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Anthony Baekeland

Found Guilty Of Murder 1

Found Guilty of Murder


Hello and Welcome to the first of many of our creepy murder stories. Today we are going to talk about one of the most socialite people back in the 1970s: Barbara Daly Baekeland.

Let me start you off with a beautiful tale of how it all began.

The real Barbara Baekeland in Hollywood in 1941

Barbara Baekeland in 1941

Born in Boston in 1922, she was the only child of Nina and Frank Daly. At the age of 11, Barbara found her father dead inside their garage from carbon monoxide poisoning which was later found out to be a suicide. Although she was young, finding her own father dead is never the greatest memory of any child. After Frank’s death, Nina (the mother) and Barbara waited for the insurance money to come through and once it did, they both moved to New York.

They moved into one of the most luxurious hotels back then known as the ‘Del Monico’ where it is said only the elite resided. It was later purchased by the social media influencer, who got banned on Twitter (Trump), and is now known as “Trump Park Avenue.”

So I’m guessing the insurance money was not little. Barbara grew up to be one of the prettiest people in New York. She was even considered one of New York’s ten most beautiful girls. With her beauty, she became a prominent “socialite”. With her beauty and name, not only was she invited to the most upscale parties there were, but she also got the opportunity to model for big fashion magazines such as Vogue and Bazaar. All these opportunities gave her the chance to meet and date some of the wealthiest people in town. 

While her social life was nothing but a dream come true, in reality, she was going through a series of mental issues and it was found that her mother too had mental health problems. But the biggest issue back then was no one spoke out loud about mental issues or mental health in general. If you were found to be taking medications or meeting with a psychiatrist, you are considered pure crazy.

But later they found out that Barbara did meet with a psychiatrist and it was done in big hush-hush manner that no one really knew about it.

Dr Foster Kennedy is the founder of the Foster Kennedy Syndrome.
Dr Foster Kennedy, the founder of the Foster Kennedy Syndrome.

She met Dr. Foster Kennedy. If you guys don’t know who that is, he was an outstanding neurologist and also the founder of the Foster Kennedy Syndrome (yes, the name says it all) which is a rare neurological sign where you lose the nerve fibers of the optic nerve in an eye.

Coming back to the story, Barbara was invited for a screen test, and being someone who loved her fame, accepted the invitation to fly down to Hollywood. Although she never got the job, she actually made a new friendship.

As of November 2014 Cornelia Bagarotti is alive and living in Tarrytown, New York USA. She was alos Baeklands good friend.

As of November 2014: Cornelia Bagarotti is alive and living in Tarrytown, New York USA.

Cornelia “Dickie” Baekeland, who was an aspiring actress known for her role in Cover Girl, then became Barbara’s best friend.

They began to hang out a lot and enjoy each other’s company. Later, Cornelia introduced Barbara to her brother “Brookes”. 

Brookes was then a training pilot for the Canadian Air Force. Now at first Barbara had no interest in this man.

But later, Barbara finds out that Cornelia and Brookes come from a CRAZY WEALTHY family, how crazy you might ask? Well, Brookes grandfather INVENTED plastic. So we are talking RICHY rich here.

That is the rich smart grandfather on the left, along with his grandchildren. Unfortunately, there is no sign of this “Brookes” person's face except here.
That is the rich smart grandfather on the left, along with his grandchildren. Unfortunately, there is no sign of this “Brookes” person’s face except here.

NOW, Barbara was interested in this man. A little while later, Barbara and Brooke began to date each other. But with time, it was said that they were always found to be arguing and never seemed to be on the same page. So Brooke called it an end.

Knowing her wings are being cut off, she then comes out to Brooke saying she was pregnant. Yes, very dramatic and no she wasn’t really pregnant, to be honest. Back then, getting pregnant before marriage was a BIG NO. Especially when you are a socialite. And So, Brooke being responsible, takes Barbara to California and gets married quietly. 

Then, he finds out she wasn’t pregnant. Since “divorce” was another big deal then, Barbara knew she sealed the deal. She is NOW Barbara Baekeland. Now, as you can imagine, things weren’t really going well between Barbara and Brookes.

But nevertheless, they acted as a married couple. They moved to a luxurious apartment in the East Side of New York and hosted many parties. Only the wealthiest were invited. As time went by, her mental issues started to appear in daylight. People began to notice her crazy mood swings and sometimes outbursts in the middle of events. But no one really did anything about it. She even had really bad drinking habits. When I say habits, I meant she was a crazy alcoholic. 

Behind all this madness, Brookes on the other hand was found sleeping with so many women and clearly had zero hopes for their relationship. Now Barbara was no saint either – she has had her set of affairs going along as well.

Somehow and it doesn’t really say on the files as to how, but Barbara later became actually pregnant with Brooke’s baby. And in August of 1946, she ended up giving birth to Antony Baekeland – Tony for short. 

Barbara brought Antony into the world little did she know that he would provide her exit from it. Barbara holding Tony in her arms.
Barbara brought Antony into the world, little did she know that he would provide her exit from it.

So from that year onwards, it is said that the Baekeland family moved from their New York residence to their home in Spain, France and so forth – yeah let’s just remember that these people are rich throughout this story okay.

So finally, they planned on staying permanently at their house in Paris. This was mainly because New York seemed to know about Barbara’s crazy side after a certain incident that doesn’t exactly have an explanation, but yeah, so they thought this could be a brand new start to everyone.

