NEW YORK -- Eddy Galland, Robert Shafran and David Kellman said Friday that now that they have found out that they are triplets life is beautiful.
For Shafran, who pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the murder of an 83-year-old New Rochelle woman and is now on probation, the revelation that he had two twin brothers came as an added incentive in his efforts to rehabilitate himself.
It all started about two weeks ago when Shafran left his home in Scarsdale, N.Y., and went to Eddy Galland's home in New Hyde Park on Long Island to see his look-a-like.
Shafran, 19, found not only what he was looking for but that he and Galland, both adopted, were twins. Then, David Kellman, also adopted, saw their pictures in the newspaper, realized the similarity and got in touch with Shafran and Galland. That's when they found out they were triplets.
'I could not believe it,' Eddy said on finding out he was a triplet. 'I could not comprehend it. I sat there with myjaw hanging down for about 10 minutes. I was in total awe.'
The reunion sequence started with Shafran going to Sullivan County Community College, a school Galland had attended the previous year. There, he was constantly called Eddy and this irked him.
Former friends of Eddy Galland at the school told Robert Shafran how to get in touch with the lookalike.
That's what prompted the journey to Long Island.
After their meeting they found they were born the same place on the same day, July 12, 1961, at Long Island Jewish Hospital. They also found out they were actually born quadruplets. The fourth died in childbirth. Subsequently they were adopted by separate families.
Shafran was charged in the 1978 slaying of Elodie Henschel at her Robbins Road home in New Rochelle and testified at the trial of his accused accomplice, Morgan Goodman, 19, that Goodman had killed the woman to get a diamond ring off her finger, which both later pawned.
Goodman was acquitted on a technicality resulting from the judge's instructions to the jury and the judge, John Walsh, sentenced Shafran to five years probation providing he spends weekends working at a school for retarded and disabled children. The sentence was approved by Mrs. Henschel's family.
The triplets do not know their biological parents and say they are not particularly interested in who they were.
They are more interested in finding out about each other these days. And what they are finding is not only the remarkably striking physical similarities, but similarities in other ways: they smoke the same brand of cigarettes, like Chinese food, and were wrestlers.
In an interview Friday on NBC's Today show, the men said that now that they have found each other 'life is beautiful.'
They all like one another and each other's adopted families. They say there is no resentment on the part of their adopted parents and that they all get along.
'We're one big happy family,' said Eddy. 'We all love each other.'
As for future plans, they all agree they plan to 'have a damn good time.'