Unearth the dark crime that put an end to Barbara Daly Baekeland’s life
The 1940s were known as “the war years”, but there was hope for new beginnings in America. Progress was happening, but there were still many issues kept in the dark that have been brought to light since.
For one, the LGBTQ+ community is now celebrated and widely accepted, but in the 1940s, things were still “hush-hush” and believed to be a sin. Because of the time & influence, one socialite named Barbara Daly Baekeland tried to “cure” a loved one’s homosexuality, which ultimately ended her life as a wealthy American socialite.
This is the dark crime behind Barbara and what lengths she went to hide a secret.
Warning: content contains descriptions of incest & murder.
Before Barbara Daly Baekeland had it all, she experienced a world of death & instability. Her father killed himself in 1932 when she was just ten years old. He made his death look like an accident so his family could collect insurance money, but the pain was irreparable.
Her mother struggled with mental illness, and while Barbara gained her good genes, she also gained her erratic behavior.
Allegedly, she spent a large amount of money on therapists and the best psychiatrists money had to offer. Still, her health issues would haunt her for the rest of her life and were essentially the reason behind the dark crime surrounding her death.
Family life with Brooks & Tony
Barbara Daly Baekeland was an American socialite and was considered one of New York’s “ten most beautiful girls”. She was also a model for high fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
She eventually met an attractive & charming man named Brooks Baekeland. Brooks was a trainee pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force, whose grandfather, Leo Baekeland, invented plastics.
The couple was seen as an “it couple” who had it all, but they were doomed from the beginning behind closed doors. Barbara tricked Brooks into thinking she was pregnant so he’d ask her hand in marriage.
In 1946, she actually became pregnant and had a boy named Antony “Tony” Baekeland. The couple was elated by their new bundle of joy and essentially became a happy & loving family . . . for a while.
After Tony came out
When Tony was older, he eventually revealed to his parents that he was gay. His lifestyle didn’t fit into his parents’ narrative, and Barbara consistently tried to push Tony into marrying a woman. Her efforts involved bringing sex workers home to “cure” Tony of his homosexuality.
By this time, Barbara & Brooks’s marriage was rocky, and Brooks began an affair with one of Tony’s female classmates. In conjunction with the affair and not accepting Tony’s sexuality, Brooks wanted to divorce Barbara. Barbara tried to take her own life to stop the proceedings, but it didn’t work, and Brooks went through with the divorce in the mid-1960s.
With Brooks out of the picture, Barbara met noted pop art curator Samuel Adams Green, who she began dating. The affair was brief and lasted only six weeks, and after Green broke things off with Barbara, she began to pursue him relentlessly. She even walked across Central Park in New York City barefoot to get to his home.
Tony & Barbara’s relationship
During this time, Tony & Barbara’s relationship began to escalate for all the wrong reasons. She allegedly had an incestuous relationship with Tony and continued to “fix” him after trying to engage in sex with him. These advances would ultimately lead to her raping her son.
When Tony reached adulthood, he displayed signs of schizophrenia and paranoid tendencies. He was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia, but Brooks refused the help of psychiatrists, a profession he saw as “amoral”.
On the outside, Barbara Daly Baekeland described her relationship with her son as “extravagant, wonderful, and fun-filled”, when in reality, it was combative, toxic, dependent, unhealthy, and would soon lead to a dark crime.
On the inside, Tony struggled while his mother continued pushing a “cure” for his homosexuality. By 1972, Tony was pushed to the brink, and as a result, he launched at his mother with a kitchen knife, which she escaped from. Afterward, Tony went to see a psychiatrist.
After his session, his psychiatrist warned Barbara of the severity of his condition and that he may try to hurt her again. On November 17th, 1972, Tony went through with the dark crime the psychiatrist warned Barbara of and stabbed her in the heart. When law enforcement showed up, Tony was utterly disconnected from the dark crime his just committed and was found ordering Chinese food on the phone.