7. Bobby Shafran, Eddy Galland, and David Kellman were separated at birth as part of a study of “Nature vs Nurture.” Years later, they discovered each other by mere chance.
The world seemed small when Bobby Shafran, Eddy Galland, and David Kellman, a set of identical triplets adopted as infants by separate families, met. Bobby discovered his twin brother in a New York community college when he was incorrectly recognized as Eddy.
The two met and concluded that they were twins who were adopted young. Later, their famous story reached via newspapers into the hands of David’s adopted mother. She noticed two young boys with an uncanny resemblance to her son David. David later contacted Bobby and Eddy.
Investigations revealed that the infants had been intentionally separated and placed with families having different parenting styles and economic levels, all as part of Nature vs Nurture study.
But in spite of differences, they had similarities in terms of favorite cuisine, favorite cigarette brand, not to mention their mannerisms. Their lives inspired a documentary film, Three Identical Strangers’directed by Tim Wardle. (1, 2)
8. In 2009, German police had to let go of the twin brothers Abbas and Hassan O despite having DNA evidence from the crime scene. They were not able to identify which brother was the real perpetrator.
On 25 February 2009, in the early hours, three masked men broke into Germany’s famous luxury department store Kaufhaus Des Westens (KaDeWe). They managed to rob the store to the tune of an estimated €5 million worth of jewelry and watches. Luckily, police found traces of DNA on a glove left at the crime scene.
This is where the story took a bizarre and unprecedented twist. The DNA evidence gathered by the police led them to two suspects – Hassan and Abbas O. The duo were a pair of 27-year-old identical (monozygotic) twins with near-identical DNA.
As per German laws, in order to be tried for a crime, each criminal must be proven guilty, individually. Since, with the current technology, it wasn’t possible to differentiate between the DNAs of the twins, the authorities had to set them free. (source)
9. John Eckhardt Jr., aka Johnny Eck, was born with a rare case of a truncated torso due to sacral agenesis. He became a performer in American “Freak Shows” and an actor at a very young age. His fraternal twin brother, Robert, was charged to look after him.
Eck was born on 27 August 1911 with a condition known as sacral agenesis. This meant that he had a truncated body. Although Eck did have underdeveloped legs, he would hide them under custom-made clothing, giving himself the appearance of not having any legs at all.
His deformity propelled him to an early career as an astonishingly agile sideshow oddity, and a featured role in the 1932 cult film classic, Freaks.
Johnny, dubbed as “half man,” became famous as an American sideshow performer. In one of his famous sideshow acts of sawing a man in half, he would literally play the “halfman” after being “cut in half,”’ only to be replaced by his twin Robert to show that he was unharmed.
Both the brothers went on to construct an elaborate and fully functional miniature circus. They also bought a miniature train and took it to various church carnivals around the state.
Once these sideshows started losing their popularity, the Eckhardt brothers went back to live in their family house in Baltimore. After a case of a deranged robbery where one of the robbers sat on Johnny and mocked him, the brothers went into seclusion. (1, 2)
10. In one of a kind accident, a pair of 70-year-old identical twin brothers were killed in two separate accidents while riding their bicycles on the same road two hours apart.
Twins do share a mysterious connection and can feel each other’s pain or distress. Twins may die due to the same illness, but twins meeting similar death on the same road within a mere two-hour time gap? That’s a rare occurrence.
But then, it wouldn’t be a part of unusual twin stories if it had been a common incident. Seventy-year-old twin brothers died within hours of one another in separate accidents on the same road in northern Finland.
In the first accident, one of the brothers was riding a bicycle on an icy road in Raahe when he was hit by a lorry. Two hours later, the second brother too got hit by a lorry while riding on the same road. What makes the accident even more freaky is that the authorities had not yet informed the second brother about the first one’s accident. (1, 2 )