In Golden Boy, New York Times bestselling author John Glatt tells the true story of Thomas Gilbert Jr., the handsome and charming New York socialite accused of murdering his father, a Manhattan millionaire and hedge fund founder.
By all accounts, Thomas Gilbert Jr. led a charmed life. The son of a wealthy financier, he grew up surrounded by a loving family and all the luxury an Upper East Side childhood could provide: education at the elite Buckley School and Deerfield Academy, summers in a sprawling seaside mansion in the Hamptons. With his striking good lucks, he moved with ease through glittering social circles and followed in his father’s footsteps to Princeton.
But Tommy always felt different. The cracks in his façade began to show in warning signs of OCD, increasing paranoia, and—most troubling—an inexplicable hatred of his father. As his parents begged him to seek psychiatric help, Tommy pushed back by self-medicating with drugs and escalating violence. When a fire destroyed his former best friend’s Hamptons home, Tommy was the prime suspect—but he was never charged. Just months later, he arrived at his parents’ apartment, calmly asked his mother to leave, and shot his father point-blank in the head.
Journalist John Glatt takes an in-depth look at the devastating crime that rocked Manhattan’s upper class. With exclusive access to sources close to Tommy, including his own mother, Glatt constructs the agonizing spiral of mental illness that led Thomas Gilbert Jr. to the ultimate unspeakable act.
In this disturbing account, bestseller Glatt (The Perfect Father: The True Story of Chris Watts, His All-American Family, and a Shocking Murder) chronicles the life and trial of Tommy Gilbert Jr., who sent shock waves through New York City's upper crust when he murdered his hedge fund manager father in 2015. Gilbert appeared to have it all: good looks, intelligence, elite pedigree, Princeton education, and a generous allowance from a loving family. But his parents used their wealth and influence to cover up their son's deepening mental problems and escalating violent tendencies, which had already manifested in verbal attacks, physical assaults, and arson. Glatt uses extensive personal interviews, court records, and investigative reports to provide a comprehensive look at how Gilbert's mental illness mainly went unchecked, leading to his final act of violence. (In 2019, he received the maximum sentence of 30 years to life). Beyond this specific murder, Glatt shares alarming revelations about the state of the mental health system, where psychiatrists are largely powerless to intervene even when they see serious psychological issues that could result in harm to the patient or others. This is must reading for true crime enthusiasts who prize depth over salaciousness.