As they live in Paris, Brooke meets the daughter of an English Diplomat and falls in love with her. Want to know what’s great about this? This so-called English Diplomat’s daughter was 15 years old. There was no law back then against it, so Brooke was now wanting to call quits on Barbara.

Barbara was devastated – more like jealous of this young girl and wants this affair between them to end. So Barbara ‘pretends’ to commit suicide which gets Brooke frightened and back in their marriage. 

There aren’t many details on the bond between Tony and his parents. Tony was taken care of by his nannies and everything he needed was provided by Barbara.

Antony Baekeland, was he murdered or did he commit suicide?

Antony Baekeland, was he murdered or did he commit suicide?

As he turned 18, he began travelling around the world. His parents were in their own world so he seemed to have pretty much all the freedom there was.

Then in 1967, at the age of 20 or so, Tony meets a young Australian named Jake Cooper in Italy. Now Jake was bisexual. As their friendship began to grow, Jake had introduced Tony to various sorts of drugs.  

As things get deeper, Tony finds himself being attracted to men and later ends up in a romantic relationship with Jake. But like many things, being Gay or Bisexual was another big NO back then. So no one really knew about this.

Barbara, who was then living in Paris, finds out about this affair. Barbara, fearing that his son could ruin their family legacy and make them look bad (totally her thoughts – not mine), goes to Italy and brings back her son.

Now Barbara, strongly believed that Tony just hadn’t met the right girl yet and this behavior is purely out of that. So Barbara planned on setting Tony up with a daughter of one of her good Spanish friends. To get Tony involved, Barbara invited this daughter – Sylvie, to live with them.

Now Sylvie, Tony, Barbara, and Brookes all four live together. You might feel like things are working out fine. But here’s where things backfire. 

One day, Barbara finds out that Sylvie was actually in a relationship with Brookes. So in 1968, Brookes finally gets out of their marriage and ends up marrying Sylvie.

Tony yet again tried to convince his mother that he likes men and that he wanted to date one. Barbara was still determined to ‘fix’ her son. She did all sorts of weird things like even hire prostitutes for Tony but none of them really worked.

And then she thought of the weirdest thing ever. She actually believed that if SHE slept with him, he would change. Gross, I know. But since she was known for her looks in her younger days, even at such an age, her ego was still right up there. 

Barbara was alleged to have manipulated Tony – her son to have sexual intercourse with her. 

In Tony’s childhood years, he had shown signs of schizophrenia (later actually diagnosed) just like his grandmother and had very violent behavior. However, his father Brooke had refused to allow him to be treated by a psychiatrist. 

So as Barbara tries to have a sexual relationship with him, Tony’s mental illness worsens. As gross as it is, I’m here to give you all the details, so bear with me.

It is also mentioned that during the sexual relationship’, Tony was seeing a guy. And there had been a time when Tony was with this guy at their house, and Barbara actually had sexual intercourse with both of them – the word you are looking for is ‘threesome’.

On October 17, 1972 Tony who was going insane with everything happening, goes down to the kitchen, grabs a kitchen knife, and goes behind his mother and stabs her a couple of times. It was found that the first stab had almost killed her instantly. And so, Barbara ends up dying at the age of 50. There aren’t many details as to how, but the police end up coming to the scene and finds Tony (at that time aged 25) inside the house with Barbara dead on the ground.

Tony confesses to the murder and also tells how Barbara had been abusing him. He told pretty much everything as to what happened and said killing her seemed to look like the only option.

While he was charged for murder, he was institutionalized at Broadmoor – a psychiatrist hospital instead of prison till the 21st of July 1980.

Now there are two ways he could have got out. One article mentions that a group of his friends signed a petition saying he was abused and it was all self-defense and he shouldn’t be put in there. And another story, like many other articles, mentions that the doctors at the hospital found that he was doing well and his condition seemed to have died out. 

Since it is an old story I don’t exactly know which to believe but somehow in 1980, he got out. Now Tony didn’t exactly have a place to stay. So, he decided to fly to New York and live with his grandmother – Barbara’s mother; Nina. 

But it seems that they have had a pretty nasty relationship with each other. One, as he killed her daughter and she did not believe that Barbara sexually abused him and two, Nina just like Barbara, did not approve of him being gay.

So right after 6 days of his release, on the 27th of July, he attacked his grandmother and once again- with a kitchen knife (what’s with him and kitchen knives). She was stabbed 8 times and had several bones broken. But surprisingly, she survived.

So, charged with an attempt to murder, Tony was taken in by the New York police department and this time he was actually sent to Riker’s Island; New York’s main prison. 

So, after 8 months in prison, he was waiting to be released on bail at the court hearing that was held on the 20th of March, 1981. But it seems like it didn’t work out as there was a delay in his medical records being transferred from the UK to New York.

This made Tony very depressed. That day, at 3.30 pm as he had returned to his cell, he was found dead in his bed, suffocated by a carrier bag placed over his head. 

As to his death, Brooke Baekeland believes it is not a suicide for there are many rumors that Tony had a relationship with a prison guard and an intimate one with another prisoner who was sent to prison for raping a young boy.

But as for Barbara’s murder, this is about it. Thank you for taking all your time in reading this. I know it was long, gross and horrifying, but believe me, finding the ‘appropriate’ words to make this into writing was worse.

So what actually got me thinking was, in the end, Tony died with a plastic bag: a material that was behind their entire wealth. It is true when they say being rich does not always make you happy. Sometimes it can be tragic as it can get.

Did he kill himself?

Rtr. Sajani Mayadunne

Written By Rtr. Sajani Mayadunne

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