Triptych Based on a True Story

Triptych Based on a True Story

Triptych (Triada) is a thrilling television series released on Netflix in 2023. Produced in Mexico, it follows the life of Rebecca, a medical scientist who discovers the existence of two twin sisters of her, Aleida (whom she’s able to stay alive in the first episode) and Tamara, and does everything in her power to document the history of this tragedy. The series specifically states it is inspired by events in real life. A true story involves a particular case of three siblings who faces something that is completely different. Let’s go through it together.

Rebecca, the star of Triptych (Triada), is a forensic medicine expert from Mexico. She has dedicated her life to uncovering the truth behind suspicious deaths, and her work often brings her into contact with dangerous criminals. The series charts Rebecca’s journey as she works on one case in particular – that of a young victim whose death appears to have sinister implications for some of Mexico’s most powerful people. With the help of her trusted team, Rebecca must dig deep into a web of lies and corruption in order to bring justice to those involved.

The show takes an unflinching look at Mexican society, with its themes of trust and betrayal playing out through the relationships between characters and their environment. Despite its dark subject matter, Triptych manages to explore these heavy topics in a way that is both thought-provoking and entertaining. It also highlights how complex social problems can be solved only when individuals are willing to take risks and stand up for what they believe in. As such, it provides an inspiring reminder that sometimes it takes courage to do what is right – even if it means going against powerful interests or facing personal danger.

Chronicles of triplets inspired the series: A triptych containing the true story of the triplets.

Although Netflix didn’t mention details about the true story that inspired Triptych, and no interviews talk about it, there is a real case that became public some years ago, about a set of triplets who discover by chance the existence of their other brothers and met together as adults: their names are David Kellman, Bobby Shafran, and Eddy Galland, and their story received media coverage in 1980. Episode 6 of the series Triptych even shows a photo of them in the newspaper Tamara hands them over to Rebecca and the others when they discuss “the experiment.”

Differently from the plot of the TV series Triptych, no attempts of murder or control over important multinationals are involved in the true story: the writers of the Netflix show borrowed the concept of meeting your secret twins as adults and created a crime story on that setting. What happened in 1980 is that Robert Shafran, a 19-year-old boy, entered a college in New York and started being greeted by other students, who confused him with someone else. He then discovers that another student, Eddy Galland, is in the same college: the two meet and find out that they are twins.

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The case attracted media attention, and at some point, the news reached David Kellman

Who found out the extreme resemblance between those twins and himself and shared the same birthday. This way, Robert, Eddy, and David discover that they are triplets who were adopted by different families through the Louise Wise adoption agency, who kept secret the existence of the other brothers.

The confirmation of their brotherhood wasn’t only confirmed by the DNA test: although they were three individuals born and raised in completely different families, Robert, Eddy, and David shared similar characters and preferences. They smoked the same brand of cigarettes; they were all fond of wrestling, and apparently, they were sentimentally attracted by the same kind of women. Even more than that: without knowing they were separated from their brothers, they all suffered from clear signs of abandonment issues and a consequential form of depression that marked their whole lives. One of them, Eddy Galland, took his own life in 1995, 15 years after reuniting with his brothers.

Their story hides a dark side, discovered only after they met

the adoption agency declared that the triplets could not be adopted together because it was hard for a set of three brothers to be adopted by the same family, so they were assigned to different families. Although, this doesn’t explain why the agency kept the existence of the other brothers secret. Besides, there was an agreement between the child development center that managed them and the adopting family: researchers of the center were supposed to make regular home visits to the family, monitoring the development of every kid. They were described as a standard routine for adoption cases, but it wasn’t true.

The truth is that the child development center was running a secret, controversial social experiment on those children, led by the psychologist Dr. Peter Neubauer. Robert, Eddy, and David have been placed on purpose in three families with totally different levels of wealth: a blue-collar family, a middle-class one, and a rich family. The researchers were supposed to collect meaningful data about the development of three genetically identical individuals in different social contexts without the consent of any of the children involved. And those triplets weren’t the only ones: over the years, many twins and triplets managed by that adoption agency were part of the experiment. This part of the true story intertwines with the plot of Triptych.

When the protagonists discovered this, they were shocked. Apparently, the researchers were fully aware of the mental issues they were suffering, probably because of the abandonment they experienced at their young age, despite none of them being aware of it. The researchers were focused only on collecting data for the experiment, avoiding stepping into their issue and trying to fix it.

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The true story of David Kellman, Bobby Shafran, and Eddy Galland, the triplets that inspired the Netflix series Triptych

Was already covered by the documentary Three Identical Strangers in 2018. That documentary, directed by Tim Wardle, involved the two brothers still alive, David and Bobby, interviewing them to develop the story. And that documentary led to the disclosure of some of the papers held by the professor for his experiment, documents that were finally shared with the brothers. As this extensive article on the Los Angeles Times explains, the brothers have been evaluating eventual legal actions after the information they discovered.

Dr. Peter Neubauer, the psychologist behind the secret experiment, died in 2008. The research results, carefully documented over the years, are now owned by Yale University, where they will stay sealed until 2065. Nothing has been published officially about the destiny of all those kids, now adults. And the sensation, for David Kellman and Bobby Shafran, is that they will never discover what all that cruel experiment was ultimately valuable for.

The Netflix series Triptych creates a new crime story out of that true situation, involving three girls and a death with many mysteries around. But those who knew about those triplets’ adventure probably immediately recognized the similarities.

Synthesizing Three Visions

When it comes to synthesizing three visions, there are a few approaches that can be taken. One way is to create a triptych, or three-paneled artwork. This technique allows for three different subjects and/or scenes to be brought together in one unified piece. In the case of this true story, each panel could represent an individual’s vision of the situation: their thoughts, feelings, and interpretations of what occurred. Through careful consideration of context and imagery, these panels would be able to effectively communicate all facets of the story while still maintaining a cohesive overall look. Another approach is to use multimedia elements such as photography, video footage and sound recordings in order to capture multiple perspectives at once. By combining all these elements into one work it will create an immersive experience that conveys both the factual information as well as the emotional aspects involved with this true story. Finally, another option could be telling the story through a series of artworks that build upon each other in some way – such as a narrative arc or thematic connection – which would then allow for multiple points of view on each artwork while still creating a big picture out of what has occurred. Whichever method you decide on for synthesizing your three visions into one cohesive story should provide clarity about how each person experienced this event differently yet ultimately came together to share their collective truth.