Barbara Daly Baekeland
One mother who most certainly seduced her son was Barbara Daly Baekeland. Born in 1922, Baekeland was a model whose face graced the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. After failing to make it in Hollywood as an actress, she married Bakelite heir, Brooks Baekeland and they had one child, a son called Anthony.
The Baekeland’s enjoyed a hedonistic lifestyle of wild parties and infidelity until they eventually took to traveling the world- Anthony in tow. The boy wanted for nothing materially but was largely ignored by his self-absorbed parents.
Barbara finally became very concerned about her son when she discovered he was gay. Anthony had apparently been experimenting with boys from around the age of fourteen. In 1967, when the family was living in Spain, 20-year-old Anthony became involved with a bisexual Australian man, Jake Cooper. Anthony bought his way into Cooper’s circle of drugs, drink, and the occult – and quickly fell in love.
Barbara was horrified. She tried to get a young French girl Anthony was friendly with to marry him- only for the girl, Sylvie, to run off with Brook. Barbara then decided to ply Anthony with prostitutes, but when this failed too, she hatched a further plan to âcure’ him. Just before they separated, she told her husband: “You know, I could get Tony over his homosexuality if I just took him to bed,”
In 1969, during a holiday in Majorca, she seduced her drunk and high son, later boasting about it to friends. Barbara’s dubious therapy didn’t work. Tony’s already uncertain mental health began to decline rapidly. He became paranoid and angry, and doctors diagnosed him with schizophrenia. ‘I am f***ing my mother,’ he told a friend. ‘I don’t know what to do – I feel desperate.’ He began to threaten his mother, brandishing knives at her during arguments. His therapist warned Barbara that her son was going to kill her. She didn’t believe him.
In 1972, Anthony Baekeland stabbed his mother to death with a kitchen knife at their London house. He confessed to the murder and was confined to Broadmoor. In 1980 when Anthony was released, he returned home to America- only to attempt to kill Barbara’s mother, who he had initially blamed for his mother’s death. He later committed suicide in prison.