IN golden boy, New York Times bestselling author John Glatt tells the true story of Thomas Gilbert Jr., the beautiful and charming New York socialist accused of murdering his father, a Manhattan millionaire and a founder of hedge funds. Read an excerpt and learn how to get in to win 1 out of 3 copies!
It was a routine Sunday afternoon for Thomas Gilbert Sr., the founder of a multimillion-dollar hedge fund and a long-running battle on Wall Street. After playing two strenuous rounds of tennis at the River Club, he relaxed in his bedroom and watched a football game. Three days earlier, on New Year’s Day 2015, the tall, athletic financier had quietly celebrated his 70th birthday and showed no signs of slowing down.
Next door in the living room, his petite wife, Shelley, was chatting with friends on her laptop when the doorbell rang around 6 p.m. 15.15. It was a surprise as they were not expecting anyone and their doorman usually called to announce visitors.
Shelley opened the front door to find her son, Tommy, outside, wearing a hoodie and carrying a bag. It was the first time she had seen him in five months; they had a difficult relationship and he usually kept his distance. Shelley was very happy to see him and hoped it could be an encouraging sign of a better relationship between him and his father.
“He said it was really important,” Shelley recalled. “He wanted to talk to Dad about business. I was excited. ”
As Tommy strolled into the apartment, he asked if his younger sister, Bess, was there. Shelley told him she was in church.
Then he said he was hungry and asked his mother to go to the store and buy him a sandwich and a coke. He asked her to come back in an hour so he had enough time with his father. Not sure if they should be alone alone, Shelley offered to make him a sandwich, but Tommy insisted she go.
As his 65-year-old mother laced up her sneakers to leave, she looked up at Tommy and thought: I do not like hoodies. They’re a little creepy.
Thomas Strong Gilbert Jr. was born into a world of wealth and privilege. He had an impeccable social pedigree, grew up in a mansion in Tuxedo Park, New York, before moving to a Manhattan apartment on Park Avenue and a townhouse on the Upper East Side.
He had the finest educational opportunities he could buy, going to Buckley School and then Deerfield Academy, where he excelled at college football, basketball and baseball. One straight student, Tommy, had an IQ of 140, spoke fluent Mandarin Chinese, and excelled in higher mathematics.
“He is an excellent role model for our younger students,” wrote his Deerfield Academy college counselor. “He only gets better as he continues to mature.”
Known to everyone as Tommy, his movie star seems to be turning women’s heads. Blonde, blue eyes and six feet three inches tall, designer clothes framed his muscular body, carefully sculpted from daily workouts in the gym. He followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather to attend Princeton University, where he studied economics and graduated with honors.
As a modern Jay Gatsby, he moved into the rarest social circles, the epitome of the rich, successful man-around-town. He was often seen on community pages throwing a beautiful socialite at a black-tie event in Manhattan or attending a charity event in the Hamptons.
“He has the pedigree for this incredibly sophisticated person,” explained a friend. “But the mind and the skin are two different things.”
Under the carefully cared for facade was a socially anxious man with a long history of drug abuse and psychiatric illness.
After leaving Princeton, his highly anticipated career in high economics had not ignited. He told his friends that he started a hedge fund with his own secret algorithm and even registered the name Mameluke Capital with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But after failing twice the Chartered Financial Analyst Level II exam that was crucial to the entrance to Wall Street, he had been reduced to a number of short-term bartender jobs and provided surfing lessons to children.
At age thirty, Tommy was still supported by his father, who paid the rent for his Manhattan apartment as well as a general $ 800 weekly allowance. He also paid for his sporty jeep, expensive club memberships and all other expenses.
By the end of 2014, Thomas Gilbert Sr., whose hedge fund Wainscott Capital Partners himself was struggling, had begun cutting back on his son’s weekly allowance in hopes of forcing him to get a real job.
On the morning of Tommy’s visit that fateful Sunday, he had cut it down to just $ 300 a week and knew his son would not be satisfied.
After leaving her Tony Beekman Place apartment building, Shelley Gilbert walked around the block. She felt uneasy, knowing that her husband and son would discuss the recent cut in Tommy’s allowance. She wondered if it would have been a bad idea to leave Tommy alone with his father if they argued.
Then she turned on her heel and returned directly to her apartment complex with the elevator up to the eighth floor. She was nervous about disturbing them and first listened at the door, but could not hear anything. She went up and down the hallway, trying to decide what to do.
Finally, Shelley unlocked the door with her key and went inside. There was no sign of Tommy, though she had only been away a few minutes.
Then she went into the bedroom to find her husband lying dead on the floor. Blood came from his head and a .40 caliber Glock squeezed in his left hand over his chest.
“My first thought,” she later recalled, “was ‘Oh, Tommy, you’re far sicker than we once knew.'”
Copyright © 2021 by John Glatt. All rights reserved.
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