three Identical Strangers' share their reunion
out you have two identical siblings you never knew about? That's just the beginning of the incredible true story of how triplets accidentally met each other, from the new documentary "Three identical strangers." Take a look. It started when I went to college. It was the first day of school. All these people are coming up to me saying, Eddie, how are you? Eddie, hi. I'm like, my name is is not Eddie. I don't know what you're talking about. As soon as this guy turned around I knew it was Eddie's double. I said you're not going to believe this, you have a twin brother. Here I am. His eyes are my eyes. My eyes are his eyes. And it's true. Then the story went from being amazing to incredible. There's an article to twins reunited. I think I might be the third. You're about to find out why that doesn't even scratch the surface of the bizarre twists and dark turns this story takes, because here to take us through it are brothers David Kellman and Robert Shafran. Thank you both. What an incredible documentary. It's so incredible. This is an unbelievable story. After the three of you reconnected, it turned out that you had all been living just 45 minutes from each other your entire lives and you never knew it. Take us back to that first moment when you reconnected. How did it feel, and were you similar T Well, first, since you guys saw it in the film, Eddie and I met when I had gone to school and everyone was calling me Eddie and it was bizarre. After a while it became so bizarre, like, no, I'm not Eddie, leave me alone. A guy named Michael who I met from the year before who was in the teaser knew Eddie was adopted and knew his birthday. The two questions were, are you adopted and what's your birthday. It had already taken on this surreal nuts quality and I called Eddie and we had this very rational conversation, the agency, da, da, okay. We agreed to meet later in the week. Then as soon as we got out of the phone booth we decided, no, let's go meet now and we met then and it hit the newspaper. It was like you guys had known each other all your lives. Everything was the same. We compared notes. It was such a beautiful reunion but at the same time you and your parents knew that something was off because -- Then David gets involved. Yeah. Right. So Eddie and I hit the newspaper, right? Somebody shows me the newspaper and it looked surreal. The headline was identical twins reunite after 20 years. I looked at it and said, nah. The brightest bulb on the tree. Thank you very much. No problem. I'm going to get to you for that. Our very close friend who's in the film, he's known me since he was 4 years old. He came up to my shaking be and said you got to look at this, this is real. I realized, yeah, he's right. I went home and I showed the newspaper to my mother and I tried to get either one of them on the phone. Bobby had an unlisted number. I spoke to -- called Eddie's mother, called Eddie's house, can I speak with Eddie, please. I guess Eddie's mother was inundated with the press at the time and she said who's this. I said, I'm looking at the newspaper right now and I think I might be the third. I remember her dropping the phone. My buddy remembers her saying, oh, my god, they're coming out of the woodwork. So then, Bobby's 125 miles away up at an institution of higher learning, community college. Community college. There you go. What are the odds of two of them going to this obscure college upstate New York, lousy grades. So I couldn't reach Bobby, and Eddie and I decided to meet that night. My family drives up to long Island. My father is hitting everything trying to park the car. I just get out while it's still moving. Eddie's house was kind of on a hill, steps going up there. He had a storm door and he had the regular door. And he's doing what I'm thinking. He's opening up the door, going oh, my god, and closing the door. And I'm thinking, that's what I'd be doing. A see him in silhouette because it's dusk at this point. By the third time I had gotten up the steps and I opened up the storm door and he opened up the wooden door and we were nose to nose. I said slam the door in my face, I haven't seen you in years. There's also a dark macabre element that the adoption agency had researchers coming to you and your brothers' homes to research the impact of nature versus nurture with triplets. Each of the parents had adopted and to go through adoption is a big deal. We both have adopted sisters. I found it interesting the nature versus nurture part of this. They approached the parents and said would you like to have another child but this one has been enrolled in a developmental study so our parents didn't say no. They would come by while they're holding a baby in their hand. They didn't have twins. They just had one kid each, right, and people were coming in asking questions. They separated all of you intentionally. I think at that time adoption was so difficult and the adoption wasn't -- anything that they said they were going to say absolutely. It's the researchers that were in the wrong here. I want to point out because we've mentioned him so much, your brother Eddie, and if you watch this documentary which I highly recommend you do, he's no longer here. He took his own life, but what a life he lived and the way he lit up a room. If he were sitting at this table today, what would you both want to say to him? We would be glad he would be sitting at the table. We would probably be making fun of him, like who gets out of a moving car? Bullet anyway -- Are you all kib itsers like this, all three of you? Yes. He just did a joke too. But the crazy thing about this is adoption agency, they didn't just do this with them. There were several and they're not sure how many families. More than several. More than several? That's, I think, part of the reason that we had to do this film. With all this research, do they know whether nurture is more important than nature? What did they find out? They published it. And won't tell them anything. Maybe somebody will -- I highly recommend everyone watch this because it is fascinating and we're so thankful for you guys to be here today. Our thanks to David Kellman and Robert Shafran. Be sure to check out "Three identical strangers" on CNN January 27th. We'll be right back.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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