"That his four sons became notorious for drinking and squabbling scarcely tainted [his] image." – People Magazine, March 21, 1983.
|Name of son||Born||Died||Cause of death|
|Phillip||1934 (twin)||2004||heart attack|
|Dennis||1934 (twin)||1991||self-inflicted gunshot wound|
|Lindsay||1938||1989||self-inflicted gunshot wound|
|Name of son||Number of |
At the time Gary's book was published, brother Lindsay confirmed his account of how things were. Dennis was non-committal at first, but later he came out publicly to side with Gary. Phillip was the only one of the boys who denied that their childhood was grim.
In 1983, People Magazine published a feature about the revelations in Gary's book, Going My Own Way. An archived copy is available on the magazine's website: The Sad Ballad of Bing and His Boys.
Here are the sons' obituaries on the New York Times website:
Lindsay Crosby (suicide), Dennis Crosby (suicide), Gary Crosby
and Phillip Crosby. Lindsay Crosby shot himself less than 24 hours after watching "White Christmas" on TV in the run-up to Christmas.
He had separated from his third wife in the late 1970's. Not long before Christmas 1989 he suffered serious financial setbacks and broke up with his girlfriend, Pam Desnon. They managed a reconciliation, but the relationship remained very rocky. The December 26, 1989, edition of National Enquirer published an article titled "Why Bing Crosby's Son Killed Himself," which reported:
Of course, there will always be those who refuse to believe that a popular public figure could mistreat his children behind closed doors. But the suicides and the divorces are facts, not allegations. Not one of the sons reached the age of 70. Two of them were members of Alcoholics Anonymous (Phillip & Gary). These are verifiable facts.
Family members from Bing's second marriage tried to deny the abuse but they never lived under the same roof as Gary and his brothers.
Sadly, there are far too many people who attempt to discredit the victims themselves when child maltreatment is under the spotlight.